Top Ways Voc Rehab Misleads Vets

Kick it into gear before your first Voc Rehab meeting.

I wrote an Op Ed on this subject over a year ago called “The Lies They Tell.” After a few VA employees threatened to close their accounts, we changed the name to “The Truth About Voc Rehab.”

Of course, it got mixed reviews. Practically every veteran who had a tough time with the program agreed. Meanwhile, Voc Rehab Counselors wrote in about how insulted they were. It happens. I think when a person works for the VA Machine, that they have to expect a degree of insult. And to those VA employees who are good, we’re not talking about you, we’re talking about the system.

Part 1: Voc Rehab Orientation

The DVA has no issue with slamming on other websites and on authors selling books. On VAntage Point, the VA’s newest attempt at putting lipstick on the pig, the federal employees tell you what you need to think about other sources of information. Here’s a recent quote from their website:

“One of the most common things I hear from fellow Veterans is ‘I don’t know what benefits I qualify for.’ is admittedly clunky and confusing (something we’re looking to fix), and there are many websites that promote bad or inaccurate information about Veterans benefits. It’s no wonder that many folks have questions about what they’re entitled to after leaving the service.”

I underlined the “bad or inaccurate” part so no one misses it. Remember, the DVA has a $3.2 billion IT budget every year. With that, they probably could build a better website or hire someone to fix the “clunky and confusing” part in about a day.

Here, let’s test their words quoted above. Click here to download their new VA benefits manual PDF. Go to the bottom of page 29 to read about Vocational Rehabilitation. The VA spent 2 pages on the subject. Read the pages. Ask yourself, what kind of degree can I get? Can I use the program more than once? What if they tell me Voc Rehab won’t help?

Now, the guide I wrote, which just focuses on Voc Rehab, is 60 pages. (Mine is more about the questions Voc Rehab Counselors don’t answer.) But it’s not the size that matters. After all, I’m not here to see who has the biggest tractor. I’m here to see which tractor works best. I have a hunch many of you will get more bang for your buck (time reading) out of this blog post than from their VA benefits guide on Voc Rehab.

Pull their guide up and put this blog post next to it for cross-comparison. See if it answers any of the fibs in Part 2 that Voc Rehab Counselors tend to tell veterans. Counselors will count on the following when you first meet with them:

  1. You may or may not have read their website
  2. All non-DVA websites promote “bad or inaccurate information”
  3. Their website is “clunky and confusing” (on purpose)
  4. There is no real accountability if they give you bad information orally, only if given in writing

Always remember, many counselors don’t lie or intentionally mislead, but you want to be sure yours is being a straight shooter by being armed with the facts, yourself.

Part 2: Voc Rehab Fibs and the Truth

Lie #1 “We won’t pay for more school.”

This comes into play when you’re about to finish your educational track or training track and realized you cannot find a job with your degree. A typical example of this would be someone who got a degree in Psychology or Sociology, degrees with no real tangible skill that helps you find a job directly translatable job. A degree in Accounting would be the opposite, where you can usually find a job as an accountant.

Truth: Notice the grammar, “We won’t pay for more school.” When I heard this when I first applied, I took it to mean Voc Rehab “could not” pay for school beyond an undergrad. Won’t Can’t. It can pay for much more than you may think.

Lie #2 “No more benefits beyond 48 months.”

Many counselors flat out tell this to vets. Meanwhile, the VA Guide does mention that limitations can be extended but doesn’t tell you how to get it done. One has to wonder why that is. I mean, with a pretty healthy budget, and the VAntage Point telling you the VA wants to do more, why can’t the VA do more? Why can’t their guide flatly tell veterans when they can and cannot qualify for more than 48 months of benefits? The answer: it’s because they won’t, not because they can’t.

Truth: The 48-month limit can be extended if the veteran is deemed to have a “serious employment handicap.” This can be found in 38 CFR Part 21.52 “Determining a Serious Employment Handicap.” Beyond this, a counselor told me that they could increase beyond 48 months for other reasons based on the need for “additional schooling.”

Lie #3 “Voc Rehab only covers practical degrees.”

The above Benefits Guide touted by the VA above gives no mention of the types of degrees a veteran can obtain. During most initial meetings with Voc Rehab Counselors, veterans are told what types of degrees they can obtain. As a general rule of thumb, the counselor will steer them in a direction the counselor feels the most comfortable with, not always what the veteran wants.

