Meniere's Disease (just started MEB)

Discussion in 'Outcomes: Fit, Severance, TDRL, PDRL' started by maddox13, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. maddox13

    maddox13 PEB Forum Regular Member

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    I am Active duty Army E-5, 5yr 7months of service, I have just begun my med board for inner ear disease (meinere's) and hearing loss, I am on a p-3 Non deployable profile and cannot carry a weapon, I had been in about 4yrs and was in the middle of my second deployment when the symptoms started. I am wondering what I am possibly looking at from the PEB. I went to the MEB brief today and am kind of nervous about the fact that they in some cases award zero percent with no severance. Please offer all educated advice and opinions on this matter thank you
     
  2. ceilingfan

    ceilingfan PEB Forum Veteran

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    Maddox13,

    Anything is possible... fit to 100 percent. You could get zero percent or you could get 30 percent or higher which equals retirement, tricare, etc.

    Are you wanting to get out? If yes, start addressing any other medical conditions you may have. GO TO SICK CALL!

    Research this site if you are wanting information. Chances are your questions have all been asked and answered before.
     
  3. joshgo

    joshgo PEB Forum Veteran

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    Maddox,

    First...relax. You won't be getting a 0% rating, and if you do you will have plenty of ammo to fight it. The DoD and VA use the Veteran Affair's Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) to rate conditions. Meniere's Disease (diagnostic code 6205) is rated at 30, 60, or 100% depending on how frequently you have vertiginous attacks.
    http://www.benefits.va.gov/warms/docs/regs/38CFR/BOOKC/PART4/S4_87.DOC

    So if you are found unfit, the lowest they can rate you is at 30%, meaning medical retirement.

    I just got out at the end of last year for Meniere's. I'm rated 100% by the Air Force and I'm waiting on the VA's decision now. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
     
  4. maddox13

    maddox13 PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Thank you for the feed back, Yes I do want out, I am in Combat MOS and the vertigo makes it impossible to do PT ruck march never mind lead troops under fire, Further more the only thing that really scared me was reading another post that rating vertigo requires objective evidence, i was mainly diagnosed off symptoms occured over last 18 months, other wise I appeared normal on all tests aside from hearing and sprint test which show loss, and a pressure shift in right ear, so I am kind of stressing that the objective evidence is not strong enough, any one have more knowledge on that peace? additional health problems include: severe sleep apnea, pscoliosis (mild), and several back sprains, thanks
     
  5. maddox13

    maddox13 PEB Forum Regular Member

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    does any one have any additional feed back on my situation?
     
  6. joshgo

    joshgo PEB Forum Veteran

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    How often do you have vertigo attacks?
     
  7. maddox13

    maddox13 PEB Forum Regular Member

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    on average once daily
     
  8. joshgo

    joshgo PEB Forum Veteran

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    The link I posted below is the VASRD section containing Meniere's. It says this:

    [FONT=&quot]6205[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Meniere’s syndrome (endolymphatic hydrops):[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] Hearing impairment with attacks of vertigo and cerebellar gait [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] occurring more than once weekly, with or without tinnitus............................... 100[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] Hearing impairment with attacks of vertigo and cerebellar gait [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] occurring from one to four times a month, with or without tinnitus.................... 60[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] Hearing impairment with vertigo less than once a month, with or [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] without tinnitus.................................................................................................... 30[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Note: Evaluate Meniere’s syndrome either under these criteria or by separately evaluating vertigo (as a peripheral vestibular disorder), hearing impairment, and tinnitus, whichever method results in a higher overall evaluation. But do not combine an evaluation for hearing impairment, tinnitus, or vertigo with an evaluation under diagnostic code 6205.[/FONT]

    Looks like you're in the same boat I was (1-2 times a day) which would mean you meet the 100% criteria of more than once a week. You should also know, I've had others tell me that you need to have the "cerebellar gait" phrase to get 100%. Nothing in my records said that so you might not need it, but of course it may vary from service to service.

    As for when you say they want objective evidence, as I was never asked for it, I think that might be needed if you just had vertigo. A Meniere's Diagnosis should be all you need to prove you do have vertigo attacks, you just need to prove how often they happen. Keep a log of the times you get vertigo, it is admissible as evidence.
     
