Yesterday morning, a Saturday, I was greeted by an email from my Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) assigned to me regarding my ILPs (plural). Remember, VR&E asshats will try desperately to convince us that we are entitled to one (1) ILP intercession in our lifetimes. Hogwash. I’m deep into my second one and adding on frivolous requests as I go. My latest was a request for two years of the NVLSP Veterans Benefits Manual valued at $350-ish per year. I know. It’s peanuts financially but it keeps those VR&E chuckleheads in paroxysms of depression. The kicker is that they agreed to it! Gee. Maybe I should ask for a ’67 GTO with a blower and N2O for Veterans Day parades. 

Observing them trying to figure out how to deny each new item is almost as entertaining as the look on their faces when you keep adding to the list. The best denial yet was saying I cannot be given Veterans Benefits Manuals because they are a “vocational need” rather than an “avocational pursuit”. I demolished that with the observation that I can always aspire to work even if the unvarnished reality is that I am incapable of work. I’m sure the conundrum of my being a newly minted VA nonattorney practitioner while being found incapable of employment escaped their minds up to now. Which is why I write this article today.

Apparently, it just dawned on VR&E that I actually am gainfully employed. WTF, over? This revelation provoked an interesting response I’ve never encountered before from VA. Keep in mind that when (or if) you ever apply for pension based on non-service connected (NSC) ailments or injuries, you undergo a “means test” of your assets. The burning question is ‘how much do you earn from SSI/SSDI, own or control in liquid assets or possess in negotiable stocks and bonds, real estate holdings and the whole panoply of goodies like dirt bikes, boats, jet skis et cetera. If this means test reveals you are a fat cat, you will never be approved for a VA pension until you divest or bequeath these assets to heirs. Poverty is the operable phrase in pensions.

The value of a pension, if there is one, is to a destitute Veteran with a meagre income from his SSI monthly stipend. Often, a 100% pension for NSC disabilities ($3078.11 per month) is far higher than  that vaunted SSI “dividend”. This has created a large business opportunity for VA attorneys to help Veterans obtain same. Nevertheless, the codicils to qualify for a nonservice connected pension do not apply to the Veteran who receives VA compensation. There is no offset or deduction for other earnings such as a state pension for a twenty-year career as a teacher. Quite simply, you can collect VA compensation, social security payments and a teacher’s pension- all concurrently. In fact, if you were a lifer in the Army and did your 20 years, you would be entitled to concurrent receipt of your Army pension as well if you had a 100% schedular-rated disability. We won’t discuss double dipping here as it is inapplicable to my dissertation today.

As I mentioned, I received an epistle from my VRC , Kris Holloway that shocked me. Did I mention I was shocked? Mr. Holloway was asking for a complete financial accounting of not only myself but my wife, our mutual extensive holdings corporations, mortgage balances and anything else that would shed light on my/our net worth. Ruh-oh Rorge… a means test for my greenhouse? With the incipient settlement of Butch Long’s claims from LZ Cork that have festered for 47 years comes the dawning revelation that VR&E may want to make me go out and buy my own damn greenhouse. In their tortured minds, anyone who is unemployable (but actually is) and in receipt of an ILP must be doing something verboten. The obvious repair order is to throw a financial disclosure request at them, unmask the truth and eighty six the ILP- or so the thinking goes. Here’s what I got…

About asknod

VA claims blogger
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  1. john king says:

    I remember about 8 years ago I asked for a guitar and music lessons via the ILP. The VA wanted my VA shrink to write a dissertation on why this would help me. My shrink refused to do it. He was an old timer and was suspicious of the VA’s motives. I just went out and bought a 100 dollar ax and got the lessons myself. The counselor they sent me to was in a wheel chair and had major disability. He was still an asshole. I wonder if they sent me to him to make me feel bad about asking for anything from a basket case who could still work? I did see an old documentary called “Let there be Light” by John Huston made during WW11 about acute combat fatigue. The military spiked it for years and would not let it be shown. The classified the film until recently. We have met the enemy and it is US.

  2. Clear Left says:

    Mikey ‘swabby’ Lynch and I opined several years ago of the certain demise of ILP.
    With the stats from FY 16 – 1141 New Il cases opened (that’s about 40% of the 2700 statutory cap) while 1358 IL applications were denied. It does appear the sooner of sooner or later fame is upon us.
    Unless the light of inefficiency is shone directly in Dr Shulkin’s face and Congress remains the wimpy SOB’s they have been for the last couple years…..ILP dies forever.

    RED Smoke out

    Just my 2 cents. .

  3. Victoria Foley says:

    Alex, do you think he thought of this line of attack on his own? More of the same crapola.

  4. Gary Butler says:

    Speaking of manuals (NVLSP Veterans Benefits Manual) I’d sure like to come up with access to West’s® Veterans Appeals Reporter (other than the copy at Emory University that is 10 year out of date…

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