Veteran Readiness Lies

Top Lies Veteran Readiness And Employment Officials Tell Veterans

Many veterans fight with Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) to win benefits wrongly denied. Sometimes it takes veterans years before we figure out that program administrators are straight up lying to us.

Sometimes they lie to avoid work. Sometimes they lie out of principle (e.g. VR&E does not pay for graduate school.) about what the program can do for any veteran.

Want to know what those lies are before you fall victim? Are you curious to learn if you are already a victim? Want to figure out what do to about it? Good, keep reading.

Now, if you want to cut to the chase, I suggest checking out the Voc Rehab Survival Guide I wrote that helps veterans kick bad counselors in the pants on a daily basis.

But, if you’d like to focus on the lies for now, please continue…

Thousands Denied Veteran Readiness Benefits

Thousands of disabled veterans apply for Chapter 31 Veteran Readiness and Employment benefits every year.

Over the past decade, the number of applicants has almost tripled from 60,000 to 170,000. During that time, VR&E barely increased the number of Veteran Readiness Counselors hired to process veterans’ claims.

As the number of applicants has skyrocketed, the number of veterans approved for program services has stayed around 30,000 to 40,000.

So what does that tell you given the number of applicants increased?

Some veterans are successful in getting the benefits they deserve but many more applicants are not. In fact, each year the relative number of applicants being denied is well above the number approved.

In my time researching and writing about VR&E benefits (over a decade), there seems to be a common theme arising: many Veteran Readiness Counselors lie to veterans.

Many veterans are misled about what VR&E can do for them even though policies exist that contradict what counselor say. And when veterans ask about the policies or regulations, they are often greeted with blank stares or obstinate pushback.

Why Do Lies Continue?

This leads me to hypothesize that either there are informal guidelines for excuses to evade benefits grants somewhere that Veteran Readiness Counselors live by. Or, there is an underlying discussion between offices as to what excuses can be used to keep deserving disabled veterans from their benefits.

Book Of Q

The VR&E Lies conundrum reminds me of a period of my life when I spent a great deal of my recreational time researching the Bible in England. Yes, I thumped my fair share of Bibles. Still do.

Living north of London at the time, I used the ESV Bible, the Cambridge Companion to the Bible, the Nag Hammadi Scriptures, and a copy of The Living Buddha, Living Christ that my grandmother sent me. That is where my journey for truth started, well before my (mis)adventures with VA.

Over past decades, biblical scholars have found there to be such commonality between the New Testament Gospels that they came to believe a fifth text existed prior to the New Testament gospels being written referred to as “Q.” This Book of Q is believed by many scholars to be the first written gospel that contained many of the quotes and anecdotes of Jesus’ time on Earth.

A VR&E Book Of Q?

In a similar way, I cannot help but speculate that there is a similar text that creates a common set of lies Veteran Readiness Counselors tell disabled veterans when denying claims. In my searches for it, I seem only to find regulations that support veterans’ claims for benefits — strange.

Some VR&E Background

The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (VA OIG) ordered an audit of the VR&E program in 2007 and a subsequent survey sampling of 80,000 veterans. The watchdog wanted to find out why so many disabled veterans never complete the program.

While VR&E boasts a success rate of close to 75 percent to the U.S. Congress, the real number is much lower.

According to the VA OIG, the true success rate is closer to 18 percent. How does that make you feel about the program and its administrators?

Many qualified veterans drop out of Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) before developing an Individualized Written Rehabilitation Plan (IWRP). Many more drop out before finishing the program.

VR&E has not been including these cases in their reported success rate, but they have become great at jiggering the number to look good when it counts.

In Corporate America, this may be called “cooking the books,” for which people have gone to jail or been sued.

Lucky for VR&E, the officials of this ENRON of the federal government are largely blanketed by sovereign immunity. The government has to agree to let you sue the government. Convenient.

So that should give you some of the backstory to fill in the gaps and provide context. The reality is the program is dramatically understaffed and underfunded. Counselors manages caseloads that are too large.

For those counselors who lie rather than following the rules, the agency lacks accountability mechanisms to prevent lying to veterans.

Top 5 VR&E Lies

The following is a list of a few of most common fish stories given by Veteran Readiness Counselors to deny veterans access to Chapter 31 benefits:

1. Veterans with high disability ratings usually fail to complete their training.

2. You cannot use Vocational Rehabilitation if you are Individually Unemployable (IU).

3. Veterans with families have a harder time completing their programs.

4. Veteran Readiness will not pay for graduate school.

5. If you have a job, you do not qualify for Veteran Readiness.

Lies – all lies. In a VA Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Training Module Study Plan you can get plenty of valuable information about the program. Combined with the audit and survey linked above, the majority of truths to the lies can be found. So let’s raise the curtain a bit to reveal the great Oz.

Lie #1 – Veterans With High Disability Ratings Usually Fail To Complete Their Training.

Truth – The survey states that veterans with a higher disability rating also have a higher likelihood of successfully completing their program. This includes veterans with VR&E ratings of “serious employment handicap.”

Lie #2 – You Cannot Use VR&E If You Are Individually Unemployable (IU).

Truth – According to the training module, veterans with a 100 percent disability rating can and do use VR&E for retraining purposes to obtain jobs, if possible. Additionally, veterans with an IU are also allowed to use the program. Further, finishing the training program does not automatically result in a reduction of IU. Supposedly, it cannot be reduced for a year following employment.

Lie #3 – Disabled Veterans With Families Have A Harder Time Completing Their Programs.

Truth – There is no significant effect on program success rates when comparing veterans with families to those without families. This includes a comparison between veterans relating to spouses and veterans with children.

Lie # 4 – VR&E Will Not Pay For Graduate School.

Truth – I used VR&E for my undergrad and now have an Individualized Written Rehabilitation Plan stating I can attend law school in the program. ‘Nuff said. VR&E will send people to graduate school, to include law school, medical school, dental school, and airline pilot training. It can also pay for starting small businesses and allocating more than $100,000 for the start-up, according to participating SBA Veteran Business Counselors working with the program.

Lie #5 – If You Have A Job, You Do Not Qualify For VR&E.

Truth – Over 42 percent of all disabled veterans using VR&E services are employed at the time of admittance. Thirty-five percent hold jobs throughout the period of retraining. Of those, over half of them felt their current job was in line with their military and/or civilian training. So, 28,000 veterans who used VR&E for retraining were employed at the time they entered the program.

That’s the truth about the VA, according to the VA. The information is out there, but it’s not presented in a way that is readily accessible. Plus, it’s hard to pick your head up to do the research when your horns are locked with your Veteran Readiness Counselor.

To the quality counselors out there, thank you for your diligent efforts to support disabled veterans in their quest for purpose and success outside of the green uniform. And to those who dish out fish stories, I for one have had it up to my eyeballs with you. There will be a day of reckoning, in this life or the next.

Accountability will come for all the lives that have been hurt by the renegade behavior of some Veteran Readiness Counselors. Many media outlets have begun to investigate the actions of the VA, including the actions of VR&E officials. To you who do harm to vets, it’s time to be on the right side of this story.

Email questions to: help @

Good News…

Tens of thousands of veterans have benefited from this article and its updates over the years. To help really drive the lesson home, I created a free eBook you can download that not only covers the topics here but goes more in-depth into the lessons for added support. Get your copy delivered right into your inbox.

Again, if you want to support what we do and want to win your benefits, I suggest you check out our Voc Rehab Survival Guide.

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  1. I been using VA voc rehab in CA with and ED plan to transfer out of state upon getting accepted to PA school. Upon getting accepted to PA school in WA my file was send to WA. WA VA voc rehab states that they have the authority to accept or deny my case. In other words, they can cut off me off if they don’t have the resources. Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated.

  2. I went to voc rehab appointment yesterday and got approved to a law school of my choosing, including Harvard. The counselor told me they will pay for everything including LSAT prep course and bar prep course

  3. I requested a comfortable chair because of my knee injury and I don’t have money but my VRE counselor said that no way she will approve for a $300 or any chair because the doctor has to approve it. Also, I want to go to a Summer Abroad program in Spain where 2 particular classes only given there will take place, and I heard the VR&E can pay for it (the whole program). Anyone has heard of this? And lastly, how can I change counselors? I have called this lady in Waco every single day for almost 2 months and she never answers my phone calls or e-mails. Please advise. Thanks

  4. Hello All,

    Thank you, all, sincerely for having served.

    As i read, i see at the very end, “Comments are closed.” Does it mean I can’t comment at this time? Please explain since i am new to this comments section. FAQ’s on my part: do i need to upgrade my package plan with Any/all help will be greatly appreciated.

  5. Mr. Krause,

    Does your current issue of the vocational rehab book cover the ILP in detail. I ask because when I first ordered the book in 2004, it didn’t contain anything and at the time you added a few pages ( I think it was in chapter 8) concerning the program. In fairness, I will say that it has never been clear what is and isn’t allowed under the ILP . Many veterans have indicated in various vet forums what they received under the program over the years, but it appears what was allowed in say, Boston, was refused in Texas , no surprise there was no uniformity in the program between regional offices.

    So I ask again does you current book contain new information about the ILP beyond the fact that the ILP is part of the voc rehab program…..


  6. My gratitude to you, Ben, as well as to my fellow service members for your patriotism and sacrifices.

    I’m experiencing hell here on earth because of my unwavering commitment to our Constitution and to my Oath of Office. I served 12.5 years in the Navy, active duty. As a woman service member during the eighties and early nineties, it was not a piece of cake. I had to ACCEPT the conditions of a man’s world and the culture that came with it or be harassed and tormented. I was serving in the ROK and had a relapse in a medical condition right after the Gulf War. I was shipped back to the states, to Walter Reed. The crumbling of my life began. Too much to tell, but I saw a lot of suffering and mistreatment of veterans in Walter Reed until I was finally transferred to the National Naval Medical Center where I was supposed to be sent in the first place in accordance with my orders. I fought hard to remain on active duty (I had just made the early selectee list for E7 and had a package prepared for BOOST (enlisted to officer program)) and contacted chain of command, congressman, and senators as well as the news media. I was discharged to TDRL and eventually PDRL at 30% SC which was raised to 60% SC with the VA.

    in 1998, I successfully completed Chapter 31 VOCREHAB, receiving a BA in Legal Studies. I then had several paralegal jobs before I got an internship with the DoD in federal contracting. Because I refused to conform and go along with matters grave to national security as well as mass corruption and fraud being committed by contractors and universities in collusion with government personnel, I have been destroyed. SILENCED! I was threatened on a continual basis that I had better do as I was told and not ask questions! I won’t even get into the ways I have been retaliated against — non-judicial revocation of my basic civil rights as well as human rights.

    I have been blacklisted from employment even though I have applied for jobs for which I am very overqualified. I went to the VA and VOCREHAB for help. I was told by VOCREHAB that I was most probably blacklisted but I couldn’t prove it and that my claim for CH31 rehabilitation was disapproved. The counselor also fabricated to me that my VA file indicated that I was healthier than I ever was and that my disability rating was just recently decreased. I asked him what he was talking about. He said it was information contained on documents in my VA file. I asked to see the documents. He told me he didn’t have the paperwork. I checked with the VA and no such documentation of a decrease existed. I pressured him for an official denial in writing. It took two months. When I finally got it, he told me that he was “unable to overturn my rehabilitation which was already established”.

    This situation as well as others I won’t trouble you all with now have occurred at the VA (retaliation, harassment, and abuse by VA Police and certain employees at the VA hospital). The use of low level employees (i.e. newly hired “peer support specialists”, employees of the “protected class” as well as Resident or newly employed doctors at the VA is really quite devious, but clever.

    Finally, my question? Ben, if I am blacklisted and completed VOCREHAB in 1998 and haven’t worked in the legal field since 2004 and am suffering from psychological injury (PTSD) induced by the evil doers involved in retaliation, persecution and silencing for “whistleblowing” in my contracting officer (GS-13 DoD position) how am I to make a living if I do not get retrained in a field which is more difficult for the perpetrators to attack me (having my own business). I did NOT appeal the letter of denial from VOCREHAB as I feared more retaliation. I have applied for SSI and SSDI and have been denied — told that I am still able to work just not in the field I was trained or at the same level of pay. I was told by the Rhode Island state employment that I had to start all over in employment and work at McDonald’s or a Deli or something like that since I have no references for employment (all the supervisors at my last couple DoD jobs who were involved in torturing me at work conveniently retired or moved on to other agencies within two weeks of my resignation from my last job “suspension without pay since 2013” (my last DoD contracting position). Silence is the enemy of truth, yet when you expose wrong doing by the government, you sign your own death certificate.

    Sorry for the rant — I just figured some of you may have experienced some of the torture I am experiencing for being a patriotic citizen. Blessings to you all and health and peace in 2017 and onward.

  7. I was motivated and moved by your report. I have been accepted and twice did not complete let alone start my program. I didn’t receive my laptop or printer till two weeks after the program started. I felt so ashamed and at fault but after reading and the gaining of this ensight I want to try again. Im currently 80% SC, with yet still two in appeals from 2009. Will I still be active or do I need to resubmit online? And of should I apply for ui first then reapply? It’s been about 3 months.

