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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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ping jockey

What To Expect At First Vr&e Meeting After Assessment & Orientation.

Question

Hello,

I'm new. I understand this is a long post; so thanks in advacne to all who helpiong Veterans.

I've recently signed a POA with a NSO with the DAV. He says I'm way under rated for my SC issues, and we are moving forward on increasing my claim. Previously, I gave up because the rating decisions were as ridiculous as the process. He also got me to apply for VR&E considering my plan to return to school to complete my degree. Recent economic misfortune, age, and SC issues are the catalyst. Recently, I relocated from SoCal to the Bay Area after losing a business in LA with my brother. That's another long ugly story. Most importantly after losing the business I moved because the air quality is much better. I slept with the windows closed in LA and an air filtertration system. If I didn't I would wake up with black soot in my nasal passges and have a bad breathing day.

History:

Active duty (88-94). Upon discharge; SC ratings of 0% (not relevant); 0% eczema; 0% Allergic Rhinitis & Chronic Bronchitis. Completely denied "conjuctivitis of the right eye". Ever since AD I've had a prodcutive cough, shortness of breath, and, catch bad bronchial infections that must be treated with Antibiotics. The VA also provides any type of inhalers I want to assist my breathing. I rarely use them because they make me very jittery. I try to minimize antibiotics use so I don't develop resisitance, but take them when necessary. This August I was in bed for four weeks with excruciating pain under my shoulder blades (bronhical wrenching). I had to role out of bed on to my knees and then stand up. Needless to say I suffer from anxiety & depression (A&D) as a result of the social impact the chronic cough has on my personal, professional, and social relationships. Moreover, the constant thought of this illness in the back of your mind is taxing to say the least. I was fried from the (A&D) 10-15 years ago when I was dealing with the loss of both parents at the same time, looking for work, and dealing with this chronic condition. I still suffer from A&D, memory impairment and cognitive defecits. It's been a long difficult road at times, but I don't give up, and I do regulary see a threapist at the VA to help me cope with this and life. The conjuctivitis is chronic also but got denied. I experience daily pain on the right side on my head, neck tension, and shooting pain at times.

History after Active Duty:

In 95 I got hired by the phone company. I worked for them for 5 years (95-00) and started using my GI Bill for college at night. I did complete my associate degree with honors (it's a miracle really). My work relationship were impacted there. I had a repetivitive stress injury to my wrist while working for the Phone Company and decided to try another supervisory job with a Cable Company because of the RSI to my wrist and to get out of dusty environments. This proved a big mistake for varous reasons including; I was not prepared or had the experience. My anxiety & depression, memory impairment, & cognitive defecits were so severe I got fired for it. It was called a lay off but it was a termination. I pursued a state voc-rehab program in computers from the phone company. After completion a retired Chief helped me get into a County Telecomm dept for a year temp job. My SC'd issues reared there ugly head again and I didn't get on full time. Frustrated, I decided I didn't want to work for anyone else again due to the social rejection & discrimination. I rehab'd houses for two years; developed real estate for 2 years, and then bought a franchise with my brother. The reason I moved from the construction industry is to work in a cleaner environement that's less taxing on my respirtory distress. The franchisor seized a significant amount of money on us and forced us into insolvency May 09.

Current situation, status, and goals:

In 2003 rating increased to 10% for Allergic Rhinitis.

In 2003 Allergic Rhinitis separated from Chronic Bronchitis.

Eczema still 0%.

Conjunctivitis still in denied status from 1995 rating decision.

I'm 44 yrs old want to finish my B.S. degree in accounting and get my CPA license.

I have my associates degree and was just admitted to a business school. I start in two weeks.

My goal is a CPA license at minimum because of CPA demand, work environment, and opportunities.

The office environment doesn't put stress on my respirtory system.

CPA work is more static reducing overall stress on cognitive functions, memory, and A&D.

Reduced stress on congnitive & memory functions will decrease A&D leading to life balance.

I'm receiving 100% financial aid for now because I lost everything in the business.

Just had my assessment & orientation with Voc Rehab counselor.

My DAV SO says my increased claims will take 9/12 months. That's ok.

Questions & Understandings:

I have my interview with my Voc Rehab counselor on Monday.

She said to bring EVERYTHING about what I want/plan to do.

What should I expect? Is she an ally or advesary.

Currently, I'm only 10% SC, and it's hard to get approved at 10%.

How do I position this so I have the best shot.

Voc Rehab provides up to 48 months of eduction benefits.

If so I want to pursue a master degree.

How do I get a masters degree approved?

Thanks again for reading and contributing your valueable time.

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3 answers to this question

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ping,

Welcome to Hadit.

Lots of Voc Rehab info to be found here:

http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?showforum=86

carlie

Thanks Carlie,

I read through most of the Voc Rehab stuff, and was wondering:

If anyone knows of/ or had similar circumstances with getting approved at 10%?

Should I write my own Voc-Rehab plan. It sounded like my counselor wanted me to do that?

Happy Holiday,

Ping

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Merry Christmas from the VA. :)

See my denial letter below.

The counselor never even met with me to discuss my issues.

It never makes sense. My brother is a retired Chief and got Voc Rehab for a full bachelors degree

in Computer Science. He was at 30%, for skin, arthritis, and something else. And, he already had an Associates degree. :lol:

12/23/2009

Mr.

150 Rankin Way

#

, CA 94510

Dear Mr. :

I regret that I must deny your request for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment services. My decision becomes final in 30 days unless I receive new evidence that leads me to make a different decision. This letter provides the following information:

  • Why you don’t qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
  • The evidence I considered
  • The effect my decision has on other VA benefits
  • When you may reapply for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment services
  • What you can do now if you have questions or you disagree with my decision

Why don’t you qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment services?

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment is a VA benefit based upon the individual needs of a veteran. To find you entitled, we must prove you meet all three of the following conditions:

1. You have difficulty getting or keeping a job that matches well with your interests, skills, and talents.

2. Your service-connected disability is a part of this difficulty.

3. Your education or training doesn’t overcome this difficulty.

After carefully reviewing the evidence, I find that you already have the education and training to qualify for a suitable job. You do not need Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment services at this time.

2.

Mr. Peter , XXX-XX-XXXX / 00

What evidence did VA consider?

In making this decision, I considered the following evidence: your work history, your level of attained education, your rehabilitation needs. SINCE YOU HAVE ONLY A 10% RATING, YOU MUST HAVE A SERIOUS HANDICAP TO EMPLOYMENT. I AM UNABLE TO GRANT YOU THAT ENTITLEMENT. Therefore, your 12/28/09 appointment has been canceled.

Does this decision affect other VA benefits?

No. You may continue to receive your present VA benefits. You may also apply for other VA benefits if you believe you may be eligible to receive them.

May you reapply for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment services?

You may reapply for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment services if your situation changes. I or another VA counselor can provide additional information.

What can you do now?

If you have questions . . .

Contact me during normal business hours at .

If you disagree with my decision . . .

You or your accredited representative have the right to request an administrative review or to formally appeal this decision. The next page explains what reviews and formal appeals are and how you can request them. (I suggest you reapply if/when your rating is changed to 20% or greater.)

Sincerely,

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