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Michellee
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UNBELIEVABLE! I went to the class yesterday. First it was over 6 hours and you are told that if you need to use the bathroom that you need to use it as a group and not interrupt the class individually. I have bladder/bowel incontinence and frequency. So that was a problem which I got a lot of attitude for and rude looks and ended up being put to the end of the line and was told I would see the counselor last. My opinion - They are really not accommadating disable veterans. Then you were forced to work through lunch by taking several exams/watched a film that consisted of EVERYTHING FROM PSCHO ANALYSIS TESTING AND READING, MATH AND MORE... Mind you if you are on any mind altering medications you will be taking time test with those who are not disable. You are not accommadated in any way. Geeze I could barely get in the door in my wheelchair because there was no buttons to push to open the door or assistance provided. There wasnt even a latrine near by. I had to leave the class to travel down a 50 feet hallway to get to another area to find a latrine. I was hurting so bad and spasming from sitting in that classroom so long I finally had to tell them look I got to take a break I couldn't physically take the pain and I was beginning to feel dizzy. No lunch and it was 1 pm and we were still testing. TIMED TEST! I am on morphine every 8 hours and many other medications that makes it difficult for me to even focus and here I was testing times test with veterans who didn't even have such odds against them. Well I left at 1 pm went over to physical therapy and came back at 2 pm and the testing was done and they said I would have to come back another day to finish up the last test which was the math and all I could do now was meet with the counselor and call it a day. Next I got in to see the counselor the first thing he ask me was what are you here for? I said I am here to apply for ILP he says tell me what you know about ILP. I said to him well I was hoping you could tell me about the program I am here for counseling. He said well when did you get out the Army I said Jan 98. He says well you don't qualify for anything especially not ILP because your over 12 years as of Jan 2010 and thats policy. Thats exactly what he said. I said sir so your telling me there are veteran benefit that I could pursue he said no thats the policy over 12 years. He said I'm pretty sure and I will double check that but thats how it works then he said what were you trying to get out of ILP anyway? I said pardon I was trying to find a program that would over some assistance with quality of life and improving my independence, he said well ILP doesn't do any of that anymore. He said its strictly based on what your doctor thinks you need to assist with ADL's. I started to explain what I had read on the Veterans Administration website and what I had learned through other veterans in the program and he said NO MAM THEY DON'T DO THAT ANYMORE. He picked up two pieces of paper and waved it in my face and started to tell me about the program doesn't have the funding like it use to and the new regulation this and that. I lost it after that my anxiety and PTSD was pushed and pushed, I forgot my surroundings and started yelling at this man called him a liar and told him I had a right to recieve veteran benefits like any other veteran across america and was just so blown away by his attitude, speech, that I couldn't help myself. Then he wanted to rearrange his attitude and start talking like he was there to help veterans. Before that he spent the entire conversation telling what I could not do or could not get and they did not provide thats it. They act like veterans are asking for the last dollar out thier personal wallets. UNBELIEVABLE. I wonder if I had to those classes timed under medications even colleges will accomadate people with disabilities. He ask me what kind of things you think ILP could provide to you I said well how about a computer I like to to use one as hobby. The one I have is always in the shop and freezes all the time and computer folks says its so old it not upgradeable. I have had this computer since 2000. It's an old desktop. I don't even own a laptop. He said they don't provide those sorts of things anymore. I said well how about piano lessons. He said they don't do that either. I need to call the VARO Atlanta office to find out what exactly do they provide anymore because obviously one of us is mistaken.

If anyone has this information please provide the links, thanks. Well as of yesterday they said they will get back with me to complete that math test and that he (the counselor) will see what he can do as far as getting me in the program. So I am confused. Really don't know where I stand or what that means. Maybe it's my medication but I don't know if I am in or not or are they able to assist. ?????????? Not sure what came about with all those test I took and film watching, counseling, papers waved in my face, suffering all dam day, etc. :angry:

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I never heard the likes of such. Somebody is really giving false info. Why in the hell were you kept there so many hours? I was in and out in no time. 3 people were present when we watched the VHS video...stand one used. It gave like 6 sceneros of vets and programs. No tests taken. Very informal too.