  8. So, I am not sure if anyone will see this. But I went through the Voc Rehab process and was approved. The school I was trying to do, (which is who told me to do Voc Rehab) was American Gunsmithing Institute. Their Master Gunsmith program is VA approved for Voc Rehab but not GI Bill and the have a couple hundred veterans going through the program. My case worker told me they would not pay for it, (and shot down everything else I came up with) and her supervisor said the same thing. Personally I feel like she was anti gun, but whatever. How do I go about getting this done if everyone in that office tells me it is not approved when it is? Thank you in advance for any help I may get!

  9. I’ve been reluctant to apply for a loan online because i know for a fact there fake Lenders” out there, but i was convinced that it really works when my friend at my place of work got a loan from fidelity loan finance & we confirmed it, without delay i gave it a go. I’ve Lend cash from Fidelity loan financial & the money has been in my own account in less than 48 hrs. So glad i gave it a try at last and has changed my life real good though its Legit!! You can email on fidelityloanfinancial(AT)gmail(dot)com or website on www(dot)fidelityloanfirm(dot)webs(dot)com

  10. I am currently in a voc rehab program for a PhD. The problem that I am having is that I am still working on my dissertation and because I cannot complete it in one year, that I am being told I can no longer receive voc rehab. Little did I know at the beginning of my program that there really is no way to complete a dissertation in only a year. Is this true, or am I just another victim of a VRE counselor with bad info? I am trying to apply to use my GI bill to cover the remainder of my program. Is there any way to get an exception that will allow me to receive VRE payments past the magical 48 month mark? Thanks so much for any insight you can give!

    1. Good Day Mr. Downs,

      I wish you the best in achieving your goal in the VOC REHAB earning a PhD. I requested advise in obtaining a PhD, but because i already had a plan to get a master’s program I was turned down by my VOC REHAB. He simply said, it was out of my scope for entry level employment, and that I already had a plan at a graduate level.

      Your VOC REHAB is awesome.

      Chris C.

  11. With a lot of persistence and near stalking of my vocrehab rep, I just completed a MSN in nursing for Family Nurse Practitioner Aug, 2016. I used all of my GI Bill on undergrad but had just received a 30% rating and they covered all of grad school including a monthly stipend.

    It can be done! Don’t give up!

  12. It’s been 16 years since my last service date. I tried VA Vocational Rehab about two years ago and did all the paper work and they wanted me to work at the VA hospital for 6 months first before they approved of me going to school to finish my BA degree, but they keep on pushing me to get an entry level job vs back to college. I felt as I didn’t want to work 6 months and then have them tell me schooling is not available to you. Plus honestly working in hospital gives me anxiety. I have an 100% unemployable rating. thinking about giving them another try soon. I do have an AA degree. Plus i
    ‘m also very concerned that no one would hire a 50 year old who hasn’t worked in a while. My benefits may not last forever and always looking for a backup plan, plus want to at least to go out there and be somewhat successful. Any feedback with be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  13. Please, please, please, whenever you go to a Vocational Rehab interview, take the 38 CFR 21 with you. Now that whole section, if ordered, is $62 bucks but you can print out certain highlights of this document. It is the Code of Federal Regulations guide book. This states EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about Vocational Rehab benefits. I do not have the book yet, but I am printing out highlights right now if this woman tries to deny me. I’ll just ask her where at in the Code of Federal Regulations guidebook does it state denial because of this or that.

    Lol, you have to do your research, know what the hell you want going in there, and do not allow them to try to manipulate you into thinking you don’t deserve anything. When you took an oath, you didn’t sign up to get hurt, even though you knew the risks behind it. I went into basic training and hurt myself, graduated, they sent me home for my injury and to heal, but instead I was diagnosed with a really bad tendinitis in my hips. It’s called snapping hip syndrome but my case is severe to where I can get the surgery but there is only a 50% chance that I would get better.

    I am no longer able to run fast, lift over 40 lbs., or work a lot of jobs I have experience in, which is security, due to my incapability of walking for long periods of time or standing for long periods of time. If the pain in my hips is killing me, I have to take muscle relaxers or Tylenol because there’s a lot of inflammation in my hip area. I have 3 children I can barely run after them and it sucks.

    VA awarded me 10% separating from the Army National Guard and what they didn’t tell me was that I could’ve been in a better position if I would’ve denied the 10% and requested for them to rate my other injuries. They manipulated me and sent me on my way. They gave me separation pay, and 10% and told me to file my second claim with the VA once I got out.

    I will let you know, I fight for what I deserve! And I didn’t deserve to get hurt. Especially with the job I chose which was a Chemical Specialist. Like I said, we know the risks, but I tried so hard to go back in the military, they kept telling me no, you have to heal, and it devastated me more and more. I cried and I cried. I was a single mother of 2 children and I went to the military to better myself. I was in an abusive relationship before I entered and lets just say the military was my way out. It was a near death experience but I survived and pressed charges.

    I got away to make something of myself so I could take care of my kids. Then BOOM, I got hurt. My drill Sargent told me I wouldn’t graduate if I went to the doctor. Kept training on my stress fractures and the doctor told me if I would’ve kept going, I could’ve cracked my bone clean in half. Smh….FIGHT FOR YOU RIGHTS!!!!

  14. Went to vocational rehabilitation to see if they could help me transition from critical care to family medicine. I was found to be both entitled to voc rehab and feasible for training. I had 14 months of basic entitlement left and was told by the vocational rehabilitation counselor to fill out three jobs. The first being what I REALLY wanted to do (family medicine physician), and the others being something that could be completed in under 14 months. He also told me to get a letter from my psychologist and work supporting my feasibility, I did. In addition, I did the market research on two of the three jobs, only to be told that they would not extend my entitlement to accomplish what was in my interests; essentially 14 months or nothing. Ironically enough, on his paperwork I saw the box for serious employment handicap checked. I got the official denial letter two days ago. Talk about a kick in the nuts

    Current 100% P&T; 50 facial scaring, 50 PTSD, 30 eye, 30 migraines, 20 back, 20 shoulder, 10 knee, 10 stress fx, 10 TBI, 10 tinnitus, Undergraduate GPA 3.86

  15. Good day everybody my name is Nelson Mac few months back i was financially strained i rushed to my bank to apply for a loan to start up my business but i was denied by my bank because of my credit score and they could not help and due to my desperation i was scammed by several online lenders who promised to help me but at the end i was scam i lost my money and my hope because i was so frustrated, One day when i was going through the internet again i found one lender call Mr Larry Scott i thought to give it a try one more time to my biggest surprise he was able to lend me a secure loan totally the amount of $200,0000 for the first time in my life i realize that there are few lender who don’t scam people his name is Mr Larry Scott i will advice any body that are in need of loan to contact him with his Email ([email protected]) he can be able to help you because he was a God sent to me this year and i will never forget him for the help he render to me.

    God bless him

    Nelson Mac

  16. This is all completely crazy to me. I entered and was accepted into the Chapter 31 VRE program. I was hoping to go back to school full-time, but the VA counselor told me that I was not eligible for education benefits because I already have an MBA. So she immediately moved my file over to a work counselor (who wouldn’t return my emails or calls). I received one email that told me to continue working hard at looking for a job. (Really) By the grace of God I was able to find a job approximately two weeks after going through the program (on my own). I informed my counselor and he told me that I would now receive EAA payments for my job search and employment. Well after 4 weeks of emailing this guy constantly, I receive an email from him that says “I reviewed your information and realized that you were only in for employment services. When I received your file I thought you had been in an IWRP since the employment plan stated you received EAA payments. We are not able to pay the EAA payments if you did not enter an IWRP where you were receiving subsistence allowance. I am sorry about the misunderstanding. I will follow up with you on 30 and 60 days from the date of your employment and then rehab your file as successful.” (copied and pasted) So basically, I received no help, wasted my time coming in and seeing them. This program is a complete joke. Any suggestions are welcome, I’m so sick of the government short-changing veterans at every turn. I’m still having heck trying to get rated properly, so if anyone has any suggestions on that I’d be more than happy to listen. I was medically discharged with a 60% rating, but given a 50% from the VA. (0 for PTSD) I’m at the end of my rope, literally.

    1. Nathaniel Ramirez
      11:32 AM (7 minutes ago)

      to David,, Demetrice
      (Here is my reply, copy/pasted verbatim)
      I’m not sure what an IWRP is? I’m new to the program, and have not received anything. I could use any type of assistance. I’m two-three weeks into a job, and I’m headed to a doctor tomorrow because I’m not physically able to keep up with the work demands. What are my options? Can I go back to school even though I already have an MBA? I had a mild-stroke in Dec. 2015, and it’s been a struggle to maintain my health since then. I’m at a loss for what to do.

      Here’s their response (copy/pasted verbatim)

      Subject: RE: [EXTERNAL] Robert Ramirez

      Unfortunately not. You are considered employable with the degrees you already have. I am sorry for the inconvenience. You may use your other benefits if you have them.

      So there you go folks…our VA at its finest. Anyone have suggestions?

  17. Hi, Ben and let me say you are awesome! I am a veteran of ten years. I have loved the army my whole life…. My dad served for 35 years and I thought I would be able to as well. That was not the case …… Marriage and kids and injuries had led me to get out earlier than I expected. Last year I looked into to Voc Rehab because I wasnt able to do my job to the best of my ability because of previous injuries and found your book and followed what you said and I actually got accepted…. I was a culinary management graduate that couldn’t perform standing for 12 plus hours a day and picking up 100 plus pounds which is a requirement for culinary management . So I thought I would look into something I could do. And I found I could’ve gone my masters as a registered dietician license. And my counselor already denied me to go further for my PhD but can’t even seem to
    Get through my pre- reqs for my masters ..,,,But I have been through so much with my counselor this year and having to pay out of my own pocket it just seems ridiculous……. I need help? I am tired of having to justify and getting my expenses paid after I have already been approved!!! I need help please!!!:( I have no other options anymore….

  18. It’s difficult to fight an opponent you cannot see. My VRE claim is in the process of an “administrative review” in the Central Office. According to the local VRE Office, this process takes approximately 30 days. We are now approaching 200 days with no answer whatsoever from the VRE Central Office. Does anyone have a telephone number to the VRE Central Office?

      1. Hi, Ben and let me say you are awesome! Inam a veteran of ten years. I have loved the army my whole life…. My dad served for 35 years and I thought I would be able to as well. That was not the case …… Marriage and kids and injuries had led me to get out earlier than I expected. Last year I looked into to Voc Rehab because I wasnt able to do my job to the best of my ability because of previous injuries and found your book and followed what you said and I actually got accepted accepted …. I was a culinary management graduate that couldn’t perform standing for 12 plus hours a day and picking up 100 plus pounds which is a requirement for culinary management . So I thought I would look into something o could do. And I found I could be a registered dietician license. But I have been through so much with my counselor this year and having to pay out of my own pocket it just seems ridiculous……. I need help? I am tired of having to justify and getting my expenses paid after I have already been approved!!! I need help please!!!:( I have no other options anymore….

  19. I was medically discharged out of the Army in 1994 for TBI. I was rated 30% TDRL by the Army, and was medically discharged by Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I had trouble holding a job after I moved back home and a cousin of mine was going to a college, so I went to college. I didn’t go to college to get a degree, I went to college to do something. I was a science major and I struggled. I had a Chemistry tutor that asked me what was wrong with me, and I told him I had a brain injury in the Army, and he told me to go to the VA. He was a veteran. I had been out of the Army for over a year before I knew what the VA was. I got into Voc Rehab during my sophomore year.
    I was taking Chemistry 298 (Analytical Chemistry) and struggling (a common theme), I was passing, but had a D. My Voc Rehab Counselor told me to go to the VA for help. I went to the VA for help with Memory, Attention, Concentration, etc. I went to the walk in clinic, they said they would refer me to see a Neurologist. I got the appointment card in the mail for an appointment in November, and it is March now. I need help right now, not next year. I finally saw the neurologist, and he questioned whether I was intelligent enough to be in college and referred me to have my IQ tested. I’m taking Chemistry 298, what a bozo. I took the IQ test about 6 months after I saw the neurologist, I scored 124, and I never heard back from the Neurologist. If I scored 88, he would have called me right away to inform me that I was too dumb to go to college. I wasted over a year waiting on the VA, and nothing came of it.
    I moved to Tampa, FL in 2009 and enrolled at the James Haley VA hospital. I was referred to their Polytrauma TBI Rehab unit when I told them I had a TBI. I spent 8 months in the program, going 3 to 5 days a week for 20+ hours. They referred me to Voc Rehab at the BAY PINES VA for help in attaining a job. I was turned away because I got my BA through Voc Rehab, and I signed a paper saying that I was rehabilitated. I wasn’t sure what I’ve really signed at the VA. I thought the VA was supposed to help me, not screw me, how naïve I was.

