Military Advantage

VA Offers Vocational and Educational Counseling

By Curtis L. Coy -

Did you know that VA can provide free vocational and educational counseling services for transitioning Servicemembers and individuals eligible for GI Bill benefits (Montgomery, VR&E, Post-9/11, etc.)? Counseling can take place at a Veterans Benefits Administration Regional Office or out based location, training facility, or military installation. After receipt of an application, a counseling appointment will be set for eligible Servicemembers and Veterans.

VA Counseling services may include the following:

  • Interest and aptitude testing.
  • Occupational exploration.
  • Assistance with setting occupational goals.
  • Assistance with locating an appropriate academic or training program.
  • Academic or adjustment counseling during training to help overcome problems or barriers during school.
  • Services to help prepare for a new career.
As you might imagine, getting advice for any or all of those can help guide you or a Veteran to your eventual employment goals. A transitioning Servicemember is defined as a Servicemember within six months of discharge from active duty or a Veteran within one year following discharge from active duty under other than dishonorable conditions. Servicemembers and Veterans eligible for any VA education benefit may also apply. A service connected disability is not a requirement in order to be eligible for free counseling services.

To apply for counseling benefits, transitioning Servicemembers or Veterans should fill out VA Form 28-8832, Application for Vocational Educational Counseling, or download the application at www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/28-8832.pdf. Counseling services are provided by the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program’s staff or by contract counselors. For more information visit http://www.gibill.va.gov/support/counseling_services/index.html.

About the Author: Curtis L. Coy is the Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity for the Veterans Benefits Administration.

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