Wade Coye, Disability Attorney
Our veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan are facing new, and challenging disabilities or disadvantages when returning to the workplace as a civilian. There are several programs to aid in the reintegration process, but the most prominent is the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program, better known as VetSuccess, sponsored by the VA.
Sometimes referred to as Chapter 31, VetSuccess is a program for veterans, with a discharge other than dishonorable, and a service-connected disability rating of at least 10%, or a memorandum rating of at least 20%. Active Duty Service Members are also eligible if they expect to receive an honorable discharge, and obtain a memorandum rating of 20% or more. For those who don’t know, a memorandum rating is just an abbreviated disability rating decision that expedites the vocational rehabilitation process. This rating can be issued before an official disability rating. Through this program, a Veteran can expect to learn how the skills from their service can translate to current work, even with the limitations of whatever disability they are returning with.
There is a 12-year period of eligibility for the VetSuccess program. A veteran must enroll within the 12 years following their date of separation from active military service, or the date that the VA first notified the veteran of their service-connected disability rating. This period of eligibility is long, but you should take advantage of the services as soon as possible, to help get back on track with work.
Sometimes veterans are afraid to ask for help or don’t want to admit that their time in the service has left them with challenges they may not be able to face alone. Asking for help is not something to be ashamed of, but rather something that should make you feel stronger. Take initiative in your readjustment and rehabilitation process by applying for this program or one of the many like it. As a veteran, I understand the challenges you are facing and the dilemma of deciding when the right time is to ask for help. If you or a loved one is a veteran and finds that they need help with a legal issue, contact the Coye Law Firm today, for a free consultation.