    When I initially went to Voc Rehab, I took an aptitude test which said I’d do best in a science or math type career, but my lowest aptitude was in clerical/office work.

    Ironically, I work a desk job at the VA.

  20. Carlene Burke Voc Rehab counselor at the N.Y.C. Office at West Houston suspended my benefits indefinitly. She told me as did her supervisor Steven Shrenik I was suspended for 6 months.It is 18 months later and they refuse to repond to my crys of help.

  21. Hello,
    I wished I had found your website a year ago. I am a 48 year old female Disabled Veteran at 30% rating. I was working full-time but now, I’m not so I can do well in school. I applied to the Voc Rehab last year in the beginning of June. Since then, its been a constant struggle to start the voc rehab program. I’m sending and resending files and my CM is asking for a Cost Analyses that he’s not supposed to get until the packet is sent to him by the school, but they won’t until they receive the VA form, but he won’t send the form until he has the cost analyses. In our meetings he’s told me everything from, “I have to do my due diligence and not do harm by signing you up for the program only for you to fail because you’re a single mom, working full time.” Is just one example. I was also advised to start the degreed program on student loans so he could see my grades and how well I’ll do, that it will give him the, “Warm and fuzzy,” as he put it to have my application go before his manager to be approved. I have kept in touch with my CM every month since we have met, but I’m constantly told that he can’t sign me up until he has more evidence that I will succeed. I have been in school since July, I have all A’s in my class and I’m currently doubling down – as advised by him to do. I even have the paper where he highlighted for me to start doubling down with – and I have an A in one class and an A- in the other. This program is not easy, it’s a Masters level program. I am now 8 months into my program and I’m at a loss. It seems that, when I caught up with him again, when he told me to send him, again, my class schedule, he advised me that he was going to hold back until November (this would mean that I have been working with him for a 1.25 years to become approved) of this year to get approved because they normally do not approve students doubling down on their full-time classes. Then I reminded him that he was the one who suggested it so we could fit it into a two year program, instead of three. (My GI, pre-9/11 bill was found to still have one year remaining to be used. He stated that only he could reactivate it and add it to the one year that I would not be able to apply for it on my own to use. So, I had spoken to him in January, he advised me that as it stands, since he’s not accepting my now double down status, he will have me wait until November to approve my application. Additionally, he wanted three professor recommendations and proof of my A’s. I’m now starting my next quarter, he was thinking I was starting next week, I do not know how. Last Friday, he told me that he couldn’t approve me as we had discussed because he needs his tech to fix my case on the computer system because my case showed closed on his system and he stated that he doesn’t know how. That and I never received a letter, even though verbally I did ask for a letter if he should close my case (I asked in January) . He stressed that my case wasn’t closed, but in the computer it is showing closed even though he has my file. Then he requested all of the new items again, the 9 questions about the chosen career field, etc… So, I emailed them to him in addition to doing my final thesis’s and finals. We were supposed to have our meeting this morning, the following Tuesday, to sign the paperwork as he had promised, only for him to call me on my cell to tell me to go back home because the tech that is supposed to enter me on the computer called in sick. He postponed our meeting to, tomorrow (Wednesday), after they have a whole new gang of applicants. I’m being told by everyone, including my counselor, for months to file a complaint against my CM for acting unethical. What good is that going to do? Additionally, I’ve been told now by my school counselor who has other students with “good”, case managers who she is told are amazing. That she has never been asked for so much from a CM ever. She instructed me to run and get a new CM immediately because it sounds as if he has closed my application without telling me and he is trying to use the tech to fix what he has done. Additionally, she told me that if my case is closed on the computer, it is closed. It also seems that whenever I speak to this CM, it’s like he’s always trying to get me to react to the things that he says or does.
    Another time when I was in his office, he would open then close his door during our meetings. When the door was shut, he would talk softly, when it was open, he would talk loudly. Things like that are just things I’ve noticed.
    If I file a claim like others are pressuring me to do, can I lose everything? Will I have retaliation or have my case closed and sealed shut so I can never apply again? I do not know what to do. Every time he does this, I stress out and it’s hard to refocus back on my schooling and I am in finals! I’m debating on calling to speak to his supervisor tomorrow to request a change in CM, if I can. I mean, if it’s showing closed on the computer system how hard can it be? Is that the right thing to do? Or meet him at 2pm and just suck this behavior up? Hope he finally gets to it. Help!

    1. In reply to D. I commend you for your perseverance and you will be duly rewarded for it. I probably would not be as patient, just like now. I am in the same boat; however, I just recently had my appointment with the Voc Rehab on 2/8/2016. They immediately denied me because I was working. I am also a 47 year old mom of three girls with a 30% rated disability. I have twin girls that are currently attending college and my youngest is in high school now and will start college soon. I work for a non-profit organization that is funded by grants and our positions are not guaranteed. Every time I do a job search in my field of Social Work, all positions require a Master’s Degree. I recently inquired about a position as a Veteran counselor at one of our local On-Site VA Clinics and was denied due to me not having my Master’s Degree. The gentleman told me that he would have sent my resume straight to the top had I only had my Master’s Degree. Now that I am doing my dead level best to get my Master’s Degree, the Voc Rehab is my only barrier. I am working with my Congressman’s office and Veterans Representative in hopes that they will be able to help me. THEY ARE AMAZING and so nice! It is a shame that this is the “thanks” we get for serving. Oh, not to mention that my GI Bill timed out an I am not able to use it even though I paid for it already. (At least you still have that to use. And NO your CM has NO SAY SO in that! I have been dealing with disappointment from the VA since 1993 and that’s why I want to be an advocate for the veterans because I AM FED UP! Don’t give up and PROVE HIM WRONG! After all is said and done I would file a grievance on that so called “case worker/counselor”.

      1. Stephanie,

        Thank you for your response. I do recommend talking with your school military counselor. In my college, they have been amazing, supportive and documenting everything. Additionally, on here they recommended you never going alone to a meeting, So, this go around, I brought my mother. She kept things professional. He approved me to be in the program, however, instead of signing me on for a year or even 6 months approval, even with my straight A’s, he is making me communicate with him every 2 months. NEVER GO ALONE TO THESE MEETINGS. Not only that, he offered work study at any federal facility, as it says in the contract, you and I are eligible to do that. I had gone down from full time work to part time so that I can maintain my grades. They are having you fill out the forms, NOT to qualify you but to disqualify you. Document everything, via email works. After each meeting, restate what was said in the meetings via email. This is you documenting. They have to respond to the emails, just like you do or they can disqualify you for not being responsive.
        In the meeting he said in front of my mother that, I only had to meet physically with him once a year and we could stay in contact via telephone and emails up to then. When he called the next morning, I had my boyfriend with me, and he said for me not to file for the job yet with work study until things go through. However, I had just spoken with the school counselor and things had already gone through. Additionally, he made the comment, “I’ll see you in two months.” I quickly asked him, but I thought we were only going to be communicating via telephone? He bounced back and forth on that. There is more detail to this, but I’m not comfortable already exposing more on here, no offense to anyone. However, keep at it.
        There is one person on here that posted that they had all of their things together before going into the office and they walked out with the grant. I did too. However, I’m not sure if it was my counselor or not, but I have had to fight for this grant. He also reneged on my Chapter 31. Did you know that they could bring back your timed out Chapter 30? According to the GI bill, your kids should be able to use your GI bill and whatever is left over. This timed out thing is not right if the previous statement is true. He originally promised that he could grandfather my last year of my GI Bill in, now he wont. Additionally, He admitted to closing my previous application from 8 months ago. after telling me on the phone that he didn’t know how it got closed. His technician said that my claim was in extended status and thus it needed to be closed. But in the orientation it says that you have a year before they automatically close it. What really happened is, he realized he would have to back pay me from July, when I started my program. They do not want to. Considering that this is for us, they are horrible in controlling us. However, in the grand scheme of things, what they will pay, is better than nothing. I have also learned, take out student loans. If they do pay you, you can get from your disbursement whatever the program gives and pay it back to your student loans while your in school so that you are still able to go to school. Most private colleges, and public, will help you get student loans to cover all costs. I had to do that to prove to him that I was serious about the program. He also told me to stop my student loans because I belonged to the military again and they will take care of me. I spoke with the counselor, that isn’t a good idea for two reasons: 1) They will for any reason, cancel your grant. Then you are stuck with no money or schooling. AND, when the VA grant comes through, it always comes late thus you will not be registered on time and you might miss out on a class and then you would be in violation of the lesson plan that you are agreeing to, thus you can get dropped. 2) It gives them a control over you that you do not want to be under. As my boyfriend put it, some counselor’s enjoy having this power over you. In behavioral health it’s called, transference. Normally, it’s the client transferring to you and then if you respond, then you are doing a counter-transference. This is unethical for anyone in that place of power to do that. In other employments it’s called, the Florence Nightingale Syndrome. Freud even refers to this because it is found to be very prevalent in behavioral health, this includes social workers and counselors. I.E., what we are all having issues with from the VA.
        I’ve made it to step one, even though he started me over as if I was a new applicant. This year of mind games and dishonesty is not ethical! Now, every two months, I have to communicate with him and I will spam his email along with phone calls along with documenting them. It is about control. But never let them know how much they control you.
        If push comes to shove, it is better to take out student loans than to continue this hostile environment. If it gets too much. Don’t let them take your joy and remember, students loans can be paid back when your earning the kind of money you will be once you get your masters. Also, keep in mind, as a SW, you will be able to test for your license right away and work. I still have to work at a lower salary as an apprentice, then in two years after earning my degree, I can take the state exam to be licensed.. Then I can afford to get my Ph.D. and earn even more, while helping others.
        I remember a patient advocate up in the Sacramento area being very proactive like yourself. However, she was new. I got burned during one of my female visits, they tried to cover it up. Then when I brought the PA in with me to talk to the doctor, he then spoke to her privately. I don’t know what was said. However, what I do know, she closed my case immediately and then stopped helping me. They got to her. I then called every Admin law attorney in the area for help, they all said that they would not go up against the VA. It wasn’t that I didn’t have a strong case, I did and was told so. However, because it was only a burn, not a dismemberment, it wasn’t worth their effort considering the giant they would be up against. So, to help IN the system, you can’t be apart OF the system. In other words, you can’t work IN the VA or any system that they are attached to, to help Veterans. Good luck and God Bless.

  22. FOR EVERY 1% of unemployment, 40,000 Americans die. AT 6% unemployment THAT IS 240,000 dead Americans. The first matter this mafia congress approved was to make it almost impossible to get approved. I was approved for 40% veterans disability in 1980! I failed to go sign the documents because in my twenties I was superman. The kind gentleman yelled at me about wanting to be a hero. “YOU WILL REGRET NOT COMING IN” he stated. HE HAD WISDOM at a time I didn’t know the definition of Wisdom! He was right, nobody will ever know how much it hurts now. & the wealth of our country continues to be funneled upwards. My records where burned in two different locations (way too coincidental). I don’t blow my brains out because I have a young offspring (& I do not have any weapons). Hang in there my fellow VETERANS. WE HAVE TO UNITE.

    1. In reply to Frank Parra, I agree with you we must unite to create on force, make a difference and be heard. Let us not be deterred by intimidation, threat and fear of losing our benefit. If we are one united veterans they have to treat us as one force. Let us gather support even from non-veterans to help us fight for our cause by exposing the wrong doing of some DVA-VR&E staffs bent on choosing the wrong side of the law. Let us join together and show them that they are not above the law.

  23. Reading all these frustrations from my fellow veterans makes me want to give up. Perhaps, many veterans feel the same way but giving up means winning on the side of VA-VR & E. Thus, my suggestion, we all join together and create a force of one to fight effectively and win the game. This is easier said and done so we should come up with new ideas to help each other and don’t leave one behind. Even after winning a claim against VA-VR &E stay and contribute whatever you can to help other struggling veterans. One of the many examples we do is use our voting power comes election. Vote for candidate that will support vet. Choose a leader that will lead us. Let us unite so that we can be heard remember the saying “united we stand divided we fall”

  24. Thank you very much for this helpful site. I literally thought I was the only veteran they were doing these things too. I thought to myself, many times, that I guess I just wasn’t deserving of their help. I’ve blamed myself over and over. At least now I know, that they would lie to an Honorably Discharged- service connected, disabled veteran face to face. I’m a little angry now because it all makes sense for me now. I was able to get help after 8yrs of begging. Thanks again for your website.

  25. So how do I appeal? I was being denied for having a job?!?! My disabilities worsened and when I went to my second Voc Rehab appt to sit with a counselor, he took one look at my file and noticed I’ve been employed for 6 years and basically told me he can’t help me. Less than 5 mins!!

