Veteran Readiness and Employment Benefits (Chapter 31)

Veteran Readiness and Employment benefits (formerly called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment) are available to eligible students who have a service-connected disability that limits their ability to work or prevents them from working entirely. This program—also known as Chapter 31 or VR&E—helps you address education or training needs under unique circumstances. 

Notify OMVA if you intend to utilize Chapter 31 Veterans Readiness and Employment benefits. This benefit will cover 100% of tuition and mandatory fees. 

Review the information below to see if you qualify to use these benefits at Columbia University.



You are eligible if you have a disability rating of 10% or greater and you were not dishonorably discharged. 

Review the VA website for additional rules regarding your basic period of eligibility based on your discharge date. 

If you have already been discharged and think you might qualify for disability through Veterans Affairs, visit the VA website to learn about filing disability claims. You will receive a disability rating when you receive a decision on your disability claim. If your disability rating is high enough, you may be eligible for VR&E benefits for use at Columbia University. 

If you have not yet obtained a disability rating because you are on active duty, but you have been injured or experienced illness and cannot continue your duties, review the VA website for more information about accessing VR&E services through the Integrated Disability Evaluation System.

If you expect to be discharged from duty sometime within the next year and you believe you have acquired an injury or illness as a result of your active duty, review the VA website for more information about the Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program (BDD) to speed up the process of qualifying for VR&E benefits. 

How to Apply

If your disability rating qualifies, you can apply online and Veterans Affairs will schedule a meeting with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC). The VRC will determine if you’re entitled to receive VR&E benefits and services and will work with you to create a personalized plan. 

Students using VR&E benefits do not need to submit a Certificate of Eligibility. Instead, students utilizing VR&E benefits must participate in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. Any changes to a student's program or enrollment credits must be approved through their counselor to take effect. 

Students who do not follow through with the counseling process will not receive VR&E benefits, or may lose any existing funding.