Truth: I know of quite a few veterans who were approved for very obscure degrees. One woman was approved for a Masters Degree in Theology. Another veteran received funding for a degree in Music and another in Art and still another for a Masters of Fine Arts.

Lie #4 “Chapter 31 will not cover graduate school.”

This is a biggie. I was told this. Many veterans are told this. Is it true? No.

Truth: A veteran can obtain a graduate level education through Chapter 31 Voc Rehab, period. There are many Board of Appeals claims you can find online where the veteran won his or her claim requesting payment of a graduate degree. It happens, just not that often.

There, that’s enough to get things moving. Again, not all VA employees are bad; however, when it comes to my hard earned benefits, I always like to get the facts first. Better you go in armed than ignorant. Remember: Wise as a serpent, innocent as a dove. Check out for more information.

# # # # #

Voc Rehab Survival GuideBenjamin Krause is an award winning investigative journalist, attorney, and disabled veteran of the US Air Force, where he served in its Special Operations Command. He wrote his guide, the Voc Rehab Survival Guide for Veterans, after winning his long fight for benefits against VA to help other veterans do the same. Benjamin is a graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Minnesota Law School using VA Vocational Rehabilitation.

About the Author

Benjamin Krause
Benjamin Krause is a Veterans Benefits Attorney and journalist who investigates problems veterans face with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. He regularly reports on veterans' benefits news and analysis on the website
  • Wife of a Vet

    I am so glad I came across this!!!! My husband has had serious issues with his Voc Rehab counselor and he has gave up on education all together!!!

    • Dave
  • Helen

    Keep at them. I’ve had to change counselors three times during my Chapter 31 program. At first they weren’t even willing to work with me on getting a graduate degree, but the enrollment counselor at my school really came through for me and provided the necessary documentation. Make a plan and stick to it and let your counselor know of any issues you encounter. Keep your counselor updated on your grades. Before graduation redo your resume and ask for help if you need it.
    If you don’t get anywhere with your counselor, ask to speak with their supervisor. That is what I had to do. Once that happened, I was finally able to enroll into Chapter 31. Keep at it. Don’t give up. Another thing I did was find the job description for the work I did while in the service and put bullets as to why it was difficult to do these duties with physical disabilities from service and tailor your own plan for employment. Then I made a list of what I could do. Tell them WHAT YOUR CAPABILITIES ARE. Right now I’m looking for work and its very competitive and I’m not giving up. Don’t give up on you or your spouse.

  • chas

    I was told that voc rehab would only pay for my tools(mechanic) if the shop I go to work for says I need them. I would think that showing up with a full set of tools would be part of the resume. How do I find out what I can get from Voc rehab, and not hear say from the counselors

    • Vetheaddoc

      Go to the shop and tell them to make you a list of required tools (not cheap shit either, this will be your livelihood). Take some form of official list back and set it on her desk saying, “Let’s get this show on the road.” Always remember, don’t be a dick, but they work for us. Without us. . .no need for program counselors. ;)

  • John

    I am also on my 3rd counselor… The first was great but got promoted… I never met the second one and he only returned one email in a year, he also left a threatening message on my voicemail when I went over his head, and now I was assigned a new one friday. I read in another article that we are going to be elligible for bas as of Oct 1st… Anyone know if that’s trua?

    • Vetheaddoc

      Yes, you get BAS on top of everything else. They will also provide tools for classes (i.e. digital cameras for required art courses, ipods for nursing programs, printer ink and other stuff through the bookstore stipend.)

  • Help. I long so desperately to seek higher learning. Rise to levels of the great mathematician or to the pith of nanometers. Something my deaf nulls mock me with consternated alphabet soup rather than fluid tomes.

    • Vetheaddoc

      Very elegant. Have you gone through the fun three days of orientation and then sat down with a counselor? If not, that is where you start. Your contract will be born out of this interaction of foes. Then you move forward. A lot of the problems stem from people waiting around. I showed up, said this is what I’m doing, when do I start. Had a contract that day all the way through my PsyD since a BA or MBA in Psychology is about as solid as a GED. Got the extension no problem. Only problem is getting couselors to remember your name and return your calls and emails in a reasonable time. Been waiting on one for 5 months now. Needed it for a divorce trial 01 OCT. Had to drop out half-way through first semester because these people don’t follow up. Luckily this top-shelf-school allowed me to come back. But now I am a year behind. :(

      • Vetheaddoc

        p.s. I still have not received the letter, an email, or a call as of 4 FEB.

