auxiliary greenhouse (heated)

Another Thanksgiving living in a one-room  non-ADA 4X8 greenhouse while some fine fellow or gal in charge of  VA’s VR&E is getting bonuses for denying us. Brother Mac on the East Coast is starting to feel the chill showing up in the most current ILP statistics at Fort Fumble in Atlanta as well.  

We are well aware of a gradual erosion over a decade of a program (Independent Living) designed to facilitate normal life such as it can be now, for disabled Veterans. With the gradual barbed wire fencing of OGC Precedential opinions and VA gerrymandering, we’ve gradually been corralled outside the Promised Land. Much like the insidious nature of gun control, each individual stricture seemed innocuous enough to pass muster. A death by a thousand small cuts is still a death by definition. Each and every revision gradually diminishes the true prerogative envisioned and enshrined in 38 USC §3120.

Red TapeEach small additional rule such as we now have to prove we need X item rather than a simple request means we almost are forced to hire our own Licensed Vocational Counselor to write a nexus letter proving the need. I just did and even then the gal was mortally terrified VA might harm her fledgling business by badmouthing her. I had hoped she would have had more stamina. She sure acted tough and knowledgeable about what I needed and what to write until the end. Then the  ” I can’t write that! I haven’t studied you long enough or visited your property.” excuse reared its head. $120 out of pocket for a mealy-mouthed say nothing assessment of whether I need a greenhouse to occupy my senior years and protect myself from the elements.


Dwarf Siberian Winter Kale birthing

Of major concern are the new VA statistics below showing the same flat, static, VA disabled population in spite of the longest war on record. In addition, the ILP statistics show an alarming drop annually in those who require assistance under the ILP. Considering the program has a strict entrance requirement of “severely disabled” coupled with a maximum yearly participation of 2,700 Veterans, we would think every slot would be not only filled but hotly contested. Imagine having a lottery for up to a $65,000 bag of goodies and you couldn’t attract more than 1,544 souls to fill out a free shot at it. I don’t buy it. It says 3,743,248 of us are disabled. It further narrows that down to 395,220 of us who are 100% permanent and total and an additional 317,973 who are TDIU. That boils down to 713,000 plus Veterans who are probably entitled to a piece of this pie who are either abstaining or do not need the freebies.

FY 2013 Compensation and Pension by State

FY 2014 Compensation and Pension by State

VRE IL Case Record Rpt04-14


Slow-bolting cilantro for winter salsa

Please consult the widget here to see historical records for previous years and how the static nature of VA compensation numbers become inconceivable. How can you have a war and whack 3,000 Americans with about 300,000 missing some appendages and paint and somehow keep your compensation tables flat and level? We’re talking VA here, people.


Assuming Global warming keeps up, I have foolishly planted winter spinach

Each year VA screams for more money to help the increasing number of Veterans and their medical needs. Included in this is the compensation side of the ledger. Simply put, more war equals more collateral damage and GI Joe and Jane coming back with more dings and dents. Yet the tables indicate the simple truth that X Vet has to die to allow Y Vet to take his place for a net gain of zero Vets. Where, then does the annual increase in largesse go? Where indeed?


and Pak choy

Each year, we see the swollen belly of VA extend. More and more administrators with more and more bean counters. Statisticians for this and statistics for that. A grand poobah supervisor to supervise the sub supervisors. More tech people. More computers that don’t interface with the existing ones. More tech guys to fix it. More VBMS programs, Haiku interpretive classes, Kaizen training, Six Sigma seminars to teach “togetherness”. Human Resources getaways to interface with the Karaoke machines in Orlando. More. More. More. But strangely, no more additional disabled Veterans in the equation.

head-up-ass-242x300I once had an accountant that promised he could make an elephant disappear right up it’s own derriere. You don’t reckon he got a job at VA VR&E in DC, do you? Just kidding.

About asknod

VA claims blogger
This entry was posted in Independent Living Program, VA statistics, VR&E and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. hepper74 says:

    I have a guy at the ILP telling me that he can in fact get me what I am requesting provided that a qualified physician makes a notation of need in my medical file. Said physician has been directed to not provide any type of opine concerning the SC issue. Talk about your catch-22. I have not given up, nor will I do so. They are going to hear from me and I will indeed get the notation but as always it is pro se justice.

  2. John King says:

    I tried to get a few music lessons via Independent Living. They wanted me to prove via medical evidence that music lessons would have measurable impact on bent brain syndrome. I just told them to shove it which is exactly what they wanted. VA needs to be restructured with C-4 and thousands of bulldozers and giant backhoes. The VA is almost a useless organization that just makes money disappear. Give me my check and pills and that is all I ask at this point. Vets need to take this system in hand personally. We cannot sit back and just send email to congressmen. We need to demonstrate and make our feelings known to the public. Of course, there are many pea brains who think the VA is just wonderful and would gladly let VA operate on their hearts and brains. I would not let them operate on ingrown toenail. There must be so much drug resistant staff floating around the VA it could be renamed as “storage for weapons of mass destruction”.

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