Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E)

For Veterans and Servicemembers

You may receive Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) services to help with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job seeking skills coaching. Other services may be provided to assist Veterans and Servicemembers in starting their own businesses or independent living services for those who are severely disabled and unable to work in traditional employment. To learn more about the VR&E program, review the VR&E Process page, and the tabs and links on this page. Click on the “How to Apply” tab to apply for VR&E services.

VA’s Education and Career Counseling program is a great opportunity for Veterans and Servicemembers to get personalized counseling and support to help guide their career paths, ensure the most effective use of their VA benefits, and achieve their goals. Learn more and apply for education and career counseling.

For Employers

Veterans leave military service with a wealth of transferable skills and professional experiences. Salary subsidies, assistive technology,  non-paid work experiences, and special employer incentives may be available from VA to help you hire those who have served. Explore what VA offers to make hiring or rehiring a Veteran with a service-connected disability that much easier.

VA created a Veterans Employment Toolkit for employers. This toolkit provides a variety of outside resources for employers, managers or supervisors, and human resource professionals, including information about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). It also includes a link to Department of Labor’s America’s Heroes at Work site, which offers on-line trainings, webcasts, and presentations for employers and a Hiring Veterans Toolkit as well as a TBI, PTSD and Employment Training Tool.


For Family Members

If you support a Veteran or Servicemember with a service-connected disability, who faces difficult employment challenges, there may be little left in the household budget for your higher education and career advancement. VA may offer assistance to help you assess your career goals and abilities, find your next job, further your education and skills, and identify places where you can get job training.

VA may extend vocational counseling and support to family members on topics including:

Educational and Career Counseling (VA Chapter 36)

Find out how to apply for VA Chapter 36 benefits to get free Veteran Educational and Career Counseling services. You may be eligible if you’re leaving active service soon, if you’ve been discharged within the past year, or if you’re the dependent of a Veteran.

Am I eligible for Educational and Career Counseling?

You can get these services if you’ll be discharged from active duty within 6 months or if you meet both of the requirements listed below.

Both of these must be true. You:

  • Separated from active duty not more than one year ago and didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge, and
  • Qualify as a Veteran for educational assistance under a VA educational program

Note: If you’re the dependent of a Veteran, you may also qualify for Educational and Career Counseling.
Learn more about employment benefits for dependents

What benefits can I get?

  • Counseling to help you decide which civilian or military jobs you want
  • Educational and Career Counseling to help you find a training program or job
  • Academic and adjustment counseling to help you deal with issues that get in the way of your success in training or employment

How do I get these benefits?

First, you’ll need to apply for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits. Then, you’ll work with your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC).

Follow these steps to apply online now

  1. Sign in to your eBenefits account.
  2. Select Apply.
  3. Click Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits.
  4. Apply for Education and Career Counseling.
  5. If you’re eligible, we’ll invite you to an orientation session at your nearest VA regional benefit office.

Go to eBenefits to Apply

You can also apply by mail

Fill out an Educational/Vocational Counseling Application (VA Form 28-8832).
Download VA Form 28-8832 (PDF)

Mail the completed form to your nearest VA regional benefit office.
Find your nearest VA regional benefit office

If you qualify, we’ll invite you to an orientation session at a VA regional benefit office near you.

Get more information

Watch this video to learn more about VR&E Chapter 36 services

Use CareerScope® to find careers you might enjoy.
Learn more about CareerScope


At AvaCare Medical, we know that America is the land of the free because of the brave. That’s why we’re thanking the brave for our freedom with Hero Rewards.

In appreciation for your sacrifices on behalf of our country, they offer a 5% discount on all medical supplies purchased through AvaCare Medical for all past and present members of the military and their families.

All active, reserve, retired or disabled U.S. veterans and immediate family members (including parents, siblings and children) with a valid military ID are eligible for a 5% discount on any order placed on AvaCare Medical. No application necessary; simply fill out your U.S. military ID number at checkout to receive 5% off your entire order.

*Please note: AvaCare Medical reserves the right to change or cancel the Veterans discount at any time.

Holt’s Cigar Company – Supporting Our Heroes

Holt’s is proud to salute all the men and women who serve in our nation’s Armed Forces, as well as our First Responders. We are eternally grateful for the sacrifice and dedication you and your loved ones contribute. To show our support, Holt’s provides a military discount.

They’re honored to offer active military, veterans and retirees, national guard members and reserves of our Armed Forces a 10% discount everyday online and over the phone.

Additionally, if you’ve been searching for First Responder discounts, their 10% discount applies to all active and non-active First Responders.

