When we think of war veterans, many people picture graying old men who fought in Europe during World War II or in Korea. Yet nowadays we must remember that there are thousands of young men and women in America who are veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

These younger veterans often have service-related injuries that hamper their efforts to find and hold good-paying jobs. To help these men and women, the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) offers veterans a vocational rehabilitation program known as Chapter 31. 

 

What services does the DVA provide for this special group of veterans?

 

 *Rehabilitation evaluation to assess a person’s skills

 *Counseling and rehabilitation planning 

 *Job finding skills like resume help and interviewing

 *Help finding and keeping a job, including the use of special employer incentives

 *On-the-Job Training (OJT) and apprenticeships

 *Post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical or business school

 *Case management, counseling and referral services

 

Who can take advantage of this program?

 

The veteran must have:

 *an honorable discharge

 *a service-connected disability rating of at least 10%

 *completed an application for the program

 

The DVA then sets up appointments with vocational rehabilitation counselors who will interview the veteran and determine whether the veteran can receive services. The counselors will look at the veteran’s disabilities and consider how they will impact the person’s skill set. 

 

Once the DVA has a good handle on a veteran’s situation, they will set up a rehabilitation plan which will lay out a strategy for getting that individual retrained, if necessary, and ready to secure a new position. 

 

If veterans need career retraining, one option that counselors and veterans can look at is online vocational schools with vocational rehabilitation training programs. A veteran can enroll in an online program and train for a career as a real estate agent, medical coder or a pharmacy technician, for example, and all from the comfort of their home with 100% online courses. 

 

Military spouses who are not affected by the executive order can still give themselves a competitive edge by enrolling in career training programs that are 100% online and entirely self-paced.  Many schools and universities also offer military spouse discounts and military spouse scholarships to help military families afford tuition. And with uncertain economic times on the horizon, it’s always a good thing to have as many qualifications as possible.