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Benefits Counseling

A significant portion of Veterans who apply for disability benefits have difficulty finding and sustaining employment, and are concerned that working for pay will jeopardize their receipt of service-connection benefits. Too frequently, the process of applying for disability fails to include reminders of opportunities for rehabilitation.

Benefits Counseling is an Motivational Interview-formatted counseling intervention designed to help people who are applying for disability benefits learn about opportunities to work and receive service-connection, manage their time productively, manage their money so it furthers their goals, and avail themselves of treatment. In a completed clinical trial, Veterans who received the Benefits Counseling intervention went on to work for pay significantly more often than controls.

A computer-delivered version of the Benefits Counseling intervention tailored to help Veterans applying for service-connection engage in work-related activities was developed and pilot tested. A current clinical trial is testing this counseling's efficacy.

Benefits Counseling Materials



Meshberg-Cohen S, DeViva JC, Rosen MI: Counseling Veterans who are applying for service-connection status for mental health conditions. Psychiatric Services. Published online.


Meshberg-Cohen S, Reid-Quiñones K, Black AC, Rosen MI: Veterans’ Attitudes toward Work and Disability Compensation: Associations with Substance Abuse. Addictive Behaviors 2014; 39(2): 445-448

Rosen MI, Ablondi K, Black AC, Mueller L, Serowik KL, Martino S, Mobo BH, Rosenheck RA: Work Outcomes After Benefits Counseling Among Veterans Applying for Service Connection for a Psychiatric Condition. Psychiatric Services 2014; 65 (12): 1426-1432.

Serowik KL, Black AC, Rosen MI: Developing a Benefits Counseling Website for Veterans Using Motivational Interviewing Techniques. Computers in Human Behavior 2014; 37: 26-30.

Serowik KL, Rowe M, Black AC, Ablondi KM, Fiszdon J, Wilber C, Rosen MI: Financial Motivation to Work Among People with Psychiatric Disorders. Journal of Mental Health 2014; 23(4): 186-190. PMC4133983


Black AC, Serowik KL, Schensul JJ, Bowen AM, Rosen MI. Build a better mouse: Directly-observed issues in computer use for adults with SMI. Psychiatric Quarterly 2013; 84(1):81-92. PMC3960716

Rosen MI, Afshartous D, Nwosu S, Scott MD, Jackson JC, Marx BP, Murdoch MM, Sinnot PL, Speroff T: Racial Differences in Veterans’ Satisfaction with Examination of Disability from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Psychiatric Services. 2013; 64 (4): 354–359. doi: 10.1176/ PMID: 23318842


Rosen MI: Compensation Examinations for PTSD—an Opportunity for Treatment? Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development 2010; 47(5): 15-22. PMCID 3064070