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Voc Rehab Catch 22

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    Voc Rehab Catch 22

    So, I get this ticket to work thingy in the mail. I am on SSDI and think this is a great thing, they can help me get back to work, right? I need to get back to work. I am broke. I paid for two neurosurgeries out of my own pocket last year in addition to 7500 dollars in complications from one of them that I couldn't really afford. I had no insurance since I could'nt return to my job, and have been off a long time due to a series of surgeries and recoveries. I applied for and got SSDI and had a long term disability plan that somehow cancelled me. (the cheatin' bastards)

    I am tetraparetic due to severe spinal stenosis and a fall in July of 2006. Means I am a walking quad. (Sort of walking anyway, I can walk, but balance is terrible and I have weakness in the legs that make any distance impossible and very quad hands and arms)

    So I go through the initial interview and get my appointment with the folks at the state voc rehab office. I go to the appointment and the woman was really not trying to help me in any way. She said she cannot help me until I can improve my mobility by getting a wheelchair. I said I can't get one without a job, since I no longer have any money. Catch-22. No job, no wheelchair...no wheelchair, no job. She would'nt even take my application for services from me.

    So, OK, I make another appointment hoping to get another worker this time. No such luck. Same gal. I tell her I cannot get a wheelchair because I have no money and if I don't get a job soon I will likely end up homeless. No shit, truth. She jumps up and says we cant help you if you are homeless, that is another agency and then runs out of the room.

    I stop at the counter on the way out of the place and make an appt to see the boss. I go to this appt with MR. Muck-e-muck, and he tells me that since I am not medically stable they cant help me at this time. OK, so since I still have no insurance (a year and a half till medicrap kicks in) I cant get medically stable.

    My question is...What the hell?
    Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

    #2
    If a chair is needed for you to return to work, ask VR to pay for the chair you need. Put your request in writing and submit it to your caseworker, her supervisor and his supervisor. Follow up with phone calls and an appointment. Meet with her and/or him about what you need.

    VR should help provide the resources you need to return to work and/or school. A chair is not out of the question if that is the difference in you working or being unemployed.

    If you are denied a chair or an opportunity to develop a plan through VR, raise hell. Go to the media if you must, but only after you have exhausted all other resources.

    You might also try other agencies for help getting a chair. You may wish to contact Catholic Charities, especially if you are Catholic. You may also wish to contact Easter Seals and United Cerebral Palsy. UCP has begun to provide assistance to persons other than those affected by cerebral palsy.

    I don't know if you are renting or if you own your home, but if you are renting apply for Section 8 assistance to receive help paying your rent. Check to see if you are eligible for energy assistance in your home. There are programs which can help pay your heating/cooling bills.

    As for health insurance, are you eligible for Medicaid in your state? If you even think you are, apply for it today.

    Keep trying. Your VR counselors sound like lazy wankers. Keep asking and trying until someone tells you, "Yes!" and provides what you need to return to work.

    All the best to you, Skippy.

    Comment


      #3
      skip,if you have used up all your personal resources apply for medicaid and public aid.It's supposed to be there for people who need it.If you have not used up your assets liquidate them and put them in your sock drawer wait a couple months and apply for medicaid they will get you a wheel chair.also get an attorney and sue your long term disability provider it will take a while but pay off in the long run.
      Good luck
      Tom

      Comment


        #4
        I have already dumped all of my resources to pay for living expenses for the almost 2 years I have been off of work. I thought I would be going back. But I do have to move into a chair, now and there is no place in a cleanroom for a wheelchair so going back to the same work is out of the question.
        Funny thing I get too much money on SSDI (around 1070 per mo) to qualify for our state medicaid. HA! HA!
        Yes, the voc rehab workers are lazy wankers. And to get services and get a chair through them, they have to take the application first. I cant make them do that.
        Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks La Mem, I e mailed Easter Seals, I really hope they can help me.
          Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

          Comment


            #6
            The last time I worked in Voc Rehab, they at least had to accept your application as an 02 status. Even if you had made too much money previously (one year I think) they could at least offer testing for approiate work.

            That's practially no help. I'd go to the regional level or see if there is an advocate at the state level.

            Comment


              #7
              la mem and mingo are correct. Federal regs require they let you apply and that they place you in 02 status. Sounds like you ran into a dysfunctional local office. Go above their heads to regional or state level. You will be doing everyone a favor by making the system work right. You have every right to these services. I am a retired VR counselor.

