Vocational Rehabilitation Services - VHA - VA Portland Health Care System
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VA Portland Health Care System

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Vocational Rehabilitation Services - VHA

Also known as
Therapeutic and Supported Employment Services (TSES)

Initial Access:

CWT consult submitted by a Licensed Provider or Prescriber (Psychiatrist, APRN, PA), or accessed through a Walk-in Clinic.

The Program is for Veterans whose lives have been disrupted by mental illness or co-existing physical disability who would benefit from a supportive, stable, and structured approach to work related goals.

VHA Voc. Rehab utilizes work-based treatment to facilitate and strengthen employment potential and to provide a continuum of vocational skill development.

Veterans work with clinical staff to overcome barriers in finding employment.

Transitional Work therapy assignments teach and improve skills including:

  • Communication
  • Computer Literacy/application skills
  • Working with others
  • Working in a structured environment
  • Responsibility & independence
  • Hands-on skills

Treatment Components  

  • Transitional Work (TW)
  • Supportive Employment (SE)


Upon receipt of a consult, the Veteran will be contacted to contact their physician and complete a medical clearance form. Once complete, Veteran will be scheduled for an initial assessment by Voc. Rehab staff.

Following screening and evaluation, the Veteran will be notified if he/she is enrolled into the program. Veterans may be referred to other programs (i.e., Vocational Rehabilitation, Training & Employment Program) if another program is more appropriate.

Enrollment decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Program Eligibility 

  • Veteran must be eligible for VA services
  • Veteran must be motivated to engage in competitive employment
  • Medical clearance will be obtained prior to CWT enrollment
  • For SE program enrollment, Veteran should have a SMI diagnosis

Compensated Work Therapy (Transitional Work and Supported Employment)

Upon completing the initial program requirements for entry, Veterans may be placed in a work therapy assignment/placement working at a VA hospital facility or in the community.

Transitional Work (CWT-TW)

Transitional Work (TW) is a clinical vocational rehabilitation program that operates in a VA medical center and/or local community business industry. Participants are matched to real life work assignments for a time limited basis.  However, participants are not considered employees and do not receive traditional employee benefits.

During CWT-TW/SE Programs veterans will:

  • Be introduced to the process/program
  • Complete a Vocational Assessment
  • Develop a treatment plan
  • Identify short-term and long-term career goals
  • Discover personal and work-related strengths and barriers
  • Learn the job search process including search techniques, job preparation and participation in mock interviews
  • Complete a job development profile (i.e. resume, cover letter, driver’s license, school transcripts, etc.)
  • Be placed in an assignment or discharged from services

Work therapy placement includes:

  • Work therapy assignment up to 6 months (extensions beyond 6 months are very rare and are based on a case-by-case basis)
  • Work assignments up to 32hrs/week
  • Compensation stipend of $13.50 hourly
  • Weekly group sessions
  • Weekly job site visits

Following graduation from the TW, Veterans will have developed the skills needed to move forward in obtaining competitive employment

Supported Employment (CWT-SE)

Supported Employment (SE) provides clinical support to Veterans in full or part-time competitive employment.   The focus is to assist Veterans with psychosis, or other serious mental illness, to gain access to meaningful competitive employment.  These services are generally phased out after a Veteran is able to maintain employment independently.

Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist (VRS)
After admission into CWT-SE, Veterans are assigned to a VRS who will assist them with job searching, career assessment, community referrals, and provide follow along supports (if needed).

How to Access VHA Voc. Rehab Services

Walk-in Clinics:

  • Monday’s: 8am-Noon, Building 18, Vancouver Campus Located at: 1601 E Fourth Plain Blvd, Vancouver, WA 98661
  • Thursday’s: 10am-2pm at the CRRC Located at: 308 SW 1st Ave, Portland, OR 97204
  • Thursday’s: 11am-2pm on P3, Located at: 3710 SW US Veterans Hospital Rd., Portland, OR 972

Consult placed by licensed Provider or Prescriber (Psychiatrist, APRN, PA)

Program Contacts:

VHA Voc. Rehab Manager: (360) 696-4061 Ext. 34130

For all other inquiries please contact (360) 696-4061 Ext.31274

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Contact Info


  • Building 18, Vancouver Campus Located at: 1601 E Fourth Plain Blvd, Vancouver, WA 98661
    Portland campas, P3 area, 3710 SW US Veterans Hospital Rd., Portland, OR 97239
    Community Resource and Referral Center, 308 SW 1st Ave, Portland, OR 97204

Contact Number(s)

  • 360-696-4061 Ext. 34130
  • 360-696-4061 Ext. 31274

Hours of Operation

  • Mondays, 8 am to 12 pm, Vancouver Campus
    Thursdays, 10 am-2 pm at the CRRC