VA Vocational Rehab

USDevilDawgMC

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#1
Good morning all,

I am curious about voc rehab as I will be getting medically retired soon and have a meeting set up with them once I return back to Florida. Has anyone had any experience with them? I am curious to know if they are actually helpful in finding employment for disabled veterans or if it is just another gammit that really doesn't offer much. I have some BH issues that give me high anxiety with facial tics and muscle twitches (aggravated by stressful events, a job interview for example would set me off), and am really hoping that they can work with me to place me in a position. Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated, thank you.

DD
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
#2
I'm in Voc Rehab. They offer quite a bit of great services, more than likely they will have something for you.


I am currently in a masters program at the University of Southern California. I started off my Voc Rehab journey by attending a orientation briefing which goes over all of the services they have to offer. The first thing the counselor did was have me do a career assessment online and based upon it, they can help guide you in a path that would potentially lead to employment.

After my skills assessment, I did a year long course at the local community college that focused on TBI and how to overcome the deficits from it (it was a learning type course) I was still on active duty when I did this, so it was considered my place of duty every day while in the WTU. Once I was off of active duty, my counselor then put me in a six month long internship at the VA, where I would work with others (it felt like a temp job, and pretty much every supervisor tried to hire me, but the wages they were offering were a little low). I was able to collect the post 9/11 GI bill stipend each month, so it was helpful economically.

After the six months, I was approved to enroll in the masters program, but just before that my counselor had me take a 3 week long "soft-skills" course to prepare me for the political correctness and cultural/diversity competency that is required to successfully navigate a major university these days.

I am not sure how strong of a computer background you have, or if you have a desire to do IT work, but I highly recommend seeing if you can get CompTIA certifications in A+ and Security +. There are tons of government contract positions available and if you have a favorable security investigation (secret clearance) and the certs, you can get a job instantly starting between $40-60K.
 

USDevilDawgMC

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#3
Thank you GSFOWLER for the response. I am almost finished with my graduate degree in Human Resource Management at American Military University. Hopefully they can set me up with a good human resources job once I meet up with them. I hear stories sometimes of counselors telling people that they can't do anything for them and just turning them away, but your information puts me at ease a bit more.
 

MrsSwank

Registered Member
#5
I'm in Voc Rehab. They offer quite a bit of great services, more than likely they will have something for you.


I am currently in a masters program at the University of Southern California. I started off my Voc Rehab journey by attending a orientation briefing which goes over all of the services they have to offer. The first thing the counselor did was have me do a career assessment online and based upon it, they can help guide you in a path that would potentially lead to employment.

After my skills assessment, I did a year long course at the local community college that focused on TBI and how to overcome the deficits from it (it was a learning type course) I was still on active duty when I did this, so it was considered my place of duty every day while in the WTU. Once I was off of active duty, my counselor then put me in a six month long internship at the VA, where I would work with others (it felt like a temp job, and pretty much every supervisor tried to hire me, but the wages they were offering were a little low). I was able to collect the post 9/11 GI bill stipend each month, so it was helpful economically.

After the six months, I was approved to enroll in the masters program, but just before that my counselor had me take a 3 week long "soft-skills" course to prepare me for the political correctness and cultural/diversity competency that is required to successfully navigate a major university these days.

I am not sure how strong of a computer background you have, or if you have a desire to do IT work, but I highly recommend seeing if you can get CompTIA certifications in A+ and Security +. There are tons of government contract positions available and if you have a favorable security investigation (secret clearance) and the certs, you can get a job instantly starting between $40-60K.
'

Maybe you can help us out. My husband is separating this summer (begins Terminal leave 6/29 & final out 8/14). He has been trying to work with Voc Rehab here at Riley for the last few months, but the counselor he is seeing keeps putting up road block after road block. First, they told him to complete to complete the online assessment, then the market surveys (3 different times with the same info). Then when he completed these they told him he couldn't do any of the career paths he desired because of his 70% DOD PTSD rating - he wants to work in homeland security, law enforcement, etc. He asked for suggestions of careers, but they gave him nothing. They then told him to start scheduling interviews, although he had repeatedly told them he is interested in returning to school, and when he did they told him if he takes a job he is no longer eligible for their program because he must not need their services. He wants to finish his bachelor's and work toward a future, but we do need him to have some earnings as well while he is in school to compensate for his lost income. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you!
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
#6
In my own personal circumstance with the VA, I was able to use VR&E for the educational route and I am pursuing a Master in Social Work with USC. Because I have some post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility, I am able to collect the stipend for up to 45 additional months (I only had 1 month and 6 days of post 9/11) eligibility.