You were Vo Ed before you applied for ILP,Right? I was and with it not working out counselor crossed referrenced me to ILP.

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I applied for ILP through Vocational Rehabilitation twice, the first time, it did take forever but the vocational rehabilitation person was very helpful. They got me a desk and a good ergonomic chair. The second time, omg, first they wouldn't answer any questions on the phone, second they told me I had to show up on such and such date for this group thing you talked about. I explained that I was agoraphobic and wasn't there some other way to do this, nope you must come here for this testing group thing. I gave up. I swear to God, they would not answer even one question, even though I had been approved before.

I thought about giving it another try to get an answer, but I'm a bit to frustrated with the VA to talk to them about that.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I applied for ILP to get my bathroom remodeled 2 years ago. I had the same experience as Michelle including being forced to try to get regular Voc Rehab and the testing and the movie and also listening to blah blah blah about work. Than I had to come back and go to see another councilor on the outside who did a report.

So far the results are nil but I recognize that this is just Dallas maybe other places are better. I just had another meeting and maybe they are getting ready to send someone to evaluate my home and than again maybe not. They have tried to get me to apply for a grant and I told them no

I think Voc Rehab and ILP are good things and I also think that disabled Veterans should use it but nothing surprises me any more.

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Michelle,

Your experience sounds so familiar. I applied for voc rehab last year and it stank. Like Tbird, they refused questions on the phone and made me take a day off work to attend their seminar.

I was interested in "Assistance finding and keeping a job" per http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/index.htm. In my case, it was for 'keeping' a job.

They put everyone into a small dimly-lit room with no windows. It was overloaded with filing cabinets and other equipment. There was a table, but I could barely move around without bumping into someone or something. I have bad back issues, but not in a wheelchair. I have no idea how anyone in a wheelchair could even participate in that facility. I don't like being crammed into small places with a bunch of strangers.

They pulled the same kind of restroom management with us. The restrooms were a quite far away. Drink and snack machines were even farther. No lunch. I don't smoke, but most everyone there did. They had to go down 9 or so floors to smoke outside. When they got back, I had problems breathing and had to use my inhaler. The agent rearranged everyone so that I could sit closer to the door.

We watched several dated VHS videos, including one where they helped a guy open a barber shop. The agent said it is unrealistic and nobody would get that kind of assistance.

We were given timed tests that really sucked. Small print was hard to read. The agent reminded everyone that cheating on the tests was a federal offense, so he spread everyone out. I had to take my test on a printer and my pencil kept poking holes through the answer form.

They are also cheapskates. Their facility is located 3 miles on the other side of the VAMC. I always get travel to the VAMC. They refused travel because they use a 'different method' to calculate it. The end of day gridlock caused me to sit in traffic an extra hour.

The agent only spent two minutes talking to me. He said the part about 'keeping a job' was wrong because if you have a job, you don't qualify. He said voc rehab was a one-shot deal. If they reject you formally, you never can get help again. I was urged me to withdraw from voc rehab because I was still employed, so that when my health becomes so bad that I cannot work, then I could come back and get their 'help' (whatever that means).

Get this -- The agent's office was about twice the size of the little room we were in - and it had a window. It was very spacious, neat, and uncluttered. I don't see why they could have swapped rooms.

I left feeling like they were in a hurry to get everyone out so they could leave early. It was not an encouraging experience.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I tried to get a quitar from ILP. They wanted my VA shrink to write a detailed reason why this would benefit me. I told them to forget it and bought it myself. I felt the game was designed to discourage me. I was asking for so little.

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

John,

I bet they would have asked the reason to be filled out in triplicate.