  9. maddox13

    maddox13 PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Josh, Thank you so much for all the information, I have another queation, Do you think they will try to tell me it was pre existing or came from natural causes ie not service related? because here at FT Bliss I am seeing alot of soldiers get Med Boarded and get put out with zero percent and no severence, it seems as though DOD is not trying to pay for anything right now.
     
  10. joshgo

    joshgo PEB Forum Veteran

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    If you have more than 8 years in, you have nothing to worry about due to the 8-year rule. If you less than 8, I still wouldn't be too concerned about it. I can see your concern as Meniere's is idiopathic, meaning they don't know exactly what causes it. Although it is safe to bet that, if you had no prior history of symptoms, it will be considered in the LOD due to the fact that it was aggravated by your military service.

    Besides, the burden of proof is on them, they would have to find substantial medical evidence that you did already have it or show symptoms, to say that it EPTS (existed prior to service).
     
  11. rudyesmi

    rudyesmi PEB Forum Regular Member

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    MENIERE'S DISEASE HELP (To Jason and others who can assist)

    Okay, need some assistance with possible rating or what we're looking at considering current diagnosis. Here is a quick synopsis of my situation and appreciate your help Jason and/or anyone else with experience with these specific conditions and/or ratings given by the US Air Force.

    Currently approved retirement for late Oct, will be on Terminal by late June, will submit VA Disability claim 1 May.

    In my military records or diagnosed by referred docs, via military:

    1. Sleep Apnea. Been on CPAP issued by military since 2007, had multiple sleep studies since to continue to keep me on it. Honestly, can't live without this device. Saved my life!

    2. Diabetes Type 2: Dignosed in 2007, been on oral meds (Metformin) since 2007

    3. High Cholesterol: On Zocor since 2007

    4. Torn Patellar Tendon Repair (Surgery) in 2007: Been seen since for Chronic pain and been reporting constant numbness of right thigh. Doc says its from surgery. MRI shows arthritis or one of the "itis" forms causing issues.

    5. Left arm, partial torn rotator cuff: Been thru injections and Physical Therapy sessions, docs. Nothing left for them to do. Still very painful, some range of motion issues and mostly being able to pick things up and reach back or twist arm is impossible. Shoulder also is confirmed by MRI showing arthritis and they mentioned going in and shaving down but unsure if I want that.

    6. Vertigo attack (first one) back in 2007. Since 2010, been seen at an Ear Institute (referred out by military) and confirmed Diagnosis of Vestibular Disorder and vertigo attacks with inbalance at least 2x a week, with nausea, tinitus

    7. Meniere's Disease: This week, after many tests and new meds to relieve the symptoms of hearing loss and pressure, ringing of one ear, Doc concluded in his written Diagnosis and wrote the following dianosis: "Likely Meniere's AD", Migraines (notated 2-3 per month over several months, Tinitus". Audiogram demonstrated increased low-frequency hearing loss in right ear. I was given Aldactone to help with symptoms. He notated I still have 2 vertigo episodes per week and experiencing recurring Migraines.

    For #7, I don't know what to make of the "Likely Meniere's AD". The Migraines are so dibilitating I have to sleep it off for hours and although I've always been sensitive to light, when Migraines hit me it is unbearable!

    Thanks for taking the time to read and hope that some of you may have some insight. I want to make sure I can get what I am supposed to because who knows when some of these conditions may render me unable to hold down a regular job. Right now I can continue to work but I can see how it may become difficult. Thanks again. :confused:
     
  12. Jason Perry

    Jason Perry Benevolent Leader Site Founder Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    MENIERE'S DISEASE HELP (To Jason and others who can assist)

    First issue is whether you will be referred to MEB/PEB in the first place. With the approved retirement in hand, it appears that you may fall under "presumption of fitness" rule. So, you may have some difficulty/resistance to getting evaluated by MEB in the first place.

    The main issue before getting to any of the conditions will be the issue of whether the conditions are unfitting. If they have been in place for so long without substantially interfering with your duty performance, it may be difficult to get rated, even in absence of presumption of fitness rule.

    As for #7, I would say that the Meniere's should not preclude separate rating for the migraines. I wonder if your diagnosis is from PCM or from neurologist? I would say you should see neurologist if you have not already.