If your husband is interested in law homeland security and is still on active duty, he may want to look into getting an operation warfighter internship with an agency such as FBI, TSA, ICE or CBP. They have many opportunities for wounded warriors.

Operation Warfighter may be one path to employment, however his time frame is rather short. Another internship that he may be able to get accepted into is the VA Police with VR&E. The VA has a police department that will accept interns for many jobs and your husband may be able to get a stipend from VR&E while he is being trained.

I do understand your frustration in the VR&E program, please try to remain positive and encourage your husband not to give up. There are many opportunities available.
 

navyhm2015

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#7
Depends on what his disability is. He technically needs to do something out of his job scope currently because he is leaving the military to do something new because he can't do his current job anymore.

I had a job offer, and a bachelor's degree already and talked them into finishing paying off my master's degree and my Lean Six Sigma black belt certification. They should pay anything to make you a desired candidate for a new field of job that your DOD rated disability doesn't limit you to do. I chose business, because you can manage and lead in a business capacity in almost any type of occupation, so an MBA is a very versatile degree that lets you do exactly what you want.
 

MrsSwank

Registered Member
#8
In my own personal circumstance with the VA, I was able to use VR&E for the educational route and I am pursuing a Master in Social Work with USC. Because I have some post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility, I am able to collect the stipend for up to 45 additional months (I only had 1 month and 6 days of post 9/11) eligibility.

If your husband is interested in law homeland security and is still on active duty, he may want to look into getting an operation warfighter internship with an agency such as FBI, TSA, ICE or CBP. They have many opportunities for wounded warriors.

Operation Warfighter may be one path to employment, however his time frame is rather short. Another internship that he may be able to get accepted into is the VA Police with VR&E. The VA has a police department that will accept interns for many jobs and your husband may be able to get a stipend from VR&E while he is being trained.

I do understand your frustration in the VR&E program, please try to remain positive and encourage your husband not to give up. There are many opportunities available.
Thank You! I sent off a request to Operation Warfighter this morning. I swear I have gotten much better information here throughout this process than he has this entire last 10 months of MEB. I appreciate the help!
 

MrsSwank

Registered Member
#9
Depends on what his disability is. He technically needs to do something out of his job scope currently because he is leaving the military to do something new because he can't do his current job anymore.

I had a job offer, and a bachelor's degree already and talked them into finishing paying off my master's degree and my Lean Six Sigma black belt certification. They should pay anything to make you a desired candidate for a new field of job that your DOD rated disability doesn't limit you to do. I chose business, because you can manage and lead in a business capacity in almost any type of occupation, so an MBA is a very versatile degree that lets you do exactly what you want.
That's where the difficulty lies. His disability is primarily PTSD, making it difficult to move forward in security type jobs. He is wanting more of a disaster management, tactical planning type career. Where he is still part of the fight, but no longer "boots on ground" necessarily.
 

navyhm2015

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#10
Well, my personal opinion is to go towards getting a degree in homeland security/management... don't tell voc. rehab that he wants to join a force, that he wants to join a private organization to assist operational companies. That's my personal opinion. That way, he has the choice and if not, then disaster management will be a great alternative.
 

AttitudeEra

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#11
In my own personal circumstance with the VA, I was able to use VR&E for the educational route and I am pursuing a Master in Social Work with USC. Because I have some post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility, I am able to collect the stipend for up to 45 additional months (I only had 1 month and 6 days of post 9/11) eligibility.

If your husband is interested in law homeland security and is still on active duty, he may want to look into getting an operation warfighter internship with an agency such as FBI, TSA, ICE or CBP. They have many opportunities for wounded warriors.

