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Subject of this Town Hall Meeting for Veterans

I set this meeting up as the first of the year. It covers numerous topics and questions from veterans about the Dept of Veterans Affairs, Vocational Rehabilitation, Disability Compensation, GI Bill, college and related issues. The topics of discussion are below.

Where we were in 2012

  1. 1,000,000 Disability Claims Backlog
  2. Attacks against Constitutional Rights
  3. 1st Amendment Free Speech
  4. 2nd Amendment Gun Ownership
  5. 5th Amendment Due Process for Veterans

Where we are going in 2013

  1. Hell in a hand basket
  2. VA continues to ignore Congress and the law
  3. Veterans rise up


Books Worth Reading

We discussed texts that I am reading for my own research. My goal is to understand these thinkers who influenced our government. Their influence has evolved into the bureaucratic mess we see today. When you reverse engineer the theories of those like Edward Bernays, you can spot the liars in government immediately.

Propaganda – by Edward Bernays

• © 1928 – about how propaganda is used – supporting wars and consumerism in America and abroad. This text has a free preview from Google here <<Edward Bernays Propaganda Download>>


Engineering Consent – by Edward Bernays

• © 1947 – how to manipulate the American people who are “fundamentally irrational people [and] cannot be trusted.” This text is a free download here <<Engineering Consent Download>>


unSpun: Finding facts in a world of disinformation – by Brooks Jackson & Kathleen Jamieson

• © 2007 – teaches readers how to spot when they are being manipulated by politicians and similar snake oil salesmen. When applied, this text can teach veterans what to watch out for when the VA renders a decision.


Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time – Professor Carroll Quigley

• © 1966 – evolution of civilization in our time, written for State Department, giving you the REAL HISTORY of the past century. Quigley was one of President Bill Clinton’s top mentors at Georgetown University. Download it free from Rhode Isle Freemen here <<Tragedy & Hope Download>>


Tips on College for Veterans

1. Always attend the best college you can attend

• You can always change jobs, you can never change your alma mater
• Many universities allow veterans to bypass SAT / ACT
• Transferring to better schools is always an option


2. Student veterans should classes that suit their strengths – always

• GPA is what gets jobs for veterans


3. No one will know – and no one will care – that your degree, school, class were the hardest on campus

• They will know if the veteran graduated with honors
• Look at company websites; all specifics drop off the resume pages other than “with honors”


4. Disabled veterans should take advantage of Disability Services at your school

• Disabled veterans can get accommodations like special chairs while in college
• Student veterans with head injuries and psychological issues may be eligible for accommodations like extra test time, mandatory class waivers, etc
• Student veterans with disabilities may be protected by ADA


5. Veterans should get the highest amount of education you can right now

• The veterans benefits may not be their for your children later
• Further, freebies may not be appreciated by the next generation


6. Use your education to help influence the country NOW!


Questions Answered on Disability Compensation

  1. How can I speed up my disability compensation claim?
  2. How many veterans’ claims are denied?
  3. Are there different ways to gather evidence for your disability claim?
  4. How is Veterans For Common Sense suit impacting veterans disability claims?
  5. Why does a disability compensation claim of 40% plus a 10% increase not equal 50%?
  6. Can VA decrease my rating if I apply for an increase or use Vocational Rehabilitation while on IU?
  7. Can Total and Permanent disability rating result in student loan discharge?


Questions Answered on Vocational Rehabilitation

  1. My Vocational Rehabilitation counselor is an ass. How can I fix their wagon?
  2. Can you get in if you’ve been out of the military for more than 12 years?
  3. How long does Vocational Rehabilitation process take?
  4. Will Voc Rehab pay for certifications and related expenses?
  5. I have been unemployed for 14 months but have a degree. Am I eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation?
  6. Will Voc Rehab pay for certain accommodative items, like ergo chairs?
  7. Once approved for a vocational training track, is it easy to change or do two tracks at the same time?
  8. Can I move while in Vocational Rehabilitation but prior to starting training?


Questions from Veterans During Meeting

These are questions veterans were able to ask during the meeting through the software. MeetingBurner allows me to get field questions from the chat section and a Q & A section.