Their entire menu of over 550 premium, handcrafted brands, as well as machine made cigars, cigar samplers, cigar accessories and more is eligible for our military discount. A handful of exclusions apply, including Cigar of the Month Club Members and Gift Card purchases. Follow their simple verification process below to get your troop ID discounts. Holt’s is your #1 source for military cigars and cigars for soldiers!

How to Get Your Discount:
  1. Click LOGIN / REGISTER to verify your military status. You will be asked to either log in or create a holts.com account, if you are not presently logged in.
  2. Click VERIFY MILITARY STATUS or VERIFY FIRST RESPONDER STATUS. Choose the option that applies to your service.
  3. Verify Your Status. You will be asked to provide information to a third-party site (SheerID) for verification.
  4. Enjoy 10% OFF Your Orders. Once verified, your discount will be applied at the checkout when you are logged into your holts.com account. Some restrictions apply. *See below for details.

For assistance, please contact us to send an email or speak with a Customer Service Representative.

Fine Print:

*Details: Online military validation must be completed before the military discount can be displayed. Once you have been successfully validated online, you can use the discount whenever you are logged into your account. Your 10% discount will be calculated off of the selling price. Exceptions include Cigar of the Month Club and Gift Cards.

extended STAY AMERICA – Military & Government Deals

Whether you’re looking for a place to stay due to relocation, reassignment, or BRAC, Extended Stay America has everything you need to feel at home for short or long stays — all at an affordable price.

You’ll have all the benefits of a studio apartment with none of the hassles.

  • All utilities are included, so you won’t have to pay extra monthly bills for any of the following
    • Cable
    • Internet
    • Electric
    • Gas
    • Water
  • No contract to sign
  • No minimum stay requirements

Military & Government personnel choose
Extended Stay America for many reasons, including:

  • Offer TDY and PCS rates at hundreds of locations
  • Honor the DoD Flat Rate Policy*
  • Fully furnished rooms, each with a fully equipped kitchen — including:
    • Full-size refrigerator and freezer
    • Stovetop
    • Microwave
    • Coffee maker
    • Toaster
    • Cookware, dishes and utensils available for free upon request
  • Free daily grab-and-go breakfast
  • Free in-room Wi-Fi
  • Free cable with premium channels
  • Free weekly housekeeping
  • Pet-friendly rooms available
  • On-site laundry facilities at all locations
  • Free parking at most locations
  • Fitness centers at select locations
  • Pools at select locations
  • Over 600 locations nationwide

*Extended Stay America is proud to support this policy and the Department of Defense by offering rates at or below 75% of Per Diem when staying consecutively for 31 nights or more on official travel (based on availability).

Helzberg Diamonds – Military Appreciation


Helzberg Diamonds is grateful to our military and their families for their sacrifices, dedication and service to our country. To show their appreciation, they are proud to offer a 10% discount to all Active Duty, Military Retirees, Disabled Veterans, and Registered dependents of Active Duty/Retirees when you place your order in-store, online, or at 1-800-435-9237. They will need to verify your status, so please have all relevant information ready. Once they have verified your status, they will gladly send you your one-time promotion code and process your order with the 10% discount. Please note that this discount cannot be combined with any other promotion and is not applicable toward loose diamonds from Create Your Own Helzberg Diamond Ring™ or custom gemstone jewelry.


They ship all APO/FPO orders via USPS Priority Mail to the appropriate APO/FPO processing center, then via the military postal service. Shipment tracking is not available for APO/FPO addresses. For security purposes, USPS will not show a delivery scan or in-transit scan for packages sent to these addresses.


Helzberg Diamonds guarantees your package will ship within their current shipping guidelines and will arrive to the APO/FPO processing center at the estimated date provided to you at checkout. The average delivery time from the processing center is between 5-10 days but can vary. If you are already familiar with receiving timelines associated with your current location, your Helzberg Diamonds order is likely to arrive in the time frame you currently experience.


Helzberg Diamonds regular return policy applies to orders shipped to APO/FPO addresses.


Shipments are subject to the import restrictions of the country in which your base is located.


As with all Helzberg Diamonds orders, your shipment is insured from the moment it leaves their door until it arrives at yours.


Because APO/FPO addresses are considered domestic, no taxes or duties are due on orders shipped to them. If an order is shipped directly to a base, rather than through the APO/FPO system, taxes and duties would be applicable. Helzberg Diamonds will include all required tax documentation with your order.

Kohl’s Launches Military Mondays – A New 15% Off Discount Every Week

The in-store discount rewards and celebrates active and former military personnel, veterans and their families every Monday, all year long.

Kohl’s is introducing Military Mondays – a 15 percent in-store discount – to thank active and former military personnel, veterans and their families for their selflessness and service to our nation. The Kohl’s discount is valid in-store every Monday – all year long – when customers show a valid Military ID, Military Dependent ID or Veteran ID at the point of purchase.

