SOCIAL ISSUES

Monmouth County partners with VA to offer job services to disabled vets

Disabled veterans in Monmouth County have a new advocate: a vocational counselor to help them enter the job market.

The County’s Division on Aging, Disabilities and Veterans Services has partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide vets with vocational rehabilitation, case management and employment services, regardless of the veteran’s age or ability.

Wanda Richards-Clarke has been appointed a full-time vocational rehabilitation counselor. She says many veterans don’t know about the benefits they’re entitled, something they’re hoping to change through the partnership.

“It will give us the opportunity to reach more vets in the county and assist them. What we do is assess various veterans based on their service-based disability and determine whether they’re entitled to our services,” she said, “and help them to get a degree, employment or improve the overall quality of their life.”

Vocational counseling will be offered in the same building as many other services for vets and their families – such as PTSD counseling, health care and housing assistance – in an effort to make navigating benefits easier.

Monmouth County is home to more than 30,000 veterans.