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Thread: Voc Rehab Catch 22

  1. #11
    Quote 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.

  2. #12
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    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

  3. #13
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    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

  4. #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?

  5. #15
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    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

  6. #16
    Not to be argumentative, but I have family members whose health issues are not service related and they receive medical care through the VA. None of their injuries or illnesses are service related.

    I'm sorry you are having such a hard time, Amy. I wish I could change it for you, but I can't.

    Quote Originally Posted by skippy13
    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.

  7. #17
    The VA is only interested in helping service connected.
    This is absolutely NOT correct. I work for the VA and less than half the clients we work with are service connected. If you have a SCI and had an honorable discharge from the US military, you are eligible as a Category 4 veteran, which means the VA is mandated to provide your care. This includes inpatient and outpatient care (with no copayment unless you have a high income), medications, supplies, DME (wheelchairs, cushions, commodes, etc. etc.), etc. etc. If you served during wartime (ie, Vietnam era), are low income and disabled you may even be eligible for a small VA pension.

    Have you applied for VA healthcare? Are you a member of PVA? If not, join (it is free) and your PVA NSO can then help you get into the VA system and get your care, equipment, etc. Here is a link to how to reach your closest NSO:

    http://www.pva.org/site/PageServer?p...=benefits_nsos

    You can also download the easy to complete VA health benefits application here, and either e-mail it or hand carry it to your local VA medical center Member Services office:

    https://www.1010ez.med.va.gov/sec/vha/1010ez/

    Your profile does not indicate where you live, but every VA hospital is required to have a social worker who is the SCI care coordinator. Call the social work office of your local VA and ask to speak to this person. They must coordinate your care, get you to a VA SCI Center if your condition indicates the need (at least for a good annual check-up) and assure that you are getting what you need (including DME) as a SCI veteran.

    I would be glad to answer any more questions you have about eligibility for VA health care or the VA SCI System of Care.

    (KLD)

  8. #18
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    I am eligible and enrolled in VA healthcare in group 5. Which means that I am an impoverished beggar. I get my neurontin, cymbalta and vitamins through them.

    I am a Vietnam era vet, but my SSDI makes me ineligible for pension. It is more than the amount paid on SSI.

    I am not a member of PVA, but I have been to the website many times.

    I have not met the local SCI care coordinator, even though I have been going to the VA since October of last year. They are fully aware of my condition.

    I'm also extremely discouraged and now very very deeply depressed. I'm not the sort to ask for anything twice. It is humiliating enough to have to ask for anything even once.

  9. #19
    Skippy13,

    Do you need a manual or an electric chair? If you need a manual, I have one that you can have. It is a quickie 2 and needs some cleaning, but it is still useful. Can that help you some, at least temporarily?

    ETA: This is really old model Quickie. I have used it mainly as a spare. The seat measurement is 16x18. It does not have a cushion...I'm using that right now. If you need any other info....let me know.
    Last edited by Sugarcube; 04-24-2008 at 11:48 PM.

  10. #20
    I understand you are depressed and frustrated. That happens to all of us from time to time, especially when it feels as though we're against a wall. Still, if anything is to change in your life you will need to take the initiative to see that it happens. It is up to you.

    If you are unwilling to ask for appointments more than once, you may find yourself stuck when you do not have to be. You'll need to decide if it is more important to have what you need and have a better semblance of control over your life or remain stubborn in whatever is driving you to refuse to push for help. You have more control over your life than you believe.

    You may not have control over parts of your body, but you can control your actions.

    Given the level of depression you are describing, I strongly urge you to go for counseling immediately. Contact the VA first thing tomorrow and get set up for a therapist. I know it is hard to take initiative when you are depressed, but I can guarantee your life situation will worsen astronomically if you do nothing.

    Nothing changes if nothing changes.

    As for the VA, just because they are "aware" of you and your situation doesn't mean anything. You have to request services and tell them what it is you need. When you need a medical appointment, you must request it.

    Get pro-active, Amy. Tell them you want an appointment with the SCI coordinator. Ask for a case manger. Take the first appointment you can get. Ask for it more than once if you must, but do it.

    I'm glad you are getting your meds covered. That's a huge help right there. That also sounds as though you are at least seeing a medical doctor (neurologist?) through the VA so you are established to an extent.

    I'm unaware of what the different levels mean as far as VA healthcare, but KLD knows and is a gem. Hit her up with any questions you may have. She's a wealth of info and resources. Use that info and advice from her and act on it.

    Going to the PVA site is not the same as joining. Sign on and learn what's available. You may be eligible for more than you think.

    As far as phone service, if you have been approved and are receiving SSDI, you may be eligible for a greatly reduced rate for very basic home phone service. It would be a landline, but it would provide a means for you to call and make appointments and better coordinate what you need.

    Services can be very pieced together and what's available is far from perfect, but there may be more you can do to help yourself. No one will do it for you, Amy.

    Choosing to do nothing to change your situation is still a choice even if it seems it's not. It would be more humimilating for me to do nothing to help myself than to ask for help. The least humiliating choice of all is to take the best care of you that yuo can.

    I understand you have gone from the body you were born and having a great career to being disabled and unemployed. That has happened to many of us and it's beyond frustrating and a host of other emotions. You cannot change your body, but you can change your actions.

    Hang in and keep talking to us, eh? Just do what is necessary to take charge of your life.

    Quote Originally Posted by skippy13
    I am eligible and enrolled in VA healthcare in group 5. Which means that I am an impoverished beggar. I get my neurontin, cymbalta and vitamins through them.

    I am a Vietnam era vet, but my SSDI makes me ineligible for pension. It is more than the amount paid on SSI.

    I am not a member of PVA, but I have been to the website many times.

    I have not met the local SCI care coordinator, even though I have been going to the VA since October of last year. They are fully aware of my condition.

    I'm also extremely discouraged and now very very deeply depressed. I'm not the sort to ask for anything twice. It is humiliating enough to have to ask for anything even once.

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