Get Over $300,000 For College Education

It’s true. VA Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment will pay up to $300,000 or more to retrain veterans that qualify for additional benefits beyond 48 months. How do I know this is true? Great question.

I first used VA Voc Rehab to get an undergrad degree at a “high cost” university. High cost means the tuition is more than $25,000 per year. Now, I am working to complete a law degree. I recently added up the total benefits I will receive by the time I’m finished with law school: over $300,000. I’m not alone. There are a few of us out there who have received great degrees and training after pushing through the system to get the benefits we deserve.

How do I know this? Searching through many, many Board of Veterans Appeals rendered over the years will shed light on your situation. For me, I had to learn the hard way and read through my file before realizing VA counselors had misled me over the years.

How did I get my file? Simply request your file under the authority of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I called VA a year ago with questions about requesting documents and other information from VA Voc Rehab. The operator’s response to me was shocking. She was unaware VA was responsible to US veterans! To her, disabled veterans are responsible to put up with the authority of VA. Request your file… What? Point being, you are in charge of your case. If you want your file, send a request to your regional office via Certified Mail with Return Receipt. Include a letter claiming your FOIA rights and request a copy of your file. They will usually send it within 60 days. This is where your claim or appeal will begin if you’re unhappy with your claim’s progress, or lack there of.

What are the possibilities? You can receive anything ranging from an Associated Degree to a PhD. I have personally spoken with disabled vets who have been approved for medical school, flight school, and the like. These are not cheap degree programs. Like law school, medical school can be very costly. If you can get VA funding, you’ll be in great shape post residency. It really depends on your specific needs, aptitudes and situation. There exist specific rules your case must fall within to qualify. And, it must be presenting in a way that is friendly and cooperative. Just asserting that you think you deserve something will usually land your case in the round file.

Email questions to: [email protected].

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  1. I am a 100% permanent and total disabled Vet with Lou Gehrig’s as of about a year ago. I already have several AAS degrees I have a Bat. in HR, a masters of applied technology. As my time on this earth may be limited. I do not want to waste it laying around feeling sorry for myself but want to apply for a JD and actually pass the Bar if I live that long. As I am way under the 12 year rule do you think that there is a way to go after my goal. I will have to follow an online university but that would work the best for me. I just managed to do battle with the huge amount of paperwork for a handicap van and a upgrade of my home to make it handicap. So that all came to 150,000.00 but being as I already have a lot of credits towards any degree I go for.

  2. If you get your MSW but can’t find work within six months of graduating because of disabilities can you go back to Vocrehab for more than 48 months to get a PhD?

  3. Get with you school VA them everything. I mean all of your attempted correspondence with your case manager you unpaid classes ect. Then find out who your congressman is and explain everything to them l. Just like when you were in service your congressman will help get this straightened out.

  4. I am so happy that I ran into your site. I am a veteran, and I am 60% service connected. I am 35 years old, parent of two little ones. Ive been in vocational rehab for four years and I am about to finish my Bachelors degree. The first 3 years was amazing, my counselor helped me with everything I needed, now I was changed to a new counselor for about a year and it has been HELL. If I need help for example to see the dentist I need to send her 10 emails to be able to get a response ( 10 emails within a month period) she never answers the phone and never calls me when I leave her voice mails. Now what really has been getting me to be honest ticked off is that my vocational rehab payment has been non existant for the past couple of months and my last two classes has not been paid. Even I was told to apply for financial aid, by other vets at school and it shows sent but the funds have magically dissapeared because my counselor didnt pay for the classes…(is this normal?) Each time I send her an email, she writes me back with kind of nasty comments. And even on one ocassion I wrote her an email telling her that sadly I depend on the funds, I do not work (not because I dont want to but because there is nothing out there) I am severely deppressed and even my doctor had to increase my meds because of all this mess my depression and anxiety is getting out of control. I dont miss school and my GPA is pretty decent (3.10) and her response on her email was and I quote “Oh, ok”
    In this case, what can you recommend? Ive tried speaking with supervisors, Ive sent emails and no one is helping me. I am really frustrated and deppressed because of this situation..dont know what to do and I am loosing hope… any help would be greatly appreciated.

