Career Development Assistance
> VA - Birth Defects Assistance - Vocational Training for Children with Spina Bifida or Other Birth Defects
VA provides a Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program for natural children diagnosed with spina bifida (except spina bifida occulta) born to certain Vietnam veterans.
This program enables a qualified child to prepare for and attain suitable employment. Services may include counseling and rehabilitative services, education, training, and employment services leading to suitable employment. VA pays for the cost of these services.
A vocational training program may not begin before a child's 18th birthday or the date of completion of secondary schooling, whichever comes first. Depending on the need, a child may be provided up to 24 months of full-time training.
Entitlement to vocational training is based on eligibility determinations made by the VA Regional Office. Claimants submit applications on VA Form 21-0304. If the VA Regional Office grants a monthly monetary award for an individual with spina bifida, the individual should contact the local VA Regional Office to request vocational training.
General Program Requirements:
In order to be considered for this benefit program, you must be the biological child of a veteran who served in Vietnam or on the Korean demilitarized zone during certain periods in the 1960s or 1970s. You must have been conceived after the veteran served some time in one of those two places.
Military Service RulesThe veteran parent must have --
The Gender of the Veteran Parent
- Served in Vietnam during the period beginning January 9, 1962, and ending May 7, 1975,
- Served at or near the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) during the period beginning September 1, 1967, and ending August 31, 1971.
- The rules for Spina Bifida are different from the rules for other covered birth defects:
- If you have Spina Bifida, you may qualify if either your father or your mother served in one of the situations described above.
If you have another kind of birth defect, you qualify only if it was your mother who served in one of these situations. Your Own Disability
You must be suffering from Spina Bifida or another covered birth defect.
For more information, see the Program Contact Information below.
Program Contact Information:
If you have any questions or need additional information, you can call us toll free at:
You can download an application to receive monthly payments (and to qualify as a VA birth defects beneficiary) at this address:
Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)