  • Kim

    In 2007 I started my online degree at my expense because even though I am a 20 year retiree veteran, I am not entitled to any education benefits. Then in 2009 I was awarded my service connected disability percentage (10%). Then I went to VocRehab and they said my current degree was no good, mostly because it was online and they would not pay for that. They basically wanted me to find a complete other degree. I just wanted help paying for my current degree!

  • James Wahlquist

    28 January 2012
    To: Fellow Vets
    I am a member of the USAF-Reserves and a Voc Rehab Counselor licensed in the state of Utah. Several of the issues presented in this forum are complicated and there is not a sure fire answer for every issue. If I can help clarify any of your vocactional rehabilitation needs please feel free to email me at: I am in the process of setting up a blog and website where I will post information of the most prevelant issues facing veterans returning from combat and those who have seperated since 9/11. I have done extensive research into TBI and PTSY, which I will share and provide additional websites where you can find information into these areas of disabilities.
    Best Wishes,
    James Wahlquist, MS, CRC, LVRC, JD

    • Cisco

      I am a veteran with 100% P&T and done with my BA in Psychology. I was recently accepted into a PsyD program at a University in CA. My original ED plan was for me to ge into a grad program to pursue Mental Health as a career (which also helps with my well being). The point is i think the Counselors might of had a MA program in mind.

      How can i convice them or plead my case in sensible manner that the PsyD program is he best option for me employability in the future. I am currently not employed

      Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • WKenny

    Voc Rehab counselor told me I was to old to get a four degree, didn’t have enough use full time left! Guess he thinks I should just go away and die?

  • Joshua

    Hello Everyone,
    My name is Joshua and I have been going to school using the Ch 31 Voc Rehab for almost 2 1/2 years now (104 credits so far by the grace of God). I am familiar with some of the issues described in this forum and have faced several issues myself having attended 3 different schools so far and am close to completing my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Admin attending Grand Canyon University online. The issue currently confronting me is finding a way to get the Ch 31 people to honor the verbal ‘contract’ made with me at the inception of my training program. I was told I would be covered for ‘4 years’ of training. I will have completed my Bachelor’s leaving 15 months of benefits by my calculations, but they are unwilling to approve me through to a Master’s degree. Any ideas or input to assist in this regard are welcomed. My email address is Thanks!

  • Bruce Edwards

    I had been in voc-rehab for over a year and my counselor will not help me get in to alcohol and drug abuse counseling so I am going to school to get financial aid. She said because I was too olld and it was not practical.

  • Matt

    I am so thankful for the VA Voc Rehab program. I am half way through an MBA and feel very confident that I will be able to find a good career when I am done (my BA was in Political Science, a non-specific field, especially here in Florida). I have no complaints about my counselors, in fact, they have gone above and beyond for me on more than one occasion. One issue is that the ‘system’ is so slow making payments to my school, that I am constantly being chased by the school regarding 2 or more semesters of passed due tuition. Meanwhile, I also cannot receive additional loan or scholarship funds due to the passed due balance. So the paperwork process is still super slow, but I would recommend the program to anyone who qualifies! It is worth the work.

  • sconk2222

    I am in voch rehab and in need of a job, my rep has reviewd my qualifications and found me to be qualified for several jobs in the 60k-90k rang but tells me he will not put me in those jobs be cause i need to work my way up in the fed gov. i know this is a crock of #### but how do i get them to place me in a sutable position?

  • Truthseeker

    I would like to see unfiltered comments about this book Mr. Krause is selling.

    Why isn’t it being sold at sites which are NOT under his control? This is very suspect to me.

    I cannot find objective and verifiable reviews of its material. Amazon would be a good place to start selling it, even it means a small mark up in price. He could still sell it on his site for the original price.

    • Jesse

      I can appreciate where you are coming from, I’m fairly suspicious of online guides in general. Honestly, Ben is actually pretty great. He is a wealth of knowledge and has become an expert on the subject of Voc Rehab and he’s looking to turn that into a business for himself while helping others with the same issues he once faced. He isn’t a ‘nobody’ and has a website dedicated to disabled vets that he updates regularly. Additionally, he hosts live Q&A’s and provides the transcripts to any who are unable to attend

      That said, I bought the guide and I’m using it now. For how big of a benefit Voc Rehab can be, I think paying $49 to be better informed about it made a lot more sense than the alternative, stumbling through it myself like I did with my C&P claim.

