On 30 November, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VR&E) announced its ability to provide “Tele-counseling” to those disabled veterans desiring it.
The VA’s Tele-counseling, or virtual communication system, allows the use of any device with a webcam and microphone to communicate with one of its 1,000-plus Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRC). This capability reduces travel costs and time for both veterans and VRCs, thereby potentially improving a veteran’s access to necessary VR&E services. “VR&E’s Tele-counseling service is another example of how VA continually modernizes in support of Veterans’ needs … [It provides] personalized, interactive face-to-face services regardless of location”, according to the Secretary of the VA, Robert Wilkie.
The virtual meetings are conducted “… through VA Video Connect without having to download specialized software or obtain unique usernames and passwords. Access to a scheduled counseling session is obtained through a unique link sent directly to the veteran and is valid for that counseling session only. Veterans participating in most VR&E rehabilitation plans of service may use Tele-counseling and are encouraged to speak with their VRCs about it. Participation is voluntary and not required.”
For more information about VR&E, visit https://www.benefits.va.gov/vocrehab/. The program provides a variety of services for the disabled): job training, employment accommodations, resume development, job seeking skills coaching, assistance in starting one’s own businesses — and assistance in achieving independent living services if severely disabled and unable to work in traditional employment. You might be surprised about the true disability eligibility requirements: the program often assists the homeless.
[ Editor’s Note: And less known to most, the VR&E Service also offers to veterans and servicemembers (within six months of discharge) a great opportunity to get personalized counseling and support to help guide their career paths; and to ensure their VA benefits are used effectively in achieving their goals. You do not have to be disabled for this service. To learn more about applying for this counseling, click here.]
As of 17 December 2018