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Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E)

The United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) provides assistance to Service members and Veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment. VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) is the comprehensive program which supports Service members leaving Active Duty due to medical issues and Veterans with service-connected disabilities and an employment handicap. Assistance may be provided in the form of job search, vocational evaluation, career exploration, vocational training, educational training, and supportive rehabilitation services. Service members in the Disability Evaluation System (DES) can begin to use VR&E services before separation from military service. 

Veterans generally are eligible for the program for 12 years from the date VA informs them that they have at least a ten percent rating for a service-connected disability.

Image of student enrolled in the Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology associate’s degree program.
Photo courtesy U.S. Army National Guard, by Leticia Samuels (Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System)

VA will accept documentation of referral by the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) or Education and Employment Initiative (E2I) coordinator or referral to a military Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) as acceptable qualifying documentation. Documentation of referral to a PEB should be available for each Service member who is currently enrolled in IDES.

Applications and qualifying information may be submitted by Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officers (PEBLOs), Community Based Health Care Organizations (CBHCOs), and other referral sources, such as VA Polytrauma Centers. Service Treatment Records (STRs) are not necessary to establish entitlement for VR&E services but are requested to expedite the counseling process for Service members enrolled in the IDES or IDES-E2I programs. For additional information, please visit the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment website.

Employment Tracks

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRC) and Employment Coordinators (EC) work with Veterans and Service members to select and personalize a rehabilitation plan following one of the five tracks to employment.

Click on the image below and learn more about the five tracks to employment on YouTube.

VA’s VR&E program participants work with a counselor to select and personalize one of the 5 Tracks to Employment, listed above. Click on the image to enlarge the infographic.