Skip to content
Be seen. Be heard.

Veterans Services

Chap 31 Voc Rehab

Interested students should contact one of the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors below to learn more.

Contact

Kirsten Hanson, CRC, NCC - Certified Rehabilitation Counselor - National Certified Counselor - Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (28)
kirsten.hanson@va.gov
2101 Elm Street North
Fargo, ND 58102
PHONE: 701-451-4626

You are eligible to apply for Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are a Veteran who has any character of discharge other than dishonorable and a service-connected disability rating of 10 percent or more
  • You are a Servicemember who has a VA memorandum rating of 20 percent or more and you expect any character of discharge other than dishonorable
  • You are a Servicemember currently going through an Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) Physical Evaluation Board - Public Law 110-181 (NDAA) and the extension provided under Pub. L. 112-56, (Vow to Hire Heroes Act).  Servicemembers who incur a serious illness or injury that may render him/her unable to perform his/her military duties is determined eligible and entitled to Chapter 31 services without regard to a VA rating, Memorandum Rating or a determination of Employment Handicap.

 

If you meet one of the criteria above, you can apply for VR&E online: http://www.benefits.va.gov/vocrehab/eligibility_and_entitlement.asp   or complete and return the application I have attached to this email.  

 

After you apply, you will receive an appointment letter and meet with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor to discuss your interests and career goals, understand how your service-connected disability affects your career, and determine whether you are entitled to receive VR&E benefits (this is not “automatic” like the GI Bill).  The exception to this is for IDES Servicemembers as noted above.

The mission of the Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment program is to help Veterans with service connected disabilities gain employment within their physical, mental and emotional capabilities.  If a Veteran is not employable due to their disabilities, we also have limited assistance to help Veterans improve their ability to live independently.  Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRCs) and Employment Coordinators (ECs) are ready to help Veterans who have service-connected disabilities find meaningful, sustainable careers. Your VRC will offer job counseling, direct you to other VA services specific to your needs, and connect you with training or other opportunities to help you reach your employment goals.  If you are found entitled to Vocational Rehabilitation benefits, you will work with a VRC to develop a personalized rehabilitation plan.

VR&E focuses on employment but we often use training/education as a tool to help Veterans become suitably employed.  One thing to keep in mind is that your career goal must be marketable and suitable for your disabilities.  As part of our process, you will complete a full vocational evaluation to help you explore career options that match your interests/abilities.  We also work with you to make sure that the education you want to pursue is marketable and is work that you can perform with or without accommodations.  This includes your responsibility to complete labor market research for your desired career goal with your local Veterans Employment Team at Job Services.  If you think about this it does make perfect sense ~ why would you want to put all that time and effort into school if there was no employment at the end of that process?!

If education is necessary and approved, Voc Rehab pays 100% of the tuition/fees/ required books and some basic school supplies.  Veterans also receives a monthly subsistence allowance while in school which is paid at the BAH/E-5 w/dependents for Veterans who have entitlement left under CH 33/GI Bill (100% rate even if you have less under your CH 33 benefit).  For Veterans who have exhausted their VA Education benefits, we pay VR&E subsistence allowance (current rates are located on the website above). 

The advantage of working with VR&E is that we can also provide other services such as accommodations for school/work, special equipment required for your training (uniforms, tools, etc.), supportive counseling services to help you achieve success in your program, and employment services once your training is completed. 

I hope this gives you enough information to consider if you want to apply for VR&E, please feel free to contact me directly by email or phone if you have any questions. 


For Veterans

You may receive vocational rehabilitation and employment services to help with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job seeking skills coaching. Other services may be provided to assist Veterans in starting their own businesses or independent living services for those who are severely disabled and unable to work in traditional employment. Click on the "How to Apply" tab to learn more and apply for vocational rehabilitation and employment services. 

Chapter 31 can assist with tuition, fees, required books, required supplies and potential reimbursement of initial occupational licensure. A monthly stipend is also available depending on the rate of attendance, the number of dependents in the veterans family and whether the veteran chooses to receive the regular chapter 31 subsistence allowance or the P/911 BAH rate (if eligible).  (Rates listed below reflect current rates that not all chapter 31 recipients are eligible for).

Months of eligibility depend on a number of circumstances.

Benefit          Full Time        3/4 Time        1/2 Time

Chapter 31    $1,194.00      $895.50         $597.00

For additional information on the Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment program (link), or call 1-888-GI-BILL-1.

For Servicemembers and Veterans

(Chapter 36 VOC ED under Chapter 31) VA's Education and Career Counseling program is a great opportunity for Servicemembers and Veterans to get personalized counseling and support to help guide their career paths, ensure the most effective use of their VA benefits, and achieve their goals. Learn more and apply for education and career counseling (link).

Education and Career Counseling

VA's Education and Career Counseling program is a great opportunity for Servicemembers and Veterans to get personalized counseling and support to help guide their career paths, ensure most effective use of their VA benefits, and achieve their goals.

Eligibility:

  • Transitioning Servicemembers within six months prior to discharge from active duty
  • Veterans within one year following discharge from active duty
  • Any Servicemember/Veteran currently eligible for a VA education benefit
  • All current VA education beneficiaries

Services Include Assisting the Servicemember/Veteran with:

  • Career Choice - understand the best career options for you based on your interests and capabilities
  • Benefits Coaching - guidance on the effective use of your VA benefits and/or other resources to achieve your education and career goals
  • Personalized Support - Academic or adjustment counseling and personalized support to help you remove any barriers to your success

It's simple to apply. Just follow these steps:

  • Visit http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-28-8832-ARE.pdf
  • Pull up VA Form 28-8832. Print, complete, and mail the form to your nearest VA regional office.
  • If it is determined that you are eligible, you will be invited to attend an orientation session at the nearest VA Regional Office
  • You can also apply for VR&E with their local County Veteran Service Officer or their Power of Attorney (VFW, DAV, etc).   Download VA FORM 28-1900 and send it in to the Fargo Regional office if you prefer the pen and paper application.

After being certified for benefits Chapter 31 students can expect:

    • Their case manager to receive an email from the VA confirming your certification within 1-3 business days
    • Unlike veterans receiving  GI Bill benefits, the veterans works with their counclor to devlope a written plan for an approved employment goal.  The councleor works with the veterans in considering the interests, abilities, aptitudes and limitations when considering a suitable employment goal. This helps ensure that you do not expend your benefits on an employment goal that may not be physically or mentally appropriate.  Once a plan is developed, the school is sent the 1905 form as appropriate. 
    • You begin receiving your BAH or Subsistence Allowance after the first of the month for the previous months’ attendance (this can be later if the enrollment information is not received in time).