How to apply:
Applying for Ch 31 requires that the veteran make contact with the nearest veterans office in Illinois. You can also use the web site www.vabenefits.vba.va.gov and and apply directly over the internet. Your local veterans office would be your first contact to obtain further information on applying for this benefit.
What determines eligibility?
If a veteran has a service-connected disability of 10 percent or more which is, or except for the receipt of retired pay would be, compensable under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31. This disability must have been incurred or aggravated in service on or after September 16, 1940. A veteran having basic entitlement may be provided a program of rehabilitative services during the twelve-year period following his/her discharge. The beginning date of the twelve-year period is the day of the veteran's discharge or release from his or her last period of active military, naval, or air service. The ending date is typically twelve years from the discharge or release date. There are other determinations of eligibility and they can be obtained at the web site www.vabenefits.vba.va.gov. There is also information on eligibility that can be found in the Veterans Office located in the Office of Financial Assistance.
How are the recipients selected?
The purpose of this program is to provide educational and vocational training services to a veteran eligible for, and entitled to, services and assistance under Chapter 31. Veterans entering the rehabilitation program will elect to forego any other benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and will be evaluated by a representative from the Veterans department. Generally, the VA will select courses of study and training, the completion of which usually results in a diploma, certificate, degree, or employment. If such courses are not available in the area in which the veteran resides, or if they are available but not accessible to the veteran, other arrangements may be made. If you meet the requirements to attend the University of Illinois at Springfield, then you will be processed by the veterans case worker who will arrange for payments of the courses and provide the paper work for payment of subsistence allowances. The case worker will not be assigned until you complete your processing with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
It is very important that you contact your local veterans office to obtain the form needed to begin your process into this program. They are not the approving authority, but they will assist you in filling out Form 28-1900, Disabled Veterans Application for Vocational Rehabilitation. They will also give you direction on where to send these forms. This form and instructions can be downloaded at the above web site.