Kohl’s military discount has been strongly advocated for by store leaders and Kohl’s Veterans Business Resource Group (BRG) as an opportunity to reward our active and former military personnel, veterans and their families for their sacrifice.

“Through Military Mondays, we are proud to strengthen our support of our military families who have made sacrifices to ensure the safety of our communities,” said Doug Arnoldi, Kohl’s vice president, district manager, and a champion for the military discount. “We saw a need to better serve our brave military families, and this discount is our way to give back, and lighten the load, for families who have given so much.”

In addition to Military Mondays, Kohl’s support of military and their families is expressed in numerous ways throughout the company. Through Kohl’s volunteer program, Kohl’s associates volunteered at more than 250 events in 2018 specifically benefitting 230 organizations that support military causes. Kohl’s associates nationwide are also encouraged to join Kohl’s Veterans Business Resource Group (BRG), which recognizes and celebrates diverse perspectives and fosters an inclusive environment.

To learn more about the incredible savings families enjoy when they shop at Kohl’s, click here.

Kohl’s offers active military, veterans, retirees and their immediate family members a 15% discount on purchases made on Mondays, IN STORE ONLY. In order to receive the military discount, eligible customers must present proper identification along with any tender type. Proper identification includes: military identification card; a state-issued identification indicating veteran status; or Form DD 214. FOR MILITARY DISCOUNT, please bring identification to verify your military status for this offer. OFFER CANNOT BE ADDED IN CONJUNCTION WITH OTHER PERCENT-OFF DISCOUNTS OR AGE-SPECIFIC DISCOUNTS. DOLLAR-OFF DISCOUNTS, INCLUDING KOHL’S CASH® COUPONS, YES2YOU REWARDS®, AND PROMOTIONAL GIFTS, WILL BE APPLIED PRIOR TO PERCENT-OFF TOTAL PURCHASE DISCOUNTS/COUPONS. Offer cannot be added in conjunction with any other percent-off discounts. Offer not valid on the following categories and brands of merchandise: Gift Cards; Kohl’s Cares® cause merchandise or other charitable items; select online-exclusives; premium athletic; beauty and fragrance; consumables; select electrics; premium electronics and warranty products; sporting goods; sports team merchandise; premium sunglasses; toys; Columbia; Dyson; Koolaburra by UGG; Levi’s; S’well and Timberland. See complete list of exclusions at Kohls.com/exclusions or look for signs in store. Offer also not valid on price adjustments on prior purchases; payment on a Kohl’s Charge account; taxes, shipping and/or handling fees. Offer is nontransferable. See associate for details.

2020 Military Pay

The 2020 military pay increase is currently proposed at 3.1%, which the DoD labels “the largest in a decade”. The proposed pay increase is part of the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget request sent by President Trump to Congress. Congress and the president still must approve and pass the increase into law.

New pay rates are effective January 1, 2020 and will be reflected on the paychecks that will be issued on January 15, 2020.

Typical Next Steps for a Military Pay Increase:

  • President Trump releases his budget proposal for 2020 – Completed March 11, 2019
  • Spring/Summer – House & Senate Armed Appropriations Committees work defense budget
  • Fall/Winter – House & Senate pass the defense budget
  • President Trump signed the 2019 NDAA into law on August 13, 2018 making the military pay increase official. Most likely, with a Democrat controlled House and Republican controlled Senate and Presidency, agreement on a budget will happen much later in the year. For instance, the 2018 and 2017 versions were signed in December when there was a divided government.

The annual pay increase for service members is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Cost Index and growth in private-sector wages. However, by law, Title 37, Chapter 19, Section 1009, the President can set an alternate pay raise which is being proposed in the 2019 Defense Budget, and is typical of most years.

Historical Military Pay Raises by Year

2020 3.1% (proposed) 1990 3.60%
2019 2.6% 1989 4.10%
2018 2.4% 1988 2.00%
2017 2.10% 1987 3.00%
2016 1.30% 1986 3.00%
2015 1.00% 1985 4.00%
2014 1.00% 1984 4.00%
2013 1.70% 1983 4.00%
2012 1.60% 1982 14.30%
2011 1.40% 1981 11.70%
2010 3.40% 1980 7.00%
2009 3.90% 1979 5.50%
2008 3.50% 1978 7.10%
2007 * 2.70% 1977 4.80%
2006 3.10% 1976 5.00%
2005 3.50% 1975 5.52%
2004 * 4.20% 1974 6.20%
2003 * 4.70% 1973 6.70%
2002 * 6.90% 1972 7.20%
2001 4.10% 1971 7.90%
2000 6.20% 1970 8.10%
1999 3.60% 1969 12.60%
1998 2.80% 1968 6.80%
1997 3.00% 1967 5.60%
1996 2.40% 1966 3.20%
1995 2.60% 1965 E: 11% O:6%
1994 2.20% 1964 2.5% – 8.5%
1993 3.70% 1963 12.60%
1992 4.20% 1962 0.00%
1991 4.10%

* 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2007 are the average percentage raise as military pay raises differed for various military pay grades.

