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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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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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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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Jimbob

Voc Rehab Benefits for STEM Grad Program

Question

Good afternoon,

I recently received my disability rating of 40% and am currently finishing up my BS in Mechanical Engineering from UCSD. I have about a year left, with a projected GPA of 3.7 and I plan on pursuing a master's degree in MechE as well, possibly at another institution. That said, these are my questions:

1)   If I get accepted for Voc-Rehab, I would like to extend these benefits to cover my master's degree, but how would I sell this to my counselor? For my field of study in particular, entering the workforce with an undergrad is all I really need, and this is a pretty well known fact. Entering the workforce with a Master's would certainly be more beneficial for me personally in that I would have a higher starting salary and similar perks, but it isn't needed to just "get a job." 

2)   I have heard of STEM majors telling their counselor that they plan on teaching at a community college or university, where having a master's or PHD is a mandatory credential (respectively). While I do NOT plan on teaching, could I use this "career path" to sell them on approving me for a graduate program, then simply "change my mind" and pursue a career in the workforce instead of teaching, just before I'm done with my graduate program? I ask because I hear these things all the time from different sources and I don't know how true they are.

3)   What kind of hard evidence / data would I need to sell my counselor on approving me for a graduate program, whether I choose to "pursue a teaching career" or directly tell them that I desire to have a Master's degree?

4)   For job placement, to what degree does the Voc-rehab program offer assistance? For example, if I have the skill sets and credentials to get a "top tier" job at a more prestigious company, how far will voc-rehab go (and how long) to work with me on getting this desired job? I ask because I don't know very much about this program and I'm envisioning it as like the California Employment Development Department where they simply place you somewhere so you're not unemployed. Hypothetically speaking, if I am willing to spend 6 months to a year to find a very desirable job at a very desirable company, do what degree will they put up with me in doing so? I already understand the reality of this situation from a workforce perspective and so I simply need feedback only as it pertains to the scope of the voc-rehab in this matter. Thanks!!

 

James Hennninger

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