To read the first part of this series of posts, you can visit this post.
For our process, we are almost near the end. It has not been the easiest process to go through and with everything in “limbo”, it has been pretty frustrating.
M has a lot of different issues that arose from his deployments that are a part of the VA and Army ratings. So we are still in the process of receiving our ratings back from the NARSUM results given to the VA. We are also waiting on the ratings from the PEB (Physical Evaluation Board), which they determine by using the VASRD (Veterans Schedule for Rating Disabilities).
After M’s MEB was completed, his results were forwarded to the VA and the PEB. Depending on the PEB results for medical retirement, M can formally attend a hearing to show evidence that he is qualified for medical retirement. That is the question we are waiting on now, which is why everything is in “limbo” for him professionally in the military.
I wanted to give you all a glimpse of how our MEB process began. This is just part one of several posts regarding the MEB/IDES process. Keep in mind that the process may differ from service to service.
I know many people are not familiar with the MEB (Medical Evaluation Board) process. We weren’t familiar with the process until early this past summer when M began his process for his MEB.
I am still not familiar with the whole process. In our case, it was quicker since M’s PCMs (Primary Care Manager) had already tried everything they could medically to help him. It consisted of various tests, and last-minute treatments for him.
To begin the MEB process (from what I was told), the service member has to show that last-minute treatments were given before they were no longer fit for duty. Since they had already completed the last-minute treatments, the MEB process began much quicker for M.
M has been diagnosed with a herniated disc (L5-S1) on his spine along with mild scoliosis, which is an immediate unfit for duty within our respective branch of service. He also has bilateral shoulder issues (I don’t quite remember the medical terms for it right now). That is what began our MEB process. In M’s case, he is not an ideal candidate for back and shoulder surgery. His orthopedic PCM would not consent to performing back surgery on him in order to fix his spine as it is a very dangerous procedure (nerve ends,etc.).
We first went to a MEB/IDES initial briefing for service members and they encouraged spouses to attend as well. The MEB process used to just consist of the Army disability rating, then the VA disability rating after the service member left the service but they recently combined it to ease the process along. That is why it is now referred to as IDES (Integrated Disability Evaluation System).
The Army and the VA both give their ratings during this very long process for the service member and their family (if applicable). It is full of unknowns and a very crazy appointment schedule.