I imagine many my age have raised children from newborns, and seen them grow, mature and in turn, raise their own families. In old photo albums (people once had devices that captured images, and when treated by a process, those images were transferred onto paper!) I see many photos that chronicled my infancy. As my wife and I have joked with our boys, the first child often has dozens (digitally today, possibly hundreds or even thousands) of photos. Succeeding kids seemed to get fewer pictures. Birth. Crawling. High School graduation. Does the novelty of new parent wear off? Or do parents have to keep hawk eyes on their kids that the camera is forgotten?
And group photos? in my own family, especially in their pre- and teen years, rarely could I get everyone in the same place at the same time.
But thankfully, it is not the case…
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(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF DISABLED VETERANS.ORG)
Sometimes they lie to avoid work. Sometimes they lie out of principle (e.g. Voc Rehab does not pay for graduate school.) about what the program can do for any veteran.
Want to know what those lies are before you fall victim? Are you curious to learn if you are already a victim? Want to figure out what do to about it? Good, keep reading.
Now, if you want to cut to the chase, I suggest checking out the Voc Rehab Survival Guide I wrote that helps veterans kick bad counselors in the pants on a daily basis.
But, if you’d like to focus on the lies for now, please continue…
Thousands Denied Voc Rehab
Over the past decade, the number of applicants has almost tripled from 60,000 to 170,000. Meanwhile, the number of counselors has barely increased and the program’s funding likewise has barely increased.
As the number of applicants has skyrocketed, the number of veterans approved for program services has stayed around 30,000. So that does that tell you? Has the number of disabled veterans gone down or remained static?
Heck no! So what does this mean?
Some are successful in getting the benefits they deserve but most are not. In fact, each year the relative number of applicants being denied benefits increases.
In my time researching and writing on the subject, there seems to be a common theme arising: lies.
Many veterans are misled about what Voc Rehab can do for them even though policies exist that contradict what counselor say. And when veterans ask about the policies or regulations, they are often greeted with blank stares.
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Why Do Lies Continue?
This leads one to conclude that either there are guidelines for excuses to evade benefits grants somewhere that Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors live by.
Or, there is an underlying discussion between offices as to what excuses can be used to keep deserving disabled veterans from their benefits.
Book Of Q
It reminds me of a period of my life when I spent a great deal of my recreational time researching the Bible. Yes, I thumped my fair share of Bibles.
Living in England at the time, I used the ESV Bible, the Cambridge Companion to the Bible, the Nag Hammadi Scriptures, and a copy of The Living Buddha, Living Christ that my grandmother sent me. That is where my journey for truth started, well before my (mis)adventures with VA.
Over the decades, scholars have found there to be such commonality between the New Testament Gospels that they came to believe there existed a fifth text referred to as “Q.” This Book of Q is believed by many scholars to be the first written gospel that contained many of the quotes and anecdotes of Jesus’ time on Earth.
A Voc Rehab Book Of Q?
In a similar way, I cannot help but speculate that there is a similar text that creates a common set of lies Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors tell disabled veterans when denying claims. In my searches for it, I seem only to find regulations that support veterans’ claims for benefits — strange.
Some Voc Rehab Background
The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (VA OIG) ordered an audit of the VR&E program in 2007 and a subsequent survey sampling of 80,000 veterans. The watchdog wanted to find out why so many disabled veterans never complete the program.
While VR&E boasts a success rate of close to 75 percent to the U.S. Congress, the real number is much lower.
According to the VA OIG, the true success rate is closer to 18 percent. How does that make you feel about the program and its administrators?
Many qualified veterans drop out of Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) before developing an Individual Written Rehabilitation Plan (IWRP). Many more drop out before finishing the program. VR&E has not been including these cases in their reported success rate, but they have become great at jiggering the number to look good when it counts.
In Corporate America, this is called “cooking the books,” for which people have gone to jail and been sued.
Lucky for VR&E, the officials of this ENRON of the federal government are largely blanketed by sovereign immunity. The government has to agree to let you sue the government. Convenient.
So that should give you some of the backstory to fill in the gaps and provide context. The reality is the program is dramatically understaffed and underfunded.
Top 5 Voc Rehab Lies
The following is a list of a few of most common fish stories given by Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors to deny veterans access to Chapter 31 benefits:
1. Veterans with high disability ratings usually fail to complete their training.
2. You cannot use Vocational Rehabilitation if you are Individually Unemployable (IU).
3. Veterans with families have a harder time completing their programs.
4. Vocational Rehabilitation will not pay for graduate school.
5. If you have a job, you do not qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation.
Lies – all lies. In a VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Training Module Study Plan you can get plenty of valuable information about the program. Combined with the audit and survey linked above, the majority of truths to the lies can be found. So let’s raise the curtain a bit to reveal the great Oz.
