(Recap) Formal PEB process

Ft. Lewis FormalPEB

 

As I had started a small series of posts within the past few months,  I wanted to finish my recap on the final part of M’s MEB process.

M had to appeal his initial rating from the Army and to do so, he had to appear in person for a formal PEB (Physical Evaluation Board) at the location assigned to our duty station.  Since we were in the West Region, his formal PEB was held at Ft. Lewis which reviews all MEB/PEB proceedings for the area (including AK & HI).

He was advised to bring a witness for the board to understand how his physical issues affected him on a (almost) daily basis.

His unit granted him TDY and paid for his ticket but we paid for my ticket to fly out separately (due to scheduling conflicts with his flight).  We were not reimbursed for my ticket (which is the norm..and we are okay with it as well) and we had to stay at on post lodging which was different.  We had never stayed in Army lodging before (ironically..) but plenty of times at Air Force lodging.

We arrived a bit early the first day so when M called to inform the PEB office at Ft. Lewis, they let him know that they wouldn’t be able to meet until the next day so we had the first day free to sight see if we choose to.

Seattle was different and chaotic..but so beautiful.  We loved seeing the ocean so clearly and the lodging was reasonable, plus the staff was so sweet.

The second day we were there, we meet with the lawyer who would go over the case with M (which most of which I can’t go into..) and sorta give us an idea of what to expect from the board.  Once that was over, we had nothing else to do for the first of the day.  No doctor appointments there or major things that would take up our time..

We went to a state park and just enjoyed the view and later on after dinner, we just walked around post.

The next morning was a bit cloudy when we went to meet with the board.  The lawyer went in first and said his opening statement and then he was given some news from the board who had been looking over M’s file beforehand..

The lawyer came out and told us that M was being medically retired after all..mainly due to an administrative error. 🙂 M went in and I followed while he introduced himself to the board..the board asked both of us to sit down and went into detail on how they came upon their decision.  They wished us good luck and said thank you to both of us (M for his service, I for dealing with the Army’s ups and downs..).

We were dismissed and just went over menial paperwork with the lawyer after.  M was given the option to extend his contract in order to give us a time frame that would be ideal which he refused (and I wish he had said yes to…).

We found Yogurtini afterwards and enjoyed a celebratory ice cream there (thanks to the recommendation from a lodge staff member). 🙂

Overall, we were SO THANKFUL that the over two year process was finally coming to a close.  M fought for what he thought and knew he had earned from the Army and the VA and it has helped us a lot since then.

Any questions about the MEB/PEB process, leave a comment below and I will try to answer it as best as I can or find a resource that will help. 

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In conclusion…(MEB Process Part 3)

Good Job Cookie Several months ago, I begin a small series regarding the MEB process we were going through.

You can read part 1 and part 2 in order to catch up if you want. 🙂

To wrap up the series, here is part 3:

M had his formal hearing before the PEB (Physical Evaluation Board) last month after his initial appeal was granted; new medical records were available after his initial findings from the PEB.  He was formally given a 30% rating from the Army, making him eligible for medical retirement on the permanently disability retirement list (PDRL).

It was worth the almost two year fight in order for him to get medically retired.  He has said that if he had been able to stay in, he would have.  Physically, he can no longer do his job and it is something he had to deal with even though it was very heartbreaking for him.

We have begun the transition to retirees one step at a time.  However, I will still post things within the military community and keep my blog “alive”.  😉

I will not be posting as much either as we are within our final move time frame and I need to finish packing.

If this series has been a resource to anyone, please drop me a line via e-mail or comments.  I would love to hear from you.

 

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MEB Process Part Two

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.

 

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The beginning of our MEB/IDES process

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.

Words used in the MEB/PEB process
Words used in the MEB/PEB process

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.

 

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