  26. When you are enrolled in the Voc rehab program, are the meetings with your counselor mandatory before, during or after semesters. I had issues over the last year and no one ever followed up including my counselor

  27. Well, here in the injured/ill/disabled civilian life, we could not get voc rehab from the state of CA. which later it looks like the state voc rehab money went to the vets that were in the mideast wars per a website from the U.S.Senate done in the latter 2000’s.. Then we were to get voc rehab under social security and that didn’t happen either. Then it looks like our vets don’t get much in rehab as well, so where is all that state, federal and VA voc rehab money going and was there ever the correct appropriations of money for all of the voc rehab programs.. IT is starting to look like a shell game with any state to federal voc rehab money and that the money didn’t reach too many vets, or civilians and this is done per NERB, the nonproift org of economists who decide to tell the feds as to how U.S taxpayers money could or should be allocated. We can thank congress with their conservative attitude as to how vets or civilians should live on X amount of dollars. I just would wish that they would realize is that it is civilians and vets who pay the taxes for the services we have to fight like dogs to get and don’t..

  28. i have heard alot of those lies via the vre here in las vegas, you cant use it toward a 4 year degree, etc….

    1. Also there’s an app called (scolly) a kid developed where he was able to get 2 million in schlorship money he was on d shark tank a few months ago. People this is money you will never have to pay back PERIOD….

  29. Tis truly amazing as to how many different buildings with different agencies or orgs through thelast several decades that had a fire destroying necessary documents. Has anyone heard of the NATIONAL REVIEW CENTER? Does it apply only to federal civilians?.
    The SSA also has more records than you know? Personal, financial & Medical.
    To Bruce Wallace, with the upside down pentagram/star. a new article in the Sacramento Bee today. 5/8/2015 & other news media. ‘L.A. “cops” had fake badges, cars-I was a Kamala Harris liaison. AND… but they claim to Dianne Feinstein’s office too, Her office denied any connections.
    500,000 Masonic fake cops every where in our nation in 33 states & who are all in our very own law enforcement in the masons & mormons? 500,000 thousand just in fake police alone! .
    Just think how many are in other professions to undermine our country to just steal from every thing and us. Treason, Sedition & and an overthrow of our own Government to support who????YEAH,we know & we got the proof via kPMG/miiltary.masons & mormons mob,. The MM &MM club. to prove the giant past current & future theft. It’s all a profit margin corporate minded model of business. How many ways can you spell kaiser or use the acronyms kmpb, tpmg, pmpm, hret? run by David Lawrence, all to just fihre our tech schemes to steal & theirs so much more.
    It’s the connections to steal which go to the SWISS bank accounts. Your benefits & mine too!
    I wrote a letter to the Sacramento BEE today that if they want, they can see the reams of theft by the who when where why & how! The info is so damn damaging to some in our ,legislation, talk about accountability? Where does one start? WITH legislators & dod. With kaiseer, kpmg, David Lawrence?
    Kiaser/airforce/dod but not limited to, created it all& also has your records, the trail of theft, all to delay & deny anything you need as a vet and as an American.
    God bless us all. We need it.

  30. Ben, like your studies per your article today about different bibles and religions, the VA has one bible in particular that they use: The Book of Satan. That may not be a joke, since it truly seems that everything they do is ultimately based on lies, deception and a penchant for doing things in an inverted (upside down pentagram/star) kind of way. Good is evil and evil is good at the VA. Take a look at Bob’s eyebrows. I wonder how often he has to have his horns trimmed.

  31. I read the rules and regulation in depth and I am absolutely certain that my VR & E Officer who is in charged with my vocational rehabilitation is not following the law. He deliberately punished me for criticizing his failure to follow the rules and regulation; statutes and the governing law of chapter 31.I was subjected to numerous adverse and retaliatory act (e.g., reimbursement of expenses takes about 8 to 9 months to process). What are my alternative to this intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress to my personality? Do I have a cause of action against a government employee who violates my constitution property rights? Any thought or suggestion?

    1. I am certain my honest assessment of the very broken VA voc rehab system in Anchorage, AK and the next higher HQ in Portland, OR have jerked me around precisely because I told them how they were wrong. For example, I asked for an accommodated LSAT exam for my approved voc rehab training program for law school. For this to happen, the LSAC required a particular assessment. I request the assessment, but was not provide with one. The voc rehab manager, Tammy Tanner, insisted that if I wanted extended test time for the LSAT, I should speak with the test proctor on the morning of the test and request extended test time from her. I have twice requested the VA to help with the requirements of an accommodated LSAT and I have twice taken the LSAT without any accommodation … now what? Tammy Tanner also told me that if I have the LSAC-required assessment, I would never be allowed to join any bar association. This, too, is completely wrong. But she revoked my voc rehab training program for law school. And nobody is willing to discuss it.

      Please somebody with good advice, contact me [907 231-032]. Thank you.

  32. Before the 1993, WC reform, the vocational rehabilitation was unlimited, By the latter 2000 reform, there would be 10,000 voucher. I knew of two injured workers who got training to work as a floral expert. Out of hundreds of injured workers, there were TWO , where being a floral arranger would amount to about 5.00 an hour. When applying for voc rehab myself, the WCAB judge denied me the ability to get rehab where I would have come under the unlimited amount. The CA WCAB WCJ gave me 12 & 1/4 for all of my body injuries & illnesses. I suspect, had I not had cervical surgery after waiting 10 years, I would have gotten nothing at all. Case in point is that when I went to the main vocational rehabilitation at the CA. Voc Rehab Dept that here were thousands upon thousands of almost empty folders for those who filed for w rehab for many decades. Now we’re either disabled or not to some degree or not. But to have any injury or illness whether it’s 10% or up to 97%, Most partially or up to 97% of those injured or ill did not GET ANY VOC REHAB. whatsoever. Then I researched even farther up until 2010 & guess where the voc rehab money was being listed from the CA WCAB voc rehab money was going & went? Why it was being listed TO THE military for vets in the Iraq & Afghanistan. Okay, then, we as injured workers didn’t get voc rehab money & you vets aren’t getting any training, so where is all the damn money for training of civilian or service related injuries or illnesses.

    Worker comp attorneys here in CA. ALSO did SSA benefits & NOW they are helping vets get their SSA. It’s a truly a wonderous thing when you as a civilian cannot get medical care, training, disability benefits BUT YOU CAN GET SSA. AND THE SAME THING GOES FOR OUR VETS.AND IF YOU THINK your’re getting screwed by the VA/DOD, then just think what the SSA is doing to you! MANY of us injured workers weren’t injured enough to get worker compensation benefits (medical care or wage replacement or any voc rehab) but we were certainly disabled to get SSA/Medicare. We were eligible for voc rehab training but we only learned of that after we turned age 65, where then you then get SSA benefits out of your FICA., not out of the Dept of Treasury as one prior to age 65.. There’s an agreement between employers, unions & the SSA to give you the least, not the full amount of SSA benefits after you’ve been so screwed out of your rightful worker comp benefits after being injured or ill. AND to let you know, that the DOD IS AN EMPLOYER that uses risk management to pay out on your benefits.
    In civilian life, its called workers compensation but that that IS risk management for the DOD TOO
    I spoke at a workers comp, legislative & other related hearings,, many times about the far too man injustices to injured workers, SO, I’m sending you an internet IRL for one of them., WHICH IS…/Hearing.
    It is a little long, but I think , you will all find it oh so similar as to to what has been going on to injured or ill workers as what is being done to you as our vets.
    When I think of the betrayal of what some in government have done, predators making money off of injured or ill folks., it’s down right maddening & inexplicably inexcusable treatment and I know that the way things work, that all of this hurting, harming & screwing out of our rightful benefits and HOW it is done, it is truly the handiwork of the DOD, all of it.
    The so called docs who evaluated us(making sure WE DID NOT GET WC-RISK management benefits), were military docs. AND some of that many billions for their hard work in denying & delaying dare or benefits, went to the SWISS banks. via KPMG..

    We gave one of the top whistleblower law firms in D.C., Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto and. that data. was sent in 2000-2001- ,under The False Claims Act. Senator Grassley, with his ex-taffer Chris Kolesnik, the one who could sniff out fraud & with The law firm. attorney Chris Wessers, brought this case to the US AG in Manhatten, N.Y. N.Y. IN 2005. Chris Wessers told us to never mention WC or when he thought of KPMG, he would always think about us. I bet, with all of tha tmoney that wen tto the law firm????

    KPMG WAS FINED FOR 456 million dollars of funneling all kinds of money via military PO addresses & then voila, off to the SWISS banks.. The meat of this case was not broad casted other than how KPMG. deferred tax money , There was certainly a lot more which included the DOD giving & filling out contracts to build the best of the best for another country in the mideast.

    Suffice it to say the whistleblowing D.C. law firm screwed us out our 10-15% of the award owed to us. They not only got the golden egg but the whole damn goose & got to hide one of the biggest heists of our monies. wc, health care benefits, pensions, voc rehab…etc.. you get the idea! and still, we are getting ripped off. all of us who are injured or ill, civilian or vets.

    I did write to Kennedy and Papantonio, of Ring of Fire radio & T.V.. They didn’t take our case to go after the law firm but said we needed to get an attorney. We’re still seeking an attorney to get our award. Just imagine an attorney could expose one of the biggest heist of American money and or get about 1/3rd of the 45-60 mil to help others?!? This is about the money that belongs to & veterans & civilians. for decades.

    Dina Padilla

  33. You also left out VR&E Track 5, Independent Living Services to quote the VA’s own published information on VR&E Track 5 is for : “The Independent Living Services track may include assistive technology, independent living skills
    training, connections to the community-based support services, etc.”, as well as other skills. Seems to be a shoe-in for people with 100% rating or 100% via Individual Unemployability.

    Just trying to keep the lies straight.

  34. I’m retired UsArmy,for years,I begged to go to school,once took six months in weekly appointments with a VRC,finally,I was permitted to go to school pt time,I was grateful because the counselor,believed in me.I had a 2+2contract for Social Worker with the opportunity with advanced training for my Masters with just a 2.3gpa. My GPA WAS 3.818 /then I was reassigned to a man who told me,I wasn’t gonna make it,he changed my schedule to full time,but I was work study.He said I had to prove myself.
    Now,as a veteran in voc rehabilitation,allowed extra time for assignment (I never asked or needed) my schedule grew to 15 credit hrs 2labs plus work study,when ever a warm body was needed.I decided I wanted to structure my school in the day so I’d be available in the pm for work(hospital)one class I needed to change from pm to counselor told me if I had to be hand held that I needed to reschedule classes for convenience I didn’t need to be going period.
    Everything I worked so hard for was SNATCHED away without concerns or compassion.
    The voc rehabilitation would have paid for my Masters degree.
    Just because a counselor decided he didn’t think I deserved to go to school,I was treated unfairly,I also lost my job at the hospital,I didn’t have money to finish school,I applied for any job at the VA they totally turned their backs on me.The only time I came close to being interviewed,the supervisor said he wouldn’t have a female work for him.I actually had cross training in this area in the military.I had certified PROOF but the supervisor got the job then he refused me because he didn’t like women.The VETERANS HOSPITAL itself refused every application I’ve given even when I’ve been overqualified.No matter what,a man got the job that I was more qualified for.At Hampton,rarely do white people get hired.I have proof.(My friend /I both filled out application for same job,he. Put down no experience,I filled it completely with experience he was given an interview,told him they’d work with him to upgrade skills,yet,I received notice my application had been filed.nothing. this wasn’t just gender discrimination,racial and I filed with 10pts. Preference he didn’t claim any disability. )

    1. Boy, sounds like a lot of you have a lot of bad things to say about the military, and voc rehab. I think all of you need to stop complaining, figure it out, and work hard…..I don’t believe anything needs to be given to you……You all sound like, ow my gosh, they are after me, they are all working together to make my life miserable, they are discriminating against me…..come on, they are not working together to make your life horrible. The people that work for Voc. rehab aren’t conspiring, they are here to help….you have a problem, but it is not them…..keep visiting this website, and listening to this idiot, who, by the way, got his schooling because of the military….and you will continue to be paranoid, and blame the VA…….what a bunch of crap!!! Grow up, move on!

      1. Let me blow a body part off of you then subject you to months of of psychological attacks, Then see who cries. You see, it isn’t JUST military vets that this will happen to if the military is not there. THEY volunteer to do a job so that this WILL not happen to you risking body, limb, and… life. But not just physical life. You an be dead and still breathing, walking, talking, and interacting with people. Just ask some vet that has had to kill another human to protect him/herself and/or a civilian. Quit crying? That my friend is all many of us can do.. until we cannot take the pain any longer and eat a bullet. Complaining? I guess having a grievance with the government is complaining… guess someone should have told Adams, Hancock, Washington, Franklin, and slew of other patriots and civilians… to stop… complaining. It is people like you that have no intestinal fortitude. I challenge you to walk up to a VA clinic… find the first Vet with a missing limb, or better yet… like the one I saw yesterday, blind, deaf, wheelchair bound because of being too close to a napalm strike, and tell his caregiver… because he cannot speak, his mouth was all but melted together… that he is complaining because his hearing aid, which as I understand it, was used so he can hear loud noises like cars, so he is not so paranoid and anxious, when he senses one rush by, was broke/dead because it was 20 years old. Go tell his caregiver… he is complaining and to quit whining. BTW… this VET… did not choose to go to war. He was drafted. An unwilling participant but did his duty as an American male. So please…. go riding in on your high horse… and tell a vet that is missing a body part, service connected disability, he/she is whining. Do that… then come back here and honestly tell us what happened.