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I never heard the likes of such. Somebody is really giving false info. Why in the hell were you kept there so many hours? I was in and out in no time. 3 people were present when we watched the VHS video...stand one used. It gave like 6 sceneros of vets and programs. No tests taken. Very informal too.

You were Vo Ed before you applied for ILP,Right? I was and with it not working out counselor crossed referrenced me to ILP.

I had never participated in Voc Rehab. I applied for ILP via application to VARO atlanta and got an appt. I even heard a counselor say that this is how they weed them out by giving all these test. So I guess this was a way to run me away so I could say the hell with it and not attempt to ask for any help or benefits. This is the mind set to assist veterans? I was so hungry and hurting and had to go to the bathroom constantly my stomach was cramping so bad> i FELT LIKE I WAS BEING TORTURED. Still have not heard anything back from all of this nor was I given anything in writing or was invited back to complete the math test as of yet. There was a test with shapes and they would change shapes and it was timed and you had to either match the shapes or figure out how what shape could fit the puzzle of the main shape WIERD CRAP. My eyes started going googley and I was just all jacked up. Still getting over that mess. Sorry to rant.

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I tried to get a quitar from ILP. They wanted my VA shrink to write a detailed reason why this would benefit me. I told them to forget it and bought it myself. I felt the game was designed to discourage me. I was asking for so little.

YEP ABSOLUTELY! That's what I'm talking about that and I heard comments being made to that affect from one counselor to some guy they were training. That sat in on the class. WHAT A DISERVICE TO VETERANS!

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Wow what a mirror image of my day. Yes the room had no windows, and was very claustrophobic, I begged them to let me face the door because there was a little window that I could gaze into the hall and I have problem with claustrophobia. I have nightmares of being buried alive. The room had so much equipment and the tables were to big for the room that I banged into everything and could barely manuever my power chair through the room just to get to the desk. Before taking the test they went in to telling us how bad the test were but they have no control over it and that every one was required to take it.. Sure did not help my anxiety. Very negative and bad experience. The fact that I am perscribed narcotics and medications for neuropathy damage etc does not make a bit of difference. I felt like I could have been blind and they would not give a hoot or accomodate. Maybe more of us should let the VARO know. Who is over the VOC Rehab? How is thier change of command set up?

Michelle,

Your experience sounds so familiar. I applied for voc rehab last year and it stank. Like Tbird, they refused questions on the phone and made me take a day off work to attend their seminar.

I was interested in "Assistance finding and keeping a job" per http://www.vba.va.go.../vre/index.htm. In my case, it was for 'keeping' a job.

They put everyone into a small dimly-lit room with no windows. It was overloaded with filing cabinets and other equipment. There was a table, but I could barely move around without bumping into someone or something. I have bad back issues, but not in a wheelchair. I have no idea how anyone in a wheelchair could even participate in that facility. I don't like being crammed into small places with a bunch of strangers.

They pulled the same kind of restroom management with us. The restrooms were a quite far away. Drink and snack machines were even farther. No lunch. I don't smoke, but most everyone there did. They had to go down 9 or so floors to smoke outside. When they got back, I had problems breathing and had to use my inhaler. The agent rearranged everyone so that I could sit closer to the door.

We watched several dated VHS videos, including one where they helped a guy open a barber shop. The agent said it is unrealistic and nobody would get that kind of assistance.

We were given timed tests that really sucked. Small print was hard to read. The agent reminded everyone that cheating on the tests was a federal offense, so he spread everyone out. I had to take my test on a printer and my pencil kept poking holes through the answer form.

They are also cheapskates. Their facility is located 3 miles on the other side of the VAMC. I always get travel to the VAMC. They refused travel because they use a 'different method' to calculate it. The end of day gridlock caused me to sit in traffic an extra hour.

