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Old 10-18-2018, 10:25 AM   #1  
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Default VA Voc Rehab for Flight Training

If anyone has successfully navigated VA Voc Rehab for flight training can you please PM me or explain via a post any hurdles you had to jump through?

Iím familiar with the process of applying and what the regs say, but when I was living in a different state (not a heavy flight training state) the Voc Rehab counselor said immediately when I sat down in her chair, paraphrased, ĎOh we donít do any flight training, thatís been abused elsewhere so we wonít allow it.í I know thatís not according to the regs, but thatís what she communicated to me. She said that they were getting heavily reviewed for errors and that they were under a three strike rule (if she got caught improperly allocating funds three times she would get in trouble), but as an in-office rule, their location had a policy of not approving flight training.

Iím considering re-applying if Iím allowed to have a discussion with a counselor who HAS processed a person for flight training so I can get an appropriate review according to the regs and not location specific rules they created in-house. I live in Florida now. I know the standard process, but following the same bureaucracy Iím expecting the same results, i.e. the definition of stupid, so Iím interested in hearing from someone who has actually gotten through the red tape. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:02 PM   #2  
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I don't have any experience in using voc rehab, but want to know why you aren't going the post - 9/11 route.
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Old 10-21-2018, 07:41 AM   #3  
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lol, you can thank one of my flight students for part of that. He abused the heck out of Voc Rehab for flight training. Got multiple Ipads, stratuses, and around 500 flight hours using the voc rehab program. His voc rehab counselor would basically sign off anything he put in front of him.

As a guy who used the Post 9/11 GI BIlll for flight training, I absolutely support them bringing this scam under control. It is stuff like that that ruins it for the rest of us.
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:46 AM   #4  
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Originally Posted by TheWeatherman View Post
lol, you can thank one of my flight students for part of that. He abused the heck out of Voc Rehab for flight training. Got multiple Ipads, stratuses, and around 500 flight hours using the voc rehab program. His voc rehab counselor would basically sign off anything he put in front of him.

As a guy who used the Post 9/11 GI BIlll for flight training, I absolutely support them bringing this scam under control. It is stuff like that that ruins it for the rest of us.
Jezzus, what school was this?
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:05 AM   #5  
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Originally Posted by Stoked27 View Post
If anyone has successfully navigated VA Voc Rehab for flight training can you please PM me or explain via a post any hurdles you had to jump through?

Iím familiar with the process of applying and what the regs say, but when I was living in a different state (not a heavy flight training state) the Voc Rehab counselor said immediately when I sat down in her chair, paraphrased, ĎOh we donít do any flight training, thatís been abused elsewhere so we wonít allow it.í I know thatís not according to the regs, but thatís what she communicated to me. She said that they were getting heavily reviewed for errors and that they were under a three strike rule (if she got caught improperly allocating funds three times she would get in trouble), but as an in-office rule, their location had a policy of not approving flight training.

Iím considering re-applying if Iím allowed to have a discussion with a counselor who HAS processed a person for flight training so I can get an appropriate review according to the regs and not location specific rules they created in-house. I live in Florida now. I know the standard process, but following the same bureaucracy Iím expecting the same results, i.e. the definition of stupid, so Iím interested in hearing from someone who has actually gotten through the red tape. Thanks in advance.
This will not be an easy process but depending on your circumstances you are very likely entitled to it. However you may have to hire an attorney or get a congressional investigation to get your benefits.

There has been a chit ton of abuse of this system. Basically it allows you to circumvent all the limitations of other VA education programs. I am not aware that individual offices are allowed to "make up" their own rules about this. The rules are mandated by Congress and the VA has to abide by congressional rules. So if they are giving you the run around a call to your representative about an investigation might be in order.

I used it for my CFI certs only. Went to a really chitty school that was poorly managed. I should have been complete in less than 3 months but the school wanted to extend things out so they could make more money off the VA. Ended up wasting 9 months for me and the loss of a guaranteed job waiting for me as a result.

The 1st challenge you are going to have is finding a school that has an opening. The 80/20 rule limits the number of VA funded students that can attend a school. It means no more than 80% of students can be using VA funding (of any type) to fund their flight training. If you are doing rotorwing (forget it) fixed wing you'll probably find a school with an opening. This could mean out of state. So don't limit yourself to Florida. Then you will most likely have to move to that state to apply (that's what my councillor demanded) I refused and eventually they approved me. But it was a pain, I had to move to the other side of the state at great expense.

This is likely the point where you need to contact a representative or Senators office. If not then meet with the local councillor and start the process.

Then you need to put an action plan together of how you plan to attend school, feed yourself, and purchase anything the Voc Rehab will not. FYI, once you are in the program you can be gainfully employed, but to get in you need a significant disability that limits your employment options in your current field, most VA ratings of over 30% will apply.

All of that will be reviewed and an action plan (by the VA) will be sent for budget approval. This will take a few months.

From there the VA will guide you.

It would behove you to get to know the rules the VA has to abide by. Take your time and study the following links.
https://www.benefits.va.gov/warms/M28.asp
https://www.benefits.va.gov/warms/bookg.asp
https://www.benefits.va.gov/warms/M28_1.asp
https://www.benefits.va.gov/warms/to...bilitation.asp

Hope that gets you in the right direction. Good luck and if you have any other specific questions please don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:18 AM   #6  
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Jezzus, what school was this?
I would never self identify on a message board so don't bother asking. Any way, the school had nothing to do with it. Unlike the GI Bill where there is a lot of interaction between the school and the VA, in Voc Rehab it is almost exclusively between the student and the counselor.
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Old 10-23-2018, 03:01 PM   #7  
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Thank you to everyone who replied and provided all the great information and recommendations. I am using my Post 9/11, but am out of my fiscal budget already (will reset in Aug 2019)Ö Post 9/11 is great for those who also need a degree and will slow-roll their way toward getting their ratings, but I have the degree and simply need my ratings. I will be out of money (personally and VAÖ including debt options) until I can figure something out, so Iíd prefer to not leave a stone unturned. The voc rehab program definitely needs to be managed and kept under control and if it went completely away I wouldnít argue (pros and cons, gets people to becoming paying taxpayers sooner, but costs a ton of money). In the meantime, if Iím eligible Iíd just want to be treated on par with everyone else. Approved, unapproved, whatever. I figured before I take a hiatus from flight training to take a non-flying job and build up my finances again, I would be doing myself a disservice if I didnít at least explore all options. At least to keep the ball rolling a bit.

Thanks again for everyoneís input.
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