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Thread: I thought Voc. Rehab was supposed to help you get out...

  1. #1

    I thought Voc. Rehab was supposed to help you get out...

    So far my experience with VR, it seems all they've done for me is to try and keep me locked in my house.

    They have done some good things for me, they picked me up and let me stay in rehab when my insurance was about to boot me out before I could even transfer independly. They modified my bathroom so get in there and take a shower and use the toilet. They built a ramp so I could get in and out of the house.

    It's been 2.5 years since my injury and I'm still stuck in this GOD DAMN HOUSE thanks to VR! I'm about to go insane. I have the money to buy a car, but I can not load this wheelchair into a car because of the back and push cains (which I didn't want to begin with). I don't want to buy a car based on wether I can load this char into it or not, I want a car that I'll be happy with.

    Last year I went for an evaluation, I showed them that could not load this chair into a car. The back and push cains hang up on the door and steering wheel. I tried out a TiLite TR and ZRa and loaded them right in with no problem.

    Since my current chair (TiLite TRa) at the time was only just over a year old, I dicided to modify this chair by installing a different back, and removing the push cains. I was told it wouldn't take long to get VR to approve it and get it done. I didn't hear from them for a while and after weeks of calling and leaving messages, not getting called back, I finally got ahold of my VR counselor. She said they dicided to go ahead and approve me for a new chair instead of going with the modifications and that she'd already talked to the chair vendor. I called the chair vendor to make sure they didn't just order the chair without my input because we never actually did an evaluation for a new chair. When I got them on the phone, they said they'd never heard from my counselor.

    Then I got side tracked with the my fundraiser for the Rally for the Cure thing. After that was over, I've been trying to get this crap straightened out. Finally, a get ahold of my counselor to get things going again. She tells me I need a prescription from my doctor for a new chair, and a new evaluation. I call the doc, he writes the prescription and reffers me for a wheelchair evaluation. I was scheduled for my chair eval. tomorow (Sept. 9). I was all set for tomorow, and my sister had put in for the day off weeks ago to take me.

    This morning the phone rings while I'm still in bed. The cordless was on the charger, and I heard the machine pick up, it was my VR counselor. My mom hears it too, and she's already calling her back while I'm getting dressed and out of the bed.

    I really have no idea what the fuck is going on now, but she cancled my appointment for the evaluation tomorow. I've been waiting almost a month for this day, and it was the earliest appointment I could get! She tells me now I have to be evaluated by their assistive technology person first to determin if I need a new chiar. WTF, we already determined that last year and I was approved. Why did she wait until now to dicide this, she's known about this for over a month. I've been on the phone all damn day with the counselor, my therapist, my doc, and several other people I don't know.

    I don't know where to go from here. Someone is supposed to be coming tomorow, but I don't know what for.

    I thought VR was supposed to help you get back out into the world, but thanks to them I'm trapped in this house. I've got a friend that owns a computer store, and he's been asking me to come help him out since I've been injured. I also want to get back to school. I don't want to depend on others to take me places, so until I get a chair I can load into a car, I'm stuck in this house.

    VR works with my insurance to split the costs, but since it's VR draggine their ass, nothing is getting done. I could probably have gotten my insurance to cover a new chair a long time ago without VR.

    _____
    Learn from the mistakes of others, you won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

  2. #2
    yikes.

    what car are you looking at?

    If I were in your shoes, I'd just buy the car & struggle with the chair until you get it replaced. Additionally, if you've got money for a new car, you can likely afford some minor replacement parts to *temporarily* modify your current chair.

    Problem solve & make it work, even if it's not 100% ideal. Don't sit around waiting for others to fix things for you. Get out of the house & keep your sanity.

    just my $0.02.

  3. #3
    Hey jimnms,

    I don't know if VR is different from state to state but I haven't had any problems here in Tennessee. My counselor has practically been bending over backwards to help me. They are paying for my school right now. It was a piece of cake. It may just be your counselor.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    As it was said, may vary state to state but good ol' conservative Ohio, my experience with VR was one where I was calling them almost every other day getting updates with the status of appointments, counselor's progress, verifying what I had to do, and being the proverbial squeaky wheel. It was very much a pro-active approach on my part in order to keep things moving and laying a timeline and goals that I expected to meet. It still took several months. Also, if they operate the same in your state, it's the beginning of the fiscal year so now is a good time to be getting financial help. Funding has been renewed so they're more apt to cover expenses as long as you show good cause and motivation on your part. Maybe that's why she's been balking lately considering it's a bit more expense to cover modifications plus a chair.

    Stay on them, and as a last resort, if she doesn't react and doesn't seem to be doing her job, request a new counselor or file a complaint.

    Could always flop yourself out on their doorstep in protest too. Ha. No, prolly not a good idea......... hmmmmmm

  5. #5
    You need to take control if you feel your services/needs are not being met to reach your "goal" you identified in the beginning when your case was opened.

    Every state has a legal services program at no cost to you who works with your vocational rehabilitation agency representing your case to go to if you feel things aren't right.

    Here is who you need to call:

    http://www.mdrs.state.ms.us/client/qualifications.html

    Are there other places I can go to ask questions about MDRS?

