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Understanding VA Chapter 31 Benefits: Eligibility and Application Process


Life as a veteran after serving in the United States Armed Forces can be challenging, particularly if you are unable to work due to your service.

There are several benefits to consider, such as the Chapter 31 program which can help you explore job opportunities or access other necessary services.

If you have a service-connected disability that limits your ability to work or prevents you from working, there is a program available to assist you called Veteran Readiness and Employment (formerly known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment).

How can I qualify for Chapter 31 VA benefits?

There is a 12-year basic period of eligibility for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) services, and a VA Veteran who is eligible under Chapter 31 must first apply for services along with visiting a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC).

The VRC will collaborate with the Veteran to assess if an employment obstacle is present due to their service-connected disability.

Once an employment handicap is determined and the Veteran is eligible for services, the VRC and the Veteran will work together to choose a path of services and collaboratively create a plan to meet their rehabilitation and employment requirements.

In addition to identifying intermediate goals and outlining the services and resources that VA will offer to help the Veteran achieve these, this will also include an employment or independent living goal.

Chapter 31 Benefits: Eligibility Criteria and Support Service

Current and former members of the military police form a guard of honour for former nurse and Second World War veteran Joan Rich as she completes the final of 102 laps of Allenby Park, Felixstowe to raise money for NHS charities on her 102nd birthday.

Meeting the eligibility criteria is necessary to receive Chapter 31 benefits, which depend on:

  • You’ve been charged with a non-dishonorable offense
  • Your disability rating is at least 10 per cent or a memorandum rating of 20 per cent or more from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  • You have requested VR&E VetSuccess services

If a Veteran is determined to not be eligible for services, the VRC will assist them in finding alternative resources to meet any rehabilitation and employment needs identified during the evaluation.

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