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Tbird

Vocational Rehabilitation And Independent Living Services

Question

It seems that there are a variety of differences in the way Independent Living Services, perhaps by VARO 's. It seems the promise of ILS through Vocational Rehabilitation and the actual delivery of the promise is a different thing for many veterans.

I am really trying to figure out what is going on with Vocational Rehabilitation Service's I have seen posts where a veteran says they were not allowed to ask questions over the phone, had a mandatory multiple hour class with timed tests, cramped setting, and outdated material and that you must go through this before you can even find out about ILS and then some veterans are being told we use to do that, but we don't do that anymore and other veterans are getting exactly what they asked for and a little more.

So what do you think is up with this disparity? Opinions, I am honestly interested in your responses. Perhaps my perception is off. If you have gone through Vocational Rehabilitation since Jan 2010 please post your experience and your VA Regional Office, I think the results will be interesting.

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<div>Dallas VARO</div><div><br></div><div>I think that my Voc Rehab is like a little independent kingdom in the VA and they pretty much do what they want to be. Dealing with Veterans out of work and getting them jobs in the current economy has unleashed them into ILS which they can use to justify their jobs.

In Dallas they won't talk to you on the phone, they won't write letters and they do everything by appointment. Hard to drop by either they are never there.

I pretty much think that they are not much help and the people who work there have no real idea of what they can do or can't do.

My experience with them has been bad but they keep promising to help me and never do.</div>

Edited by Tbird
Added VARO to top of post for easier identification.

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My husband went through the ILS last year starting in about march 2010. This was through the satellite ILS office in Las Cruces, NM run by the Albuquerque VARO.

We submitted the form and we given an appointment to meet with the Voc Reb rep. She asked us a few questions and then let us go informing us another appointment would be made where a Voc Rehab contract worker would come and access my husband's needs in our home. After this assessment about two months later, we then had to go back to ILS oFiice in Las Cruces to sign the Voc REhab ILS PLan.

This plan included:

Adjustable Bed frame and mattress

Lift Chair

Wheelchair Ramp

Personal Organizer

Steps for the side of our truck (Sometimes called Nerf Bars)

and assistance on getting the home improvement grant through the VA, to make our bathroom more accessible.

As for what actually happened.

Bed: We got a great bed and mattress worth about $3000, but only after we argued for it and provided our own quotes.

Lift Chair: We received the lift chair about 2 weeks before the end of the program, minus the chair side table we were promised.

Wheelchair Ramp: We recieved the wheelchair ramp after complaining why it hadn't arrived yet, and were informed we had refused the ramp, (which we had not) when it arrived it did not fit our house, and was set up and left in a dangerous position, we had a friend come by and fix it. The ramp arrived 5 months after the end of our ILS program only because we personally followed up through the prosthetics department at our local VA med center.

Personal Organizer: Was sent for one consultation and one visit, which accomplished a lot in the short time, but the VA then changed there mind and refused to continue paying for her stating the veteran no longer required the services, we fought this and lost, and the personal organizer was appalled at the VA.

Steps for the side of our truck: We received these without hassle, but were required to find and get quotes for the side steps, the VA would not do it unless we did the work.

Assistance for the Home improvement grant: The contract ILS worker gave us the forms and the names of contractors three hours away, when we asked for more help to actually get the work done, when none of the provided VA contractors would travel to our location we were told to do it ourselves, and what exactly did we expect the ILS to do about it.

The program ended in October 2010, and we still haven't received the grant or been able to find a contractor for the bathroom accessibility problems.

The whole time we were in the program once a month we had a home visit from the Contracted ILS worker who assured us everything was moving along fine and we should receive our stuff that month, yeah right!

The thing I had a problem with was that the veteran was required to uphold his part of the ILS contract but the VA was not required to uphold theirs, and there was no one to contact to have this reviewed at the time. We have since found out that we can file a NOD for this just like anything else claimed from the VA but, why would we want to.....so we can work with the same imbeciles that we did last time, and get what?

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I am still in and it began in 08...went to STL VAMC after pplication sent in...watch VSR tape about 45 min. Filed out a few pages...received letter within a week accepted in program. Months later OT from Wash U came to home for 3 hrs for eval. 3 months wort of substinance volunteering at a center(as could not work) had dental care over 1 1/2 yrs all care completed...shower seat/bars in bathroom, cane, new select comfort bed, new computer, fax machine, finally had ramp and steps installed in garage and also from garage door into house 5 months ago. Still waiting for a new brace too. Am on my 3 rd counselor, the first was good, the second didn't respond to 18 emails, and the third is almost non existent...she is always at some training somewhere??

Sorry it is not post 2010 but I am still in it...prob for not too much longer maybe 36 months total??

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I am interested to know halo how your program is lasting so long.

We were told in no uncertain terms that the program lasted 6 months. When stuff still wasn't completed yet, we asked for an extension and were told we couldn't have one and that the file was closing, and if we wanted to we could file a NOD.

I am still in and it began in 08...went to STL VAMC after pplication sent in...watch VSR tape about 45 min. Filed out a few pages...received letter within a week accepted in program. Months later OT from Wash U came to home for 3 hrs for eval. 3 months wort of substinance volunteering at a center(as could not work) had dental care over 1 1/2 yrs all care completed...shower seat/bars in bathroom, cane, new select comfort bed, new computer, fax machine, finally had ramp and steps installed in garage and also from garage door into house 5 months ago. Still waiting for a new brace too. Am on my 3 rd counselor, the first was good, the second didn't respond to 18 emails, and the third is almost non existent...she is always at some training somewhere??

Sorry it is not post 2010 but I am still in it...prob for not too much longer maybe 36 months total??

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With in the past two weeks had two interviews thru VocRehab. Already college grad. Near 62. Still not really sure what the ILS program does or does not do/provide. Own my own home. Wife employed. I can not work. 70% sc. TDIU pending. Voc Rehab is pushing me towards ILS which I just do not understand. Has any one out there benefited from this? Whats up?

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