      I love the guide, it definitely needs some polish, but it’s opened my eyes to aspects I’d have never even considered. The fact that this guide has given me the chance to become prepared BEFORE the fact is even better. Too many times have I been fed some line of BS from a VA employee.

      Guess it’s all relative though, if you have a really good voc rehab counselor that you trust, they’d probably be just as good a resource. I don’t, so I went with the guide and I’m happy I did!

      I’m leaving my email, if you want more info, reply with questions and I’ll do my best!

  • Jamie Lambeth

    I found this post looking for information about Vocational Rehab because I was just approved and looking for advice about the program. I am already close to an Associate’s and thought it would be best to attend a community college finish my AAS and then attend a four year to finish my bachelor’s. I thought it would be best to start out slow because I have a 2 year and one on the way and can not afford daycare. Also, it’s been very hard completing my assignments because I do not have a laptop or wifi. When I need to use the computer, I go to the library or the school. Can anyone give me advice on my situation? If so, please email me at Thank you.

    • Chris

      Vocational Rehabilitation will pay for daycare and a laptop and even internet card all you have to do is request it through your counselor.

  • mary

    How long does it take to get thru the counseling part?
    How long does it take to agree on a VA VOCREHAB plan on average?
    Thanks everyone.

    • Well I don’t know about everyone else but I am just now finally signing my plan (school has been in session for a month now). I started this voc rehab process last April. Its now September. Most of the delay, my counselor has blamed on proving my need- since my 48 months were completed last May. This to me seems like BS but I am thankful it is finally getting done.

  • aaron

    It.must be the counselor, my voc rehab rep has paid for my last few remaining bachelor’s classes, and has approved me for my master’s, along with a $3000 laptop to run my virtual machines, they are also paying for my tech certifications

    • trent

      aaron, please let me know where. I am interested in an IT track, you mentioned
      VMs on your laptop. which state/city are you in and what Tech Certs are you getting?

  • How do I get a copy of the 60 pg. guide this guy wrote???

  • Anthony

    I am on my third vocational rehabilitation counselor. My first counselor curse me out then canceled my program within three minutes of our meeting. I have never met this man before this meeting. My second counselor continue to block me from obtaining employment and reaching my goals in becoming an educator. My third vocational rehabilitation counselor is also very difficult to work with.
    She wants me to attend a religious school because of the low cost. My home state will not recognize the Masters degree for the purpose of becoming an educator.
    She then gave me approval to attend a West Coast University for online. Now, that I was accepted and paid all the mandatory fees she interrupted my program and insist that I reapply for vocational rehabilitation.
    Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

  • Jorge L. Hernandez

    I was getting paid as a single veteran for 5 years therefore loosing out on about over $25,000 thousands dollars in benefits, plus the agony of miserable income that my family endured those years. Of course I didn’t get reimbursed any of that money. I started working as a non paid work experience and I was getting shorthanded money again! As of today, they still owe me over $3,500 dollars and I can’t even find where and to who to complain about this situation. Thanks God I was just recently hired by the Social Security Office (forget about the government shutdown and furlough for now) My local VR&E office not only deserve the verball mistreatment, they need to be FIRED! They do not have the knowledge how to fix this mess. I love your quote “they have to expect a degree of insult” when you are incompetent you either get fired or move on. This individuals have been working with this issues for over 20 years, so, they are either incompetent or stupid. I want to file a complaint. Does anyone knows who to? I’m in Puerto Rico probably part of the Eastern Region. I need help PLEASE anyone?

    • zachary

      Go to your U.S. Congressman. I had a TERRIBLE VocRehab Counselor who was doing everything she could to work against me. When I requested a new Counselor to her boss, her boss was no different. So I went to her boss’s boss, and she never once replied to my emails or voicemails. I wound up contacting my local Senator’s office – Ted Cruz. One of his underlings called me the next day after reading my long email. I don’t know what my Senator’s office did, but within a week I had a new Counselor, my old Counselor was in big trouble, and I got a long letter of apology from my old Counselor’s boss. And I was back in school the following week! Plus now my new Counselor does everything I need within 24 hours or sooner.

