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What is Vocational Rehabilitation?

in General

Vocational rehabilitation is a free federal program to help those collecting disability to find employment that properly accommodates their needs. This process varies by state, but is generally best suited for individuals nearing recovery and looking to reenter the workforce. If you receive social security benefits, you may be wondering whether or not vocational rehabilitation could help your situation. Find out if vocational rehabilitation is right for you.

Vocational Rehabilitation in Michigan
Generally speaking, vocational rehabilitation is offered to both those who served in the armed forces and civilians seeking an opportunity to work. These programs can help you find work, become self-employed, or earn scholarships for higher education. In Michigan, there are a variety of programs to help Michigan residents, including the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) and Strategic Connections: Recruiting Candidates with Disabilities (U.S. Department of Labor publication).

For veteran-specific programs, the US Department of Veteran Affairs states that qualified veterans must have a “service-connected disability rating of at least 20 percent with an employment handicap, or rated 10 percent with a serious employment handicap, and be discharged or released from military service under other than dishonorable conditions.” 

Civilians, on the other hand, only require a verified disability. To learn more about general rehabilitation programs in Michigan, contact the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

What Happens to My Benefits?
If you are currently receiving disability benefits, beginning the process of Vocational Rehabilitation does not mean you will lose your compensation. In fact, the Social Security Administration pays for your vocational training. For more on this, visit the SSA VR Reimbursement Claiming Process.

After training is complete, there is a chance that securing employment may affect your current benefits. To minimize any potential impact, interested persons should also apply for the Ticket to Work program to protect their compensation.

To discuss your benefits in more detail, contact us for a free consultation. A social security disability expert can help you determine the right move for your future.