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Counselor says IU gets removed once VRE is granted

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LadyJ218

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Howdy yall. I am so confused right now. I am 100% TDIU and I had a meeting with the counselor today and he told me that as soon as they grant my VRE that I will lose my IU. I've searched high and low for threads here and reddit and just the internet in general and I cannot find anyone saying that you will immediately lose your IU by being granted VRE. I totally understand losing it after getting back to work, but losing it just to go to training seems odd. I asked if there was a CFR and he mentioned looking into it.

Any links to this regulation? I'm at a complete loss for words. I was blindsided by this, on my birthday no less.

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Exactly, broken soldier.  If I want an opinion on whether or not I should go through with the hernia surgery, I should ask someone with experience and knowledge treating herina patients, not my next door neighbor's 17 year old son who has never had a job in his life.  Your voc rehab counselor probably isnt trained in Veterans law, either.  

Further, even if my next door neighbor was a practicing hernia surgeon, professionals often vary widely in their opinions, and, its your job to sort out which opinion(s) make the most sense for you.  

Edited by broncovet
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I Beleave that they will have you sign a contract that you want to go back to work. What they will do is an assessment on you  to determine if you are capable of going back to work. if they do that could be used to take away your UI.

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Nope. You aren't employable just because you are in VRE. You migh not even finish. And if you do, you might not end up employed, or, employed for long. Your normal protections are still in play also, so even  if your IU went  away eventually your rating and SC are still covered under 5,10,20 yr rule. 

 

I was rated at 60 when I started VRE, and 80 at ther end of it 4 yrs later. 

Edited by brokensoldier244th
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brokensoldier has it correct. "Until/unless" you earn over the poverty threshold (that is, substantial gainful employment", in the most recent calendar year) your tdiu should not be removed.  

There are a lot of unanswered questions, as brokenspoke indicated.  

1.  Will you finish VRE?  (Not all do).

2.  Will you find SGE as a result? (not all do)

3.  Will you be able to stay on the job, continuing to earn SGE for 12 months?  Not all do.  

     Social Security will send VA a note at the end of the year how much you earned in the past 12 months, not how much they think you will earn next year.  How much you will earn next year, or whether or not you can get a job after training is "highly speculative" and involves a lot of guessing.  However, how much you earned in the past 12 months is not speculative..its a fact and verifiable.  

     Disability compensation is paid "in arrears".  You dont get paid because "you think" you wont be able to earn money next year.  Or even because you lost your job, and cant get that job back.  To get tdiu, you need to demonstrate you cant do "ANY" job, not just your past job.  

     Example:  You work in a warehouse, moving boxes.  You injure your back, and your doctor says its at least as likely as not due to an event in service, which injured your spine.   You apply for tdiu because your doctor says you can lift over 20 pounds, and this job says you must be able to lift 50 pounds without help.  Good to go?  NO.  Just because you work in the warehouse and you cant do that job any more, does not preclude you from doing another job, for example as a computer programmer where the heaviest thing you have to lift is a pen.  

     Many Vets get burned by this example.  It sounds like they got it.  Doc says he is unable to work due to a service connected condition of the spine.  NO.  Your doctor did not opine you cant do ANY job, he said you cant work in a warehouse.  Your doctor is not trained to know if you are a candidate to be trained for another occupation.  

     A Voc rehab specialist is so trained.  You may or may not be able to be retrained as a computer programmer.  The Voc rehab specialist can work up a review to see if you are a good candidate for retraining.  

     Example A.   You are a college graduate, and you have taken computer classes and done well at them.  You even finished an OLD COBOL programming class in college, and have shown you are probably capable of learing complex programming skills.  

    Example B.  You dropped out of high school at age 14, dont read well, no computer skills, no math skills.  You were failing your classes in high school, and you dont know how to turn a computer on, let alone know how to run it.  The voc rehab specialist may well opine your are "not" a good candidate for retraining as a computer programmer or accountant, because your background does nothing to predict that computer classes will likely succeed, and the government will be wasting money sending you to computer school, because, in the voc rehab specialists opinion, you are not a candidate to succeed at this occupation and other occupations are equally implausable, or impossible for you to learn.  You dont know the alphabet well, and just are not at a level to be able to perform complex math, and thinking needed for programming, you have always worked with your hands, and never any type of work which suggests you can suceed.  

      The Voc rehab specialist can write an IMO (opinion) as to whether or not your can be retrained.  The voc rehab specialsit, with his training and experience, can act as an "expert witness" to your ability/lack of ability to be retrained.  

Its pretty easy for most of us to see "Candidate A" is likely to be able to be a programmer, due to his background and experience, while Candidate A, is highly unlikley able to succeed at retraining for a computer programmer or ANY job which does not need his back to work.  

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Its "concerning" that VA often does stuff like this.  There should be a law against it.  He is giving legal advice on Veterans law, and is likely incompetent to do so, "unless he has a law degree and experience in Veterans law".  Therefore his testimony/advice is rather useless, and will discourage you from maximizing your potential, out of "fear of losing TDIU".  

Oh, and no, Im not an attorney either, so seek professional opinions, not my unsubstantiated lay opinion, I have not read your file and suggest checking with a NOVA attorney, who would likely give you professional advice, and most Vets law attorney's do not even charge for the initial consultation/case evaluation.  Several law firms have given me valuable advice, even when I have not hired them over the years.  You can find an experienced Veterans law attorney here:

https://www.vetadvocates.org/cpages/sustaining-members-directory

You can, and should, seek out other opinions from Veterans advocates on this issue, and I would encourage you to do so, rather than accept this advice at least two of us suggest is flawed.  

 

Edited by broncovet
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1 minute ago, broncovet said:

Its "concerning" that VA often does stuff like this.  There should be a law against it.  He is giving legal advice on Veterans law, and is likely incompetent to do so, "unless he has a law degree and experience in Veterans law".  Therefore his testimony/advice is rather useless, and will discourage you from maximizing your potential, out of "fear of losing TDIU".  

Oh, and no, Im not an attorney either, so seek professional opinions, not my unsubstantiated lay opinion, I have not read your file and suggest checking with a NOVA attorney, who would likely give you professional advice, and most Vets law attorney's do not even charge for the initial consultation/case evaluation.  Several law firms have given me valuable advice, even when I have not hired them over the years.  

The VRE guys aren't in claims or benefits- they dont' take near the amount of training in that area- doesn't forgive their lack of knowledge since all of it is 1- in the M21, and 2. available online internally for us to cross train. Im on there all the time in my down time, what little I have, just for this reason. I like to 'know' things.

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