Vocational and Educational Counseling for Servicemembers and Veterans

To offer vocational and educational counseling to servicemembers within 180 days of their projected discharge or release from active duty and to veterans within one year from the date of their discharge or release from active duty.

This counseling is also available to current beneficiaries of
VA educational assistance including: Chapter 30-All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program; Chapter 32-Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance; Chapter 35-Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance; Chapter 1606-Educational Assistance for Members of the Selective Service; Chapter 1607-Reserve Educational Assistance Program; and to veterans and qualified dependents who are eligible for educational assistance under any of the above programs(Chapters).


Agency - Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs strives for excellence in patient care and veteran's benefits for its constituents through high quality, prompt and seamless service to United States veterans.

Office - See Appendix IV of the Catalog for Veterans Benefits Administration field offices.
Website Address

http://www.va.gov



Program Accomplishments

Vocational and educational counseling. Included service members and veterans who received these services under Public Law 102-16, who are not separately identifiable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The program provides the counseling services necessary to enable the service member or veteran to select educational and vocational objectives.

The program also assists the veteran to identify the means through which these objectives will be achieved.

Counseling may also be provided to aid the veteran to cope with personal problems which might interfere with the successful achievement of the educational and vocational objectives.

As part of vocational counseling, the program can help the individual to develop an employment plan.

This plan directs the individual to make the best use of his or her existing aptitudes and abilities to obtain employment.

These services are provided by professionally qualified counseling psychologists, who are either VA staff members or under contract to VA.

To apply for and receive this benefit, servicemembers must be within 180 days of projected discharge or release from active duty.

Veterans must apply for and receive this benefit within 1 year from the date of discharge or release or release from active duty.

For servicemembers, the projected discharge or release from active duty must be under conditions other than dishonorable.

For veterans, the discharge or release from active duty must have been under conditions other than dishonorable.

This counseling is also available to current beneficiaries of VA educational assistance including: Chapter 30 - All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program; Chapter 32 - Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance; Chapter 35 - Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance; Chapter 1606 - Educational Assistance for Members of the Selective Service; Chapter 1607 - Reserve Educational Assistance Program and to veterans and qualified dependents who are eligible for educational assistance under any of the above programs (Chapters).



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Service members must be within 180 days of projected discharge or release from active duty.

Veterans must be within 1 year from the date of discharge or release from active duty.

For servicemembers, the projected discharge or release from active duty must be under conditions other than dishonorable.

For veterans, the discharge or release from active duty must have been under conditions other than dishonorable.

This counseling is also available to current beneficiaries of VA educational assistance including: Chapter 30 - All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program; Chapter 32 - Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance; Chapter 35 - Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance; Chapter 1606 - Educational Assistance for Members of the Selective Service; Chapter 1607 - Reserve Educational Assistance Program and to veterans and qualified dependents who are eligible for educational assistance under any of the above programs (Chapters).

Beneficiary Eligibility

Service members must be within 180 days of projected discharge or release from active duty. Veterans must be within 1 year from the date of discharge or release from active duty. For servicemembers, the projected discharge or release from active duty must be under conditions other than dishonorable. For veterans, the discharge or release from active duty must have been under conditions other than dishonorable. This counseling is also available to current beneficiaries of VA educational assistance including: Chapter 30 - All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program; Chapter 32 - Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance; Chapter 35 - Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance; Chapter 1606 - Educational Assistance for Members of the Selective Service; Chapter 1607 - Reserve Educational Assistance Program and to veterans and qualified dependents who are eligible for educational assistance under any of the above programs (Chapters).

Credentials/Documentation

Servicemembers must present proof that they are within 180 of projected discharge or release from active duty. Examples of this proof are a copy of the enlistment contract and a brief written statement from the individual's commander. Veterans must present proof they are within 1 year of discharge or release from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable. An example of this proof is a copy of the individual's DD Form 214. Current beneficiaries of VA educational assistance and those eligible for educational assistance must indicate this eligibility or receipt of benefits and have it confirmed at the VA regional or local office.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

None.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

Obtain VA Form 28-8832, Application for Counseling, from any VA office or regional office. Complete and submit this form to the nearest regional office. A written statement from an individual requesting vocational and educational counseling is also sufficient. With the application form or written statement, submit proof of prior or pending discharge or release from active duty if VA has not already received this evidence or indicate eligibility for, or current receipt of, VA educational assistance.

Award Procedures

The regional office will notify qualified Individual.

Deadlines

Qualified individuals may not receive counseling benefits earlier than 180 days before projected discharge or release from active duty or more than 1 year after discharge or release from active duty.

Authorization

Veterans Education and Employment Programs Amendments, Public Law 102-16, 38 U.S.C. 3697A.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not applicable.

Appeals

Available through special board. Average time to process an appeal is 622 days. In the event of a denial, claimants are advised of appeal rights and procedures at the time of notification.

Renewals

Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Not applicable.

Audits

Expenditures under this program are monitored. Specific comprehensive procedures exist for reviewing the quality of services provided and staff time involved in service delivery. Contract expenditures require recordkeeping of the services provided and the funds expended.

Records

Not applicable.

Financial Information

Account Identification

36-0137-0-1-702.

Obigations

(Contract Services Payments) FY 07 $4,745,274; FY 08 est $6,000,000; and FY 09 est $6,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

38 CFR 21.4100; "Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents," VA Pamphlet 80-0-01, $5.00, available from Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. The stock number is: 051-000-00233-4. "VA Counseling Can Help You," the VA pamphlet portion of VA Form 28-8821, Application for Counseling, free, is available from any VA office or regional office.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Appendix IV of the Catalog for Veterans Benefits Administration field offices.

Headquarters Office

Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Administration, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service (28), Washington, DC 20420. Telephone: (202) 461-9600.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Contract counseling psychologists are selected on the basis of (1) their academic credentials and experience in vocational and educational counseling, (2) their location in relation to the geographic dispersion of available clients for referral, and (3) costs of the services to be provided.



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