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Vets Fault Va Independent Living Program



  • HadIt.com Elder

Vets fault VA independent living program

By Cristian Hernandez - Staff writer

Posted : Thursday Jul 17, 2008 5:52:08 EDThttp://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/07/mili...ing_VA_071608w/The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Independent Living Program is failing to adequately address the needs of severely disabled veterans, a House subcommittee was told Thursday.

Bruce McCartney, a former soldier, told the House Veterans’ Affairs economic opportunity subcommittee that the ILP is riddled with problems related to application delays, staffing shortages and limited spots in the program.

The ILP, created as part of VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services, is designed to provide severely disabled veterans with specialized medical and mental health assistance and training in independent living skills.

McCartney, who spent 17½ years on active duty, applied for the ILP in 2003 and was taken on what he called a “four year-nightmare.”

His application spent four years going from local case managers to counselors and regional and local headquarters until he finally began receiving assistance last year.

“ILP should service all eligible [veterans], and it should be faster,” McCartney said. “It should not take two to three years.”

Part of the problem is high demand; the ILP can serve only 2,500 veterans at one time. Veterans can stay in the program for up to 30 months.

Rep. John Hall, D-N.Y., said many severely disabled veterans have benefited from the program, but he also said he believes the cap on participants should be modified or removed.

Theresa Boyd, vocational rehabilitation consultant for Paralyzed Veterans of America, said case managers sometimes try to slow down the process for individual veterans to accommodate to cap. She said VA should hire more staff and remove the cap.

John Lancaster, executive director of the National Council on Independent Living, told lawmakers that the application process should take only about a month.

“VR&E should be the crown jewel of programs for disabled veterans,” said Rep. John Boozman, R-Ark. “While I am impressed with the overall program, I believe we must find ways to make improvements in performance assessment methods so that VR&E can be certain it is meeting the needs of disabled veterans

"Keep on, Keepin' on"

Dan Cedusky, Champaign IL "Colonel Dan"

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Its always a cap or out of money. Lets face it the VA does not or cannot function as it is now

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Practically every funded program this country has, has had the funding frozen and likely nothing will change until after Jan -09 when congress decides to make a feeble attempt to go back to work. They will sit on their butts until then and blame each other, while the poor go without winter funds for energy assistance, banks fold, jobs get sent anywhere but here and vets get programs like this cut back.

I think of the Haliburton over cost by the millions, that they can't show where the money went and the DOD pissing it away like yesterdays Bud when I see this.

It's a shame we've developed into a corrupt nation with the same ethics in gov as Mexico.

May as well turn it over to a world court to run, if it's going to be run like this. Sorry, didn't mean to steal someone else's idea.

Will this put me on the terrorist list and put me under constant surveillance? Probably. I don't think it takes anything more than speaking out to get phone tapped and puter hacked. Don't plan on flying anywhere so I could care less.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I did the independent living program. The Voc Rehab guy made it so complicated I told him to just shove it. They wanted a PH.D. thesis from my shrink to justify getting me a quitar and lessons. The VA said that I needed to prove that music lessons would help me overcome my permanent disability. I saw where it was going and I wanted no part of this foolishness. It was just about money as usual. The VA did not want to spend money on a P&T veteran.

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I first signed up for VR&E and did that for a few months...then the counselor advised me to pursue ILP. The therapist came to my house and made her eval...she is sending it back to counselor at VR&E and hopefully it will be favorable and something will get done soon.

The counselor did not indicate this would be long and drawn out but fairly soon after he gets therapist determination. I was not at all familiar with this program, had to look it up. Doesn't sound too bad but reading what other's have experienced I hope I am not being misled into thinking it is more than it is.

Will keep posted here on outcome. Sorry to hear it didn't work out for some.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I requested a computer through ILS.

Voc-rehab guy went down the list and said I would have to justify everything I requested. When I said I needed a computer. He said if I can't justify why I needed a printer, scanner and fax to go with it, than I don't get it. I completely had to raise hell and shove every code the VA had in their face.

Apparently they never read their own laws on voc-rehab supplies.

Like your claim. You get what you fight for. There isn't a benefit I've received from the DVA that wasn't provided in a resentful manor.

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