CSAVR 2013 Fall Veterans Presentation

Report
1
15 Offices across the state of PA
1200 Total Staff
80,000 customers served yearly
OVR Central Office in Harrisburg
Hiram G. Andrews Center in
Johnstown
OVR
Directory
Link
toOffice
OVR’s
Website
2
PA has 937,000 Veterans
466,000 Veterans are in the PA labor force
The PA Unemployment Rate among veterans is
6.7% compared to a state average of 7.5%
Linkto
to OVR’s
RSA’s Website
Link
Website
3
PA has 159,000 Veterans with disabilities
85,300 Veterans with disabilities are in
the PA Labor Force
Veterans are returning from conflicts with more
significant disabilities
Existing veterans are experiencing new disabilities
Linkto
to OVR’s
RSA’s Website
Link
Website
4
In 2008, The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)
decided to affirm it's commitment to veterans services.
Created a central Veteran’s services Coordinator
Started researching collaborative models of agreement
Link to
to OVR’s Website
Link
Website
5
Starting meeting with VA VR&E in 2008
VA VR&E top officials were located in both ends of the state
Letter of Understanding finalized in 2009
Promoted a shared vision to serving veterans with disabilities
Link to
to OVR’s Website
Link
Website
6
•
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided a
unique opportunity in PA to enhance services to individuals with
disabilities.
•
OVR dedicated 1 million dollars of ARRA funds to build a veterans
program
•
Goals of the program included: dedicated counselors, training
Link to
to OVR’s Website
Link
Website
7
Started a pilot program with 3 dedicated counselors from the
Eastern, Western and Central Offices
These 3 counselors established working relationships with
other veterans programs, including VA VR&E, CareerLink Vet
Reps, Veteran’s Service Organizations and the VA.
Counselors were imbedded into these organizations
Link to
to OVR’s Website
Link
Website
8
Every District Office
Dedicated Veterans
Counselor
Link to
to OVR’s Website
Link
Website
9
•
•
•
•
Have veterans serving veterans, if possible
Military culture is hard to understand
Specialized training is necessary
Services should support the veteran and his/her family
Link to
to OVR’s Website
Link
Website
10
No Single System
Territoriality
Reaching OIF/OEF
Veterans
Link to
to OVR’s Website
Link
Website
11
The Military Culture
PTSD, Dealing with Loss
Cognitive Rehab for Mild TBI
Substance Abuse
DVBIC System
Vet Centers
Suicide Prevention
Link to
to OVR’s Website
Link
Website
12
Developed a year long training series for staff
based on the IRI “When Johnny and Jeannie
came Marching Home… “
Each Chapter was turned into a
video conference training
CRC credits were provided
Link to
to OVR’s Website
Link
Website
13
OVR is making a difference in the lives of veterans with disabilities in PA!
Link to
to OVR’s Website
Link
Website
14
Questions?
Presented By:
Denise Verchimak
Director
Department of Labor & Industry
Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation
[email protected]
a Question
LinkEmail
to OVR’s
Website
15
Veterans Services
Sean Burlile, Ph.D.
Chair, Idaho State Rehabilitation Council
Veterans Services
This year marks the 40th anniversary of two significant events for Veterans and
people with disabilities…
• Operation Homecoming: February 12, 1973, American POWs were released
from captivity in Hanoi, bringing national attention to the needs of Veterans
returning from war.
• Rehabilitation Act signed by President Nixon, September 26, 1973.
Services to Veterans and others with disabilities have improved in the last 40
years, but we can do much, much more…
POW Returning from Vietnam
VA VR&E
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and
Employment (VR&E) program provides VR services for eligible Veterans with
service-connected disabilities.
Entitlement Criteria: To be found entitled to VR&E services a Veteran must
have at least a 20% service-connected disability AND an employment handicap
OR a 10% service-connected disability AND a serious employment handicap.
A service-connected disability CAN include any chronic medical condition that
was diagnosed while a Veteran was on active duty OR a chronic medical
condition that is a result of military service OR a pre-existing condition that was
aggravated by military service.
The goal of VR&E is to provide eligible Veterans with all the services necessary
to obtain and maintain suitable employment, or the ability to live independently.
5-Track to Employment
•
Reemployment
•
Rapid Access to Employment
•
Self-Employment
•
Employment Through Long-term Services
•
Independent Living
Comprehensive Services
While the goal of VR&E is employment, most rehabilitation plans include some
type of education or training. VA pays for, or provides ALL services necessary
to enable the Veteran to achieve their vocational goal.
Services MAY include:
Testing
Evaluations
Disability Advocacy
Medical Services
Dental Services
Education/Training (tuition, fees, supplies, monthly stipend)
Job Placement Assistance
The Underserved Veteran
While services to Veterans have improved tremendously in the past 40 years,
there are a significant number of underserved Veterans.
• VR&E services are for Veterans with service-connected disabilities.
• Most Veterans with disabilities do not become disabled while in the military,
so their disabilities are not service-connected. As the Veteran population
continues to age, more Veterans will suffer from nonservice-connected
disabilities and need services. State VR and VA can collaborate to provide
these services.
• The Rehab Act has little mention of services to Veterans.
• Many State VR Counselors assume that because a person with a disability is
a Veteran, that the VA will provide all services.
• The lack of understanding and collaboration between the VA and State VR
agencies can lead to Veterans being underserved.
Learning from the Pennsylvania Model
•
While we know a high number of Veterans are returning from conflicts with
disabilities, it is important to understand that existing Veterans are
experiencing new nonservice-connected disabilities, which could make
them ineligible for VR&E services.
•
Creation of a Central Veterans Services Coordinator. While it may not be
feasible for some states to create a full-time Veterans Services Coordinator,
State VR agencies could have a staff member designated as the point-ofcontact on matters related to Veterans affairs. This works great in the State
of Idaho.
•
Designate a supervisor in each office to be a Veterans Services
Coordinator.
• Develop memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with VR&E.
• Share training resources and training opportunities with VR&E.
Other Areas to Collaborate
As workloads increase and budgets shrink we need to find innovative ways to
improve services to people (including Veterans) with disabilities.
• Get a VR&E Counselor on your SRC!
• The VA website, va.gov, provides free Careerscope testing.
Encouraging State VR clients to utilize this testing, which could provide cost
savings for state agencies.
• Post VA literature at all VR Regional Offices. Many Veterans do not realize
they are eligible for VA benefits, including medical care.
• Many VR clients who served honorably in the military are eligible for VA
healthcare, regardless of service-connected disability. VA Medical Centers
provide many assistive devices, to include: hearing aids, prosthetics, smart
pens, and blind rehabilitation assistive devices.
• Veterans in rural locations needs support. Often times there is not a VR&E
counselor in a rural location. This is a good opportunity to co-manage a
case. If a state VR counselor could conduct office visits, perhaps the VA
could provide financial support.
Questions
Sean Burlile
Chair, Idaho State Rehabilitation Council
208-426-3754
[email protected]

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