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The Trial Begins


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Well the time of reckoning is fast approaching. I have my first meeting with my Voc Rehab counselor.

The best analogy I can come up with is a court case. He is the judge and jury and I am the defense lawyer. My job is to convince him that me becoming a CFII is a good way for the veterans admin to invest its money. I do this by stating my case, job outlook, employability and the like.

Now I have been doing my homework on this for the last 3 months or so and I have some good supporting information. One of the only areas I need some help with is: how will my disability effect being able to fly now and long term. I have a bad ankle, to be exact I broke three bones two tendons and I don't have any cartilage in it anymore. All that to say I can't run, walk over uneven surfaces, or stand for long periods of time without pain. :unsure:

How much will this effect my ability to fly? (if at all). Do any of you have any similar kinds of problems and if so does it have an impact on your abilities? (if at all).

Any input would be really useful, at this point I have about a 95% go for my funding it is just a matter of one more hoop to jump through. :blink:

 

rock on

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Jocko,

Not to shoot your hopes down but.... The VA will not pay for flying unless it is associated with a four year college degree program.

I went through the process with my Voc Rehab counselor and they showed up with the regulation that states the above.

 

If you can get them to pay great! But don't be disappointed when they pull this reg out of their ass and say thanks but no thanks!

 

VA Voc Rehab is a good program, but you have to push them into what you want to do as opposed to what they think you should do!

 

Let me know how it goes, maybe you can break down some barriers for others.

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Jocko-

 

Good luck with this all and I'll be highly interested to see the results. You know my situation so you can see why :)

 

If it is indeed true what Nuke says and since you had already considered going to Prescott for your training perhaps you can do it through ERAU? Wouldn't be a bad place to get your degree and you will be using the same school you planned on going to. (They run the courses for the helicopter flight minor at ERAU)

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We had a guy that the Voc Rehab of Missouri paid the whole bill for, and he wasn't in a 4-year degree program. I have no idea how this clown got it approved, but he did. However, we dumped him after he took the T/R off an R22 in a ground strike on his second solo. Found out later he was still enjoying his pain meds from time to time (i.e. before his second solo.) We got our check for the 26 hours of flight training we gave him, but that hardly put a dent in the $15,000 of damage he did to the helicopter.

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Jocko, almost thought you were me. Same ankle problem. I got my CFI through state voc rehab, and have thought about applying to the VA voc rehab to get the instrument I never got years ago. I applied once and then did not go to the appointment because of the 3 1/2 hour drive. PM me and keep me informed on how it goes.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Holy crap has a bunch happened since my last update, I kept putting off letting everyone know what was up till I got something more concrete to say but that never actually happens so here goes.

I had my first meeting with my Voc Rehab counselor and the worst possible scenario took place short of being told no chance. On the contrary I am going to get the funding to go to school but I have to jump through a crap load of hoops to get it. The real pain in the butt is it's only because the counselor wants me to. I have met all the requirements to go other than his, for example he wants me to get a psych eval because I have ADHD the problem is he has no idea what he trying to prove and I have to interview two pilots about the job they do to see that I really want to do that kind of work. Most of the junk is right out of a high school job search class. Anyway...... I really don't care as long as he will send me on my way in the end. So it looks as though I'll be heading down to Florida the first week in December to go to HAI after the first of the year. As soon as I get through the whole process I will try to make myself available to anyone else who wants to take this path. I had thought about trying to put it down on paper but that would be next to imposable for me because I would always feel like I missed something. Besides for whatever reason it is a different process in each state even though it is a Federal program.

 

So the journey continues and all that lays ahead is another chapter

 

Look for me in the sky soon

 

rock on

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Holy crap has a bunch happened since my last update, I kept putting off letting everyone know what was up till I got something more concrete to say but that never actually happens so here goes.

I had my first meeting with my Voc Rehab counselor and the worst possible scenario took place short of being told no chance. On the contrary I am going to get the funding to go to school but I have to jump through a crap load of hoops to get it. The real pain in the butt is it's only because the counselor wants me to. I have met all the requirements to go other than his, for example he wants me to get a psych eval because I have ADHD the problem is he has no idea what he trying to prove and I have to interview two pilots about the job they do to see that I really want to do that kind of work. Most of the junk is right out of a high school job search class. Anyway...... I really don't care as long as he will send me on my way in the end. So it looks as though I'll be heading down to Florida the first week in December to go to HAI after the first of the year. As soon as I get through the whole process I will try to make myself available to anyone else who wants to take this path. I had thought about trying to put it down on paper but that would be next to imposable for me because I would always feel like I missed something. Besides for whatever reason it is a different process in each state even though it is a Federal program.

