Military veterans often experience extreme conditions during times of service, which can have damaging effects on their physical and psychological health. In order to address the effects of war and combat, the federal government provides vocational rehabilitation benefits to veterans under Title 38, Chapter 31 within the Code of Federal Regulations. These provisions are commonly known as the Chapter 31 program.
Chapter 31 Program
Administered through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Chapter 31 program provides vocational rehabilitation benefits for disabled veterans. Eligible veterans work with a vocational rehabilitation counselor to develop a plan that meets the person’s rehabilitation and employment needs. The program offers services designed to identify a veteran’s capabilities, interests and aptitudes through counseling, education, job training and job search assistance. Veterans can receive up to 48 months of assistance through the Chapter 31 program.
The Chapter 31 program provides vocational rehabilitation services to veterans who have a service-related disability that’s been verified through the Veterans Administration (VA). Service-related disabilities must affect a person’s ability to carry out everyday activities as well as his ability to maintain employment. Qualified veterans show a level of disability which reduces their overall capacity by 10 percent and their capacity to work by 20 percent as measured by VA guidelines. Once a person becomes eligible for the program, his eligibility remains intact for up to 12 years after qualifying for the program.
Benefits offered through the Chapter 31 vocational rehabilitation program vary based on each veteran’s level of disability. Disability benefits are coordinated through vocational rehabilitation counselors who determine which services will best meet each veteran’s needs. Veterans receive a full evaluation of their vocational skills and abilities. Some of the services offered include on-the-job training, work experience programs and financial assistance for schooling. Counselors also provide job placement assistance services. Veterans found unable to work because of their disability level may receive a monthly living allowance to help meet their financial needs.
Pay Rates and Living Allowances
Veterans accepted into the Chapter 31 vocational rehabilitation program can receive living allowances based on their level of participation in the program and the number of dependents they have. Veterans can participate on a full- or part-time basis. The program also offers a work-study option that enables veterans to work within administrative and outreach job roles and receive pay for their work. Administrative duties include paperwork processing tasks while outreach roles involve veterans working within VA medical facilities.