  5. I am a 10% disabled veteran due to appendix scaring. I am applying for Voc Rehab, is the medical issue more important to prove or the need for retraining or both?

  6. I just found your site. Thanks up front. I certainly hope it’s still active. I’m a 56y/o, 60% rating. been Voc Rehab since Aug 07. But it is not all consecutive. I had a 2 year break because of personal issues. I have a concern that even though I was not attending school my counselor kept my file active and actual school enrollment will be 24 months, she may count the break time towards the 48 months. How’s that work? I will soon finish my program at Michigan State. And want to relocate to the SW and continue in the VR program in a different school and a different, but related field which I can substantiate to her the two fields tie together eventually. I am currently finishing Turfgrass management for golf and the next field is business for hospitality. On a resume it looks good to a golf course. I know how to grow the grass and I know how to manage the food and booze. I’ve mentioned the relocation and my hospitality intentions from day one to my counselor. If I leave the state she’s not my counselor any more so I don’t know why she would have any grief if I pursue my plan. But her and I have bumped heads from day one also. I would like some insight and guidance. And I have many, many more questions. Please reply. Thanks.

  7. Hi Ben,

    I was approved for 100 percent for Meniere’s disease in 1998. Voc Rehab paid for a BS in Psychology degree. While in Washington, DC., Voc Rehab approved MHR degree. Once I relocated to Texas the voc rehab counselor called in a Vocational Rehab Panel (VRP). First, he cancelled my benefits, although he did not terminate me in the program. Then he called in the VRP, who determined that I needed one year and then they will re-evaluate my claim to see if I can continue. They determined that my disability was too severe to train. They said that since I cant work, I cant go to school. Is this fair? Sounds like discrimination due to my disability to me. My question is can I appeal the panel’s decision before 1 year. I want to go to school in the fall. I was denied a PHd in psychology and settled for MHR degree. I would like a PhD or PsyD degree. I am applying now and would like to attend in the fall. Any words of wisdom for me?

    Thanks, Denise

    1. You can certainly appeal any decision you do not agree with made by your counselor. Talk to a Veteran Service Officer in your area to start that process. Counselors do not have unilateral power to cancel training. It is possible he didn’t follow the rules relating to situations like that. One thing to consider is that 100% disabled veterans are eligible for student loan forgiveness. It may be something worth looking into for yourself.

      1. Hi Ben, I have since been approved to complete thee MHR program. I’m one of the many veterans who has been persistent and I am quite familiar with the VA appeals council’s website. I am now in the process of applying for that PHD in psychology and will let you know how that goes!. Thanks for all you do.
        PS. I am familiar with the loan forgiveness Program.

  8. Ben,

    Thanks for setting up this forum. Couple of quick questions since I’m less familiar with the ch. 31 benefits. Here’s a quick run down on me:

    -Have a BS in electrical engineering (paid for under R.O.T.C)
    -Have a 30% disability rating
    -Awarded 100% coverage on the post 9/11 G.I. Bill
    -Recently Accepted into a top ranked MBA program in New York

    The annual tuition for the MBA program is around $55,000. The GI Bill will cover around $22,000 of that (that includes yellow ribbon benefits).

    My initial impression of the ch. 31 benefits was that the G.I. was a better option for me. I’ve tried finding jobs in the technology field using my electrical engineering degree, but since my work experience was with the infantry (I was an infantry officer), no one will hire me. Almost all recruiters have told me to get an MBA (which is what I am doing now) and then come back to talk to them. My worsening seizure disorder (which is what I get disability for) has made it impossible to continue my current line of work as a government contractor working overseas jobs. This reality has been the driving force behind my decision to go back to school and get an MBA.

    My questions:
    1. In my situation, is the GI Bill or ch. 31 benefits better for me?
    2. Is my explanation above a reasonable justification for Ch. 31 benefits?

    Thanks again for setting up this forum. We all appreciate you insight.