 

So the journey continues and all that lays ahead is another chapter

 

Look for me in the sky soon

 

Jocko,

So the VA VOC REHAB is going to pay for allof your Flight School? If so please pass on your VA reps name and number so I can get the info to proceed with further tickets!

rock on

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Hey,

If my memory is correct, which sometimes its not, Chap 35 Voc.R. follows the same rules as Chap 30 GI Bill. I have a friend that was hurt in the Navy and I helped him do a lot of research to see what he could do, he was looking into UVSC. I am prior USAF, myself. I did have the link to the reg's, but have lost it do to a computor problem.

 

 

Like another post stated, it reimburses for Voc Flight Training 60%, after the private.

And, will pay for all up to a certain amount per month like the GI Bill for college type courses. And, its adjusted to the % of disabilty you are VA certified at.

 

If I jogged someones memory, please speak up, I could be off alittle bit because its been over a year ago.

 

 

Good Luck with your quest....

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The GI Bill and Voc Rehab are two totally different things. Voc rehab is NOT subject to the same restrictions as the GI Bill. You are correct about the 60% after private for funding from the GI Bill but Voc Rehab can do anything they want. The trick is getting the counselor to do it. You have to prove a few things to them in order to get it. First that employability is good, don't let them use the job outlook information for pilots in general because it lumps airline pilots into it and that outlook is crap as you may have guessed. Next that you are trainable, that may sound easy but it took 4 hours of testing to prove this part. Last that your disability won't interfere with the job in any way.

Like I said in my first post it turns into a court case of you trying to prove that this is a good investment of the VA's money. The problem sets in when the counselor thinks that money is his.

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Jocko,

Not to shoot your hopes down but.... The VA will not pay for flying unless it is associated with a four year college degree program.

I went through the process with my Voc Rehab counselor and they showed up with the regulation that states the above.

 

If you can get them to pay great! But don't be disappointed when they pull this reg out of their ass and say thanks but no thanks!

 

VA Voc Rehab is a good program, but you have to push them into what you want to do as opposed to what they think you should do!

 

Let me know how it goes, maybe you can break down some barriers for others.

 

 

Nuke

 

Sorry I just caught this post from before.

I had heard about this reg too and I made a point of checking this out and was told that it is not totaly true. The biggest flaw with the whole program is it is up to the discression of one person, the VA counselor. If you get an as* hole (like I did) who feels that the money is his then you have to fight to get what you want. Sometimes I get the feeling that they do this to see how bad you want it. :blink:

The one point that I keep in mind and make clear to them is "I wouldn't be in this position if it wasen't for the army" now you may think that this is selfish but none the less it's true.

All that to say that your right, you have to push to get what you want and not what they think you should get.

 

rock on

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Nuke

 

Sorry I just caught this post from before.

I had heard about this reg too and I made a point of checking this out and was told that it is not totaly true. The biggest flaw with the whole program is it is up to the discression of one person, the VA counselor. If you get an as* hole (like I did) who feels that the money is his then you have to fight to get what you want. Sometimes I get the feeling that they do this to see how bad you want it. :blink:

The one point that I keep in mind and make clear to them is "I wouldn't be in this position if it wasen't for the army" now you may think that this is selfish but none the less it's true.

All that to say that your right, you have to push to get what you want and not what they think you should get.

 

rock on

Jocko,

If you could, please PM me with your VA counselor name and number. It may help myself and some others in our situation out dramatically.

Congrats on the victory, as I know they are a tough breed to break!

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My buddy got a counsler that was an ass, too. Its probably a requirement to get hired or they have to pass training to act this way. I can see their thoughts about flight training, they are paying high rates for renting a machine and this training is not universal so to speak. I had a VA rep on the phone with the same attitude when asked about Chap 30 Voc. Flight Training. Weird enough, when I went to the Jr. College I never heard or had a peep out of the VA, they paid on time and no questions asked.

 

I think my buddies VA rep wanted him to except the Chap 31, 21.264 route. He could not get a loan to cover the flight training and was worried about paying it back not knowing exactly how much the VA would reimburse him. So, he gave up trying.

 

I second the request to post back any more tips that worked with the VA for this.

 

 

 

Regards.

