38 CFR § 21.100 - Counseling.

§ 21.100 Counseling.

(a) General. A veteran requesting or being furnished assistance under Chapter 31 shall be provided professional counseling services by Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Service and other staff as necessary to:

(1) Carry out an initial evaluation in each case in which assistance is requested;

(2) Develop a rehabilitation plan or plan for employment services in each case in which the veteran is found during the initial evaluation to be eligible and entitled to services;

(3) Assist veterans found ineligible for services under Chapter 31 to the extent provided in § 21.82; and

(4) Try to overcome problems which arise during the course of the veteran's rehabilitation program or program of employment services.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3101)

(b) Types of counseling services. VA will furnish comprehensive counseling services, including but not limited to

(1) Psychological;

(2) Vocational;

(3) Personal adjustment;

(4) Employment;

(5) Educational.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3104(a)(2))

(c) Qualifications. Counseling services may only be furnished by VA or other personnel who meet requirements established under provisions of § 21.380 and other policies of the VA pertaining to the qualifications of staff providing assistance under Chapter 31.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3118)

(d) Limitations.

(1) If a veteran resides within a State, counseling services necessary to carry out the initial evaluation and the development of a rehabilitation plan or a program of employment services will be furnished by Counseling Psychologists (CP) or Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRC) in the VR&E Division;

(2) If a veteran does not reside in a State the counseling services necessary to carry out an initial evaluation may be accomplished in the same manner as for a veteran residing in a State or through other arrangements when deemed appropriate by the VR&E Division. These alternative arrangements include, but are not limited to:

(i) Use of counseling centers or individual qualified professionals under contract to VA; and

(ii) Professional staff of other Federal agencies located in the area in which the veteran resides.

(3) Alternative arrangements to provide counseling are subject to the following requirements:

(i) All arrangements must be consistent with the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section regarding utilization of professionally qualified persons to provide counseling services during the initial evaluation;

(ii) All determinations of eligibility, entitlement and the development of a rehabilitation plan will continue to be made by a CP or VRC in the VR&E Division.

(4) If a CP or VRC in the VR&E Division determines that the evidence of record is insufficient to carry out an initial evaluation in a case in which alternative arrangements were used, VA staff may authorize the veteran to travel to a VA facility to complete the evaluation.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3118(c))

(e) Definition. For the purposes of this section, the term State means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101(20))
[49 FR 40814, Oct. 18, 1984, as amended at 54 FR 32071, Aug. 4, 1989; 62 FR 17708, Apr. 11, 1997; 81 FR 26132, May 2, 2016; 87 FR 8743, Feb. 16, 2022]