  9. All of your feedback and recommendations for vets is great. I have been awaiting my initial rating from the VA for eight months, having filed everything almost four months prior to my retirement date. I completed all of my exams over six months ago and the only communication received from the VA was at the end of January 2011 stating they were still working on it. I recently had carpal tunnel and tendon release surgery recently, though cannot apply for 100% for the recovery period because I still have do not have an initial rating. I have severe sleep apnea, so it is fairly safe to say it will be at least 50%, though there are numerous other issues; the MTF sent 6 volumes of medical records to the VA. I am about to move to begin law school and worried that my case will get pushed out even further. I would appreciate any recommendations you may have. Thanks!

  10. Ben,

    It’s completely awesome that you’re taking the time to share and help us other Disabled Vets. Thank you very, very much.

    I was originally awarded only 10% dissability back in early 1994, but it was increased a few years back to 60%. And, I’m in the final stages of a several new claims that I’m confident will increase my rating to 80-90% by the end of this year.

    I used GI BIll in the 90’s to earn my AA. Then, via an “Appeal”, I was awarded Voc Rehab late last year (2010). I’m currently a 4.0 student and I’ve completed about 10 clasess. I will earn my BA in the summer of 2012. It will take me less than 20 months to earn this BA in Project Management.

    Does this mean I will have 28 months left (of the 48 months you mentioned) for Voc Rehab? My goal is to get approved by Voc Rahb for a Masters Degree in Business (not necessrily an MBA, but maybe) or to go to Law School.

    Is there any advice you can provide me to help me make a case for this to my Counselor? My Counselor is really cool, supportive, and wants to help me out. But, she obviously needs to follow protocols, so I think I just need to help her, help me. How do I do this?

    Again, thanks very, very much for taking the time to help us all out.


  11. I want to get an advanced real estate investors program, with a mentoring program paid for. It is pretty expensive, BUT comes with a certificate and a written guarantee. I am 43% disabled through the military. I am still going through the process with the VA, but am supposed to be a minimum of 50% VA disabled. Is this something they will pay for?

    I lost a successful family business due to my health / disablilties. I already have successful business experience.

  12. hello, i am a 10% disabled veteran due to Lunbar sprain, i am trying to get voc. rehab. i have been trying since 2004, i have exhausted my GI Bill and Post 911 bill. I have a certificate in Welding and a Associate in Applied Science for Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, due to having a lumbar sprain I am unable to stand,sit, lift(anything for long time) or sleep in certain positions, because of this i can’t get a job bcause employers feel that i wont be able to handle the job. what do i need to do to qualify for voc. rehab??

  13. I was seen today for the first time by a VA Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. I am a 20% disabled veteran for lumbar strain. I was told that because I had already exhausted my GI Bill benefits I would only be able to receive an additional 12 months of benefits under voc. rehab without being declared to have a severe employment handicap which would allow for additional training. The counselor told me that in order to do that he would not be able to justify allowing me to go to school for nursing since it would be a contradiction to say I have a severe employment handicap for my lumbar strain and then put me into a nursing program. I have an accounting degree but am unable to find suitable employment in the area which I now live, and am unable to relocate, and have lost the desire to pursue this career track any longer. I am already enrolled in college for nursing and was looking to the VA as a source to finance my education that would lead to a career in the medical services industry which we were told at the time of our counseling appointment was a high demand field and they put people into these programs all the time. It doesn’t make much sense to me cause just about every disability would in some way impair an individual seeking work in any health services position. I don’t know what steps I should take from here or if there is any information that I may be able to find to help me appeal this decision. The information which was sent to me when my initial disability decision was sent to me was very vague and today’s counseling session was no help. The only thing the counselor told me was that I would receive a written copy of the decision and my only option would be to appeal his decision.

  14. I was recently going to school on the Post 9-11 G.I. Bill in New York to become a chef. My benefits under the program ran out, and prior to starting the program at this school, I was told that it would be possible to switch to Voc Rehab in order to finish my training. I am still under the 48 month mark and the counselor I spoke to over the phone has stated that he can not and will not help me due to several reasons. First they said that they could not help me because I was now living in WA state, I had to return home after my externship program for school was finished. Second they said that they would not help me finish my training because I had already completed an associates degree in a related field. The counselor was rather rude and did not seem like he was interested in helping me at all.

