VA can help with therapy and work
Does the Department of Veterans Affairs offer a work therapy program for veterans who need help and employment?
Answer: The VA's mental health psychosocial rehabilitation programs provide therapeutic work opportunities through the compensated work therapy program for veterans with physical disabilities and/or recovering from chronic mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance-use disorders or homelessness. The program offers rehabilitative treatment to help veterans work and live in their community. Veterans referred by their primary-care physician are provided an individualized vocational assessment, rehabilitation planning, and transitional work experiences through partnerships with VA, other federal agencies, and the business community. For more information, contact the VA Medical Center at 433-0600.
Q: Does the veterans' preference for employment include veterans from the war on terror?
A: The Defense Authorization Act for 2006 changed eligibility requirements for veterans' preference. The first provision gives preference to those who served on active duty during the period beginning Sept. 11, 2001, and ending at the close of Operation Iraqi Freedom, provided they meet other conditions. Operation Enduring Freedom participants would be eligible for veterans' preference (assuming they meet all other criteria). So, the bottom line is that anyone who served on active duty for a period of more than 180 consecutive days, any part of which occurred during this period of time, regardless of location, is entitled to veterans' preference if otherwise eligible. This applies not only to candidates seeking employment, but to federal employees that are qualifying veterans who may be affected by reduction-in-force as well.
For more information, the Office of Personnel Management's vet guide is available at www.opm.gov/employ/veterans/html/vetguide.asp#2.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.