38 CFR § 21.50 - Initial evaluation.

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§ 21.50 Initial evaluation.

(a) Entitlement to an initial evaluation. VA will provide an initial evaluation to an individual who:

(1) Applies for benefits under 38 U.S.C. chapter 31; and

(2) Meets the service-connected disability requirements of § 21.40.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3101(9), 3106)

(b) Determinations to be made by VA during the initial evaluation. A counseling psychologist (CP) or vocational rehabilitation counselor (VRC) will determine:

(1) Whether the individual has an employment handicap as determined in accordance with this section and § 21.51;

(2) Whether an individual with an employment handicap has a serious employment handicap as determined in accordance with this section and § 21.52; and

(3) Whether the achievement of a vocational goal is currently reasonably feasible as described in § 21.53.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3102, 3103)

(c) Factors for assessment as part of the initial evaluation. In making the determinations under paragraph (b) of this section, the following factors will be developed and assessed:

(1) The handicapping effects of the individual's service-connected and nonservice-connected disability(ies) on employability and on independence in daily living;

(2) The individual's physical and mental capabilities that may affect employability and ability to function independently in daily living activities in family and community;

(3) The impact of the individual's identified vocational impairments on the individual's ability to prepare for, obtain, and keep suitable employment;

(4) The individual's abilities, aptitudes, and interests;

(5) The individual's personal history and current circumstances (including educational and training achievements, employment record, developmental and related vocationally significant factors, and family and community adjustment); and

(6) Other factors that may affect the individual's employability.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3106(a))

(d) Need for cooperation in the initial evaluation process. The individual's cooperation is essential in the initial evaluation process. If the individual does not cooperate, the CP or VRC will make reasonable efforts to secure the individual's cooperation. If, despite those efforts, the individual fails to cooperate, VA will suspend the initial evaluation process (see § 21.362, regarding satisfactory conduct and cooperation, and § 21.364, regarding unsatisfactory conduct and cooperation).

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3111)
[72 FR 14042, Mar. 26, 2007, as amended at 75 FR 3165, Jan. 20, 2010]