Lie #1 – Veterans With High Disability Ratings Usually Fail To Complete Their Training.
Truth – The survey states that veterans with a higher disability rating also have a higher likelihood of successfully completing their program. This includes veterans with VR&E ratings of “serious employment handicap.”
Lie #2 – You Cannot Use Vocational Rehabilitation If You Are Individually Unemployable (IU).
Truth – According to the training module, veterans with a 100 percent disability rating can and do use VR&E for retraining purposes to obtain jobs, if possible. Additionally, veterans with an IU are also allowed to use the program. Further, finishing the training program does not automatically result in a reduction of IU. Supposedly, it cannot be reduced for a year following employment.
Lie #3 – Disabled Veterans With Families Have A Harder Time Completing Their Programs.
Truth – There is no significant effect on program success rates when comparing veterans with families to those without families. This includes a comparison between veterans relating to spouses and veterans with children.
Lie # 4 – Vocational Rehabilitation Will Not Pay For Graduate School.
Truth – I used VR&E for my undergrad and now have an Individualized Written Rehabilitation Plan stating I can attend law school in the program. ‘Nuff said. VR&E will send people to graduate school, to include law school, medical school, dental school, and airline pilot training. It can also pay for starting small businesses and allocating more than $100,000 for the start-up, according to participating SBA Veteran Business Counselors working with the program.
Lie #5 – If You Have A Job, You Do Not Qualify For Vocational Rehabilitation.
Truth – Over 42 percent of all disabled veterans using VR&E services are employed at the time of admittance. Thirty-five percent hold jobs throughout the period of retraining. Of those, over half of them felt their current job was in line with their military and/or civilian training. So, 28,000 veterans who used VR&E for retraining were employed at the time they entered the program.
That’s the truth about the VA, according to the VA. The information is out there, but it’s not presented in a way that is readily accessible. Plus, it’s hard to pick your head up to do the research when your horns are locked with your Voc Rehab Counselor.
To the quality counselors out there, thank you for your diligent efforts to support disabled veterans in their quest for purpose and success outside of the green uniform. And to those who dish out fish stories, I for one have had it up to my eyeballs with you. There will be a day of reckoning, in this life or the next.
Accountability will come for all the lives that have been hurt by the renegade behavior of some Voc Rehab Counselors. Many media outlets have begun to investigate the actions of the VA, including the actions of Voc Rehab officials. To you who do harm to vets, it’s time to be on the right side of this story.
Email questions to: [email protected]
Tens of thousands of veterans have benefited from this article and its updates over the years. To help really drive the lesson home, I created a free eBook you can download that not only covers the topics here but goes more in-depth into the lessons for added support. Get your copy delivered right into your inbox.
Again, if you want to support what we do and want to win your benefits, I suggest you check out our Voc Rehab Survival Guide.
a human lie detector
at Voc Rehab?
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)
World Bank Warns of Severe Shock Facing Palestinian Economy
Thursday, 18 April, 2019 – 09:15
Ramallah – Asharq Al-Awsat
The World Bank said that the Palestinian economy is now facing a severe shock in regard of public finances as a result of Israel’s approach over tax revenues, calling for an urgent resolution of the crisis before it deepens.
This came in a report that the World Bank has prepared on Wednesday and is due to be presented to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) at its next meeting in Brussels on 30 April.
The report quoted Anna Bjerde, World Bank Acting Country Director for West Bank and Gaza and Director of Strategy and Operations for the Middle East and North Africa Region, as saying: “The economy, which in 2018 saw no real growth, is now facing a severe fiscal shock because of the standoff over clearance revenue transfers.”
Bjerde stressed that “Urgent resolution is needed to prevent further deterioration of economic activity and living standards. Clearance revenues are a major source of budgetary income and the ongoing standoff is felt by all segments of the population in what is already a weak economy.”
In February, Israel decided to deduct around $10 million a month from the revenues — the sum the PA paid families of prisoners or prisoners themselves serving time in Israeli jails — prompting the Palestinians to refuse any funds at all.
“Against a background of declining aid flows, the recent standoff stemmed from Israel’s unilateral deduction of US$138 million from the PA’s clearance revenues in 2019 to offset estimated payouts to Palestinian martyrs and prisoners’ families,” the report noted.
According to the World Bank, “the clearance revenues, collected by Israel and transferred to the PA monthly, amount to 65 per cent of the PA’s total revenues. In response, the PA rejected the diminished transfers and was forced to cut the wage bill by 30 per cent, reduce expenditures in social assistance, and borrow more from local banks. If not resolved, the standoff will increase the financing gap from US$400 million in 2018 to over US $1 billion in 2019.”
