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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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Any Va Or Vr&e Experts Out There?


In a nutshell: Signed a contract recently with Voc Rehab to go back to school full time on a certain date. I responded to my commitments and followed up with school and case manager. School never receives VA paperwork, Case Manager would not respond to emails or calls. This went on for several months after deadline missed. (Just occasional "whoops there was a slight problem!" but would not respond to any emails or calls.)

End result, I go on public assistance (emergency food stamps) and have mental breakdown. I do not qualify for disability because I am not totally disabled. Not able to work due to service connected injury - need skill set update. Yet unable to get back to school to get update in a timely manner cause Voc Rehab needs months to respond to a single question.

Now Voc Rehab stalled again and I need some short term options.

Hesitant to post to much information publicly until this is resolved. Please email me and I can send a full page of details or a phone number.

Thank you for reading!

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4 answers to this question

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You probably are dealing with same VA people I am -Buffalo VA Educational Department?

Do you have a vet rep holding your POA who is handling your Voc Rehab paperwork as well as the VA Voc Rehab person too?

Have you sent them an IRIS as to the status of you Voc Rehab claim.

I am a VA Chapter 35 student- which is sort of similiar to Voc Rehab in some ways-

I am surprised that your Voc Rehab is this messed up already-

then again I am waiting for money and standing behind plenty of GI Bill vets whose claims are in an educational backlog too.

The only numbers I have for VA Educational Dept is 1-888-442-4551 and the last time I called it the waiting time was over 30 minutes. You could see if someone there could help you

but I feel you definitely need a vet rep from DAV, AL or wherever who can see what is going on with the Voc Rehab. My Chap 35 money came sometimes 2 months or more after I started the course,Voc R$ehab comes to vets a little better then that monthly on the first.

But they have to be fully matriculated into courses before they get a check.

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It sounds to me that someone who has suffered a mental breakdown is totally disabled. What is your rating? If I was you I would be asking for an increase if my rating is for a mental disorder. If you can't work then you should apply for IU.

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Yes John- you always pick up on Important points in these posts!!!!!!

If this vet cannot work due to SC I cannot imagine how he got approved for Voc Rehab.

William are the Social service people handling food stamps for you making sure you should apply for SSI and/or SSA?

Or have you done that and been denied already?

You seem to be looking at the Spring semester before this all gets straightened out.There will be no Voc Rehab money until you are in a formal degree program.

What has the college done to help you on this?

My husband was Voc Rehab.

After his Vocational VA paperwork stuff was completed,and he formally enrolled at school- a Persian Gulf War vet at Corning College was his VA liason person and she was just great!.She made his books fees and his additional course enrollments go as easy as she could.

The college granted him accommodations to his PTSD.

So I think something is drastically wrong here with your Voc Rehab status-

is the college fully VA approved?

In spite of the tremendous GI bill backlog I heard from Clap 35 DEA in 3 weeks after I sent them my award letter and they even paid me a partial tuition refund already-and I had to send my school a form to get the rest of the refund.

Voc Rehab and DEA are done separately from GI Bill.So there could be delays due to GI Bill backlog but your situation is way out of hand.

Have you sent the Educational people an IRIS Inguiry? I would send it as a Complaint and not regular status question.

You need to find a POA vet rep on this.Does the VA know of the mental breakdown?

Do they have these hospitalization records?

Could this have caused them to reconsider if you are eligible for Voc Rehab or not?

As John said-if a SC caused this breakdown you should apply for TDIU (100% rate of comp)

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Thank you for your feedback, your input and insight is greatly appreciated. Here is the vague details for a public posting.

Currently service connected for 20% on knee injuries. The injury has progressed and I am no longer able to do any heavy lifting which limits previous job. That is what Voc Rehab was approved for.

I left the limited work I was doing to go back to school originally with Voc Rehab. (And now lack the mental capacity and financial resources to back.)

The mental break has me in an outpatient treatment program with the VA. The situation was the final straw to make the load unmanageable. VA therapist supports that existing issues are service connected for a future claim. While the increase in mental health issues creates some limitations, I can work around these.

The food stamps included applications for SSDI which was recently denied because I am medically certified to work around specific limitations. I do want to get back to work and I do not have the desire to push through the limitations with self medication.

The college is VA approved. The GI Bill is not available since the time limit has passed. The college is quite helpful and financial aid is the only option. It would be much more difficult and I am not sure feasible to do just financial aid at this point. It would be much easier having tuition, books, stipend and a computer covered by Voc Rehab - it would also be less stressful.

Communication with VR&E has been email and snail mail, there has been no IRIS. At this point I suspect the IRIS would yield the same responses since it would come from the same person. Could be wrong on this.

The VSO that I have has is understaffed and suffers heavy rotation. 5 different service officers in the first 6 to 8 months so I stopped counting. Did call and they recommended speaking to a supervisor.

The VR&E proposed path is longer, more expensive, interferes with medical limitations and does not match my interests. Their attitude is take it or leave it and by their timeline I am sure school will be an option in August 2010.

My request is VA Approved program, cheaper, quicker to return me to work and matches my abilities, aptitudes and interests.

I was hoping to go in this week and speak with a supervisor. My biggest fear is getting another well take it or leave it. Even if they are willing to hear it out, starting in 30 days is fast in VA time.

Any suggestions or experience on dealing or getting the VA to help is greatly appreciated.

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