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MIRECC/CoE VA Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment

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Detail for
Benefits Counseling

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Product Information:

Name: Benefits Counseling
Description: Benefits counseling was developed to assist Veterans as they apply for disability benefits. Benefits counseling uses motivational interviewing methods to encourage Veterans to work and/or engage in vocational rehabilitation. As prescribed in motivational interviewing, the benefits counselor adopts a supportive, empathic stance to help Veterans explore ambivalence about working. The counselor will explain that working does not invariably lead to loss of benefits. The benefits counselor will help Veterans identify other barriers to working and develop a plan to address them. Benefits counseling consists of four one-hour sessions: an initial session around the time of the Compensation and Pension evaluation; two sessions during the next two weeks; and a final session after the Veterans Benefits Administration makes a determination on the Veteranís application for disability. The goal of benefits counseling is to foster involvement in work and vocational rehabilitation. The following benefits counseling information may be downloaded directly from the VISN 1 MIRECC web pages: Benefits Counseling Manual--The manual includes: an overview of benefits counseling; explanation of motivational interviewing principles used in benefits counseling; recommended techniques for the benefits counselor to use; and a session-by-session breakdown with activities and worksheets. Session Activity Worksheets: Session #1ís activities include using the Personal Values Activity and Personal Values Ranking Worksheet. Session #2ís activities include using the Action Plan and Work Attitudes Decisional Balance Worksheets. Session #3ís activities include using the Financial Goals and Monthly Budget Worksheets.
VISN 1: New England MIRECC

Contact to order product: Marc Rosen, M.D.
Product URL:

Product Formats:

NOTE: If you want the product and it is DVD or CD then please e-mail or call the contact above to arrange delivery by US mail.

  • Manual

Language Availability:

  • English

Target Audience:

  • Veterans
  • Rehab Specialist
  • MH Clinicians

Link to Uniform MH Services/Keywords:

  • Rehabilitation and Recovery

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Questions or issues please contact

This website is for educational purposes only.  If you are looking for professional medical care, find your local VA healthcare center by using the  VA Facilities Locator & Directory.

The VA has founded a national suicide prevention hotline to ensure veterans in emotional crisis have free, 24/7 access to trained counselors. Veterans can call the Lifeline number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), and press "1" to be routed to the Veterans Hotline; you can also visit their website for more information.

Contact the National MIRECC Education Group at with questions about the MIRECC program.

Contact with technical problems and errors on this web site.