              Comment


                #8
                Unfortunately, VR has always been more of an irritant than an asset for me. As has been said, they do have to help with things like a wheelchair for you to find work.

                You basically have to find out what they are supposed to be doing for you and make them do it.
                C2/3 quad since February 20, 1985.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by ancientgimp
                  la mem and mingo are correct. Federal regs require they let you apply and that they place you in 02 status. Sounds like you ran into a dysfunctional local office. Go above their heads to regional or state level. You will be doing everyone a favor by making the system work right. You have every right to these services. I am a retired VR counselor.
                  Hey check your PMs. I sent you one a few days ago!
                  Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I would commit a small crime and get there attention.....what u have to loose at this point.

                    Art....am j/k maybe....after awhile u feel like the only attention you will get in front of the Judge.... when he asked you why u did it
                    Art

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by skippy13
                      Thanks La Mem, I e mailed Easter Seals, I really hope they can help me.
                      You're welcome. Not to beat it to death, but I'd contact more than just Easter Seals. I'd call UCP simultaneously. That way if ES denies, you are still in the pipe at UCP.

                      Also, in checking to see what is available in my city for someone who needs a chair and doesn't have insurance for one, Good Will has started a medical equipment service here. The majority of it is gently used, but is available to area residents who are medically in need of it and are uninsured or under-insured. You might check to see if your city has something of the sort through Good Will or another agency. United Way would be a good place to phone to see who's doing what.

                      Good luck, Skippy.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thank You again LaMem... I will contact UCP. I talked to the people at the St Vincent De Paul, and even went to the store that had a chair. But it was an old 3 foot wide bariatric type chair. I am 5'4" and 120 lbs. I could not use that chair. I couldn't even push such a chair. I'm afraid that is all they have secondhand. It made me cry after I got done laughing. I just want to be able to get out of the house once in a while. Do things like I used to. I haven't been anywhere but the doctors and the grocery store for the past almost two years. I can't keep living like this. I have worked all of my life since I was 11 years old starting in the berry and bean fields. I dont know how to use or even know what services are available. I want to get out and get a job and be around people again.

                        Thanks again all for your suggestions
                        Amy
                        Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I didnt hear from nobody. I give up. I emailed everyone, and I mean everyone. I dont have a phone anymore so I cant even call anyone. I had twenty dollars to buy groceries last month, I give up. I cant take this.
                          Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Don't give up, okay? I find I get better results through phone calls and direct contact than through emails. What about using a neighbor's phone? A friend's? Family member's? Pay phone? If you live in an apartment, go to the office at the complex, explain what's up and ask to use the phone. You might ask the manager if she/he would be willing to be a contact for you.

                            First things first. Food. Check your community's food bank. Look up the info online and find their location. You may need to use public transit to get there and it will not be easy, but get thee on a bus and go for food or ask a friend or neighbor to help get you there.

                            Have you signed up for paratransit services? The service is usually door to door for any disabled person needing assistance with transportation. Reservations are required, but sign up as a consumer today if you have not already.

                            Get to your city's human services department and apply for food stamps or anything else for which you may qualify. Take medical bills you've paid out of pocket as this may make you eligible for more than it appears. If you've paid tens of thousands out of pocket for the surgeries and rehab, take proof of this with you to human services. If they want to keep any of your paperwork, ask them to make copies while you are there and keep the originals yourself.

                            I just read something in your profile. You were in the military for a few years. That means you have health insurance coverage through the VA. If you are not already working with them, get in touch immediately for an establishing appointment. Yes, you will need to call somehow and that means using someone else's phone, but do what ya' gotta. You need health insurance coverage. You have it. You just need to get established with the VA.

                            Also, for education ... Have you completed a FAFSA application in addition to trying to work with VR? FAFSA will tell you about student grants and low interest loans for which you may be eligible. You can get the info/application online. VR usually wants you to have completed a FAFSA ap anyway.

                            If you return to school and live on campus, you may have better access to food, transportation, assistance when you need it. You can also retrain, which you've said is a goal.

                            Don't give up. Hang in, Amy, and keep talking to us, okay?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The VA is only interested in helping service connected. Not me. I have two degrees from a University and they do me no good when I cant get out of my house. As for family?? I havent seen any of my seven brothers and sisters in two years because I cant travel to see them. I have invited them to my house, but they have never and I mean never come to my house. Never. I'm tired of this. My condition is degenerative and getting worse . Every day there is something else gone or hurting. I'm sick of this.
                              Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

                              Comment

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