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Veterans: Anyone using VA voc rehab?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by rikudo, Nov 14, 2014.

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  1. jsooklal

    jsooklal

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    Wow, I'm 100% service connected and was told flat out...we are not paying for you to become a doctor.
     
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  3. MusicDOc124

    MusicDOc124 2+ Year Member

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    Go above them. They have no right to outright deny on those grounds.
     
    jsooklal and xffan624 like this.
  4. drparks1061

    drparks1061

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    That's incredible. Like MusicDOc said, go above. I am in a similar situation and have requested a different counselor. If that doesn't work, I'm emailing someone outside of that office.
     
  5. drparks1061

    drparks1061

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    Okay, that's what I figured. But I seem them easily just saying "no". I feel like they can simply say "how can we write a career plan for something that you haven't even been approved for yet?"
     
    silleme likes this.
  6. esob

    esob Protomolecule Lifetime Donor Gold Donor

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    They do it all the time, I see it on a regular basis in my work with other veterans on Ch 31 issues. The only prohibitive legal component is that they cannot write a plan that creates the need for > 48 months of benefits if you have not been determined to have an SEH. If you have an SEH, the sky is the limit.
     
  7. 0317todoc

    0317todoc

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    I have a similar question as drsparks1061, I am close to graduating with an undergrad in econ but have yet to start my prereqs. Can I still apply for the voc rehab with physician/surgeon as my goal? With the 48 month limit, the voc rehab would stop in the middle of med school. Is this a problem? I will also have 2 days left of gi bill after I graduate this may.
     
  8. MusicDOc124

    MusicDOc124 2+ Year Member

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    Your situation is different. Voc rehab often finds a BS/BA as employable, especially in fields like finance and related (I imagine Econ). Without pre reqs, and with a degree in a completely different field, they may push back at that because you are employable, not to mention it would be almost 48 months for Med school alone give or take, plus time/tuition for the prerequisites/post bacc.

    Did you use any of your GI bill? That takes away from the 48 months (i.e. If you used all 36 months, you have 12 months remaining).

    It has the potential to be an issue, but not necessarily. It can be approved to go beyond 48 months to see you get employed, but you often have to meet certain circumstances based on the counselors perception. They won't approve it unless it covers you all the way because halfway through med school doesn't make you employable, nor does it mean you've reached the goal.

    Good luck!
     
    0317todoc likes this.
  9. Idiosyncrasyy

    Idiosyncrasyy

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    Hey guys, great information here; thank you for that!

    I'm currently AD going through an MEB... Got diagnosed with Narcolepsy with Cataplexy, my PCM team expects me to be medically retired. (I easily meet the VSRD criteria for 80% with my condition)

    I'd like to be a psychiatrist once I transition out of the service, but as of right now I have very few college credits (my third full time semester of college begins fall of this year) I'd really appreciate any input you guys can provide. My initial plan was to pay for undergrad out of my pocket and then use post 9/11 on med school, but that was before I even learned about Voc rehab. Would I be able to effectively use it for med school having so few undergrad credit hours? I'm doing my best to take advantage of TA while I'm still in the service, but who knows how long that'll last.
     
  10. MusicDOc124

    MusicDOc124 2+ Year Member

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    Yes, but I'd start with the GI Bill to get on track as pre-med. Declare yourself in the field and make it obvious to your counselor when you apply that you want to be a physician (and have the grades for it that show you have aptitude and ability for it). There are benefits and risks to using v not using the GI Bill for undergrad while saving it for med school.

    Keep something in mind. While you may get 80% and thus qualify to apply, its still up to the counselor to some extend to approve med school. So make sure you're prepared to argue that your condition will not affect schooling (somewhat proven at that point with prior school work) or affect you on the job. Hopefully you can be rated with an SEH so that you can potentially get beyond the 48 month cap of the two combined.
     
    silleme likes this.
  11. schmoob

    schmoob SDN Moderator 2+ Year Member

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    What qualifies as SEH?
    I wonder if I can change my goal towards the end in case I specialize (many dental residencies charge tuition).
     
  12. Idiosyncrasyy

    Idiosyncrasyy

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    Thank you for the all the information!
     
    MusicDOc124 likes this.
  13. MusicDOc124

    MusicDOc124 2+ Year Member

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    It's up to the counselor, but essentially exactly what is stands for - "Severe Employment Handicap" - aka whatever you're rated for (handicap) must be [severe] enough to affect current [employment] or the field for what you've thus far been prepared for/trained in.

    For instance, if you're knees are rated at 100%, but you have a degree in accounting and a job in the field that pays fairly well or better than well - thats not an employment handicap because you're sitting for work, and thus off your knees. On the another hand, you could have a job that involves a lot of trying, but you have carpal tunnel, in which work is directly affected by your condition, which could qualify you to switch fields/jobs and qualify for an SEH because it is directly affecting work.
     
  14. schmoob

    schmoob SDN Moderator 2+ Year Member

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    That makes sense. I guess I have a a little more time to develop my case. It's still dentistry, but it's a specialty so it may be a little tough.
     
  15. MusicDOc124

    MusicDOc124 2+ Year Member

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    Do you have any benefit left? If you have any GI Bill left (i.e. less than 36 months used) or at least have not reached your 48 month cap, I could imagine that there may be something you could do for it, but for Voc Rehab, since it's an employment program, I don't see much coming form that because you can be quite gainfully employed as a dentist without residency (or debt, hence the program in the first place). But like I said, if you have GI Bill left, that could work because you can use it for vocation/ojt I believe, and receive BAH. It may be arguable with Voc Rehab under the 48 month mark, but if you've already hit that mark, then a lot of good luck to you to manage that one!
     
