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Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101777 04/19/06 08:19 AM
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I am still waiting to this day for a response from the PEBLO on the MEB package. I am going to speak with my First Sergeant tomorrow and discuss possibly starting an IG complaint on the medical treatment facility for not doing the process in a timely matter. I have been waiting a year now for them to send the MEB to Lackland.

I finally started Enbrel. I took my first shot on Friday. I haven't seen any improvement yet though. I figured It'd take a little while to get into my system. Right before I started Enbrel, I felt pretty good, but I think it was because I got off the sulfasalazine and it was nice weather out. I did feel like crap on Sunday(Easter), but got a little better Monday and Tues. Hopefully after my 2nd or 3rd injections, I'll feel a little better. I saw the post about the SSgt that got medically retired. Looks like it was a pain to get the retirement, but at least now I know it can be done. With myself having bilateral flat feet, Snapping scapula syndrome in my right scapula, and AS, I would think the informal board would rate me at least 30%, but then again, it is a medical board, and they know I want out of the AF. I only want out though cause I can't do my job. Although, quite frankly, I'm glad I wasn't working on 4059 that night before it crashed on April 3rd.

Any feedback?


SAS
Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101778 04/19/06 12:20 PM
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Yes, something is wrong when it takes this long. I am guessing they will not find all your conditions unfitting and thus won't rate them. This will keep the rating below the retirement level. The AF refused to find SSgt Hartley's osteporosis unfitting although his bones were much less dense than that of the average 80 year old woman. Do not assume anything when it comes to these boards. You must be on the offensive.

Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101779 04/20/06 07:08 AM
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Yeah, I know I need to be on the offensive. What sucks is my base is so poorly managed, that no one seems to want to do thier darn job, or help anyone out. Everyone is about themselves here. The problem seems to be that the MTF just sticks the PEBLO job on some random person without training them or anything. So the PEBLO doesn't know anything, and states that my PCM is responsible for my MEB. She (my PCM) has submitted my MEB package several times, and it has been rejected for missing items or information(so they say) at the base informal board, which it goes through prior to being sent to AFPC. Once it goes to AFPC, it the ball should roll down the hill pretty quickly. Responses of the informal board are about 4 weeks, and then I have 3 days to appeal if necessary. I am praying for the best and that they give me at least a 30 % rating in the informal board, because I don't know if I can take waiting anymore to get to the formal board and have to deal with this craphole anymore. If they treated personnel with diseases that hurt the entire body with respect instead of trying to make them break thier profiles by mopping floors, or taking out garbage all day, maybe I'd be more willing.

My question is though, if I do not get medically retired, will the VA re rate me higher, like 70%, and then pay me from my DOS? Does the VA medical benefits cover the cost of Enbrel? I only ask for a just in case scenario, because even if I appeal and I lose the battle, which seems to have happened to me from day one of being in the military, I want some assurance that I will have some money coming in, and that my medical expenses would be covered. The severance pay I'd get is only like 12K, which would get taxed, and wouldn't even begin to help in the process of re-locating and getting my civillian life in order.

Can you tell I'm pissed and scared at the same time?

I really wish the IG would drop in and do a suprise inspection of this place.


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Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101780 04/20/06 01:58 PM
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My question is though, if I do not get medically retired, will the VA re rate me higher, like 70%, and then pay me from my DOS?

That is very possible. The Army rated me at 20%. I was rated 30% by the VA right after I got out, and at 40% a year after I got out.
Does the VA medical benefits cover the cost of Enbrel? I only ask for a just in case scenario, because even if I appeal and I lose the battle, which seems to have happened to me from day one of being in the military, I want some assurance that I will have some money coming in, and that my medical expenses would be covered.

Yes! The VA will cover your meds for your Service Connected Disability.

The severance pay I'd get is only like 12K, which would get taxed, and wouldn't even begin to help in the process of re-locating and getting my civillian life in order.

There is little doubt on my part that you will receive a disability rating of 30-40% from the VA the first time you apply. This could be higher as I don't know what is in your medical records. As soon as you know what the Military is going to do with you, contact the DAV. Do not listen to any active duty person tell you that it would be a waist of time. They can help.


AS/PsA DX in 1988

Retired on disability
in 2005 at age 44
Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101781 04/20/06 02:28 PM
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How you are rated by the military has no bearing on how the VA will rate you. The common thread is that they are supposed to use the VASRD for determining the rating. However, the VA will rate all service-connected conditions and will change ratings over time as the condition improves or worsens or if the evaluation criteria changes. The military rating remains fixed for life regardless if it gets worse or gets better but they only rate the condition(s) they find unfitting. Any VA disability compensation will be affected by military disability compensation.

VA will pay you from your date of separation if you file within one year of separation. I recommend you file as soon as you can. You can amend your filing at anytime for the rest of your life. By filing early, using military records, you can derive an apples to apples comparison of how the VA and military rated you for the condition(s) the military found unfitting, based on how bad you were while you were still on active duty. They should be the same. This may aid in an AFBCMR appeal that the military rating was too low.

Any VA compensation you receive will off-set military disability compensation.

If you receive military separation pay, the VA will recover the non-taxed amount before the pay compensation for the condition(s) the military found unfitting.

If you receive a military disability retirement, every VA disability dollar you receive, regardless if it for unfitting or other service connected conditions, will off-set a military disability retirement dollar. If the VA amount is greater than the retirement amount, you will get the VA amount as all military dollars will be off-set. If the military disability retirement amount is greater, you will receive the VA benefit plus any military retirement dollars that exceed the VA compensation amount.

Bear in mind that congress may eventually change the law so that disabled retired dollars are not off-set by VA disability dollars. Currently, you have to have twenty years and a Total VA rating of 50% or higher for the off-set not to apply if you are a medical retiree.

VA will take care of your service connected medical conditions. They will cover Enbrel or other drugs they feel are necessary. There lies the risk; they may determine aspirin is good enough. It seems that Enbrel is being prescribed for AS by the VA as some on this site have stated.

Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101782 04/20/06 02:34 PM
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I know I was seen by the VA clinic here a couple of times and they filled my enbrel prescription for $7 for a month. That has since gone up to $14 but keep in mind I still have not received a rating and they promptly ended seeing me because of that and my wife makes too much money. Once I am rated and get on a higher priority classification (or whatever they call it) then I can get seen again for my AS.


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
#101783 04/21/06 08:40 AM
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I would assume my chances are slimmer on getting medically retired as an E-4 with 4 and a half years in on my first enlistment.

I still haven't talked to my first shirt. As soon as I get that meeting out of the way, I'm going to initiate an IG complaint against the MTF, since I have been waiting so long.


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Re: Waiting, waiting and more waiting
#101784 04/24/06 03:13 PM
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Well, as I said before, the amount of time you have in service has no bearing on being medically retired, unless the condition is deemed to have existed prior to service. However, there is certainly an element of truth in your concern as regs are laws are often ignored. Your best defense is no know the in's and out's of these laws and regs so you can call them on it if your rating does not match what laws and regs state you should get. We have lots of troops being retired with a year or less.

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