    Yes. You can call MDRS's toll free telephone number with questions about MDRS services: 1-800-443-1000 (Voice/TDD) Or, if you would like to talk to someone outside of MDRS, you may contact the Client Assistance Program (CAP) at:
    Client Assistance Program
    3226 North State Street
    P. O. Box 4958
    Jackson, MS 39296-4958
    (601) 362-2585, or 1-800-962-2400 (Voice/TDD)

    CAP can help you:

    understand VR services;
    communicate better with your VR counselor;
    mediate disagreements;
    take administrative or legal steps;
    and refer you to other services and benefits.

    If you believe that you have been discriminated against on the basis of your disability, feel free to contact MDRS's ADA Coordinator for assistance. You may write or call the ADA Coordinator at:
    Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services
    P.O. Box 1698
    Jackson, MS 39215-1698
    Phone: (601) 853-5160
    If you take control, your counselors ass will no longer be dragging, trust me. Good luck! Try not to get frustrated.

    TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF MY MOJO

  6. #6
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Jim, the TRA and the TR/ZRA have the same backs. The only difference is the TR has a titanium back vs. aluminum for the TRA, or at least that is the way my two examples of these are. With this in mind, the push canes on the TRA are easily unbolted (I tossed mine away right after the TRA was delivered) getting rid of this problem. I am not too sure what back you have now, but I suspect it might be something like a J2, and yep, that can get in the way of folding down all the way. You could get a simple sling back like TiLite's 'tension adjustable by straps' back for maybe a hundred or so from TiLite, shouldnt be a problem with the money you have for a car. That will let the back fold down totally flat. It will fit just fine, the only measurement applicable is the chair/back canes width. Then your current TRA will be mostly like the other 2 models except for stuff like bolt on caster housings, etc. You really dont need a vendor for this stuff, just an allen wrench and a some phone calls to order the appropriate part.

  7. #7
    At first I was all for modifying this chair, even though there are some things I don't like about it, it was only a year old. Another year has passed, and it's now starting to show some wear and tear, so it's definatly time for a new chair now.

    Scott, I have a list of cars I wanted to look into, but every car I've tried there is no way I can get this chair in.

    Andy, I'm not using the standard back that came with the TiLite chair. The one I have now is a Jay back, but I don't know which one. The one we were going to put on it was an Invacare I believe.

    I could order the back myself, but that doesn't fix the push cains, which are the main problem. They were going to get the replacement back frame from TiLite without the push cains, which isn't something I can order. A hacksaw would fix it, but that would leave a sharp surface to cut me and scratch up the car.

    I would have ordered the chair a long time ago and paid for it myself if I could.

    _____
    Learn from the mistakes of others, you won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

  8. #8
    hmm... there's gotta be some way. Maybe you need to look at a bigger car? Is everything you've looked at in the same class as the Saturn you posted pics of a while ago?

    Can you remove the back of your current chair? I have a J2 back on one chair, and a new Invacare/Infinity on another. Both are pretty easy to remove, although I've never tried from inside a car. I'd much rather use a cloth sling back, but I'm better off w/ the solid support.

    Anyway, are the push handles built in to the seat posts, or are they the shorter ones that mount on a spreader/support bar? Is there any way to rotate them in?

    Bum deal though... I know how the littlest things can become seemingly big problems. Hang in there.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nevada's Avatar
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    VR payed for my hand controls and the installation. As far as a car went, I am a C6/7 I had to go with one I could get the chair in the front seat by myself and also have it fit in the trunk when my family was with me. I went from car lot to car lot trying diffrent models. I found a big ass oldsmobile that worked. Granted not the type of car I wanted but hey what you want and what you need are two diffrent things. Just my two cents is all.

  10. #10
    Originally posted by scott pruett:

    hmm... there's gotta be some way. Maybe you need to look at a bigger car? Is everything you've looked at in the same class as the Saturn you posted pics of a while ago?
    The top car on my list is the VW Golf, if I can find a used one with the diesel engine. All of them are mid size cars. Like I said I don't want to have to go with a car only because I can get the chair in it. I take the wheels off, and fold the back down. No matter how I turn or angle the chair, those push handles get stuck on something. When I tried the TR and the ZRa without the handles, I poped the chair right in with no problem.

    Can you remove the back of your current chair? I have a J2 back on one chair, and a new Invacare/Infinity on another. Both are pretty easy to remove, although I've never tried from inside a car. I'd much rather use a cloth sling back, but I'm better off w/ the solid support.
    The back can be removed, but it's an extra step in breaking the chair down.

    Anyway, are the push handles built in to the seat posts, or are they the shorter ones that mount on a spreader/support bar? Is there any way to rotate them in?
    Yes the handles are built into the seat posts. The can't be turned either, but you did give me an idea. The seat posts are made of two peices of pipe, the part with the handles goes into alarger peice and a bolt goes through it, that's why they can't be turned. If I take it out, then there's nothing left to mount the seat back to. I'm thinking I could drill a new hole and rotate the thing 90°. That might just work.

    _____
    Learn from the mistakes of others, you won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

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