Operation Warfighter may be one path to employment, however his time frame is rather short. Another internship that he may be able to get accepted into is the VA Police with VR&E. The VA has a police department that will accept interns for many jobs and your husband may be able to get a stipend from VR&E while he is being trained.

I do understand your frustration in the VR&E program, please try to remain positive and encourage your husband not to give up. There are many opportunities available.
USC as in University of Southern California?
 

Camp P Marine

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#14
In my own personal circumstance with the VA, I was able to use VR&E for the educational route and I am pursuing a Master in Social Work with USC. Because I have some post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility, I am able to collect the stipend for up to 45 additional months (I only had 1 month and 6 days of post 9/11) eligibility.

If your husband is interested in law homeland security and is still on active duty, he may want to look into getting an operation warfighter internship with an agency such as FBI, TSA, ICE or CBP. They have many opportunities for wounded warriors.

Operation Warfighter may be one path to employment, however his time frame is rather short. Another internship that he may be able to get accepted into is the VA Police with VR&E. The VA has a police department that will accept interns for many jobs and your husband may be able to get a stipend from VR&E while he is being trained.

I do understand your frustration in the VR&E program, please try to remain positive and encourage your husband not to give up. There are many opportunities available.
I have 30 months of GI Bill remaining. If I use VR&E 1st will that take away from the months of the P9/11 GI Bill?
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
#15
It should not. I had one month and 6 days remaining and VR&E granted me 45 months of eligibility. Their goal is to get you to work as soon as possible, for the least amount of money based on you plan. I am in a year long masters program at USC which costs $125K for tuition. They cover all of the books and fees and I get a stipend of just over $2500.00 a month when I am attending.
 

flyinhawaiian

Registered Member
#17
It should not. I had one month and 6 days remaining and VR&E granted me 45 months of eligibility. Their goal is to get you to work as soon as possible, for the least amount of money based on you plan. I am in a year long masters program at USC which costs $125K for tuition. They cover all of the books and fees and I get a stipend of just over $2500.00 a month when I am attending.
Are you using voc rehab and gi bill together to receive 2500 a month? I also use of rehab and they only pay me 1299 a month. Just wondering to ensure I'm receiving the right amount.
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
#18
Are you using voc rehab and gi bill together to receive 2500 a month? I also use of rehab and they only pay me 1299 a month. Just wondering to ensure I'm receiving the right amount.
No, I am using VR&E only. Voc Rehab pays me a stipend every month (while enrolled) that is equal to the post 9/11 GI Bill BAH stipend.

The stipend is equal to E-5 with dependents for the locality that the school is in (Los Angeles, CA). For me the stipend just went up to $2508.00

If you are going to a school in an area which low BAH rates, that may be the reason for the $1299.00
 

TopSecret

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#19
Voc Rehab can be a wonderful program. Unfortunately, there are many many counselors who make things unnecessarily difficult. The regulations which govern the program are much looser than other government programs, which can be good for the veterans who know how to argue.

Regarding the idea that a veteran does not need their services if employment is found: look into VocRehab's stated mission. It is about helping the veteran find fulfilling employment, not just any employment.

As always, read the regulations which govern the program. When a counselor tells you no, ask him/her to cite the governing regulation. If they refuse, or can't, escalate the situation to their boss, and file a congressional if needed.

You also need to learn to play the game. My counselor was willing to give me a test semester at college and that's it. She said I could take any class I wanted in order to see how I would do in school after being out for so long. I am in an engineering program, so I did the obvious thing at took Intro. to Engineering and got an A. That tied her hands. 4 years later, I am still doing well.
 

flyinhawaiian

Registered Member
#20
No, I am using VR&E only. Voc Rehab pays me a stipend every month (while enrolled) that is equal to the post 9/11 GI Bill BAH stipend.

The stipend is equal to E-5 with dependents for the locality that the school is in (Los Angeles, CA). For me the stipend just went up to $2508.00

If you are going to a school in an area which low BAH rates, that may be the reason for the $1299.00
I see...I understand now thank you
 
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