“The dual-use goods system in its current application limits economic diversification and sustainable growth in the Palestinian territories. A revamp of the application of the restrictions on dual-use goods is critically needed,” added Bjerde.
The report stressed that “The Palestinian economy has witnessed low growth rates that are not able to keep up with the growth in population, resulting in an increase in unemployment and deteriorating living conditions. The absence of growth in the past year is mainly attributed to the steep deterioration in Gaza, where more than half of the population is unemployed and economic activities contracted by 7 per cent in 2018—the deepest economic downturn Gaza has witnessed that is not a result of a conflict. However, growth in the West Bank has also slowed below its recent trends.”
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)
Breaking Bad: Japan professor may face 10 years jail for making students produce ecstasy
The professor told investigators he was aiming to further the “education” of his pharmaceutical sciences students, an official from the local health ministry told AFP.
Updated: Apr 17, 2019 10:51 IST
A Japanese university professor could face up to 10 years in jail after allegedly getting his students to produce ecstasy, officials said Wednesday, in an echo of TV hit series “Breaking Bad”.
Authorities suspect the 61-year-old pharmacology professor from Matsuyama University in western Japan got his pupils to make MDMA — commonly known as ecstasy — in 2013 and another so-called “designer drug” 5F-QUPIC last year.
The professor told investigators he was aiming to further the “education” of his pharmaceutical sciences students, an official from the local health ministry told AFP.
The ecstasy allegedly produced has not been found and has “probably been discarded,” added this official, who asked to remain anonymous.
If charged and convicted, he could face 10 years behind bars.
Japanese law states that a researcher needs a licence issued by regional authorities to manufacture narcotics for academic purposes.
The synthetic drug MDMA acts as a stimulant and hallucinogen and is the main ingredient in party drug ecstasy, giving users a heightened sense of energy, empathy and pleasure.
It has recently been used in research trials exploring its effectiveness in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
5F-QUPIC, also known as 5F-PB-22, is a cannabis-like drug banned in Japan in 2014 after it was suspected of causing traffic accidents.
It is unclear if there were any other similarities between the case of the Matsuyama University professor and that of Walter White, the fictitious hero of “Breaking Bad”.
White, played by Bryan Cranston, was a former chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer who starts manufacturing crystal methamphetamine to pay for his treatment and provide for his family — sometimes with the help of a former pupil.
First Published: Apr 17, 2019 10:50 IST
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWSPAPER ‘SHINE’)
Auto firms show off latest NEV offerings at Shanghai auto show
21:12 UTC+8, 2019-04-17
Dong Jun / SHINE
Car vendors and parts suppliers, expanding into the booming new energy vehicle (NEV) segment in China, are unveiling a slew of new offerings at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition.
NEVs are bucking the slump in China’s auto market and international firms are increasingly focusing on the country, which aims to be the global leader in NEVs.
During the ongoing auto show, firms have released new models and announced expansion plans for China.
China’s SAIC MAXUS Automotive Co, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SAIC Motor Corp, launched its new MPV G20 flagship model and showcased its latest vehicle fuel cell technology as it expands its passenger vehicle business and embraces the global shift to clean technology.
Based on the G20, the MPV G20FC is the first domestic passenger vehicle to use hydrogen fuel cells, which offers extra-long range, fast fuel filling and emits only clean water.
The G20FC’s high-pressure hydrogen storage tank delivers hydrogen into the fuel cell where the hydrogen and oxygen react with the cathode and anode in the stack to supply power to the battery and the electric drive system.
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are seen as being one of the key directions for developing NEVs.
NEV sales in China are soaring as the overall market falls, surging 85.4 percent year on year in March, compared with a 6.9 percent decrease in total sales.
UK-based Bentley expects to offer an electric version of all its product lines by 2025, including new fully electric models, said Chris Cole, director of Bentley Product Line.
US auto parts maker Dana Inc, whose clients include Tesla and SAIC Roewe, announced it had already opened five new facilities in China this year, largely targeting electric vehicle companies: one each in Shanghai, Changsha and Baoding and two in Suzhou.
Dana’s footprint in China now encompasses more than 6,750 employees at 23 operations.
Dana has been operating in China for more than 25 years. Antonio Valencia, President of Dana China and Oceania, said the company will continue to invest in expanding its capabilities in China for “commitment to electrification and hybridization.”
Matthias Zink, CEO of Automotive OEM at Schaeffler, expects pure electric cars will make up 30 percent of annual auto production by 2030, while 40 percent will be hybrids and the rest combustion engines.
Zhu Shenshen / SHINE