Time Message
7:18:12 PM What if I take classes that aren’t technically related to my major?
7:18:54 PM but don’t those classes have to be approved for your degree?
7:18:58 PM I have been told that they must apply in order to receive my GI benefits.
7:20:43 PM Ben, will a recording of this webinar be available? This is a lot of info very fast.
7:21:35 PM My appologies, not too fast, just have a terrible memory and I’d like the resource!
7:21:56 PM thank you!
7:22:00 PM Great!
7:26:28 PM When you have time: How do I know what SC % i should receive, or am entitled to?
7:28:40 PM Do you know what affliliation the Easter Seal program have with the VA?
7:29:02 PM VA Math
7:30:30 PM makes me sick
7:30:31 PM If the VA changes the math, does this mean that our current rating will be changed?
7:30:36 PM Will the changes effect current disibility ratings?
7:30:39 PM 38 CFR Part IV
7:30:46 PM Google it
7:33:21 PM How do you know if you are on IU or not?
7:34:33 PM I’m at 30%
7:35:04 PM If you apply for and get IU can that help increase your overall rating?
7:35:19 PM what about student loan discharge with IU?
7:36:12 PM If you apply for and get IU can that help increase your overall rating?
7:36:54 PM got it!!
7:37:10 PM Does that include Social Security?
7:38:05 PM Benjamin, Question on CUE appeal. I have SC for one condition, but it is at 0% I am looking at an increase, and I am thinking of going for
7:38:08 PM Shannon Murphy in Jacksonville,FL is excellent
7:38:20 PM k
7:40:13 PM I have my medical records, I have determined that for 8 months out of 12 before I had a medication that qualified me for a 60% rating.
7:42:37 PM Ben, when should I apply on ebenefits for voc rehab? Right away or after researching my case?
7:42:50 PM Never take the first no as final!
7:43:28 PM I never would have gotton law school paid for either
7:44:03 PM My counselor wanted me to go through the Easter Seal 8 months program because I have PTSD.
7:44:20 PM oh I have your book, it’s worth 10x what you charge
7:44:29 PM I am in VOC rehab now, strongly recommend Ben’s E-book on Voc rehab. I was accepted in grad school and taking classes
7:44:43 PM when I applied for and was approved for VOC rehab
7:45:05 PM could I get Voc Rehab to pay for massage therapy school while I wait to start grad school in July if I can explain how it fits my plan?
7:45:19 PM Did you get a computer for law school?
7:45:29 PM I was approved but then opt out to use my Post 911 GI Bill.
7:45:45 PM Please let Ms. Fanning know that Voc rehab counselors do not reply to emails or phone msgs for over 6 months or more.
7:45:49 PM nice
7:46:18 PM can i use the vrap program to coinside with voc and rehab ?
7:46:28 PM Mac Book Pro Nice!!!!
7:49:25 PM Do you have to be in a Voc Rehab program to apply for chairs,desks and other items?
7:50:16 PM If VA gives Veteran hearing aids is that proof of a hearing disability?
7:50:42 PM do we have to kiss voc rehabs ass, cuz i kind of voiced my frustrations w them the other day…ooops
7:52:04 PM Ben, I was trained as an Infantryman and deployed to Iraq, what do they base employability on? That infantry training?
7:52:23 PM Do you have any knowledge of the Independent Living Program administered via Voc Rehab?
7:52:24 PM What if your irritability is being managed by presrcription meds? Would I still be considered having PTSD?
7:52:44 PM These questions are all awesome, thank you so much, Ben!
7:53:45 PM can someone get Voc Rehab abd post 911 at same time
7:53:53 PM Folks I have to run and grab my wife something to eat thanks so much for doing this!
7:53:59 PM that makes sense
7:54:04 PM Does voc rehab have a max pay out per person?
7:54:18 PM Please post a link to this info.
7:54:36 PM oops, well i apologized apfter
7:54:38 PM Ben I will be in touch later!
7:54:38 PM after
7:55:11 PM <<< also puckered up
7:55:24 PM <<<=”” td=””>
7:56:09 PM can you use the vrap program with voc and rehab?
7:57:17 PM That is SO TRUE, Ben! They SO OFTEN speak in absolutes!!!
7:57:42 PM Voc Rehab paid for my bachelor degree and said that they would pay for public law school, but not private
7:58:00 PM You are so true! That’s exactly what happen to me!
7:58:28 PM is it easy to move with my program? Moving from ATL to MI and already applied to grad school there.
7:59:43 PM Certified mail return recipt requested
7:59:45 PM haha, ‘never trust what they say over the phone… or in person’
8:00:16 PM Email should be good proof also, right?
8:00:20 PM In business law, an oral contract is just as binding as written, what gives with the VA not acknoleding this?
8:00:28 PM VA speak with forked tongue!
8:02:02 PM parol evidence rule ha ha
8:02:46 PM do you suggest we tape conversations?
8:04:04 PM Forrest: not true i went to private law school
8:04:50 PM Mike, ok cool
8:05:32 PM what about moving programs like ATL to MI? Is it an easy transition?
8:05:42 PM Sounds like I would rather talk to a Priest!
8:06:05 PM What if your irritability is being managed by presrcription meds? Would I still be considered having PTSD?
8:06:36 PM How about if you are over 65 and get regular Soc Security?
8:06:36 PM How about if you are over 65 and get regular Soc Security?
8:06:50 PM Do you have any knowledge/experience with the Independent Living Program administered via Voc Rehab?
8:06:51 PM awesome!! same situation for me
8:07:42 PM I’m having a hard time thinking of how I could be unemployable, but retrainable… 🙁
8:07:49 PM How about if you are over 65 and get regular Soc Security?
8:08:20 PM stick it to the man!
8:08:25 PM if u are on ssi is it automatic 100% va disability? IU
8:09:10 PM most vso’s don’t know it exsists
8:09:15 PM can you back to cue
8:10:28 PM I won a cue got back 20% I have 80% will that give 100%
8:13:04 PM Sorry I hv to run but thank you so much for your time. I’ll email further questions!
8:13:13 PM Excellent presentation!
8:13:14 PM we have rights for all voc rehab records? Is there records such as this forensic rec?
8:13:42 PM Thanks for the information…
8:13:44 PM I’d love to be able to function as if I didn’t have a disability!
8:14:53 PM That sounds ripe for a constitutional challenge via due process
8:14:54 PM Thanks, Ben for everything…I have to run for now but is it okay to email you further questions?
8:15:42 PM Thanks for the presentation but have to close out shortly. Would appreciate transcript of webinar.
8:15:49 PM Gun ownerhsip is a problem for vets who the VA has said can’t manage their won affiars: financial etc. Being IU does not mean you have PTSD.
8:16:32 PM Thank you for your time Ben!
8:16:38 PM Thank you!
8:16:38 PM Thank you so much Ben…You’re the shit!!!!
8:16:40 PM Thank you and Good Night!
8:16:42 PM I am trying to get a PTSD claim
8:16:44 PM Are you sending out an e-mail of this?
8:16:50 PM Thanks
8:16:52 PM good job all
8:16:54 PM Thanks againBen
8:17:03 PM Great thanks
8:17:09 PM Bravo ZULO Ben
8:17:32 PM Greg Cavert, how are you ding so far?
8:17:53 PM Denied, denied