The Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) is a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) clinical vocational rehabilitation program offered at every VA medical center.
The mission of CWT services is to provide support to Veterans living with mental illness or physical impairment with barriers to employment to secure and maintain community based competitive employment.
Veterans are not required to be service connected to be eligible for CWT services. To be considered for participation in the CWT program, a Veteran must be eligible to receive VA healthcare services, have a goal of a return to competitive employment and have barriers to obtaining and/or retaining employment which requires the intensive supports provided by one of the CWT service components.
To begin the process of determining if CWT services are appropriate, a Veteran would first meet with their provider about having a consult or order sent to the CWT program. Once a consult is received, the CWT staff contact the Veteran to schedule an appointment. At the appointment, the CWT staff provide an orientation to all the services CWT provides, perform an intake and begin the process of conducting a vocational assessment to determine if CWT is an appropriate service and if so, which CWT component would help the Veteran realize their vocational goal(s). An individual employment rehabilitation plan is developed for each Veteran receiving CWT services focused on each Veteran’s strengths, skills, abilities, needs, goals, and preferences.
CWT Transitional Work (TW) and CWT Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Supported Employment (SE) are provided for Veterans by clinical consult at every VA medical center. Other CWT services that may be offered depending upon Veteran demand and program resources include Community Based Employment Services (CBES), Vocational Assistance, Supported Self-Employment (SSE) and Supported Education (SEd). Career planning and job retention are elements provided in all CWT services. VA benefits including service-connected compensation, and non-service connected pensions cannot be reduced, denied, or discontinued based on participation in CWT.
Veterans interested in learning more about the Compensated Work Therapy program should contact their local VA Medical Center.