    In order to complete my externship for school, I left the state for several months to conduct my externship in California. During this time I applied to the Voc Rehab program, which was mishandled. They shut down my case due to the fact that they did not send my paperwork or notices out to the correct address (I checked my paperwork and it was their error). Prior to this I had applied and qualified for the program once before, but switched to chapter 33 as it was more fit to cover my program.

    So now I have half my culinary degree, no job, and a lot of wasted time because my counselor here in WA told me to just sit tight while my paperwork was being sent up from CA (which by the way it never was!)

    Can anyone out there help me out or point me in the right direction? I want what everyone else wants, to simply have gainful employment and a career. Neither of the counselors I have spoken to have been very helpful and mostly seem like they flat out don’t care. Can a VA counselor approve me for a school outside of my region or is this out of their ability? I have read that they can approve me for beyond the 48 month limit if I need more training in my field or training in a new field. At this point I’m not even sure what my best course of action would be.

  15. I see in one of you posts you said that you know people that use the VOC Rehab for selfemployment. Do you know how to go about doing that and what do they provide?

  16. Hi, I am in the chap. 31 voc rehab. I will getting my BS degress in Human Services in Dec. 2011. I was told I have until 2015 to use up my education benefits. I have the opportunity to attend grad school, or Law school. My case worker said we will pay for grad school in social work, but Law school is very expensive. Right now I am disabled retired from my job since 10/20/2009 do to my toes, but my herniated disc in my back is service connected. I also have two bulging disc in the neck. What do you think about law school?

  17. Thanks.. appreciate the input….. I figured that if your going to make a directional change, give it 100%… I didn’t mention my age (LoL) – means I dont have time to reloop, want to get something and stick with it until she starts singing… Anyway, that for the tightening ref, I guess they are tighting the purse strings…At any rates, thank you much… Ill figure something out (SC over 50%) and must do something good…long lasting….. and forwardly investable…. Take care

  18. Ben,

    I have to take my hat off to you and say thank you for hard-charging at the much needed areas of help that vets of america can use. I have a difficult situation that borders on one of the following three alternatives:

    (A) Becoming a professor in a “critical field”: I have the VA paying for a finance certification/license course, and requested that they finance a Masters in Finance curriculum that would take an additonal 6 months after I complete the license course (I had self-paid for another masters before applying, and the courses will tranfer, reducing the num ber of master’s courses needed for the degree). According to my counselor, they agree (but I had to stick-it-to-em) to support the masters in finance..

    Questions regarding (a): (1) My question asks, ” Since I already had a masters in another unrelated field that would not make me employable, and they agreed to finance the finance degree; Can I have the VA pay for a PhD in finance if I can demonstrate that one has to be a PhD to become a finance professor, and have almost 30 months of benefits left? (2) If I can demonstrate that a PhD in finance program usally recruits from candidate pools of 730 GMAT scoreres, can I get them to pay for a GMAT review course? (3) Last, If I wanted to make some living expense money on the side by providing consulting services to undergradute students, small business, and individuals, that only yielded marginal amounts of money (500 – 1000 month), can I set-up a consulting business, and get the seed-money ($2,500 – $3,000) needed to open up shop while remaing on the main MSF/PHD track?

    (B) Becoming a Professor by way of Law School: As explained above, I want to become a professor within the finance field.

    Questions pertaining to (b): (1) can I enrolll in Law School after completing my MS (finane) with the justification of completing a law degree to teach (finane/accounting/business law) at the university level? (2) if I decide to pursue Law school, Should I apply directly to law school instead to getting another masters after I get the licence – basically, after getting a license, should I pursue a professorship by way of law instead of a master, in order to increase the chances of getting vocrehab support? (3) if it is possible, from the VA’s perspective, will the VA pay for a LSAT review course, if I can justify that programs in the area accept students wih high LSATS?

    (C) Working in film-production: I wanted to pursue a career in producing documentary film, however, I would be satisfied teaching the specifics about the fiance, business aspects ofdocumentary film makin.