2020 military pay increases are for all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces; Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, and Reserve forces where applicable.

Apple Military Discount

The Apple Military Discount is a program provided by Apple for active duty, veterans, U.S. Military, National Guard and Reserve and the family members who reside in the same household.  The Apple military discount is 10% on most products. Visit the Apple Military Discount Website or visit and order from any U.S. Apple retail store, at an online kiosk. You can go to Apple.com and scroll to the bottom to click on “Shop for Veterans & Military” under the “Government” heading. If you cannot find the information you need online, you may contact the Apple Store Contact Center team at 1-800-MY-APPLE.

Apple Statement: “At Apple we are deeply grateful to the men and women of our armed forces. We’re proud to offer active military and veterans a new dedicated online store with special pricing as an expression of our gratitude for their brave service.”

Apple launched this new program in December 2018.

Apple Military Program Details

The Veterans and Military Purchase Program (“Program”) is a benefit provided by Apple Inc. (“Apple”) to current, and Veteran members of the U.S. Military, National Guard and Reserve. The Program is also offered to their immediate family members who also reside in their same household. This Program is intended for personal use only.

Personal Discount: You may purchase or “Sponsor” up to three computer systems, three iPad devices, three unlocked iPhone devices, three Apple Watch devices (with limit of one Apple Watch Hermes), three HomePods, three Apple TV, three AirPods, ten iPod touch devices, ten Apple accessories (including Beats products), ten Apple Watch accessories (including bands and chargers with limit of one Apple Watch Hermes band), ten third-party accessories (excludes Microsoft, Bose, Adobe and HP products), ten Apple Certified Refurbished products, ten designed by Apple in California books and up to three AppleCare+ or AppleCare protection plans (per each applicable product line and must be purchased with a new device to receive discount) each calendar year (January 1-December 31). No more than the eligible quantity amount can be shipped to the same individual or entity (e.g., company, institution, club or group), whether that purchase is Sponsored solely by you or, also, by other eligible personnel. To “Sponsor” means placing an order for an immediate family member.

AppleCare+ and AppleCare Protection Plans: AppleCare+ and AppleCare Protection Plans can be purchased at special pricing.

Transfer from Active Duty to the National Guard or Reserves

There are a few routes for early separation from active duty

Some of the U.S. armed services allow personnel to request early separation to serve in the National Guard or Active Reserves.

The other active duty services occasionally will allow you to request a discharge from active duty to serve in the Guard or Reserves under a Convenience of the Government Discharge.

When the Military Could Request a Discharge

The military can also use this provision when it wants to initiate a separation but doesn’t have a basis to require your separation under any other program.

For example, if you won the state lottery and became a multi-millionaire overnight, the military probably would find it disruptive to the morale of the other personnel. In such a case, they would likely approve a discharge request under “convenience of the government.”

However, to qualify, you must be within a designated time (usually one or two years) from your normal date of separation. Approval is not automatic, and approvals for transfer are based on the needs of the service at the time.

Service Commitment for Reserves

It may surprise you to learn that everyone who joins the military for the first time incurs a minimum eight-year service commitment. It doesn’t matter if you signed a two-year active duty contract, a four-year contract, or even a six-year contract. Your total military commitment is eight years.

Any time not spent on active duty must either be served in the Active Guard/Reserves, (the program where one performs drill one weekend per month, and two weeks per year,) or in the inactive Reserves. In the inactive Reserves, one doesn’t perform drills, but can be recalled to active duty at any time for war, or national emergency).

Early Discharge from Active Duty

While you can easily get discharged from the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP), getting out of the military once you are on active duty and before your active duty commitment ends is not a simple process. In almost all cases, the onus will be on the military member requesting the discharge to prove that the action is justified.

Other Reasons for Early Discharge from Active Duty

The Department of Defense will allow a military member to be discharged early to pursue their education if they are within 90 days of their normal separation date.

Sometimes the Navy or Air Force will approve a request for longer than 90 days, but no such provision exists in the Army or Marines. There are some conditions, however.

Unlike in the past, when pregnancy was a reason for automatic discharge for women in the military, there are now specific rules about when a pregnant woman can request leave and for how long. These will vary based on the branch of service she’s in and her specific medical circumstances.

Be advised that if you do receive a discharge due to pregnancy, the type of discharge (honorable or general) will affect the type of benefits you’re entitled to and your veteran status.