      It’s ridiculous that I had to go through this after having served my country, but I found out through an a different Counselor, one who actually cares about serving the Veterans, that the VocRehab office is hit or miss. You either get a good Counselor or you get a bad one. And the bad ones are so overloaded with Veterans that their bosses let them get away with murder.

      Do NOT give up! Veterans deserve as much education as they can handle. Call your local Congressman or Senator’s office. Lay out the details and keep track of every conversation between you and and VR&E. Try to ensure that all of your communication is via email. This way you have hard documentation. And if VR&E won’t communicate via email, record your phone conversations. Then dictate what happened exactly to your Senator/Congressional Office. When high political figures find out you are being mistreated, they will step in. They did for me! Good luck!

      • HeatherK

        Are there other veterans resources in the state or town? AMVETs help veterans to file claims with the VA and help through many issues with the VA

  • Jenn

    I am trying to find out if I have any chance to get assistance. I was in Electronics (Airfield Systems), out and got an Bachelors in Human Services Management, and am finishing a Master’s in Administration. I am only 10 percent disabled. I want to get a job in Human Resources and need experience and training to get any job. I have app lied to jobs all over the spectrum and cannot find work.

  • Jason

    He sells it on his website exclusively so that he can:

    1) Keep his overhead low
    2) Control the sales of the books (avoiding publisher and editor issue etc)
    3) Because it makes total sense and saves him a crap-load of $$$

    Now of course it’s just my opinion… I am on the other side of the fence; it’s not suspect to me because the information in this guide is verifiable if you research it both in the CFR’s and online.

    This guy is the real deal and has helped a lot of Veterans.

  • Dennis

    I just want to know where i can buy this guide. And can I have it mailed up to Sweden. My counselor is great, but I think it is better to have to sets of educated eyes on my case. I can’t expect this lady to do it all without a little guiding from me… book please!!!

  • Fred

    Hi can anyone tell me if VOC Rehab will continue to pay a stipend after they help you get a job

    • HeatherK

      they paid me three times over three months after I graduated and found a job relating to my degree…

    • wifeynmommy

      They pay you after approving you when you land a job. I got a job within the VA and they paid me 2 month of subsistence allowance to get settled into the job here in Atlanta, Ga.

  • The biggest question I have that no one has been able to answer so far is:

    Can I utilize vocational rehabilitation benefits after I have already used up my Post-9/11 benefits???

    • Juan Alanis

      Yes, you definitely can as long as you have 10% disability with a serious employment handicap (meaning, the VA rated disability is seriously impairing your ability to go back to employment) or a 20% disability with an employment handicap (a disability impairing but not seriously impairing your ability to go back to employment).
      Example: The VA rated you at 10% for a lower back condition and your only training is as a construction worker
      that my fellow veteran is a serious employment handicap. Example 2: The VA rated you with a 20% disability for a knee condition and the only training you have is for a car salesman. That is an employment handicap because the skills you have are somewhat transferable sales, but since it require walking, the case can be resolved in your favor that is impairing your ability to get employment.

      If you have any of the above fill out a 28-1900 and this will get you an initial evaluation

      The questions you will be asked by a Voc Rehab Counselor is, have you completed your degree and what is your degree on. HINT: if your interest aptitudes and abilities are to train to be a Licensed Social Worker and you only have a bachelors degree in social work the program should call for a Masters in Social Work with a LMSW. If you only have 12 months left of benefits after using 36 months of post 9-11 and the VA counselor finds that you have a serious employment handicap. The VR&E counselor will request his VR&E officer for an extension of benefits and get you enough time to get your degree.

      hope that answers your question.

      Former CH31 counselor.

    • jon


  • guest

    so, should i tell voc rehab that i want to be a clinical psychologist? they pay for PHDs for psychologist; why wouldnt they pay for my school when i just want to go medical school. can i lie to them, get my medical degree, then not do the psychology?


    I’m beginning to get an itch to file a UCC-1 lien on people who work and lie at the VA regional office.

  • Danie

    You can order it through his website ( I bought it. Saying it was a huge help is a pathetic understatement. It was instrumental in me knowing how to address them (be kind, professional, and forceful in a nice way) and what to come prepared with. I am dead serious when I say that without the information I learned reading the guide, I would not be in school working on my undergrad and preparing for law school. I waffled on ordering it – thinking it wouldn’t be worth it. But I needed to get into the program and was willing to take the risk. It paid off completely and a year later, I am still referencing it as I work on ‘educating’ my new case manager on what the VA really can and cannot do and what I really am and am not entitled to. So best of luck to everyone out there. If you’re gonna be trying to get anything from the VA, you’re going to need it! ;-)

    • ganksus

      Why not just paraphrase it and share it, old buddy, old chum. We would all appreciate it.