    Questions pertaining to (c): (1) If I wanted the VA to pay for a film degree (Masters in Fine Arts (MFA)), would the justifcation that “teaching finance or accounting” in the industry be sufficent enough for them to pay for a 1 1/2 year degree ( or dual business/arts MBA/MFA degree) in film production? (2) If its a long-stretch of learning finane to geting a degree in film production to teach finance in film production, please explain, or advise on getting support for film career through vocrehab?

    I think my Vocrehab counselor is a nice person, but she is also cheap and hides all kinds of benefits, such as paying for a computer, software, and miscellaneous items – and on one occassion I had to drive long-disstance to take a course. I had to almost threaten her to pay for my books,because she said that she is evaluated based on how much money she saved and that she didn’t want to spend too much money since I am working on a Masters degree. I think its bolongnia, and that her bonus may be tied to some cost cuttign presentatino she makes to her director. Anyway, she stated that the VA will start laying off because money is drying up and that the VA is hesistant about paying for premium schools like LAW, Medical, Pilot, and PhD programs. Please let us know the deal! I think its said to read about all the grants that are made with federal monies to assist foreign students and the VA (whohires non vets) to deny veterans an opportunity to goto medical, dental, pilot, PhD, veterinary, and other premium programs to represent the nation… Thanks.. Appreciate (revigored)

    1. You have a ton of questions about Voc Rehab here that I cannot fully answer. Really, you need to pick a direction and the move toward that goal, whatever it is. Right now, there are some rumors that the program is being “tightened” due to budget issues. So, who really knows. However, I would suggest not to be cute with the different options. If you want entry level employment as a college professor, then move in that direction. Now, being a college professor in various areas of study like business or finance are dependent on the school you attend or having some miracle story of business genius. Becoming a law professor requires that you attend a top 14 school and graduate at the top of that class. It’s very very difficult to do. Then, if you’d like to teach sociology or something like that at the college level, it may not be as difficult because you can attend many different state universities and still teach somewhere.

      If Business or Law are two areas you feel passionately about, then I would take the LSAT or GMAT just to get a good gauge on where you’re at. Then pick a direction. But, the likelihood of approval for what you’re seeking up front will be very hard. Additionally, if you are able to get into a top school, you may receive scholarship money and not need the VA to finance anything.

  19. If a veteran has used 48 months and also is outside the 12 years window and his disability worsens to deem him a serious employment handicapp can he get additional benefits?

  20. Ben,
    I used my Post 9-11 GIBill benefit to pay for my MSA degree up to the last 5 classes. My Post 9-11 GIBill ran out and Voc Rehab picked up the last 5 courses. I need to change my degree to MSW degree and have a typed supporting letter from my supervisor stating that I have reached my maximum potential in my current field and in order to advance I need an MSW degree. What is the possibility of my Voc Rehab Counselor approving this second degree when they only paid for 5 classes for my MSA degree?

  21. Thomas Nelson – You can use Voc-Rehab for commercial flight Training. I was approved for it. You must have your Private License first.

  22. Mr. Krause,
    I will finish my BS in the fall and I used the post-911 GI bill. When I first started college I was using voc-rehab but I realized using the GI bill was more convenient. I want to continue my education and get a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. Can I get assitance from VA Voc Rehab to pay for my Master’s degree?

    Thank you!

  23. Is there any way to extend your benefit if you have used the 48 months?
    I will be receiving my BS in my 48th month – but job prospects don’t look good.
    I was lucky enough to get a job – but in Social Work as an admin assistant, nowhere close to what I went to school for. Now what.
    Thanks for giving up your time to answer our questions.

  24. I was told by my voc rehab rep that since i had completed my associate degree that i could no longer recieve any more assistance from voc rehab. Is this true?

  25. Ok so I am just completely confused about the GI Bill and VocRehab. Ive been separated for a year now and I have recieved a 60% rating. I am currently in school and using the 9-11. I went to my voc rehab orientation and talked to the counselor and from her explanation I am better off with the 9-11. But Im reading all these posts and blogs and am now questioning my decision. Do you recieve more benefits with voc rehab? Im in a community college now for my associates but plan on pursing my degree all the way up. So in the long run what would be the better program? All this is new to me and the day I left the VA for orientation was the last time I even thought about it and that was a couple of months ago. Then a long lost navy friend of mine said she was using voc rehab and told me all the advantages which has begun my research. Any information would be helpful. Thank you.