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  16. schmoob

    schmoob SDN Moderator 2+ Year Member

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    I have 6 months of Ch33 left. But it's a 3 year residency so I guess it can offset costs the first year IF I can use them...
     
  17. xffan624

    xffan624 2+ Year Member

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    It's tax free money and it cost nothing to apply. I'm using my last bit of GI bill for residency. The VA says I have 26 months left, but that's well over the 48 month limit so we'll see how much they cover. It's six months if they cut me off then. I live in a high COL area so it's still a substantial bit of money and worth it even for six months.
     
    schmoob likes this.
  18. MusicDOc124

    MusicDOc124 2+ Year Member

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    Use the first few months, then apply for Voc rehab and see what happens. Maybe if you're already doing something for gainful employment, an extra 12 months could help... even if you manage to just secure the stipend or BAH at that point. Worst they can say is no, and anything is better than nothing.
     
  19. schmoob

    schmoob SDN Moderator 2+ Year Member

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    I agree. I will be well past the 48 months when I graduate, I would just rather not take out the loans because the tuition for residency is like $50K a year, without living expenses.

    26 months would be AWESOME for you. That's a huge offset.

    By graduation I will have used 30 months of CH33 and 40 months of CH31. Thats a great idea though. Thank you!
     
  20. MusicDOc124

    MusicDOc124 2+ Year Member

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    Did you use G.I. Bill for that long before using 31? If so, were you in 31 for 40 months beyond your G.I. Bill use, or is it 40 months total?

    If you were in 33 for that long plus the 40 months of 31, you're well past the 48 month limit
     
  21. schmoob

    schmoob SDN Moderator 2+ Year Member

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    I used 33 for 30months (mostly on AD), and was approved for 31 for 40 months. I'm at 80%.
     
  22. 194

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    Just got word that my Chapter 31 benefits were approved for my medical education in it's entirety. Pretty exciting.

    I apologize if this is redundant, but here is everything I brought to my initial 'counseling', which lasted maybe an hour. When preparing, I adopted the mindset of essentially doing my officer's job for them, and not giving them the option to say 'no' or provide alternatives:
    • acceptance letter
    • undergrad transcript
    • JST transcript
    • disability rating form
    • DD 214
    • online skills assessment
    • RNI form
    • degree plan/timeline from the school (pulled from school's website)
    • tuition information/estimate (pulled from school's website)
    • three job listings from BLS which require medical degree
    • an intelligent defense of why my SCDs prohibit entry level employment, and how SCDs will not be an issue after degree completion
    I think one of the most important pieces of information I gleaned from reading up on chapter 31 benefits was, "employment in line with the veteran's skills, aptitudes and interests." I'm not sure how many times I said something to the effect of, "I'm not interested in that" or "that would crush my soul." haha.

    Also, I placed an emphasis on the leadership role of a physician; arguably, the military gave us all some sort of leadership training, which not only distinguishes us from most other applicants, but it serves as another talking point as to why becoming a physician capitalizes on previous military training. My two cents.

    If you have any questions, don't hesitate to PM me. I'm all about vets getting where they want to go.
     
  23. MusicDOc124

    MusicDOc124 2+ Year Member

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    Congrats. You did exactly what you needed to do, and hopefully someone sees the list you laid out and does the same to ensure their best chances.
     
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  24. slow twitch

    slow twitch Relentless forward progress 2+ Year Member

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    I have 14 days of Ch 33 left. Is it even worth trying to get a rating to apply for Ch 31? Tinnitus and minor hearing loss would be the only problems I could claim without lying. So I think I could get 10%.
     
  25. silleme

    silleme SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor 5+ Year Member

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    I might see them giving you the full 48 months of benefits (so 12 more months), but I can't see those granting a Serious Employment Handicap (SEH) or at more than 10% which would make it unlikely.
     
  26. MusicDOc124

    MusicDOc124 2+ Year Member

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    Worst that can be said is no. Might as well make a claim and see what happens.
     
  27. slow twitch

    slow twitch Relentless forward progress 2+ Year Member

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    I'm enlisted now and intend to put in a package for a commission down the road. I'm afraid that attempting to get a rating might come back to bite me in the ass so I don't think I'll do it.
     
  28. silleme

    silleme SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor 5+ Year Member

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    Have you considered the enlisted to doctor program? I know I have a friend who is going through that right now. It's a rigorous selection, but it was worth it for him: EMDP2- Uniformed Services University
     
  29. slow twitch

    slow twitch Relentless forward progress 2+ Year Member

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    I've heard about it but it wouldn't benefit me much. I already have a bachelor's, master's, MCAT, and I'm applying this cycle. The program would make me more competitive but it would delay matriculation two years and I'd like to graduate med school before age 70. :coffee:
     
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  30. silleme

    silleme SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor 5+ Year Member

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    Understood 100%. Plus, this way you get to pick your specialty instead of Primary care and maaaybe something else if you're really lucky.
     
    slow twitch likes this.
  31. EODguy

    EODguy SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    I was talking with some military residents last night who said specializing through the army was arguably easier/less competitive. alternatively, emergency medicine is the most competitive specialty in the military match. This was all unverified mouth data, of course.
     

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