The agent only spent two minutes talking to me. He said the part about 'keeping a job' was wrong because if you have a job, you don't qualify. He said voc rehab was a one-shot deal. If they reject you formally, you never can get help again. I was urged me to withdraw from voc rehab because I was still employed, so that when my health becomes so bad that I cannot work, then I could come back and get their 'help' (whatever that means).

Get this -- The agent's office was about twice the size of the little room we were in - and it had a window. It was very spacious, neat, and uncluttered. I don't see why they could have swapped rooms.

I left feeling like they were in a hurry to get everyone out so they could leave early. It was not an encouraging experience.

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Pete

Why won't you apply for the grant? Isn't that a good thing? They claim they dont even do computers anymore only ADLS ordered by your doctor. I need to check out this 12 year rule for ILP too.

I applied for ILP to get my bathroom remodeled 2 years ago. I had the same experience as Michelle including being forced to try to get regular Voc Rehab and the testing and the movie and also listening to blah blah blah about work. Than I had to come back and go to see another councilor on the outside who did a report.

So far the results are nil but I recognize that this is just Dallas maybe other places are better. I just had another meeting and maybe they are getting ready to send someone to evaluate my home and than again maybe not. They have tried to get me to apply for a grant and I told them no

I think Voc Rehab and ILP are good things and I also think that disabled Veterans should use it but nothing surprises me any more.

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Good luck but be forewarned. You will def have to attend a group session and from what they told us at the session starting this year everyone has to take these test and their timed. This type of process is to discourage more so than to help a veteran. Now even schools and businesses usually have some type of accomodations for disable folks. For a Veterans agency I was surprise at the lack thereof and the way they spoke of the programs was not put out in way that makes one feel that they are trying to help veterans. There was a whole lot of what we don't do and wont do and no no no before you could even get a yes. Sorry I was just not impress. Perhaps the program has great intent but its getting hijacked by people who act like your spending their money. It was just unreal.....

I applied for ILP through Vocational Rehabilitation twice, the first time, it did take forever but the vocational rehabilitation person was very helpful. They got me a desk and a good ergonomic chair. The second time, omg, first they wouldn't answer any questions on the phone, second they told me I had to show up on such and such date for this group thing you talked about. I explained that I was agoraphobic and wasn't there some other way to do this, nope you must come here for this testing group thing. I gave up. I swear to God, they would not answer even one question, even though I had been approved before.

I thought about giving it another try to get an answer, but I'm a bit to frustrated with the VA to talk to them about that.

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ONE OTHER THING - Your right. You do not get TRAVEL PAY from the hospital or that day you travel. They will get back to you and have it mailed from your Regional Office in a couple of weeks. Go figure. So I will keep every one posted on how this whole thing plays out whether GOOD OR BAD. I am keeping my fingers crossed. Maybe they will come true but it sure was hell.

Wow what a mirror image of my day. Yes the room had no windows, and was very claustrophobic, I begged them to let me face the door because there was a little window that I could gaze into the hall and I have problem with claustrophobia. I have nightmares of being buried alive. The room had so much equipment and the tables were to big for the room that I banged into everything and could barely manuever my power chair through the room just to get to the desk. Before taking the test they went in to telling us how bad the test were but they have no control over it and that every one was required to take it.. Sure did not help my anxiety. Very negative and bad experience. The fact that I am perscribed narcotics and medications for neuropathy damage etc does not make a bit of difference. I felt like I could have been blind and they would not give a hoot or accomodate. Maybe more of us should let the VARO know. Who is over the VOC Rehab? How is thier change of command set up?