  26. Hi, Thankyou for your great amout of information you share with us. I have been searching the internet for this kind of information. The one question that I havent found is can a son of a 100 % disabled Vet. get help to pay for Law school . My our son has his BA , is 29 , would like to go to Law school . Any information you can send our way is appreciated. Thanks , Lauren

  27. Mr. Krause, i am really enjoying this site, however, i posted a comment on one of the pages that can seem to be able to pull up again. My name is Michael Clark….could you possibly help me out?

  28. Can a veteran who receives their BA through chapter 31 benefits get further funding from the VA through chapter 31 for Graduate School, if they can not get hired because all jobs available to them require a Masters degree or higher?

  29. Paul, are you currently attending training under VR? If so, what is the Vocational Goal on the IWRP? Finally, did you have the rating of 80% when you were approved for Ch31?

    If you want, email me at [email protected]

    Will, I’m assuming you’ve had your meeting at VR and it has been resolved. If you’d like any advice, email me.

    Please put something like “VA VR question” in the Subject.

  30. I am due to complete my B.S. in Business Administration in two semesters. My wishes have always been to go to lawschool. When I ask my voc rehab councelor about paying for lawschool she said no. She told me my entitlement time of 48 months will not cover law school. How do I convience the voc rehab councelor to extend my benefits? I am rated at 80%. 30 PTSD, 10 Hearing loss, 50 Sleep apnea. My councelor claims that my dissabilities will not hinder work in the business managment field and thats why she will not extend the benefits.

  31. Again, thanks for your continued advice. I currently have applied three times went through the process took all the inventory tests and was told I qualified. I requested a plan of training that included a BSN that would matriculate to a MSN program (advance practice nurse practitioner) I qualified for (SEH) then received a sticky note tab attached to a new application from my counselor requesting me to reapply. Confused ?? I applied again on VONAPP and have a new appointment letter requesting evidence. Its the same Jack wagon I met with and administered the aptitude, IQ and skills assessments. I have about four classes needed to meet the prerequisites for the accelerated BSN program and want to matriculate straight into the
    MSN program. The goal being family nurse practitioner. I was told by this counselor that they will only pay for one program. I used your previous posts to format an appeal to his confusions as to the CFR pointing out the coursework needed to qualify are allowed. I have the appointment on the 4th so just seeking any advise or and directions to cases that might provide me verbal advantage.
    Thanks in advance,

  32. been trying for over a year to get someone from voc rehab to contact me but no one 100% veteran who wants to go to a taxidermy school.can anybody help?

    1. I know that people have been approved by VA Voc Rehab for taxidermy self-employment, not sure about school. I would write them a letter. Send it via certified mail with return receipt. In the letter, just explain the facts as you know it, such as when you first contacted Voc Rehab and what you were told.

      They HATE signing people up for self employment, which is kind of what your request is. So, it’s possible the intake counselor just ignored your request and moved on to a more simple case.

  33. Hello! Is it uncommon to max-out the 48 months of entitlement, and some how get more months if you need a few more months to finish a 4-year degree or if you want to try to go to a graduate school?

  34. I used VA Voc Rehab the first time to get my MBA after using my GI bill to get my BS. Now I need a technical degree (BSE, EE, ME etc…) to keep my current job. Can I successfully reapply to Voc Rehab a second time to get my BSE? How does that work?

    1. From what I’ve been told by the program, it’s very tough to get back into the program after getting a degree to get another degree in order to hold a job you currently have.

      Knowing that, you can always still apply. Check 38 CFR Part 21.284 and Appeals Guide 5 to get your file ready for a Voc Rehab review.