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Jocko,

This is the standard answer that keeps popping up! HAI does not fit into this program.

 

Title 38 USC, incorporated in VA Regulation 21.134 limits flight training under Chapter 31 to disabled veterans attending institutions of higher education for degree level programs in the field of aviation. It does not authorize flight training benefits attending commercial flight schools.

 

What this means is that if you are interested in this field of training under VA's Vocational Rehabilitation program, you must be pursuing a degree program at a school authorized for this level of training, such as a college or university.

 

Press on and take what you can get.

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Jocko,

This is the standard answer that keeps popping up! HAI does not fit into this program.

 

Title 38 USC, incorporated in VA Regulation 21.134 limits flight training under Chapter 31 to disabled veterans attending institutions of higher education for degree level programs in the field of aviation. It does not authorize flight training benefits attending commercial flight schools.

 

What this means is that if you are interested in this field of training under VA's Vocational Rehabilitation program, you must be pursuing a degree program at a school authorized for this level of training, such as a college or university.

 

Press on and take what you can get.

 

 

OK I keep asking if this is the case and I keep getting told that this is not a binding end all regulation and that each case is different and handled uniquely.

 

The only thing I can say is I'm glad you don't work for the VA and I hope your as wrong as I'm being told you are. My only fear in this whole thing is that at the last second someone is going to come out with something like this and the past 4+ months will have been for nothing. I guess that's why in the back of my head I know that's what will happen so I don't let myself get too excited about actually getting to school. not that I'm a pessimist but a realist and I know you never beat the system it lets you win once in a while.

 

 

rock on

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Thanks Nuke,

I knew it said that somewhere in the reg's. I didn't want to argue with Jocko with out the reg. The reg does state what I said earlier. That Vocational Flight Training is subject to Chap 30 limits....I wish you luck Jocko and again if you find a loop hole, please share it. I know of few guys who could use the tip.

 

Regards

 

 

link 38cfr 21.134

 

§ 21.134 Limitation on flight training.

 

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

 

Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3680A

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First off let me start by saying THANK-YOU to both Nuke and Mechanic for sticking to the facts and the letter of the law on this because it caused me to read the entire Code of Federal Regulations . In doing so I believe I found the loop hole I need to get this done. But if you see a hole (in my loop hole so to speak) I'm sure you'll point it out. By the way that is a good thing......ANYWAY here's how I see it.

 

Here are the two Regulations that come into play.

 

§ 21.128 Independent study course.

A veteran may pursue a course by independent study under the following conditions:

 

(a) College level. The course is offered by a college or university.

 

(B) College degree. The course leads to or is fully creditable towards a standard college degree.

 

© Course content. The course consists of a prescribed program of study with provision for interaction between the student and regularly employed faculty of the university or college by mail, telephone, personally, or class attendance.

 

(d) School responsibility. The university or college:

 

(1) Evaluates the course in semester or quarter hours or the equivalent; and

 

(2) Prescribes a period for completion.

 

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3104(a)(7))

 

§ 21.134 Limitation on flight training.

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

 

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

 

(loop hole) <_>

UVSC online

 

Global Aviation provides accredited aviation college degrees online.

Get your Bachelor of Science degree through our online aviation courses.

One of the benefits our program offers is your unlimited choices for flight training. You can stay in your hometown, fly at your local flight school or choose one of our approved flight schools anywhere in the country and earn your degree online. The concept is simple: Register for your online courses, complete your flight training at a flight school of your choice and earn a degree all at once.

 

 

Ya follow me here I can make any 141 school part of a College Degree program by doing it online Granted it will cost more to do it but they don't seem to care about the cost just the regs.

 

so what do ya think.....will it work? :huh:

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(loop hole) <_>

UVSC online

 

Global Aviation provides accredited aviation college degrees online.

Get your Bachelor of Science degree through our online aviation courses.

One of the benefits our program offers is your unlimited choices for flight training. You can stay in your hometown, fly at your local flight school or choose one of our approved flight schools anywhere in the country and earn your degree online. The concept is simple: Register for your online courses, complete your flight training at a flight school of your choice and earn a degree all at once.

Ya follow me here I can make any 141 school part of a College Degree program by doing it online Granted it will cost more to do it but they don't seem to care about the cost just the regs.

 

so what do ya think.....will it work? :huh:

Jocko,

I would love to say hell yes, that's the ticket! But it just doesn't pass the litmus test. The VA will pay for school and that's it! With this "loop hole" they would also have to pay for flight time and ground school to a different organization. That means two checks to two different types of training locations.