      2. To Diana: I’m a disabled Republic of Vietnam vet. Diana, you sure do speak the company line. I have my Masters with no thanks to Veteran Affairs. I had to write the new V.A. director the other day and had a reply back in 10 days. V.A. took care of most of my problems but only because of the head man. As far as rehab goes, it took me 6 months to get into rehab after discharge from the hospital. With no respect Diana, go fly a kite! By the way – I use my full name here.

  35. I have a great counselor but he doesn’t know the rules. When my SC went from 40% to 100% I had to fight for my 2nd shot with CH 31 benefits. When I put them on the spot using info learned in the guide, they were quick to accept me into the program and provide supports I needed. I anticipated a long fight and was pleasantly surprised that it only took a couple of weeks using the tools I learned with Ben’s guide. Thank you!!!

  36. This as very helpful article, and yet I have another question. I was recently approved for VR&E here in Alaska and my plan was approved as well. Here is the rub, I’m not being rehired with my present employer and in the next 3 weeks will loose the employer provided housing. My wife and I own a home in another state and will have to move back there as we don’t have a job or place here, will I need to be re-approved in that state and do the whole process again, or does my plan just move to the new state? Thank you for your time.

  37. Anybody gone through the process of requesting another counselor?

    As many people have mentioned, my counselor is the biggest problem at this point and he is either purposely being difficult to see how committed I am or he is just lazy (probably a combination of the two).

    I’m going through the Dallas, TX VA so I know this guy cannot be the only counselor at this location. At this point, I fired off email stating to either get me in for an appointment or give me the contact information for another counselor who can better assist.

    Anybody ever had to request a different counselor?

    1. I had great counselors but if you’re having a prob easiest way is advocate, they report all patient issues to director so if employee is a problem they get ammo on them. Your counselor should respect your request for new person if you ask em directly.

  38. I have a 90% rating and have been accepted into a prestigious MBA program. I recently applied for Voc Rehab (Texas). Is there anywhere I can find a guide to what to expect in the interview and how long I can expect things to take?

    1. There is no way to prep you for the interview because each counselor is different and each division has it’s own areas that they expect the counselors to focus on. If the college where you have been accepted is private, you must show that a public college is not available or a compelling reason that the private will meet needs that a public college can not. Also that you need the MBA to obtain suitable employment. Voc Rehab is not for employment advancement or promotion.

    2. I hope I am not too late with my reply, I took care of everything in one appointment and left the VA, went to the school and got my books and supplies. The key is to be prepared. Know what you want to do and have a solid plan for getting there. Find jobs that interest you and print out the education requirements and future earning potential. Three should suffice. Find schools that offer the programs you are interested in. If there are any test you need for the school go and take it and bring the results with you to your appointment. Also bring a copy of your resume’. The VA gives you a test to see what you should be good at. Hopefully you know that already and the jobs you want will agree with the results. In fact I was so confident that I would be accepted that I registered for, started and paid for my classes a week before my appointment. My counselor approved me for the program, gave me the 1095 to take to my school and a voucher for a flash drive and book bag in addition to my other supplies. I will be registering for my next semester next week and will bring by class list so I can get a scientific calculator, camera and MacBook pro along with all the software I will need to complete the program.

  39. Jen Roy – the problem with VRAP is that unless the college you are attending understands the requirements to get paid – you are the one that suffers. Remember you MUST be attending as a Full Time Student and the VA GIBill uses 12 credit hours as the FT standard for VRAP. You must be enrolled and attending classes. Then you have to report on a monthly basis to the GI Bill folks. I believe the school verifies your enrollment and attendance. Also remember that the VRAP program is an approved federal education program and if you are on unemployment – you can ask to be placed in training with your state UI – and then you are able to forego the weekly job search while you are in school. You still have to file a weekly and the school has to sign the weekly and fax it over each week to collect the UI.

    Connie – Arizona DVOP

  40. Is there a resource to help me identify my rights and resources as a 100% IU / 90% (with several conditions) complete and permanent service connected disability. Four years ago, I had worked myself back from some severe medical conditions and felt capable of returning to the workforce. With no funding and tight financial situation, I felt a finished degree would help me return to the workforce after several years of unemployment. My Voc Rehab counselor told me without any questions that I was too sick of a woman to go back to work and the VA would not put me in a position to acerbate my medical condition. At the time, I wanted to believe that I was able to work in a less physical environment than my previous career in electronic equipment repair/instructor. I fought to stay in consideration. He discovered I did not have a vehicle and told me he would proceed further until I got a vehicle to attend school. When I got a vehicle, he told me I had taken too much time and he was no longer offering any help other than sustainable living. I asked to be considered for it, and he never called me back. When I wanted to find out what happened, I received a letter telling me that my request was denied and closed because I failed to respond in reasonable time. It was several meetings leaving his office feeling emotionally and physically drained.

    One time, after we discussed keeping communication open to the outside through a computer, he suggested this huge fancy system and a chair worth a few thousand dollars. I told him I had a computer even if it was xp, and very outdated. He then said he would put in for it for me, then moved his chair close to me telling me that people commit fraud and he would not want me to commit fraud. He went on to describe a veteran who claimed he had a disability that gnarled his hand and wrist as he went into a contorted look and position with his hand wave a claw like hand within inches of my face. I had not asked for the system or fancy chair, only wanted help to get into some form of supplemental income to help pay my bills while giving me purpose. He claimed he went to prison for fraud. I had nightmares for weeks of a gnarled hand coming to get me, not because of any guilt, rather the look on his face and the hand within inches of my face. He did other things that left me extremely depressed after each meeting with him.

    There has been an auto accident since,(we were rearended), which caused additional physical problems and has removed me dream of returning to the work force. Still, I am left with a very bad taste of lies and manipulation. It would be nice to have a newer system and a chair that protects my back, however, it is not worth going back for further abuse.

    My question is, do you know of a standing rule that does not allow the Voc Rehab to put 100% UI into training if it might create further medical problems for the Veteran? I am asking this because I tried to get widow’s Social Security to help pay off bills that we jointly were paying and was denied. Social Security says I could work. This statement may help me in my upcoming hearing with Social Security. Any help would be appreciated. What a system!

  41. So here’s what Voc Rehab did to me. I applied, told them my plan, told them the specifics of my plan for Graduate School, for which I will be relocating. When they approved me they told me they would approve my plan before I left NYC. So they took the remaining 5-6 months away from my Post 9/11 Gi Bill away from me, then when I got my actual case manager he refused to approve my graduate program and told me I’d have to wait until I move and my case was transferred to a different region, which could take months. I graduate in two weeks, start graduate school in three, and I currently still have no place to live, and nobody will approve me even for rent b/c I have no proof of income other than my disability, which isn’t high enough to meet income requirement. Wife and two kids,….about to be homeless in less than two weeks.

      1. Kelly, Voc rehab is there to help veterans that were identified with a service connected disability to gain training for a higher chance of sustainable employment. This program was developed for a purpose that obviously was present for more than one person other than avoiding getting a job. If the programs were provided as planned, there would be a higher level of taxable income from those who completed the program rather than funneling veterans into financial challenges and creating a larger tax burden on all.

        Chris, check out the local medical program for “Homeless Vets”. There are numerous programs particularly for veterans with families that can be provided to help you through this temporary challenge.

        I found a link to the national hotline for homeless veterans
        National Call Center for Homeless Veterans:

        The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) has founded a National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline to ensure that homeless Veterans or Veterans at-risk for homelessness have free, 24/7 access to trained counselors. The hotline is intended to assist homeless Veterans and their families, VA Medical Centers, federal, state and local partners, community agencies, service providers and others in the community.

        To be connected with a trained VA staff member call 1-877-4AID VET (877-424-3838) .

        The same site provides other links.

        Best to you, and congratulations on your degree. Looking forward to the awesome outreach you can do when you reach your goal.

        One veteran to another “Thank you for serving!”

      2. wow kelly you are super helpful and I hope it comes back to you in the future :}

  42. I requested my file to be transferred and another VR& E counselor The VR& E officer denied my request. He also threaten to dis-enroll me for non-cooperation if I did not work with the counselor and employment counselor.. I am in the same commuting distance to Philadelphia and New York. Is there a regulation stating you can not transfer your files or to another counselor.

  43. Ben Krause deserves applause for his efforts here. I’ve applied for VocRehab 3 times. I was denied 3 times. I’ve requested an administrative review. I’ve gotten my State Senator involved. I’m in Law School now, and used the skills I’ve learned there to write my request for administrative review. My initial meeting with the VocRehab Counselor lasted less than 15 mins. I went straight to the M28, the CFR and USC to point out that the counselor didn’t take the appropriate amount of time to evaluate me or my conditions. The point in all of this is use what Ben has supplied here to make a stand for your benefits. You earned them. The counselor told me that since I had not applied for a job in the time I was in law school that I didn’t qualify for VocRehab, and that I had transferable skills that made me employable. I pointed out that the definition of suitable employability must include the veteran’s interests. I was interested in being a lawyer that owned his own practice. When I asked to speak with another counselor, he told me that I couldn’t and even if I could that those counselors would tell me the same thing. I’m pushing back, hard, and even I’m not successful, they’ll know they were in a fight.

    1. Mike I have a JD and years later applied for VA benefits and received a 70% rating. I applied for Voc Rehab and was accepted via the New Orleans VARO. I moved to Florida a few months later and decided to pursue my LLM last June.

      2 months ago I was approached by an LLM Professor and was asked to apply for the SJD program as I only have a thesis to complete the LLM program. I contacted my Voc Rehab counselor and asked him about the SJD funding via me changing my Individualized Written Rehabilitation Plan.

      My God you would have thought I spit in his coffee. He swore that I could not change my plan. I then quoted him the statute under 38 CFR § 21.94 Changing the Plan given the fact that I still have 30 months left.

      He then said well I am only to be “rehabilitated to the point of employment” but left out that as that may be true the law also says:
      (a) General. Rehabilitation to the point of employability may include the services needed to:
      (1) Evaluate and improve the veteran’s ability to undertake training;
      (2) Train the veteran to the level generally recognized as necessary for entry into employment in a suitable occupational objective. Where a particular degree, diploma, or certificate is generally necessary for entry into the occupation, e.g., an MSW for social work, the veteran shall be trained to that level.

      But the above law is referencing my goal or objective. So IF I have 30 months left and I can accomplish my SJD within the 30 months then essentially it is my business if I want to pursue a SJD. Even if I could NOT obtain the SJD in 30 months I could apply for an extension because I have a severe disabling service connected rating. In this instance I only need 30 more hours!!

      When a Veteran has been accepted into a program do NOT exit the program until you have maximized your rehabilitation to OBTAIN and REMAIN employed. The law clearly states:

      38 CFR 21.70 – Vocational rehabilitation
      (a) General. The goal of a vocational rehabilitation program is to:
      (1) Evaluate and improve the veteran’s ability to achieve a vocational goal;
      (2) Provide services needed to qualify for suitable employment;
      (3) Enable the veteran to achieve maximum independence in daily living;
      (4) Enable the veteran to become employed in a suitable occupation and to maintain suitable employment.
      (ii) In the case of a veteran for whom achievement of a vocational goal is feasible, such needed services include assisting the veteran to become, to the maximum extent feasible, employable and to obtain and maintain suitable employment;
      (2) The term also includes the monetary assistance authorized by Chapter 31 for a veteran receiving any of the services described in this paragraph.

      A GOAL is defined as:
      A vocational goal is reasonably feasible when the following conditions are met: (1) Vocational goal(s) has (have) been identified; (2) The veteran’s physical and mental conditions permit training for the goal(s) to begin within a reasonable period; and (3) The veteran: (i) Possesses the necessary educational skills and background to pursue the vocational goal; or (ii) Will be provided services by the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop such necessary educational skills as part of the program. 38 C.F.R § 21.53(d) (1995).

      In closing he allowed his true intent to come out when he said that my LLM has cost the VA a lot of money and time. Yet it is all to reflective of the mentality of many at the VBA (Veterans Benefit Administration). We as Vets have served our Nation with honor to include combat vets as myself and have to deal with this constant B.S. rhetoric. What a shame.

      Regardless I have my case law and statutes in line to deal with this guy. What a wast of energy this tug of war with the V.A. can be.

      1. I am interested in earning a JD, LLM. Did you already have your undergraduate before applying? I have a stale BA but the VRC wants me to do a lousy paralegal program because as she cites 6 other veterans that got their JD paid for either could not pass the bar or get a job after passing the bar.

        Any suggestions on getting a JD plan approved?