  • Linxs481

    I been with VocRehab for 4 months, I have yet to receive a stipend payment, which my counselor said I qualify for. I notified her twice about this situation, she’s she submitted the certificates to the VA. Is this information true or false? What should I do?

    • Danie

      My case manager had me fill out the forms (I elected for the post-9/11 rate since it was higher and there was no downside), he checked the system for back pay and any other money I was due, submitted it in the computer while I was there and had me paid in about a week. There is no reason I can think of for you to have been waiting 4 months.

      • Linxs481

        Thank you very much for this information, I too elected the post-911 because of the higher pay. I called VOC Rehab, spoke with the manager. He said, he is sorry and that he will fax out the paper work today, (which was two Wednesday’s ago) I believed him, I haven’t received anything as of yet. I am nearly becoming a homeless vet, I have until the ending of this month. It breaks my heart knowing I dedicated 5 hard years of my life for my country only to get fool with. Is there anything you would recommend me to do ?

  • Amy

    I was approved for Voc Rehab and began my OJT training at a military hospital instead of the usual track of attending college, as my career option didn’t require further college. I was told the military hospital that I was training at doesn’t have a “facility code” due to me being the first person to do Voc Rehab there. I’ve been waiting 2 months now with absolutely NO progress in this area and haven’t received any stipend. Daycare expenses and the extra gas are really stretching us thin now. Has anyone been through this process and how long did it take? Is there anything additional I can do to speed the process up? Thanks.

  • mike

    I read most of this and a lot of the comments I guess I got lucky with my counselor she is amazing. I mentioned I needed to get a computer for school and she right then submitted paperwork to get the VA to cover it. She asked me what I wanted to do .. the thing about voc rehab is you can’t go to school for something that aggravates your disabilities so if your counselor is guiding you away from what you want ask why that could be the case. I told her what I wanted and she said couldn’t do that but gave me some other ideas that were in the same field Same schooling and I can get the job I want just has a different title. The other thing about how much school and paying for equipment … If they approve your plan they will pay for all the school BUT if you exhaust your gi bill you won’t get any more bah. They will cover any tools you need for your job if you are trying to start a business or you need them to get a job ie a mechanic or construction worker need tools

  • guest

    My voc rehab counselor initially said that going back to school for my Masters degree was the best option, then randomly changed his mind and said that he would only allow me to go to do the rapid access to employment track. My degree is in Aeronautics with a concentration in helicopter flight. I can no longer fly due to my disabilities. He doesn’t care what job I get as long as I get a job.There are no jobs in my area for anything related to Aeronautics. Is there anything I can do change this and go to school for my masters degree so that I am actually employable in my career field? The counselor is completely unwilling to help.

  • John Jone.

    I was paid the wrong Post 9/11 rate and my counselor could care less. How can I fox this problem?

    • HeatherK

      Do you have a local AMVETS in your town or state…. the AMVETS center helped me file a claim to the VA to change my internal code as I’m being treated for and have a rating for a neurological disorder connected to service however my internal code is listed as something else
      they are an veteran resource and were a great help and knowledgeable…at least where I went

  • 8up

    Someone spent a lot of time writing the regulations and these people are required to abide by them. If your counselor is violating these regs then you need to contact the VR&E Officer at the VARO and if the problems are not resolved at that level take it to your local senators office. Simply state what reg is being violated. Here is the link to the regs.

    Its under PART III – READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS (sections 3001 – 4335)

    Use email to communicate everything so you have a record of what these people are doing to you.

  • mii

    Educational Benefits

    I transferred my 35 months of my educational benefits to my children while I was still on Active Duty allowing (1) month of benefits for myself.

    I now want to utilized Vocational Rehabilitation through the VA. Will the Va exhaust the educational benefits designated for my children before allowing me to use this program?

    I have presented this question to both the Education department, Military transfer of Educational Benefits and Voc Rehab and have yet to attain a definitive answer.


