Counselors Campus to Careers Toolkit

For career counselors who guide student veterans
A veteran with a prosthetic arm prepares her career plan

Veterans with Disabilities

Transitioning to employment with a disability

Question 1:

Gulf War Era (GWE) veterans have lower rates of service-connected disabilities than do veterans from before the GWE because they have access to better health care.
Answer: False

Nearly half (41%) of GWE veterans have a service-connected disability. Combat field medicine has improved, allowing more service members to survive their injuries. Also, GWE service is dangerous and stressful. Finally, increased awareness of disability results in more diagnoses.

Question 2:

Recently separated veterans who are new to disability might be internalizing stigma and believing negative misperceptions about their conditions.
Answer: True

Veterans with newly acquired disabilities may be vulnerable to false beliefs and misinformation about their disability.

Question 3:

Veterans with service-connected disabilities don’t really need to work because they collect disability compensation.
Answer: False

Research tells us that though veterans with service-connected disabilities might be getting some level of financial compensation, most veterans with disabilities both want and need to work.

Question 4:

Veterans with disabilities do fear disability discrimination in employment.
Answer: True

Veterans’ concerns may be rooted in two issues: First, unfortunately, disability job discrimination does exist. Second, veterans may not yet fully understand their rights around disability disclosure and accommodation. For example, they might believe they must tell an employer about their disability.

Question 5:

Focus on strengths, manage the disability.
Answer: 5

Manage the disability, but don’t let it drive a career choice. Strengths and aspirations should drive a veteran’s career direction. People with all types of disabilities are in all types of careers. Avoid the notion that people with disabilities should take only “special” jobs. Consider that veterans (and others) with disabilities have a right to use an accommodation to do the job.