    The good news is that it appears no matter what you will have a retirement from the military (whether for length of service, or if you are in fact referred and found unfit by PEB- though if its via the latter, this would seem to happen no matter what, under alternative length of service calculation). If you can't work after the military, you will get a 100% finding for Total Disability due to Individual Unemployability from the VA (or perhaps based on the schedule, not for TDIU).
     
  13. rudyesmi

    rudyesmi PEB Forum Regular Member

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    MENIERE'S DISEASE HELP (To Jason and others who can assist)

    Thanks Jason and yes, at least I have thr retirement but that was 20 long years and surely deserve that retirement. As for the conditions I've gotten while on active duty, don't know why I would not get rated no matter when they happened in my career. As for the Migraines, that was noted by my ear doctor who diagnosed me with "Likely Meniere's". He was referred to me by the military to see him as the specialist for those type ear disorders. I would think his diagnosis are relevant and would count for something. My next thing is I have to make sure that his diagnosis make it to my military records before retiring.

    I've been up for an MEB for the Diabetes and Sleep Apnea and given C-1 Code and returned to duty twice, and again just recently so another RILO for those conditions are not up for review until I'm on terminal leave.

    As for the possible Meniere's and vertigo episodes, the military referred me out to an Ear Institute that specifically deals with these issues. My ear doc diagnosed me with Meniere's, tinitus, Migraines, vertigo. Although I have 1 emergency room visit to military hospital for my 1st attack in 2007. Since 2010, I've been seeing this Ear Institute, per the military and since this treatment has been ongoing, the military has never boarded me for those conditions. The Migraines are very recent so I doubt they will board me now that I'm approved to retire. I'm assuming the VA will have to rate me on these based on my recent activity but confused about why they would give me me no compensable rating for these since they have occurred while on active duty.
     
  14. Hawkeye99

    Hawkeye99 PEB Forum Veteran

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    My MED board just started for Meniere's. I've been looking over the VA rating standards and it looks like I should be rated at 100% based on the frequency of my episodes. Does anyone know what the possibilities are of being found fit for duty if the VA rates me at 100%? I'm getting conflicting advice from multiple people.
     
  15. nakamurak002

    nakamurak002 PEB Forum Regular Member

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    I have tinnutus and wear one hearing aid. I have complained of some dizzy spells..they tend to occur monthly and migraines several times a month. They did an MRi of my head and saw something unusual, but they said a follow on CT was normal.

    I'm being med boarded due to my back for myofacial syndrome. But also have a foot problem due to shrapnel and a surgery. I had my bicep reattached and related shoulder injury is causing ROM Problems.

    My doctor never mentioned this condition, but I seem to have the same problems. How did the diagnosis come about? When I see my PEBLO and the VA next week should I ask about meneires. I have 26 years so Im going out anyway and complaining about a bunch of things while I am in MEB, but I am afraid of suggesting certain diagnosis for feeer of seeming to make them up. But I have on separate instances complained of these things. ANy advice?
     
  16. Hawkeye99

    Hawkeye99 PEB Forum Veteran

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    Had my initial interview with the VA today and something he said brought up a good question. He said that hearing loss has to be at a certain level for VA to consider it hearing loss. Can't remember what decibel he said, but I know that hearing impairment is part of the Meniere's rating.

    I do have hearing loss in my right/infected ear but I have no idea if it meets VA's threshold or not. Does anyone know what the hearing threshold is or if it even has to meet a certain threshold for the Meniere's rating?
     
  17. Hawkeye99

    Hawkeye99 PEB Forum Veteran

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    Anyone???
     
  18. joshgo

    joshgo PEB Forum Veteran

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    Here is the section of the VASRD that explains evaluation of hearing impairment. If you have the numbers from your hearing test, it should be pretty easy to follow.

    Remember, the VA will rate your Meniere's either based on the frequency of vertigo attacks (under code 6205) or separately evaluating vertigo, hearing loss, and tinnitus whichever method results in a higher overall evaluation.
     
  19. Hawkeye99

    Hawkeye99 PEB Forum Veteran

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    Thanks Josh! So the hearing loss doesn't have to meet a threshold for Meniere's, only for rating hearing loss?
     

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