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Very Interesting... Y'all are going to hate me for writing this, but my experience with Ch 31 was totally different. It started in 2007, before I even came in, they gave me all the necessary info over the phone. The month I was about to start the program, my counselor ordered the Dell Laptop, Printer, Carrying Bag, the Whole 9 Yards - Heck, that is the computer I'm using now - I didn't even have a Training Video, Class, nothing! There was a Less Than 1 Hour Orientation and that was it. Well, I graduated from the University of North Texas in May with my Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and currently using the Post 9/11 GI Bill (Ch 33) and going to graduate school... It's so disheartening to hear of the troubles fellow vets go through - especially when the last 5 years since my discharge have been smooth sailing. You will be in my Prayers M.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I am happy for you, I use the same Voc Rehab and so far my luck has not been good.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I used the ILP program back in 2006 I had to go to the "class" where they made everyone do the tests and listen to their speel and I had the "interview" they asked what could they do to get me back to being employable I laughed at them I was using my walker then and I plainly told her give me a "new body" because other wise I was NOT going back to work, she was like well then what do you expect us to do for you, I said I was told I had to go thru this so she could tell me I was unemployable and going back to school was a waste of their time and money and she had to sign off on me being enrolled in the ILP program she signed off and set me up for an appt with the ILP rep he was very helpful given the fact I am supposed to be in a power chair due to not being able to walk more than about 100 feet at a time and all the drugs I am on for pain and cardiac issues he would NOT give me power tools I wanted like a dremel, table saw, scroll saw etc he made a comment about they were to dangerous for someone like me to operate.

He asked what other hobbies was I interested in I mentioned I thought I would like to take up photography as I could sit and snap pictures from the power chair.....he then mentioned that if I had a computer would I be able to pay my bills online, I aid sure I had no problem using online banking and he mentioned a picture printer to go along with a 3 i one printer for the computer to make copies of bills and other transactions I did online and I would be able to use the computer to use skype and e mail to stay in touch with family members spread from SC to Calif and Michigan, so he ordered a new gateway with a lot of memory, photoshop software a new digital camera, tripod, the printerss both a photo printer and the 3-1 printer he also had a contractor come to my home amd make the bathroom handicap accessible hand rails, shower stools etc.......

I had a great experience with the ILP program it is one thing the VARO in Columbia SC does right I don't think much of their compensation claims processing

I am sorry the rest of you are having such a hard time with it but then again that was 4 years ago and they may be as bad now as the places you all are dealing with

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post-7057-093183000 1282841809_thumb.jpgJust thought I would give an update on my application for ILP. After submitting an IRIS inquiry asking questions about regulation and what I was told this is what I got back today in the mail. Also its sort of weird. It is a letter on a COPY OF A LETTER HEAD from the VA regional with 1700 Clairmont Rd P.O. Box, Decatur GA address. It has an original pen signature on it though so it's not a copy there. The signature is the same case manager signature that I met with locally in Central GA. That's the same guy that was asking me all the questions about tell him what I know about ILP. Well here is the letter I will attach it.

I will be canceling my request for ILP it is causing me to much stress and anxiety. I have already been evaluated by both PT and OT. Which is something they do prior to even putting you into a wheelchair. Which I have been in for about 8 years now. I am not sure where they are going with all of this. I wonder how many of you have been evaluated by PT and OT prior to being approved for ILP. I still did not get any info on the regulation. Like I said good luck to those applying. Maybe it's base on the state your in on how veterans are treated and cared for.

Edited by Michellee
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You give in and they win. Hang in there, if just for $h*ts and grins.

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Unless something has changed very recently, so recently that the rest of the VA doesn't know about it, that counselor is dead wrong about the time limit being up and there's nothing to be done.

The way the rules read, regardless of the 12 year limit, IF you have a serious employment handicap, which is obviously true in your case, you ARE eligible for VR programs, including ILP. They only have to fill out a form that they have determined you to have a serious employment handicap. Then, to get you ILP, they must determine you "Unfeasible for Employment". Just another form they fill out.

Here is a link to the explanation on the VA's site: http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/

You may want to talk to a VSO, unless you've already done so. I would think a county VSO might be of some help. Or, call your Congressman's office and either make an appointment, or find out where to send them a letter about your experience. You WILL prevail.

Edited by acesup
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