      2. Corey Anyhony I think you can sum it up real fast. Most if not all government agencies are filled with the service line “save the tax payers money”. They often do this by discrediting and bullying. If they got bonuses for soldiers helped….I guarantee you voc rehab would look different.

    2. Voc Rehab is a NEEDS based program. They are not Disneyland – making dreams come true. The program is set up to assist disabled veterans in becoming qualifed for suitable employment – most of the time it is entry level type of employment. A Para-legal for instance, then the veteran can go on to advanced education if the choose to. As a disabled veteran myself I was greatful to have Voc Rehab during my education period because I probably would not have chosen the right field or the right program and would have squandered away my benefits. I have been employed for a number of years and and now looking for promotion potential. That will require a Masters Degree. This is on me, not the VA. They have done thier job, it is up to be to take responsibility for my continued growth. Voc Rehab is not welfare – just because some veterans can bully thier case manager into getting excessive benefits does not make it right. GET A JOB and quit living off of the government.

      1. I just love it when VA employees write in (like Kelly above) – they almost always get the law wrong and then slam veterans for trying to get the most out of programs like Voc Rehab, “just because some veterans can bully their case manager into getting excessive benefits does not make it right.” Well Kelly, you have clearly not read the Code or the Regulations or the M28 very closely. There are laws and regulations that dictate how the program works. These laws and regulations must be followed. Sometimes that allows some veterans to get advanced degrees. Sometimes it does not. However, to assert that all veterans get advanced degrees through “bullying” implies that Voc Rehab Case Managers do not follow the law.

        That, in and of itself, is an interesting position to make while slamming your fellow veterans who were more fortunate than yourself while you are a VA employee.

      2. Agree with Mr. Krause. I believe this forum is critical for Veterans understanding of their entitlement under 38 USC, CFR, and M28.

        The respondent noted that Veterans were bullying their way to benifits. This is a misnomer because any benefits VA may award a Veteran is based on the 38 USC and CFR. Hence, when the respondent said Veterans bully benefits, this position is faulty because the code and regulation authorize the benefits. For example, if a Veteran was requesting something the code and, or, regulation does not authorize; then VA cannot approve it. In other words, although the respondent saw these Veterans as bullies; this conclusion is an error because, really, what those Veterans accomplished was to press VA to follow the law; otherwise VA could not grant the Veterans request. I stress a Veteran cannot bully VA into accomplishing an unlawful act. Hence, any pressure a Veteran poses on VA, which if VA grants the Veterans request must be lawful.

        In addition, as Veterans, we are thought to abide with an authority figures decision. This was incorporated into our mental condition from entrance into basic training through out our military careers. However, when the authority figures are not following the rules, this leaves a Veteran in a vulnerable position.

        My suggestion is once VA has given a Veteran a unfavorable decision, the Veteran should conduct research such as read 38 CFR and USC applicable sections and case laws to validate the VA decision (these can be found on-line). For example, as stated above the respondent is not veteran friendly and any decision he or she makes will most likely be against the Veteran. While the respondent may not represent VA commitment to Veterans, he is an example of the mindset some Veterans must face when seeking out there entitlements.

      3. Kelly, once again, you have made assumptions that those that get benefits to progress in their chosen career field that will fit their disability needed to “bully their caseworker into giving them what they wanted.”

        As a 100% service connected veteran, I have become a volunteer advocate for all veterans.

        Not only was I bullied when I expressed the desire to complete my degree program to get back into the workforce and off disability, the caseworker played psychological games on me until I gave up. In research on this caseworker, he did this to multiple individuals as if he gained a special kudo or payrate for driving deserving veterans away from rehab.

        As a disabled veteran, I had to change my career field of experience into a more flexible, less physical career requiring a degree. I only had one year to complete my BA. Since I am a Vietnam Era/Desert Storm veteran, there are no education benefits left to use .. the time after discharge was used trying to get back into the work force and working menial jobs because that was all I could get because of my disability. It took 7 years for them to come around with my VA service connected rating and several jobs lost due to my physical limitations. A less stressful job on my health that could have been gained through the degree program I was pursuing would have saved over a decade of struggle, pain, and constant public scrutiny, judgement, and criticism. It would have made all the difference in the world for my sons (I was a single Mom, my ex-husband was an absentee Father).

        Instead of assuming other veterans are out to scam the system, perhaps you can help them find direction and positive leadership and motivation to become a resource of strength and growth for the community in which they live.

  44. my thoughts on these articles is that they are spot on as i have been going to school since January of 2013 and have yet to receive any money from the VRAP what a big SNAFU

    1. Have you been calling in every month to certify your attendance
      It generally takes a full month before you receive any money just so yow know.

    2. Back in 2009 when I used the Voc Reh I didn’t know about the subsistence allowance. I ask my case manager for a bus pass to get to school. Her response was that’s what your subsistence allowance if for – “What’s that”? I asked.

      My case manager was not very forth coming with information. I felt so bullied by the case manager I asked for another worker-but was denied, I had to face the wicked witch with a snooty attitude again-research my own rights-without any help from the case manager.

      [you know the one who gets paid to help Disabled Vets and Kelly who entry May 22, 2013 at 5:15 pm “just because some veterans can bully their case manager into getting excessive benefits does not make it right. GET A JOB and quit living off of the government” It took two semesters before I got the subsistence allowance]

      I got the subsistence allowance (back paid for two semesters at Christmas 2010). Finished the certificate program at the local community college and didn’t get a job. Who wants to hired someone over 60 years old with 80 % disability.

      Roy: I trust things worked out well for you.

    1. They pay for any tools needed for your field. I received a computer, printer, and an expensive calculator for my computer science field. What I did with the calculator was purchased it without asking, then emailed my voc-rehab counselor and told her I bought it because I needed it and didn’t know if they paid for it. I emailed the receipt and got reimbursed within a few weeks. If you need something ask, but have a reason and a backup as to why. What I have learned is be nice to them under every circumstance.

  45. I have a 10% disability, and I am still waiting for the outcome of my other service-connected application. My initial VA Voc Rehab told me that it is very difficult to get in VA Voc Rehab with simply a 10% disability. I don’t know how VA count the value of each organ, but I got a liver disease. That makes me feeling extremely tired most of time. Is that true with only 10% should be treated like it worth nothing in VR&E application?

  46. Cuntinued : If any one can tell me how or wear I might look for those medical records for August 1969 or what I can do to prove the injuries and wounds did happen please tell me. I gave VA dates and place and when they found the records showing the dates and places they could not find my medical records for those injuries, this part of my life is so very important to me cause I feel like I should have received a Purple Heart like so many who did not. so if you were there with the 9th infantry or the 191st 1969 Dung Tam give me a shout. GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

    1. Sgt. Simmons, when I filed for an increase from 20 to 70%, I had to appeal because the VA could not find the majority of my medical records — and this is the reason they used to deny me. However, when my case went before the Board of Veterans Affairs, they simply said that it is not up to the veteran to find their records, it’s up to the VA regional office — Therefore, they had to find the records themselves or award the claim. They awarded the claim. I hope this helps…God Bless you too!

      1. I just wanted to say thank you to Sgt. Roberts, I will let you know how everything turns out my claims are still pending.

      1. Sounds like your files may have been lost in the 1970 fire. VA bears the burden of producing the files. As Sgt Roberts, prior email reply noted, VA would have to award.

  47. Hello Everyone I’m Ernest Simmons Jr. Vietnam Vet 1969 – 1970 191st AHC Dung Tam and Can Toe Airfield. my first 14 days in country we went thru three rocket mortar attacks I was hurt jumping off top of the bunker hitting my back and head on the door and was knocked out I was pulled into of the connex that was use for the bunker, I was given doavon for pain and sent back to work the second attack a round hit so close to me that the blast threw me and my entire right side of my body seem to be on fire and the pain went thru me, I was just 18 years volunteered for service and Vietnam at 17 years at NYC times square recruiting. none of this new about keeping records none of us though about how we would feel thirty fourty years later we were just glad as hell to be alive. it took 33 years for VA to finally find my records even though several request were made by myself and others, VA borrowed my records from St Louis in 1979. when I received them more than half my records were missing including the records of the wounds during those two attacks, no one can find them and believe me I have search. all of those years that I did not have my records I was denied and there reasons for denying my claims was NO MEDICAL evidence, those when I received them some of the medical conditions I told them about was there. I’m still fighting with VA about some of the conditions concerning my back and head and now Peripheral Neuropathy, I have just been given 70% rating PTSD and I was recently given 100% temporary for Cancer. in the pass I have tried to take my life for many reasons and most of those reasons come from my military service 6 years 4 months. It is a all up hill fight for your rights and your benefits but do not do what I use to do GIVE UP fight until you die.

  48. My Vocational Rehab counselor told me that I had seven months left in the program. I enrolled in school to complete my Master’s degree in education. I will complete this program in one year. I have been in school since September. I plan to start teaching in the 2013 school year. Recently I spoke with my counselor. Now she says that her supervisor has denied my Vocational Rehab because of my disability. She states that because I have Fibromyalgia, I will not be able to teach school. However recent tests have indicated that this diagnosis in incorrect and I am within normal limits medically. Can she make this decision? Who can I appeal to?

    1. Mona, I do not think they can deny your benefits like that. Get the denial in writing and then just appeal it. You have the right to appeal ANY decision that the VA makes. The last time I saw a Voc Rehab counselor, she asked too many questions about my disabilities. It got really annoying because I do not think she’s qualified to assist me with my conditions. I felt she really overstepped her bounds..

  49. I’m not a Veteran, but I am disabled. They do this test thing for the government I scored 4 out of 5, meaning I’m extremely disabled, but not enough for the government to put me on disability, I’m just -EXTREMELY- unlikely to find work on my own. Voc Rehab offered to pay for graduate training to make me more desirable, as long as I completed it in -ONE YEAR- yeah, you heard me right, do four years of college in a -single year-. Because of my disabilities it took me -10- years to get an AA. That’s a two year degree in 10 years. And despite the fact I have Advanced Access Training, they won’t get me the means to keep my skills from rusting but hey they will help me get a McDonald’s job even though they -know- that it puts me at risk of a fatal mental break down. They need a serious overhaul of the system. I’m not even working with a local agent because the only guy ‘allowed’ to work for them in my town caused me to explode in public (something that doesn’t happen) due to his constant lies and horrible treatment of me.

  50. Thank a lot people, I have learned a lot from you and the website… Much appreciated and God bless all the Vet..

  51. i used voc rehab to get a bachelors degree. however i was told that they would not pay for my masters which i had to pay for myself. wish i knew now what i didnt know then. i am unable to work in my degree field. i have recently recieved an increase in my disability from 30 to 80% percent. so my question is this. can i use voc rehab again.

    1. Of course you can. You simply need to tell them of a career choice that requires a degree. Whichever job you choose that requires more work, is usually the safer bet. I had to fight tooth and nail to get my master’s in international affairs because the first counselor said that an undergrad degree was enough. However, if you say you want to be a lawyer, then how can you be a lawyer without a law degree, or a doctor without a medical degree. If the first lady says no, then speak to her boss. Don’t ever give up. The VA is just lazy and needs to be prodded in order to get what you what.

  52. It took me just shy of two years to receive my disability rating. I am 50% disabled and I have already been attending under graduate school. My plan A is to apply to medical school. Plan B is to go all the way to earn a PhD in biology and do research and teach at a university. I have just been approved for the voc rehab but they said they probably won’t pay for anything above a bachelors. I am already classified as a junior. I am very glad I came across this article. Thanks for the valuable info and I will make sure that I am able to receive benefits to attend medical school and or grad school.

  53. I’m rated at 80% with 70% for PTSD I’ve had lots of difficulty including Voc Rehab sending me to truck school. My current counselor seems cool she actually looked at my situation and overturned the rehabilitated status and now I’m in. When I spoke with her she assumes that I can’t handle nursing school as this was my top choice because its stressful for most people. She had me look into other healthcare positions and the one that seems the best for me is Veterinary Medicine. I currently have a bachelors degree and would need 24 credits of prereqs before being able to apply. My concern is that she said she doesn’t think I can handle nursing school and veterinary school is harder. I’m good with sciences, I’m a total nerd that studies biological science chem and physics for fun. For me animals nature and science are theraputic. These things help me unwind from stress and that is why Ive become more focused on DVM. How can I convince her of this fact, and to get to go to vet school? I know myself, my family thinks its a good idea, but I have this person who doesn’t know me or my abilities in control of my future. Please give me some ideas. Thanks

    1. Jeremy,
      I am in the same position as you are. I have a BA in Biology and I want to be a veterinarian. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a vet. However, I have super low self-esteem and self-confidence and I’ve been telling myself for the past few years (because of what I read and heard from other people about how difficult it is to get in) that I would never be accepted into vet school. Due to this fear of rejection, I began looking for alternative medical jobs and requested to use voc rehab for a physician assistant degree (masters). I was denied because they said my PTSD disabilities would hinder me from attaining my goals as a PA. Nice way to boost my already low self-esteem. If the VA thinks that of me, what would they think if I asked to go to vet school?? my goodness, they would probably laugh at me. Anyway, after reading this article and others by Ben, I think I want to pursue my dream with a career in vet medicine. It’s probably gonna be a fight, but I think I need to do this. I don’t want you to give up either. Let me know if you get any advice from anyone and I will do the same.
      Good luck!

