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Injured in the service? Suspect you have a disability? Worried about transitioning to the civilian world? Then you may want to learn more about the Department of Veterans Affairs' Disabled Transition Assistance Program or DTAP. The DTAP program is your first step to ensuring professional and personal success outside of the military, and you can learn about this program at pre-separation counseling.

DTAP provides servicemembers with information about VA's Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) program. VR&E assists veterans with disabilities in obtaining and maintaining employment. VR&E provides one-on-one service to help veterans choose the career path that's right for them with four options for returning to work. They are rapid access to employment, re-employment, employment through long-term services, and self-employment.

Rapid access to employment helps you return to work as soon as possible. Re-employment provides assistance with returning to a former private sector employer. Employment through long-term services provides specialized training and/or education to update your skills in order to return to work. Self-employment may be an option if you have limited access to traditional employment, need flexible work schedules, or more accommodating work environments due to disabilities.

If your disability prevents you from working, VR&E provides services that help you gain more independence in daily living.

If you are scheduled to participate in pre-separation counseling, be sure to check box 18a on DD Form 2648, "Pre-separation Counseling Checklist for Active Component Service Members" or box 16a on DD Form 2648-1, "Pre-separation Counseling Checklist for Reserve Component ServiceMembers Released from Active Duty." This will ensure you are scheduled for a face-to-face DTAP briefing.

If you miss the face-to-face briefing, you can still learn about DTAP by checking out the www.vetsuccess.gov website. Just look for the Disabled Transition Assistance Program (DTAP) tab. The DTAP tab also provides information about valuable educational and vocational counseling available for all servicemembers, not just those with disabilities. This counseling can help you with setting your career goals and includes interest and aptitude testing, career choices, and training possibilities.

Take a moment and review www.vetsuccess.gov to find out some of the ways the VA can assist you.

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