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Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101767 02/21/06 06:34 PM
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Well, I am still waiting my MEB. Considering its almost March now, I'm getting ancy. I've been having off the wall dreams and not getting much sleep because of it. I went through the Transition Assisstance program a week ago, and have been using some of my leave up since then. I go back to work tonight, and tomorrow I'm gonna go ask my shirt if he knows anything yet.

During the TAP, the people were actually discouraging. They said my chances of getting 30% is almost 0%, since I have only 4 years of service so far. Now, if I only get 20%, and have to take the severance pay, what do I do from then? Do I hold on to the money and put it away so when the VA comes back with 70-90%, I can just give them the lump sum and get my VA checks? What about the taxes on it? I'm way confused on it still. Same goes if I somehow do get a retirement. Do I pay back the money I get in monthly pay PLUS the taxes I already paid on it? Or do I not pay them the tax witholdings?

My flat foot, with no improvement with orthotics rates me at 50% alone with the VA scale. I assume I could get 40% for the AS, 20% for my right snapping scapula syndrome, and a couple of 10% ratings for my wrists and other joint pains.
Might it be taking so long that they are trying to figure out a way to get it under 30%?

Also, I'll have this posted in the main section as well(this portion)
Did anyone gain alot of weight in the begining stages of AS? I gained nearly 70 lbs in the past 2 years, and I have struggled to get it down. I also fluctuate about 25 lbs each way, around 240-265. Any insight on this, or does anyone else have this problem?

My orthopedist said he can't do anything else for my feet. He believes that the AS is directly affecting the nerves to my feet which is causing the intense pain I feel. Any insight to that?

Thanks,
SrA Stephan, Dover AFB, Delaware


SAS
Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101768 02/21/06 10:56 PM
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I am playing the waiting game too...but I have another physical the end of March.

Remember AS can inflame any of our joints. Depending on what joints are effected means dif. nerves are effected and that leads to pain,numbness, and tingling in our extremities at times.


Jay

NOTE: If you aint here to help row the boat then you are welcome to walk the plank.
Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101769 02/22/06 01:30 PM
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By law and regulation, the fact that you only have four years of service has no bearing on what your disability percentage rating should be. Unfortunately, the stark reality is that is does. My guess (from recent experience) is that you will have to fight at many levels to get an appropriate rating. The military boards do not feel compelled to follow law and regulation as it saves money not to and there is no accountability for not doing so by DoD or Congress due to a lack of visibility and oversight. I am in contact with national DAV officials on this issue. The DAVís number one issue raised at a recent supervisors conference was that military disability boards were not following law and regulations at the expense of the service member losing benefits they are due. The DAV is pushing this issue hard and I am feeding them examples from this website as examples of the boards ignoring law and regulation. They are engaging Congress with the intent of getting hearings into the issue.

Remember, the military will not rate a condition unless they first find it unfitting for military service. They are not motivated to find more than one condition unfitting as that would lead to higher costs. One is enough to give you the boot if that is their intent.

The way the law is written, severance pay is in effect, an advance on VA compensation for the unfitting condition. Assuming AS is the only condition the AF finds unfitting, when you get a VA rating, the VA will withhold the AS portion of the VA compensation (minus taxes) until that amount is recouped. You will immediately receive compensation for the other service rated conditions once your rating VA rating is established. There would be no financial benefit in paying back you severance pay right away if that is even an option. Put it in the bank and draw the amount you would have received from the VA for the AS. This way you keep the interest and have a pot of money at the ready to go should you have a financial emergency arise.

I have not gained weight on Enbrel (3 years plus). I did gain weight on prednisone but lost it once I discontinued it.

Make sure you get you doctorís opinions of AS affected other areas of your body documented in your medical records, as this will aid arguments for higher AS ratings from both the AF and the VA.

Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101770 02/22/06 08:26 PM
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Stephan,

I have experienced horrendous foot pain related to AS. It was achilles tendinitis and plantar fascitis. I was using a walker to shuffle around. Finally, night splints finally let it heal. Podorthists deal with these and a podiatrist would know what I am talking about. The weight gain could just be from decreased activity and over eating related to depression and anxiety of a dealing with a chronic disease. I gained from prednisone and antidepressants.


Kristen
Former USN & USNR HMC
Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101771 02/28/06 07:03 PM
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As far as weight goes I jumped from 185 to 225 because of lack of activity. I am not alot more active but with a diet change and walking, ( I want to run again someday)I have been able to get my weight back down. Get some asian cookbooks or look up recipes on the net and you wont have to give up alot of taste and still be able to lose the weight. Right now Beer is my enemy as fas as weight goes.

I dont think the waiting will ever end though. From the people who brought us "hurry up and wait", they seem to have forgotten the hurry up part.


"We did more before 18 than most people do in their whole lives."
Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101772 03/07/06 04:52 PM
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I'll never be able to run again. Not with my feet. Anyways, How long do informal MEBs usually take. I have been waiting 10 months since this whole process started, and its been "officially sent" at the end of December. Whats the deal here?


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Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101773 03/07/06 09:59 PM
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Do you have a PEBLO?? That's what we call them in the Army and they are suppose to keep track on the status.

Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101774 03/07/06 11:09 PM
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I called the PEBLO and she had no clue. She said my doctor still had the package and was waiting on something.....In other words, The MEB still hasn't sent in. I'm PISSED right now. Question, is there an instruction where I can make an IG complaint about this issue. I've been waiting since last May for this MEB to get sent in, and if it doesn't get done here soon, I want to persue this at a higher level. I tell you, Dover AFBs MTF is so jacked up. And their excuse? Oh, they say they have 1200 people to take care of....Uh hello, if you can't handle that, then go somewhere else! There has to be time limits on MEB packages. AFPC requested it in September, now its March. I gotta get a new profile now, because my current one expires at the end of the month. In the meantime, I have half my house packed because I thought I'd been discharged NLT April, and I've already been through Transition Assistance in getting out. Not to mention burning up leave that way I don't have to sell it back.

They have a PEBLO, but they don't know what they are doing. Again, she said that my PCM is the only one that deals with it.


SAS
Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101775 03/08/06 12:03 AM
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Navistar, I found this Air Force publication on MEBs that may be of help. It does seem that you are getting the run around and unless the doctors/PEBLO can give you a straight answer on why things are not properly progressing, I would definitely look into an IG complaint.

http://usmilitary.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.e%2Dpublishing.af.mil/pubfiles/af/44/afi44%2D157/afi44%2D157.pdf

Check out the last two pages!!

Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101776 03/21/06 02:24 AM
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There are time requirements for each step. Even the PEB has to get results back to PEBLO within a certain time. 45 days I think. The hold up is probably having the narrative summary signed off by the hospital Colonel or ranking CO of the joint. That's what took the most time with mine. After that it got back to me within 2 weeks. No joke.


adapt and overcome
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