  54. I recently graduate and my sorry counselor have not made contact with me overr a year. My degree was supposed to been in high school English, but I did not pass the state teachers  exam. Therefore, I could not finish the education program and graduate with an BA in english. I cannot find suitable employment. I requested to go to school to get a MPP or MBA so I can work at the the college level with students and I was told they do not pay for a master degree. Please help with advice.

  55. I’m an 84 year old veteran with a 70% service related disbaility. I have started several manuscripts for stories and books and need help with transcription and typing. I was told that there is electronic equipment available that uses voice recognition and can be used with Ipad or computer . I’m wondering if my veteran’s status would qualify me to receive aid in the purchase of this equipment . Who to see and where to buy??? Thanks.

  56. I am 80% disabled veteran and I have applied for Voc Rehab to get my BA. they aprove, I also still have my GI bill .Question : where can I find out if VA will reduce or cancel my disability after finish my school program, somebody told me, they will and I worry about it.

    Thank for your attention,

    1. Your risk of losing your ability has nothing to do with school. Whenever you go above 70% in disability, the VA reserves the right to have a follow-up visit to make sure you are still 80% disabled, unfortunately that is just the way it is. If you get down to 70% you never have to have a checkup visit again, but it makes sense. If you were to be 80%, improved, and then they were just throwing money away, they would look pretty foolish.

  57. i am currently working with voc rehab , im in school now tryining to transfer to a 4 year college but im being told that va will not pay for a bachelors they will only pay for an associates but i live in san diego and there are no jobs under voc rehab guidlines that except only associates degrees. so they are going to deny me any way just on that alone . they want you to put together a program for your success then they say they wont pay for that so yes you fall through the cracks because they will say that im the one who failed to adhere to the program

    1. They are lying to you. I am currently a senior in my bachelor’s degree program through the VA Voc Rehab program. I had problems with my first VA Counselor, so I went their office and insisted on being assigned a new counselor. The first one told me that I couldn’t go to an online school unless it was for a business degree. My 2nd counselor (in the same office) approved an online program for a degree in Psychology and Christian Counseling. Don’t take just one person’s answer! You have to fight for your rights with the VA so keep at it and you will get what you need. You can always write to your Congressman as well…they usually get things to happen quite quickly. Good luck.

      1. That is not exactly true… When you apply for VR&E benifits, part of the intiial application is an apptitude test, if you do not score well enough they will not pay to send you to a 4yr or graduate college. It would not be in the VA’s or the Veteran’s best interest to send someone to school, when they are not capable of understanding and thus completing the degree requirements. I am in the VR&E program currently, I scored well enough that my individual program plan is worded to include Undergraduate/Graduate/Ph.D./Clinical Certifications, it is all in there. The right thing to do is be honest and firm with your counselor and tell them what you want up front, it can be very difficult to change the plan later on.

  58. I am going to undergradute school. I was interested in studying aboard; however my Voc Rehab Counselor told me I couldn’t because the program wasn’t covered under chapter 21. Well another veternan using his GI bill was allowed to study aboard!? I told the counselor what I found out and she told me it was different coverages between us both? I thought Voc Rehab was using our GI Bill to cover for our classes therefore we should be able to use Voc Rab to study aboard! What do you all think?

  59. I had my first meeting with my V.R.& E. Case Mgr. last week, I am interested in the A.G.I. Gunsmithing course. She reviewed my paper work & files & said that I was entitled under the Chapter 31 Program. She also said that I could do anything I wanted except gunsmithing, when I asked her why not she said it was because I have P.T.S.D.

    I am rated @ 50% P.T.S.D., however it seems funny to me that I can pass an FBI background check to purchase a gun, get a C.H.L. & even get a F.F.L., but I can’t study gunsmithing because I have P.T.S.D. Personally I don’t think the Lady like guns very much by a couple of remarks she made.

    My questions are: 1) Is she telling me the truth? 2) How can I get another Case Mgr. without creating more problems? 3) I applied on line initially, should I go through the DAV & let them handle it now?

    Thanks in advance for you help in this matter!


  60. I am currently employed as a Facilities Engineer and make a pretty good wage, but have deteriorated over the last couple of years and increased my rating from 20-30%. I am hoping to utilize voc rehab to be more competitive in my field or another field in which will decrease degree of labor intensity. What is the feasibility that my claim will be denied due to currently being employed?

  61. I just had my second Voc rehab appointment today. I was denied. There was no doubt that I have a severe employment handicap. The problem was her opinion that I am not stable enough for employment to be feasable right now. She told me to come back in a year. She also said that I had to give up my non-service connected pension in order to be in the program. Then she started into some BS about the 48 months. My mental health professionals who are way more qualified as Doctors were the ones who suggested I apply for Voc rehab. She never even asked me what it was that I wanted to do! How can she say that I can’t be employable with proper training. I want to be a nurse and that takes 3 years in my circumstances. I am just confused. I thought the program was supposed to help veterans like me!

    1. You can’t stop at one person. Tell her you want to talk to her supervisor and plead your case. Most of the time the people are just lazy and don’t want to the extra paperwork. Which sounds like BS, but they really try to defer more people than they accept. You should get a letter of recommendation from your mental health professionals or not even bring it up in the first place. The program is designed to help veterans but you have to play their game, but once you understand their game, its quite easy to manage. You just need evidence, and logic. Get those letters of recommendation, and settle for no. You’ll get on their nerves, but you’ll get what you want.

  62. Hello,

    It is not just Vets that VR are discouraging to go to school. I am on SS disability and I have been trying to get into the VR program for over a year. They keep putting me off with excuses then no phone calls. This is even after I have had an advocacy person helping me. She did remember some very important issues in the meeting. VR is fibbing to me and even got medical records without my permission. I am furious and I do not know who I can contact to help me. I ma tired of going to mediation with these people as they only tell the mediator what they want to hear then they go back doing the very same thing, which is nothing. I would like to know who to contact to either sue them (I could have been in school and out by the length of time they have put my life on hold) or get the fire torching under their behinds. This is totally ridiculous! I need direction as do many other people. Who do we go to for help here?

  63. Question ::: It states above that, “Additionally, veterans with an IU are also allowed to use the program. Further, finishing the training program does not automatically result in a reduction of IU. Supposedly, it cannot be reduced for a year following employment.”

    My question is regarding IU. Where can I find out that IU will not be reduced for a year following employment?

    Thank you in advance

  64. To the person looking to get the student loans dismissed. Go online and look up disabled veteran discharge student loan. You can pull up the application and began the process.

  65. Served nearly 28 years of military service.Was AN ENLISTED GRUNT MARINE,Thengot a bs/AFofficer COMMISSION.RETIRED 97..ALL IS WELL.Taught hs for nearly 10 YEARS.Then MY world CAME apart.Son killed in iraq doing the same thing i did in nam m-60 machine gunner.Istarted having the nightmares of combat in nam, and in south americadrug contridictionprogram.GOT really suicidal and sent to ptsd program it saved my life.Got 100%P/T did not want it wanted to get healed and go back to work.See work way the form of selfmedication i used to keep mares away.every job i ever had both military/civilian i worked without pay for an additional 20plus hrs per. weel life is good. Son dies I had major set back told i NEVER could work again NOT safe for any future employer.I got so many meds i regular va psyc.In addition got tbi and lost many cognitive skills i once had.Dclared not stable enough to handle my own funds.EVERY place the VA has sent me for rehab my mind they all said i was the hardest worker on my rehab they ever had.OK fast forward MY memory is improving i can now do most things for myself i help home/ptsd veterans get help.I find i have for helping others.My question is how do i request the VA to pay for me to go back to college for Rehab purposes I got a mba way back when but now i feel starting at a ba/bs or even as/as would help me rehab what little braen cells i got left i really want to do this but can not afford it What do you recommend.

  66. I am 100% disabled and I have all these school loans for a degree I’ll never have. I need these loans to be forgiven! Where do I turn?

  67. I have finished with my Bachelor’s Degree and have been looking for work. I was told there is a stipend paid out while looking for work. Is this true? If so, where do I find the pay table?

  68. I always knew Voc Rehab in both Oakland, CA. and Birmingham, AL. were full of — Horse Pucky! Yeah, I cleaned it up, but this information infuriates me! Where is this so called “Oath” they swore by?!? Or is that an illusion, too!

    I received my B.A. in 1999, and though I had douche-bags for counselors, and was passed to several other Douche-bags along the way of finishing my B.A., I finally received it and was thankful. But then, due to VA doctor negligence for multiple years, which they’ll swear they knew nothing of, I lost my limb from misdiagnosis by VA doctors. That aside, I reapplied to Voc Rehab twice for grad school and denied each time being told I was “rehabilitated”.

    They said this knowing I had just lost my limb! It’s hard for me to sit here and write this knowing I want to see each of them doing hard time in federal pens for these incredibly despicable crimes they’ve committed against me and far too many other veterans. Okay, why isn’t our government doing anything?? WAKE UP WASHINGTON, DC — TIME TO TAKE SOME ACTION!

    But it doesn’t take away the fact that these scum-buckets already hurt many veterans and their families. Enough with threats of “days of reckoning”. It’s time our government held these “criminals”, yes CRIMINALS accountable. It may sound like ranting, but these are things needed to be said and by not only myself, but the thousands of veterans who’ve been hurt and those that are still being dismissed by these same JERKS!

    Now I’m sitting on a mound of debts in school loans and the actions that my government should be taking to assist me with getting out from all these debts is far and away taking way too long and always held up by ridiculous actions in our legislature. Now I’m trying to contact the folks at the VA Loans Forgiveness dept and all I’m getting are fax ringings. Can anyone assist with a number to this place for me to actually speak with a representative? Thanks!

  69. I have a 10% disability. I have been searching for something better than my $8/hr job. My Voc Rehab counselor, who rarely responds to my emails or voicemails, insists that since I already have a Criminal Justice BA degree: KEEP looking on USA jobs website and KEEP making “cold calls” to get an internship! Now is that what Voc Rehab Counselors get paid to do?

    1. They have a jobs coordinator at the office. If the Voc Rehab counselor is not mentioning this, then you need to tell him you want a new voc rehab counselor or that you want to see their supervisor. In addition to being disabled which gives you a 10 point veterans preference with federal employment (which pays back your student loans if you want a little extra cash, like i do), you should be placed on a “Select A” job listserv. Once again, the counselors are lazy and just need to be prodded. Threatening to need a new one is a good way to remind them that you aren’t going to take their shit.

  70. First off, thank you for your time and great information.

    My scenario is this; Marine Vet, I was out a few years and in the middle of radiology tech school before my disability rating of 20% was approved. I was using my GI bill while attending school at that time in 2002. I met with a Voc Rehab counselor who informed me of two things; It would be who’ve me to use the Voc rehab program instead of the GI Bill, yet in order to use the Voc Rehab, I had to repay the GI Bill that I had already used that year, which I did. The other issue he mentioned was that had I applied to Voc Rehab prior to the start of school, they would have NOT approved the Radiology Tech program due to my back condition which they would feel that it would aggravate my condition…. Fast forward 7 years and my condition has worsened and recently increased my disability to 40%. I currently have an appointment to reopen my Voc Rehab claim at the end of the month. I have been attending school (a bridge program for my B.S.) but had to stop due to unemployment and school is too expensive. I probably have another 2 semesters of school. I would like to go for a Physician Assistant program which requires me to get a BS then at least 2 years of additional schooling. Is there any advice you can give to me about attaining this goal through the VR Or any advice about what to expect they may tell me that I should fight them on. They are already stating that I have been rehabilitated in 2004. Ugh

  71. I guess the most important thing to do now, is pray that the doctors, workers, are put into the same situation as we are right now. Then perhaps there will be some compassion.

  72. My problem is that I am rated 60% and I am attending school via the chapter 31 program, but I am trying to get Individual Uneployability my counselor tells me that I can’t file for the IU. I get good grades only because the instructor passes pretty much everyone. I am not learning anything from this course (Graphic Design) because I cant concentrate. Please help!!!

    1. Honestly that sounds like great news. Pass the classes, get the degree, utilize alternate resources. It’s more about self study anyway, especially that kind of major.

  73. I’m a 60% SC disabled Marine VietVet. I am ssigned up with Chapter 31 and, thanks to it, will receive a BS this coming January. Halfway through my courses, I obtained a job, earning less then half of what I used to earn and completely out of the field I came from and wish to return to. I believe that a Masters degree will help me reach my goal. Will my current employment disallow me from pursuing the Masters?

  74. Chalena Mack — I am sorry to learn of your condition and poor treatment. When one veteran suffers, we all suffer. As this is not my web-site, I need to ask if it is OK to post comments to each other here. I am more-than glad to recommend education that would meet your needs, and also that of an organization and position that you would like to apply for.

