What is Voc Rehab?
There are two programs that operate in Vermont that go by the same name of Voc Rehab, which is short for Vocational Rehabilitation. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs operates a Voc Rehab program specifically for disabled veterans. The Vermont Agency of Human Services operates a Voc Rehab program for any Vermonter with disabilities.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation
VA Voc Rehab is for veterans who have service connected disabilities. Typically, veterans must have a disability rating of 20% or higher, but veterans with a 10% rating also qualify if their service connected disability poses a significant employment handicap. If approved for VA Voc Rehab, the VA will pay for a veteran to attend college or a training program that has an employment goal upon completion, to include a subsistence stipend. Applications can be made directly to the VA, but veterans can get help with the application from an accredited service officer. Applicants for VA Voc Rehab should definitely make contact with the Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP) professional nearest them, as they will have insight into what careers have job opportunities in their area. In Vermont, all VA Voc Rehab administration is handled in White River Junction.
VA Vocational Rehabilitation (800) 827-1000
American Legion Veteran Service Officer (Office at White River Junction) (802) 296-5166
Disabled American Veterans Veteran Service Officer (Office at White River Junction) (802) 296-5167
Veterans of Foreign Wars Veteran Service Officer (Office at White River Junction) (802) 296-5168
Vietnam Veterans of America (Various Locations Statewide) (603) 283-3164
State of Vermont Veteran Service Officer Program (Travels Statewide) (888) 666-9844
Burlington Resource Center DVOP (802) 652-0338
Barre Resource Center DVOP (802) 476-2601
Newport Resource Center DVOP (802) 334-3301
St. Johnsbury Resource Center DVOP (802) 748-4954
White River Junction Resource Center DVOP (802) 295-8805
Agency of Human Services Vocational Rehabilitation
AHS Voc Rehab is for anyone with disabilities. Veterans with disabilities, even if the disabilities aren’t a result of their military service, may be eligible for this program. This Voc Rehab will work with you to identify suitable careers for your abilities and interests; will help arrange training, if necessary, for you to pursue these careers; will then help you find employment; and will work with your employer to help make sure your experience transitioning back into the workforce is successful. AHS Voc Rehab has offices across the state. To start the process, call the office closest to you.
Barre-Montpelier Regional Office (802) 479-4210
Morrisville District Office (802) 888-5976
Newport District Office (802) 334-6794
St. Johnsbury District Office (802) 748-8716
Burlington Regional Office (802) 863-7500
Middlebury District Office (802) 388-4666
St. Albans District Office (802) 524-7950
Rutland Regional Office (802) 786-5866
Bennington District Office (802) 447-2780
Springfield Regional Office (802) 885-2279
Brattleboro District Office (802) 257-0579
White River Junction District Office (802) 295-8850
Which One is Better for Me?
That depends on your situation. Because every disabled veteran has unique interests and needs, there is no cookie cutter approach to determining what will work best for your situation. Your best bet is to contact both programs, discuss your goals, and then choose the program that works best for you. This may mean using both!
What is the Purpose of Voc Rehab?
Vocational Rehabilitation helps people with disabilities prepare for employment that both meets their needs. It can involve career retraining, going back to school, or learning how to continue doing what you’ve done before in a different way. The end goal for both programs is finding meaningful employment.
Does Anyone Else Help Disabled Veterans Find New Careers?
Yes. The Vermont Association of Business, Industry, and Rehabilitation (VABIR) helps match job seekers with disabilities to interested employers in their communities. They have offices across the state, which you can find by visiting their website.