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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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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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Ace M

How many times can ILP be used? Independent Living Program

Question

I currently live in WA but will be moving to CA and wanted to find out if i should wait before utilizing ILP

I searched all over and could not find any information about it, are there any articles on the VA site that explain how many times it can be used

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The Independent Living Program is a United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program aimed at making sure that each eligible veteran is able to live independently to their maximum capacity.

The program is commonly referred to as VA ILP. The program is a two-year program that can be extended up to 28 months. There is an enrollment cap of 2700 participants per year. 

you may want to check with Alex G or check his web site  Asknod..org

  the counselors are bad about saying your not eligible, or they don't have that  ect,,,ect,,, if they do  you may want to question that...with the higher ups.

Edited by Buck52

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VR&E insists now (since 3/31/2014) after their revision (illegally) of the M 21, now the M 21-R, that you only get one shot at this in your lifetime. I've nailed two and have more in the chute as I write. If Congress didn't proscribe it, then it is not law.

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The trouble with this, Alex, is "Chevron Deference", aka the "Auer" defense,  where Agency Interpretation prevails.  So, if the VA "decides" to interpret these regulations in a totally unfavorable, and even inconsistent with the regulations as written, the agency interpretation still prevails.  

This is the same reason that "deemed denials" appear to conflict with 38 CFR 3.103, which requires a written decision:

Quote
§ 3.103 Procedural due process and appellate rights.

(a)Statement of policy. Every claimant has the right to written notice of the decision made on his or her claim, the right to a hearing, and the right of representation. Proceedings before VA are ex parte in nature, and it is the obligation of VA to assist a claimant in developing the facts pertinent to the claim and to render a decision which grants every benefit that can be supported in law while protecting the interests of the Government. The provisions of this section apply to all claims for benefits and relief, and decisions thereon, within the purview of this part 3.

In pertinet part, Ingram states:

Quote

The Court specifically referred to the following statement in Deshotel: "'Where the veteran files more than one claim with the RO at the same time, and the RO's decision acts (favorably or unfavorably) on one of the claims but fails to specifically address the other claims, the second claim is deemed denied, and the appeal period begins to run.'" Ingram v. Nicholson,

The apparent resolution between these is that Agency Interpretation prevails, and VA is allowed to indefinately postpone a decision on any Veterans claim, for any period of time.  

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2 hours ago, asknod said:

VR&E insists now (since 3/31/2014) after their revision (illegally) of the M 21, now the M 21-R, that you only get one shot at this in your lifetime. I've nailed two and have more in the chute as I write. If Congress didn't proscribe it, then it is not law.

yes, so true!  I used voc. rehab long ago and now I am in ILP and even though I was initially said I qualify the vrc was a pain and kept telling me that instead of item x, which my doctor approved and I was forced to have recommendations for every.single.thing....then she decided I had to volunteer in order to prove "improvement in my interaction with community, etc."  I said, No!  I am 100% PT with SMC L, I am not and cannot volunteer.........no, not answering phones, no not anything else......Also, they refused to allow me an avocation stating it had to be something I had done in the previous 12-14 months.  I had been too sick to do anything other than try to seek and fight for care for myself, with the help of my spouse, my congressman.   I gave up on the avocation part because they insist that 12-24 month deal is something I cannot fight??   Guess if you come home really screwed up and end up in Walter Reed for a couple years focusing on surgeries and rehab then you just don't get the benefit of you ILP helping you with a avocation that is suited to your ability and accommodates your disabilities.  ILP is a mess, a hot mess, imo and if you get into the program and actually receive some of the things to make you a little more independent and live a more fulfilling life you are one of the lucky few 😞

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Chevron deference (in regulations) can only extend to what Congress has not explicitly addressed. Just because Congress did not specify that ILP is a one-shot deal, the Secretary is not free to refashion a new interpretation. Another aspect few recognize is that if VA has a documented history of deciding claims (or interpretation of 38 USC §3120), it counts heavily against them should they attempt to refashion a new interpretation. They have to justify why the newer "interpretation" is more applicable than the old one. I severely doubt they could do that if called out. I just refiled a NOD with the Director VRE on the denial of a larger greenhouse. In it, I also NOD'ed the missing 240VAC composting water closet and the two-year subscription to Lexis Nexis VBM they authorized.

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