This section contains resources for disabled Veterans who have a disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at any level. After becoming wounded, ill, or injured, many Soldiers separate from the force, and the Army wants to ensure that this transition is as smooth as possible. Career and education play a significant role in each Veteran's reintegration to civilian life.
When applying for federal employment, Veterans and service-disabled Veterans have certain preferences per federal law. The FedsHireVets.gov website, sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) provides more information on the rules and eligibility for Veterans' preference.
- Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Resources
- VetSuccess.gov: The VetSuccess.gov website provides transition guidance for Veterans at all stages of the reintegration process, such as "At Home," "At Work," "On Campus," "In the Community," and "For the Veteran Family." The site also provides information on preparing for employment, looking for jobs, and interview tips.
- Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E): (Requires a service-connected VA Disability Rating of at least 20%) VR&E helps Veterans with service-connected disabilities prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs.
- Compensated Work Therapy: Compensated Work Therapy is a VA vocational rehabilitation program endeavors to match and support work ready veterans in competitive jobs and to consult with business and industry regarding their specific employment needs.
- Department of Labor (DOL) Resources
- One-Stop Career Centers: Located throughout the United States, One-Stop Career Centers provide a wide range of services for job-seekers in a central location. These centers offer training referrals, career counseling, job listings, and other employment-related services. The DOL website offers a clickable map to locate the One-Stop Career Center nearest you. For employment assistance once you return home connect with your local Veteran employment representative.
- America's Heroes at Work: The America's Heroes at Work program is designed to help Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) succeed in the workplace.
- Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS): VETS' mission is to provide Veterans and Service Members with the resources and services to succeed in the 21st century workforce by maximizing their employment opportunities, protecting their employment rights, and meeting labor-market demands with qualified Veterans.
- Social Security Administration (SSA) Ticket to Work Program: The Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program is an employment program for people with disabilities who are interested in going to work. The goal of the Ticket Program is to increase opportunities and choices for Social Security disability beneficiaries to obtain employment, vocational rehabilitation, and other support services from public and private providers, employers, and other organizations.
Internship and Training Resources
Internships often provide an opportunity for Veterans to develop practical, hands-on experience in line with his/her new professional goals and can help the Veteran reintegrate to civilian life. The National Resource Directory , sponsored by the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Labor, provides a list of organizations that support Veterans in their search for a professional internship or training programs.
Many Veterans pursue higher education to better prepare them for the next phase of their professional careers. The higher education options most often used by Veterans include:
- College Classes at a Traditional University or Community College: Can be used in pursuit of an associate, bachelor, masters, or doctorate degree, or even to enhance your skill level in a particular subject. Most universities offer courses in classroom or online.
- Vocational or Technical Training: Often used to prepare learners for jobs related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation.
- Licensure or Certification: Usually administered to professionals with significant experience in the field. These are granted through government agencies or professional associations, and continued learning is often required.
Federal programs provide a wide variety of financial resources to make education attainable for military personnel and Veterans. The resources most commonly used by disabled Veterans include:
- Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP): REAP is a Department of Defense education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation). This program makes certain reservists who were activated for at least 90 days after September 11, 2001 either eligible for education benefits or eligible for increased benefits.
- VA Education Resources: The Department of Veterans Affairs offers financial benefits to active duty personnel and Veterans to fund higher education. There are many rules and regulations governing these programs, and more information can be found online.
Many Veterans choose to start their own businesses after leaving the military. The U.S. Small Business Administration provides several resources to assist Veterans with entrepreneurship goals, including loans, government contracting set-asides, networking conferences, tips, and other information.
More Resources: Online Directories
- National Resource Directory (NRD) is a website for wounded, ill, or injured servicemembers, Veterans, their Families and those who support them. The NRD is a Congressionally-mandated partnership among the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs, and it contains information from more than 10,000 resources that provide assistance to wounded warriors and their Families.
- AW2 Community Support Network is a group of organizations that work closely with the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) to support severely wounded, ill, or injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families. The AW2 Community Support Network also provides a list of additional online resources.