    • HeatherK

      I’ve heard you only get 48 months of benefits….whether 9/ll GI Bill or VA Vocrehab…But you can file for an extension…but you have to meet certain criteria like if you got an associates in something and know wanted a bachelor is a SIMILAR degree the VA vocrehab will help you. There is other criteria you have to meet I’m sure your local AMVETS office might be able to help (if there’s one in your state)

    • Tonya

      I was using my Post 911 GI Bill, Chap 30. Then I got approved for VocRehab, Chap 31. It started the next semester after I retired. You cannot use it while on active duty. I still have my Post 911 GI Bill. So, no you don’t use Chap 30 once your approved for 31.

  • willie Jones

    5 year of school and no job-my name Willie Jones Iam in the (VR) program at salbury nc.but was told that the (atl ga) pay been with VocRehab for 4 months, I have yet to receive a stipend payment, which my counselor said I qualify for. I notified her twice about this situation, she’s she submitted the certificates to the VA. Is this information true or false? What should I do?

    • Brad

      I would contact anyone I could think of. 4 months is way to long for this to kick in. I would maybe try calling the GI bill number just so you can get someone on the phone they will direct you in the right place if they cannot answer it. If that doesn’t work call your regional office and get a higher up on the phone. Sounds like someone is not doing their job.



  • keith

    Since I can’t seem to find answers to any of my questions from the VA, I figured I would give the comments section of this article a try! I separated from the ARMY in April due to combat injuries (Purple Heart), and was given a 60% rating. I also have a BA in Criminology from the University of Nebraska, but I’m having a difficult time finding work in that field. My passion in life is fitness and I want to get certified as a personal trainer through the NASM. Will vocational rehab pay for for any of the materials or test? Will it help with any other expenses? Any help or contacts would be greatly appreciated, thanks…

    • Brad

      If they deem that you cannot get employment (which you can appeal if they do say you can get work) then yes they will cover all costs. You also get a monthly stipend equal to BAH of an e-5 that is married. They cover any and all materials needed. You could pursue a bachelors in some form of fitness like nutrition or sports medicine along with that personal training certificate.

  • Shane Christopher

    My local Vocational Rehabilitation center is refusing to return my calls or emails. They are not helping me with school enrollment and are generally not doing anything. I have contacted the head of the local Voc Rehab but he also is refusing to return calls.

    Who do I contact to get aid? When these people are negligible to veterans who is there to correct them?

    Who do we turn to for help?
    Please help!!

    • Brad

      I am not sure where you live but this happened to me as well. I called the regional office and they got ahold of the counselor right away for me. I would suggest you try this it was very effective for me. I tried for over a month with no calls or emails back. Called regional and somehow they got him on the line right away.

  • Justin Smith

    In school now 3 months and yet to receive full allowance for attending school full time. Basically getting a 35% pay rate. Even though that a few weeks ago I spoke with my counselor to make sure all is set to get paid. She said the system showed full payment was showing. Today, got paid, 35% of full pay.

  • HeatherK

    After receiving my bachelors degree I have 8 months left to use my VA Vocrehab. I only used my VA vocrehab benefits during this time.

    Two questions
    – I was told I have no more 9/11 GI Bill left to use. But I thought you had 48months to use benefits in general, whether 9/11 vocrehab or 9/11 GI Bill…so wouldn’t I also have 8 months of 9/11 GI bill to use.

    – I want to take North Dakota Real Estate Principles Pre-Licensure Course
    it is a Certification/Licensure – Exam Prep

    3 Months to Complete
    Independent Study

    But was told I can’t use Vocrehab for this course…but the VA rep didn’t realize UND was University of North Dakota…so it is taught at a university…but online. Will VA vocrehab pay for or partially pay for certification/licensure?

  • HeatherK

    I’ve hear VA vocrehab will only pay for credited college courses/degrees. I wanted to take a certificate course (3 months) at a local college but you don’t get credits for it like you would it taking an associates, BA or masters. Will VA vocrehab help cover the course, it’s $700?

    • Oshay

      I’m in nyc and was approved for a six month personal fitness training program for $9500. You shouldn’t really have a problem in my opinion. Just make sure the program offers tuition assistance for the VA.

  • Tamore Romer

    good work

  • J.D.

    I want to use voc rehad for only 12 months to finish my BA degree because I want to retain my Post 9/11 GI bill 36 months. Are there any repercussions for not following their set career path? In other words are they going to try to come after me for not continuing with the career the degree was for? At that point I want to used the GI bill’s flexibility and continue my education independently. What can they do for not following the career plan?