I'll be honest here, the VA reps I have worked with and dealt with are not the sharpest tools in the shed!

I stopped by yesterday to ask if "they do flight training" for VocRehab. His answer was I don't think so! I then asked what regulation do you work off of for VocRehab? He did not know and would have to call his district boss!

He was to call me back yesterday afternoon..... No call back!

 

I am not trying to shoot down your dreams, just be realistic when it comes to dealing with these knuckleheads!

 

When I originally retired they were definite that I could go to flight training! Of course I got my hopes up and then.....Squash!

 

Now you can go to Embry Riddle and attend the 4 year aviation course and fly that way. Most can't afford to be a student that long and survive.

 

Just for my knowledge..did your VA rep give you that loophole or is it your idea?

 

Keep us informed, you may just break down that barrier and open up the flood gates with this idea. I surely hope you are right.

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Jocko,

 

What I would do is call UVSC and talk to Dr. Smart. Ask him if UVSC is VA Voc Reh approved and see what he says. It's a free call. If he does not know, he will get you an answer or give you to a VA rep that would know. Dr. Smart answered all my questions for me when I called. I was bugging him about Heli schools and what I would have to take to fly heli. The answer is all the required courses and at least a CPL-H rating to graduate. I am thinking he said they were working on a heli course, but I see they don't list one yet. I doubt they ever will.

 

 

 

My Navy buddy was going to do the UVSC route like you say. He was told they would pay for the college, but the flight school would have to be part 141 and VA approved and you will have to pay for the private, then they will cover 60% of the APPROVED charges. With that being said. There is a reg in Chap 30 that says to the effect that they will pay for ANY rating that is required to pass the College course. I would have to look through Chap 30 reg's, as the number slips my mind right now.

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From what I have been told the flight protion of the UVSC program on campus it self is not 141. That is why I was not able to get paid for any flight portion credits from the GI Bill. Good luck in this fight I fought it hard a year ago. The counselor I was working with pulled out some obscure memo that states Voc Rehab will not pay for flight training as it is not considered an entry level posistion.

Shane

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Jocko,

 

Hope I am not too late! I had to think and look for this. The new VA website sucks for trying to find the reg's. You have to know the reg number or a phrase to get what you want. I remembered something that helped me find this. Pay attention to 2.10,a,1 and 2. Maybe this will give you more ammunition to use against your counsler.

 

 

 

Link M22-4

VA manuals

Check out the M28 manuals at the above link.

 

 

Chapter 30 GI Bill

 

M22-4, Educational Procedures, Part 4 Claims Processing -and Awards Issues, Chapter 2

 

2.10 COMBINATION COLLEGE DEGREE – FLIGHT TRAINING PROGRAMS

 

[a. College Degrees

 

(1) Students under all benefit programs may receive benefits for pursuit of flight training courses that are part of approved standard college degree programs. Students are exempt from the certificate and medical requirements in subparagraphs 2.02a and b. Students do not have to take flight courses in the order specified in subparagraph 2.03a(2).

 

(2) A student may receive benefits for a recreational pilot certification or private pilot certification course provided that the course is part of the standard college degree the student is pursing.

 

(3)] Flight schools [and flight training centers], under contract with colleges or universities, may provide the flight training.

 

[(4)] The degree requirements may limit the amount of flight training. Training beyond the degree requirements is vocational. Students under chapters 30, 32, and 1606 and section 903 may interrupt their college program and receive reimbursement for flight training above the private pilot level at a flight school [and flight training center]. The student may return to college training without being charged with a change of program if they meet all the following conditions:

 

[(a)] The flight training pursued at the flight school [and flight training center] does not exceed the amount required for the degree.

 

[(b] The college or university grants full credit for the flight course(s) in partial fulfillment of the degree requirements.

 

[©] Students continue to pursue the same degree programs.

 

b. Chapter 35. Students under chapter 35 may not receive reimbursement for vocational flight training. Award benefits at the institutional rate based upon the training time as determined by the credits earned for pursuit of flight training.

 

 

 

P.S. Good Luck!

Edited by mechanic
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  • 3 years later...

Can anyone give me an update here? It looks like the last post was in 2006, and I am just now getting ready to deal with the VA about voc rehab. It seems as though a lot could change in 4 years but who knows. I've talked to someone who said that the voc rehab program pays for everything, so I didn't know if this was new or what. Any help would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

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