Eligible Veterans can qualify for independent living services through the Independent Living track through VA’s Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) benefit program.
While the VR&E program offers other services, the Independent Living track is specifically designed to help Veterans and service members who are unable to work due to a service-connected disability, as well as those who need help living as independently as possible. The Independent Living track can also provide assistance for those working toward getting a job with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.
Some of the services offered by the VR&E’s Independent Living track include:
- Evaluation and counseling to identify your needs and goals
- Referrals to community-based support services
- Evaluation for eligibility for the VR&E home adaption grant
- Evaluation for eligibility for the VA’s adaptive-housing programs, which provide home renovations (e.g., adding ramps) in order to help you live independently
Veterans can generally receive services for up to 24 months. In some cases, Veterans can receive services for a longer period of time.
To be eligible for the VR&E’s Independent Living track benefits, Veterans and service members must meet these requirements:
- Have a serious employment handicap (SEH)
- Disabilities prevent a Veteran from looking for or returning to work
- A Veterans requires aid to live as independently as possible
A service-connected disability qualifies as an employment handicap if it limits a Veteran’s ability to prepare for, obtain and maintain suitable employment that does not worsen your disability.
To apply for these benefits:
- Apply for VR&E benefits
- Work with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
- Get a VA disability rating
Once a Veteran has a VA disability rating, sign into eBenefits, select “Apply,” click “Veteran Readiness and Employment Program” and apply for Education and Career Counseling. If eligible, a Veteran will be invited to join an orientation session at the nearest VA regional office.
To learn more about applying for VR&E benefits, click here.
Writer: Hagen Kenny
Editor: Kristen Whitehurst
Graphics: Katie Rahill