    • B.J.D.

      your counselor is going to want you to exhaust your post 9/11 first.

  • freddie s

    I am in the ny voc rehab program thats out of syracuse ny. I had some problems with my counselor refusing to give me approval to go into a certificate program. This program will give me the option to train people. I want to do this, i love working with people and she wont give me approval stating that my meniscus tear in my right knee is why she wont give me approval. I have spent month back and forth with this women telling me no. At this point i’m tired and i’m not getting younger. She wont support me on this even though she had said do the research and we can go from there. She was about to give me an approval and then back stepped on this saying that after she talked with her colleagues, she can not grant me an approval. Now i have seen disabled vets in wheel chairs fit and still working out, i asked will the sudden change of heart? At this point what can i do ? how can i get what i want out this ?

  • Amber

    These may or maynot have been asked but…
    I have been using Voc-rehab, but I an confused as all get out about it.
    Do I have to complete a degree using Voc Rehab? Would I be able to go back to the Post 9/11 if I chose to do so?
    Will Post 9/11 be available to me after I obtain a degree via Voc Rehab?
    I want to get a Bachelors in Environmental Science(which I’m pursuing through Ch 31 currently), even if I do/do not complete the degree, will I be able to get Certificates in completely different areas through Ch 31, or even 33? I’m 90%, and currently live in Germany. (There is 1 VA office in this country, and the lady basically told me they really only know how to help with separation)

  • AngryVet

    My Voc Rehab counselor simply is the worst person to go through the process with! I have been taking courses in the military through American Military University and wanted to continue through them, and he basically gave me an ultimatum.. either to pay out of pocket for AMU, or to go to a credited university here. I went to the university here, but stopped going due to my PTSD and axiety of big crowds. And basically that is where I am steered back to if I want to continue my education. The tone in which he talks to me is very disrespectful. I don’t care how long you have done this for, your job is to help and care for the VETERAN! When I got out of the military, I was neglected a lot of information regarding my benefits, and this counselor acts as if all the fault is mine. There are certain personal aspects of my educational experience that I take fault in and I admit them. But he constantly reminds me of how much I crapped this up and does not listen! I have repeatly tried to tell him a number of things, and he cuts me off or simply ignores what I say.

  • AngryVet

    He says that he is here for me and this and that, but everytime I call to update on certain information, he cuts me off or does not want to here how I am doing. He constantly reminded me how his job is “Business” and “Business is Business”… All he cares about is his numbers, and to know if I am going to proceed with Chapter 31 or not, so that he can remove my file and that I can reapply later. The hell. I have never felt like so much garbage until this guy. This cannot be the way a Veteran should be treated!

  • Lauren Cisneros

    My Mother is a Veteran. She applied for Voc Rehab and they sent her a letter to show up to an Orientation. She took off work and when she got there the people at the front desk told her, she was given the wrong date. She tried to get in touch with someone, no results. Finally, I stepped in and wrote them a letter for her, and they responded with a letter indicating she missed her appointment. I let them know that she didn’t miss anything!!! They gave her the wrong date; then they stopped responding. Finally I told her to fax them information and let them know that the way she has been treated she doesn’t feel that she will get a fair evaluation for Voc Rehab. They immediately wrote a letter indicating the new Orientation date. She went and was given a letter indicating that she was excepted in the program.

    The first counselor went on maternity leave, and told my Mom that a new counselor would send her a letter within 3 business days.

    A new counselor took over and three weeks went by. I took my Mom to the Voc Rehab Center because they promised her a letter for an appointment. She asked for her new counselor and was told, she was in Orientation. We sat there, once the Orientation was over, a lady came out and my Mom said are you ” “. She said yes…Mom said, did you get my e-mails or my telephone calls? She started to yell at my Mom (not knowing I was with her) and said, I DON’T ANSWER E-MAILS or telephone calls!!! I have a lot of people to deal with…I’ve been doing this a long time, etc., etc., etc. My Mother went into her shell…I was so angry, but I didn’t say anything. I thought, I’ve heard how Veterans are treated, but now I have first hand, seeing and hearing. WOW!!!

    I am so happy I looked at this site, because I am going straight to the Senate & Congress. This makes no sense! My Mom is registered with the school, has the Degree Plan, and can’t get a call back or an e-mail from the Voc Rehab Counselor. This is ridiculous! I am going to get busy.

  • Larry

    Can Voc Rehab be used to attend a regionally accredited university online