  35. hello. i am two classes away from completing my undergraduates degree under voc rehab. i have currently maxed the 48 month time of education assistance. i applied for the post 9/11 gi bill. i was denied because i have maxed my 48 month entitlement for education assistance. my question is if my service compensation disibality has worsend can voc rehab extend my education assistance for me to get a masters degree? i started out at 30 % now i am 100%. please help

  36. I just Obtained my Associates of science in Drafting and Design from ITT Tech, and i am in the process of applying to UH school of architecture to obtain a batchelors. After which i plan to go for master in space architecture I have yet to get a VA rating, which i am working on right now. Should i contact a VOC rehab councelor asap, or do i have to wait until i get a VA rating? I was discharged from the army with a medical discharge. Anyone who knows what i should do please email me. Thank you.

  37. First, let me say thank you, as I have found this site to be very informative. Currently, I have a MBA degree and would like to continue my eduation. My Voc Rehab counselor is stating that they can not pay for anymore education for me, not an advanced degree or even a degree or training in another field. He also states that they only help with starting a business if you are in a wheelchair. I would like one of these options, to go back to school or receive funding assistance to start a business. Currently, I receive 40% disability but they are now reviewing my file for more. My non-VA physician has stated I do not need to work in certain jobs, but my Voc Rehab counselor is saying all they can do is assist in getting me a job in my field, although that is not my desire and my psychologist is stating I need to change fields. What are my options now? They are refusing everything.

  38. VA Voc Rehab should consider you to have a serious employment handicap. This means there is no time limit on the benefits from Voc Rehab. Normally, there is a 12 year time limit from when you are first deemed disabled. In addition, you should be entitled to get an advanced degree. The reason for this is because the 48 month limit on education benefits is lifted if you require more benefits to overcome your disability. The trick will be to get Voc Rehab to approve you once you have the TDIU rating. They seem to not like doing this.

  39. In 1999 I was awarded 30% disability (up from 10%) and was told to finish my Associates w/ my G.I. Bill since I was almost done and then I could use Voc. Rehab. to get my Bachelors in Business since most of my AAS in Industrial Engineering would transfer to a BS in Business. I was recently granted Indiv Unemployment for several factors with the DAVs help. Am I still able to recieve any type of educational benefits to go back to school for something else or how do I find out what I qualify for – even the “up to $100000 to start a business. I had a sucessful business for several years until my disabilitys prevented me from do the work myself. I didnt have the funds to train my helpers to be able to do even most of the work necessary to keep the business going. I’d like to earn a degree that I could use to work OR get the money to start a business I know and could run.

  40. I was paid by VA Voc Rehab for an Undergraduate. Then in south Florida they did not want to pay for my Masters. A year ago I moved to north Florida, and I got a great Voc Rehab Counselor. He said, “That is not true. You are entitled to a higher degree if you still have weeks left and you have benefit for an additional 12 months.” So they are paying for my Masters that I will be finish in November. I will say do your homework. Look into the documents they gave you and do pleanty of reseach because depending who you get they may say “NO.”

  41. Also, where and how do I get this appealed? I firmly believe that the VocRehab her does not want to help. Is there a hotline or group that could help with my case. I am even still having to pay for my service connected medication. You serve your country and you get treated like second class citizens, thank God for people like you!

  42. So this means I can go to ATP (Airline Transport Professionals) or Phoenix East Aviation Inc. to become a comercial airline pilot, or does this mean that I have to go to some University that has flight traing as part of it’s curriculm but is not set up for someone who wants to become a comercial airline pilot?

  43. I was told today, just two hours ago that the VocRehab will NOT pay for Commercial flight school. In fact the VocRehab counselor said” that who ever wrote that is a lier” What can i do? He suggested that I use the G.I.Bill, but that only covers so much. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Tom,

      It would appear your counselor is mistaken. A quick search through VA Board of Appeals cases will render numerous situations where the veteran has appealed some denial involving flight school. Plus, I have a buddy of mine who is doing it right now.

      In addition, 38 CFR Part 21.134 specifically talks about flight school:

      § 21.134 Limitation on flight training.

      Flight Training approved under Chapter 31 may only be authorized in degree curriculums in the field of aviation that include required flight training. This type of training is otherwise subject to the same limitations as are applicable to flight training under Chapter 30.

      (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3680A(b))

      Since this was written by Congress, I think it’s pretty clear that Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment DOES pay for flight school so long as it is part of a degree seeking program.

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