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Vocational rehabilitation

Looking to retrain for a new career after your military service? Need career-coaching? Vocational rehabilitation can help.

About this program

Rehabilitation services can improve your health and help you adjust to life at home, in your community or at work. The vocational rehabilitation component of those services provides skills development, education or training and other supports to help you establish a new career.

When you developed your rehabilitation plan, you will have identified a career goal that is suitable for your health challenges and reflects the education, skills and experience you gained before or during your time in the military.

Vocational rehabilitation services can include:

  • help to identify a suitable career path (with consideration of your health condition),
  • financial support for training and related costs (such as tuition and books), and
  • job search skills development (such as résumé writing and interview skills).

Depending on your individual needs, you may qualify for one or more of these services.

If your health prevents it, this part of your rehabilitation plan can be provided to your spouse as vocational assistance.

You will build your vocational rehabilitation plan with the direct assistance of the specialists at Partners in Canadian Veterans Rehabilitation Services.

Do you qualify?

You should apply for rehabilitation services if you:

  • served in the Canadian Armed Forces, and
  • have a barrier to re-establishment which is a health issue (temporary or permanent) related to your service that prevents your full participation at work or home or in the community.

How to apply

Apply online

If you are registered for My VAC Account, you can submit your application for this benefit online. My VAC Account offers a guided web form that makes applying easier. If you aren’t registered, you can register now.

My VAC Account

Mail or in person

Download the application form. Then, drop it off at a VAC Office or CAF Transition Centre. You can also mail your completed form directly to the address listed on the form.

Go to form

Get help with your application

The staff at any VAC Office or CAF Transition Centre can assist you or call us at 1-866-522-2122.

Building a rehabilitation plan

We can usually make a decision about Rehabilitation Program eligibility within a few weeks of receiving your application. If approved, you will receive the one-on-one support of a VAC case manager.

Your case manager will work with you (and your family) to identify your goals. Together you will build your rehabilitation plan.

To ensure your success, the plan will identify:

  • your goals;
  • the services and benefits you will need to reach those goals;
  • local service providers to help get you there; and
  • a timeframe to complete it all.

You are the most important part of any successful rehab plan. As you work through your plan, it is important to keep in touch about your services or any challenges you face. Give feedback to your case manager, the health professional, or anyone who is working with you.

From start to finish, your VAC case manager will:

  • work closely with you and your family;
  • respect your privacy and confidentiality;
  • help identify information and services you need;
  • help you develop support networks;
  • coordinate between you, your health professionals, and other service providers; and
  • track and discuss your progress on a regular basis.

Additional information

Find out more

Are you medically-releasing from the Canadian Armed Forces soon?

If so, you can apply for rehabilitation services before you leave service. If approved, the start date of your rehabilitation plan, and your Income Replacement Benefit, can be the day after you release.

Related programs

  • Rehabilitation services - Treatment and therapies to overcome or cope with a service-related illness or injury.
  • Income Replacement Benefit - A monthly payment to maintain your income while you are taking part in the VAC rehabilitation program.
  • Case management - One-on-one support to help with a significant challenge in your life.

Frequently asked questions

How can I pay my bills while taking part in the rehab program?

Every participant in rehabilitation services qualifies for the Income Replacement Benefit. This income support ensures your total income will be at least 90% of your gross pre-release military salary. This is available so you can focus on what matters most – your health and career goals.

Does vocational rehabilitation include support for child care so I can go to school full-time?

Yes. The plan can include support for additional child care expenses. Your case manager will identify your need for this, and other supports, as you develop your rehabilitation plan together.

Are there policies for this program?

Yes. Read more about the policies related to Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program.