Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation supports you with your work-related needs. This can be in many ways including retraining and education.

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Who can get this

As someone who served

You may be able to get this if you:

  • have Qualifying Service
  • served either:
    • before 31 March 1974 and have a condition that prevents you from working full-time, or
    • after 1 April 1974 and have a service-related condition that prevents you from working full-time.
  • and were either:
    • working at the time the condition prevented you from working full-time
    • on extended holiday or parental leave at the time the condition prevented you from working full-time.

Qualifying Service explained

As a spouse or partner

You may also be able to get Vocational Rehabilitation if your spouse or partner has Qualifying Service, and:

  • can’t work because of a service-related condition, or
  • lost their life because of Qualifying Operational Service.

You will also need to be under 65 years old.

What you can get

Vocational Rehabilitation can help you:

  • return to work or maintain your current work
  • continue your recovery at work
  • develop a plan to stay in work.

What rehabilitation you'll get will vary based on your individual circumstances. This will be determined by formal medical, rehabilitation and vocational assessment. The assessments will help us identify the best way to support you in achieving your vocational goal. This may need to be endorsed by your treating health professional.

The support normally covers up to 3 years of rehabilitation. These 3 years don’t have to be consecutive. There may be cases where you can get more than three years of rehabilitation. You'll need to discuss this with us.

We'll cover assessment costs related to your rehabilitation. However, if you're applying for Weekly Income Compensation and you don’t live in NZ you'll need to cover the cost of the initial medical certificate that certifies whether you’re able to work full-time.

You may also be eligible for travel costs as part of Travel for Treatment support.

Travel for Treatment

How to apply

If you're currently a client of Veterans' Affairs

Contact your Case Manager. They'll help you with the next steps.

If you're not currently a client of Veterans' Affairs

You'll need to:

  1. complete the Apply for Treatment and Rehabilitation application form
  2. send the application form and any supporting information to us.

Download the Apply for Treatment and Rehabilitation application form [PDF, 380 KB]

What happens next

After you apply we'll:

  1. contact you to confirm we've received your application
  2. start the decision-making process
  3. keep you informed on the status of your application.

If we need more information, we'll get in touch with you.

How we make decisions

Find out more

Contact us for more information

We strive to be transparent. If you want to know how this entitlement is administered you can read the policy.

Vocational Rehabilitation policy [PDF, 421 KB]