  75. I am a disabled veteran rated at 70% for Retinitis Pigmentosa. I was denied my educational benefits under chapter 30/34 as I had a break in service and then the VA reduced my time for receiving my education benefits under chapter 30.
    I then tried to get educational benefits under Vocational rehabilitation only to be denied in writing because I have part-time employment (17 hours a week)
    I recently called the Voc Rehab counselor and ask if I could re-apply and he stated I would have to go to my employer and asked for a letter on their stationary that states my disability is not allowing me to live up to my full potential at work and then maybe they would reconsider.
    My concern: How ridiculous is that. I work for a well known international shipping company as a material handler. In other words I move boxes. It is a fast pace environment and this particular employer would not write a letter of this sort as it would place them in an uncompromising situation. They would be admitting that my employment may potentially create a safety hazard for me and my fellow employees. Although I do OK at work (no major accidents in my 1st year) as I am overly cautious, I know for a fact if I were to ask for such a letter I would become unemployed. They truly can get other employees with the current unemployment rate. They are skilled at letting people go.
    I am asking for your help to rectify this concern. I did revalidate my employment status to disable veteran recently. I have time to appeal their decision.
    I would like to finish my degree in Public policy Administration with an emphasis on non-profit. Any help you can recommend would be greatly appreciated.

  76. First and foremost, I must admit to attending school (off-duty education). Secondly, I accumulated much education… I am rated at 100%. I have four eye-conditions documented by the VA stemming from active duty. Vision in the right eye = 800/20. Everything is documented — all testing done by the VA. In fact I have had such problems with my eyes, that I have receieved 10 pr of eyeglasses in the last year…
    I went to Voc Rehab in hopes that I would receievs assistance to continue in my field. After immediately being told that,” you are not qualified because you work and have an education.” I started to leave…over the next proceeding hour and a half, the “counselor” found me “qualified.” He gave me his card and I was told I would have a follow-on appt. 3-months later I receieved a letter have an appt with him. My wife attended both meetings with me, and we are still asking what the point of the whole thing is/was? On my second appointment, the “counselor” sent me a website to the cerebral palsey foundation in San Diego. Evidentally, I am supposed to rent equipment from them, try it out, and report back to him at some unknown distant future place and time.
    I am a college prof, served 20-years on active duty, and things like the computer, cell phone, TV, I “see” in 3-D and through bleariness. The amount of disingenuine help is a shame…You just cannot make this stuff up…To further the point; the “counselor” also told me he had no access to my records, VA disabilities…which I was supposed to send him copies of my rating and decision boards, to include marathon eye exams. When I saw my primary care provider last week, I asked her for a copy…she turned the computer screen around and pointed to the commendts the the voc rehab counselor had left on my electronic chart. He had access the entire time….absolutely pathetic…

  77. After being told I qualified for voc-rehab, I asked to be allowed to pursue a masters degree onlone. I was told, “no.” The “counsellor” then offered me a B.A. degree from a local university. I told him I already had a B.S. degree but needed a masters to succeed in my field (Management Information Systems). After a couple of months he called to offer me an associates degree from a college 2 hours away. I restated my case that I needed a masters degree and asked hom what he was going to offer me next, a GED? He closed my case and that’s the last I ever tried. Now I’m trying to start a business but I figure I’m probably better off doing it without the VA’s involvement.

  78. This article is so on point! They told me that my disability disqualified me from Voc Rehab; limited my hours and added the stipulation that I would be kicked out of the program if I made less than a ‘C’ in any course. They tried to force me to take a major in a field that they wanted. I had to sit out an entire semester because they did not pay the university after I attended classes for two months! Test scores, papers, time all lost. They never paid for my eye glasses, dentistry, computer and other essentials. After I graduated Magna Cum Laude. They told me that they did not pay for grad school. They refused assistance in obtaining employment and waited two years after graduation to offer me an internship at $400 a month! When I refused, they closed my case and labeled my program as a failure. They have never paid me for my last two months of school. They are horrible people and had I listened to them, I was ‘set up’ to fail my program.

  79. I was told that I cannot continue to pursue my Criminal Justice degree which I currently have 49 credits with (before I became Voc Rehab approved). Per the Dept. of Labor “The outlook for future Employment of private detectives and investigators is expected to grow 22 percent over the 2008–18 decade, much faster than the average for all occupations.” My counselor said that the outlook for employment is not good….then why have me do the research if they are going to dispute the facts? I have been getting job interviews for work related to police/investigation, but lack the degree. I have proven to my counselor that I am able to find work in this field. I could have finished my AA degree this year but instead the counselor wants me to enroll in a local university and get a BA in IT related work which I am not that interested in. The graduation rate of the online school I was attending is almost 21% more than the local university. Nonetheless, I have made the effort to obtain an internship with the local police department and have enrolled with the online university and applied for financial aid. I’d rather be working at the end of this year than 3+ years from now.

  80. I just filled out my application today to use the VR&E benefits. I’m a young woman who was going into nursing but I will be unable to persue this career due to lifting requirements. I have back, knee and hip issues, so I did a little research and Surgical Technologists don’t deal with lifting at all and are about the same line of work that I wanted to be involved in.

    I spoke to someone on the phone today and the way she explained it was, they are going to have to decide if they think it’s necessary for me to work in that field so if they deny it…what do they do next? Give alternatives in my chosen field? I’m very nervous about the entire thing. How long is the application to first appointment process?

  81. I had originally entered the Voc Rehab program working towards a nursing degree. I had to stop that program due to an increase in my injuries, which in turn led to a 100% P&T rating. A few years later I have returned to try and use my Voc Rehab benefits to attend culinary school. My counselor told me that they would not approve the program because I have back problems that would not allow me to stand for long periods of time, and they felt that I would be unable to work in a kitchen environment, even though I told them that my goal was to work out of my home making cakes for individual events (weddings, birthdays, etc.). They told me that the Voc Rehab program would not pay for something like this, as they felt there was too large a margin for failure. I would really like to go to patisserie and baking school, but the VA rep at my Voc Rehab office is basically refusing to submit a package for it…Is there anything I can do? Thanks for your assistance, and I hope to hear from you soon.

  82. we were told if my husband increased his disability from 70% – 100% he could not finish is training that he has started at alocal school and he could never work he wants to go back to work and we are really suffering

  83. i have the skills to teach phys.disabled how to make from chair , i have been disabled 44years i would love to assist anyone who would like to learn how to be self sufficient , i will show you how get over the hump the old fashion way you do not have to be smarter than are, just ambitious & make your future # 1 priority . I GOT HURT BEFORE HIGH SCHOOL, & never made it thru the 9th grade, i am a real person who can help, former alcohol & drug attic , there is no exact way to get where u r going , just GET R DUN i will help u if u let me, bob or art 520-744-7382

  84. I need to get my packet to another counselor my counselor won’t let me even finish my BA Degree. I need help He says counseling alone is enough for me because I have marketable skills. I need to get my packet to another office/counselor…

  85. Ben,
    You have given a lot of D/V some hope, it is a shame all Voc Rehab counselors are not as helpful. I am a 40% service connected and my condition is deteriating. 10 months ago Voc Rehab sent me to school to help me get some sort of desk job. I live 4 hrs away from their office so we have done a lot of the paperwork by fax, etc. as they do not want to pay travel. anyhow I recieved a phone call from my counselor telling me that my stipidend contract was only good for 1 year and had run out therefore I would not be getting any more and that to continue schooling I would have to take out a loan or something. Luckly I was able to find a little work in my old trade but it is really interfering with my schooling. Is there anything I can do to get the subsistance reinstated? I have a 4.0 average so far but this term is getting really tough.
    Thanks for all you have done for fellow Veterans.

  86. i had a VRE counselor tell me he couldn’t do anything since even though I had some ratings, that there were too many deferred (including TBI) to be entered into a program. Took me 6 months and a couple congressmen and senators to get my case switched to another office.

  87. I have always had a dream of becoming a Gym teacher. When I was injured, I was discharged and subsequently enrolled in the Ch. 31 program. Because of the severity of my disability (wheelchair user-Spinal Cord) I decided I couldnt be a gym teacher. I enrolled in a program to get a degree in Art and humaities, just so I could get a teaching certificate. I did… FAST FORWARD 8 years

    I am now a lot more accepting of my disability. I am not happy with my job. I feel that I could be a gym teacher now. I want to go back to school and get a Masters in Kinesiology so I can get into PE. I was told just today by the VocRehab program that I am considered Rehabbed and not eligible for anything.

    1. It is difficult to get back into Chapter 31 while unemployed. It is even harder to get back in while employed. Your disabilities must have gotten worse or the skills you learned must no longer be current for employment. There are other reasons, but these two are the primaries. My guess is you went in there and stated what you just wrote above, which is why you were denied. Check out our eGuide on

  88. awesome stuff,
    90% SC and I will be graduating from a pretty good school this fall. Sure, they haven’t finished paying the bill but I am still happy I got what I could (the education). What I learned from dealing with voc rehab and attending school:
    You can do whatever you want in life
    You can inspire others to do the same
    Take nothing for granted
    Look between the lines
    Always second-guess
    second guess the second guess
    Show up in person
    Use chain of command, it works in civilian sector too..

    However, most importantly,
    Never quit

  89. I am a 100% disabled veteran and have applied for Voc Rehab to pursue a degree in Commercial Flight. The VA APPROVED me in August of 09. The contractor the school uses was not VA approved at the time so they put me in a certificate program until the approval came for the contractor. Two officials at the school were verbally promised, as was I, that when the contractor received their approval I would get my funding and put back into the degree plan.

    This happened in May of this year, and now I can’t continue because I do not have a Private License, which I gave my counselor 3 times to find out whether I needed it or not, and she told me ‘No, Voc Rehab will pay 100%.” Now they’re denying me my funding after they have already approved it. What is going on here? I know there is a statute that says a Private is required for Chap. 30. However, there is one in Book G that states otherwise, and it is in Part 38 CFR; Book G; Voc Rehab; limitations on flight training, rule 21.134.

    Thanks for looking into this,

    1. I have an appeal template dealing with this type of issue within the new guide for sale on You want to focus on the 6th appeal dealing with moving. The issue is they approved your program and are now trying to deny it. For whatever reason, Voc Rehab has a real hard-on for people who were approved for flight training and now are denying those guys if they didn’t have the private license. Apparently, there was a statute change and now they are trying to reneg. Little do they know that when there is a change in a statute midway through a claim, the decision falls in favor of the veteran. In addition, once a decision is made, they cannot up and undo it without process. The issue being you need to document and then appeal under the appropriate conditions. Some of that information is in the new guide.

      Hope this helps.

  90. Hey Ben! I have a 50% disability rating and I have completed half of my VocRehab training. The second half of my education will come from a university that I must move near to attend; it is over 2 hours away. Will VocRehab pay for my move or assist me with moving? This is the closest university to me that teaches my major, and going to this school is on my education contract with VocRehab. What do you think?

  91. Recently I wrote a letter to the Vocational Rehabilitation Dept. at the VA office in Decatur, GA., and I never received a letter or a phone call concerning mt request. Due to our economy I am forced to go back to school to receive my technical diploma as a HVAC Specialist. Don’t get me wrong concerning the Voc. Rehab. program; they did assist me with getting my Carpentry diploma, but as you know, no one is building anything at the moment. So, I decided to go back to school to get some more training in the field of HVAC… And I haven’t heard a word from them since I wrote the letter; even though I was told that they had received it. my question is where do I go from here?

  92. My VA Voc Rehab counselor told me the program wouldn’t pay for graduate school. When I basically demanded she show me the regulation governing the issue, I was magically authorized for “some” graduate school because I am 100% disabled. My “some” graduate school was an MBA. After I completed my MBA I was hired almost immediately for a job that required that level of education. I worked the job for six months and had to resign due to health problems. I guess my Vocational Rehabilitation was listed as a success because they had me fixed up with a job almost before I could finish school. The only problem is, I could not ultimately handle the job due to physical limitations. I guess now there’s no way for me to get the education I really need to once again return to the ranks of productive society.

    Is there any way I can get BACK into the Vocational Rehabilitation program and continue until I actually have the skills I need to work in the long term?

  93. 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. Take the time and research 38CFR. There is a section on chapter 31 and that section discusses commercial flight school.

    2. Kelly, I researched the issue for you; you can do the same. Please see 38 CFR section 21.134. You can google the section on line and this will give you the pertinent information.

      For example, you noted that your counselor said that VA will not pay for commercial flight school, based on this section, they do pay for flight training. However, it is limited to the flight training criteria under chapter 30. Both Chapter 30 and 31 are online; therefore, you can gain access to the regulation.

      In addition, as the Counselor has denied your request, 38 CFR requires he or she accomplish your denial in writing. I am assuming that you don’t have the denial in writing and recommend that you request a denial letter. You will be surprised to see if that decision, all of a sudden, changes. But again, he or she will see you as “bullying” him or her. LOL.

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