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I just applied for voc rehab but am unsure what to expect. I have 20% for chronic foot pain and depression (38 USC Section 1702 active psychosis) that has developed into a pretty serious bipolar 1 disorder with psychotic features . My chief problem is the bipolar, but it isn't rated yet. I haven't been able to work for 3 years now, and prior to that all I could manage were part-time jobs which lasted a few months before my symptoms worsened and I had to quit. Will voc rehab recognize the depression/bipolar during their evaluation, or only the foot since it has a service connected rating? I'm currently appealing my bipolar claim to the DRO, in what ways could voc rehab hurt or help my case? My bipolar depression has been debilitating. I rarely leave the house, and when I do I become extremely anxious in social settings and can only leave for short periods at a time. Once home the anxiety eases up but I still feel worthless, guilty, unmotivated, SI, and random crying fits. I spent a week at the mental health unit last month to try and get some improvement, but it didn't really help much. I'd ultimately like to try and finish my degree, but I have failed or withdrawn from every class I took the past 3 years (knocking my GPA from 3.78 to 3.2) so I don't think that's a viable option right now. Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm 32 by the way, not the normal college age if that matters.
I was able to use voc rehab when i was only 20% service connected myself. If i remember correctly one of the major deciding factors was basically the need for re-training into a different job. For me before the USCG most of my work was security which involves prolonged periods of standing. My knee was injured in the USCG to the point where prolonged standing is very painful.
I think one thing that will be important for you will be for you to look into different career arena's and try to find one that will likely work best with you to minimize the issues that you have. It seems in many ways that a job that allows you to primarily work from home would be the way to steer. You know you best though, i would simply say to build a case on a career field that will play to your strengths the most and look into what degree path will be best. You can also explore possible certifications. I went into networking myself. So I got a bachelors in networking and to make myself more competitive i got a network + a security + and a ccna cert. It helped me get the job i currently have in networking.
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