Results from 1st TDRL Evaluation...

Discussion in 'Outcomes: Fit, Severance, TDRL, PDRL' started by swowannabe, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. swowannabe

    swowannabe PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Long story short. Was Med Boarded back in 2010/2011 and placed on TDRL with a 70% rating for Bipolar disorder. January of this year I had to go talk to someone at the VA for a re-evaluation there, and they maintained that I'm at 70%. I was a little surprised when I got a letter saying I had to go to Chicago for another re-evaluation in July. But, who am I to argue?

    Anyways, the PEB (I think it's a PEB at this stage of the game?) found me at 30% and are placing me on PDRL assuming I accept the findings.

    This is generally considered a good thing. I wanted to both share this information and also ask: Is there any reason to decline/request a reconsideration? I already read through many of these posts and found the answer to one question -- that PDRL is permanent and won't be changed later. Any insight folks could offer would be great! I personally don't see any reasons why I shouldn't accept, I'm now functioning high enough that 30% is reasonable and I won't be going broke due to the loss of income from the change of status. No bases nearby, but having Tricare sure is handy for my wife.

    -SWO Wannabe
     
  2. Jason Perry

    Jason Perry Benevolent Leader Site Founder Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    You should and do have to weigh whether the difference in percentages will make a difference for you compensation wise. However, as a matter of law, I strongly suspect that the PEB inappropriately rated you.

    I am assuming that you were processed under IDES system. I am also going to guess that you are in the Navy. The IDES rules state explicitly that the VA is required to provide your TDRL ratings. The services overall seem to be ignoring this requirement. I would want confirmation of the IDES issue, but, I strongly suspect that you have a STRONG legal case for a 70% rating.
     
  3. Warrior644

    Warrior644 PEB Forum Veteran

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    Welcome to the PEB Forum! :)

    Indeed; these types of PEB TDRL findings (actions) continue to peak my level of curious in reference to TDRL processing? :confused:

    As such, I am very interested in your feedback to @Jason Perry inquiry?

    BTW, are you currently still maintaining any type of employment; just curious, again?

    Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer."

    Best Wishes!
     
  4. swowannabe

    swowannabe PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Some additional information:

    Yes, I believe I was processed under the IDES system. That was the new one where the VA just did everything and the DoD agreed, that way they weren't doing anything goofy like having the VA find someone at 100% but the DoD saying "Oh, well, 20%, here's your severance, bye." if I recall correctly. It was also supposed to lead to faster turnaround times and less time in limdu limbo?

    I was curious why the DoD didn't want the VA's re-evaluation from January. Perhaps they wanted to make their own decision. Perhaps they wanted to hose me. I don't know.

    I am currently employed, although my performance is rather streaky (significant problems arising such as tardiness, task completion, and remembering things in general that are all concurrent with depressive episodes. I have been informally conferenced twice and have a letter of reprimand as a result and have been employed since June 2012). The psychiatrist whom did my evaluation recommended that I find a different job because the constantly changing shift work isn't good for the whole bipolar diagnosis. Beggars can't be choosers. One thing I have not yet pursued under my current job is to seek reasonable accomodations under the ADA, primarily out of fear that I'll be passed over for promotion (which I realize is generally illegal but I suspect it happens often).

    I guess what it boils down to is if I do appeal, would they likely maintain me on TDRL at 70% based on the IDES findings? I thought the whole point of TDRL was to determine whether a condition has gotten worse, improved, or has remained stable where it was originally diagnosed at. I'm not sure how much the headache would be worth, especially since at the next TDRL re-evaluation in 17 months now they could decide to drop me from 70% to 10% if I've made a miraculous improvement in their mind (or mine at the time of the eval) and then I literally have nothing.

    I'm not entirely sure how the compensation levels work, whether the VA, which has me at 70%, will contiue to compensate me at 70% and my DoD retirement pay drops to 30% of my high 3, or if I get 30% from the VA taken out of 30% of my high 3. Either way it's a pretty substantial chunk of money each month, which over the course of a lifetime could and would add up. On the other hand, is it worth it to risk losing the benefits? Tricky, tricky...

    I appreciate the responses and anxiously await additional responses!
     
  5. Jason Perry

    Jason Perry Benevolent Leader Site Founder Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    It is hard to guess as to their intent- however, the result does seem to be a thorough attempt to hose you. Under the IDES regulation (DTM 11-015), they have to have the VA rate you finally. They aren't doing this and I think this is pure legal error. My read is that you are entitled to a 70% rating. (I have had one TDRL case where I fought this out with the Navy- my client was on his first TDRL review and the VA did not review the case, only the Navy MEB/TDRL review provided the exam; I raised and fought this issue. They eventually "punted" by continuing my client on TDRL. This was an acceptable outcome for my client, so we did not fight it further. My opinion is that since the regulation mandates the VA provides the final rating and they actually did so in your case, you are clearly entitled to a 70% rating).

    Understood. However, this does not suggest remotely that 30% was the correct rating. And, as I suggested above, I think the Navy has no jurisdiction to rate you in the first place.
    Remember, this site is only to provide information and not legal advice. That said, I think that the fact that the VA rated you again at 70% suggests you are stable for rating purposes (absent any other statements about your prognosis). I think you have an argument for a 70% PDRL finding. I am not sure how the Navy might respond to the argument, but there is often a lot of difference between what the military finds and what is correct legally.

    The VA will continue your 70% rating. The issue is to what degree the Navy will pay you. I am not sure you face substantial risk in losing retirement benefits. However, there are no guarantees in the process. I have seen very bad outcomes in some cases. That said, I think you have a very strong case for a 70% rating if you fight it out. It may not be an easy fight, but, I think that based on the DTM, you have a clear entitlement to a 70% rating. I also would not be surprised if you fought it with the argument that the VA has to rate you, that they would fold and award that or else they would risk a larger challenge to all of their TDRL IDES rating determinations.
     
  6. Warrior644

    Warrior644 PEB Forum Veteran

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    Wow! Interesting responses as well as @Jason Perry above information to your follow-on feedback; in my opinion.

    Nonetheless, never default acceptance to potential injustice while championing for well-earned and well-deserve military disability compensation to include future military healthcare benefits after separation/retirement. ;)

    Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer."

    Best Wishes!
     
  7. swowannabe

    swowannabe PEB Forum Regular Member

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    @Jason Perry Understand on everything. Just curious if you recommend going through a private attorney then? If so, how do they usually charge? This is probably a situation where, from what it sounds like, I should refer to some legal counsel. I know in the wonderful packet they sent there was a nice long list of attorneys. Will try and get ahold of one tomorrow morning perhaps. I'll try and find here if there is anywhere where recommendations/referrals are made on the site, it might be out of the scope of what type of advice is provided here though, I don't know. I appreciate your input greatly, we'll see what happens.
     
  8. ...

    ... PEB Forum Veteran

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    Jason is an attorney. I believe he has a separate site or that though. He does pretty good at keeping things on here separate from his actual practice, though I'm sure he could point you in the right direction if he can't take care of you himself.

    http://www.peblawyer.com/
     
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  9. nayrbs_42

    nayrbs_42 PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Can Jason represent someone in a different state? For example, I live in Arkansas, If I need representation could I employ him?
     
  10. Warrior644

    Warrior644 PEB Forum Veteran

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    Welcome to the PEB Forum! :)

    Well, as quoted from Jason Perry's professional Law firm website:

    "My law practice is devoted to military disability law. I provide professional legal representation before all services Medical and Physical Evaluation Boards (MEB and PEBs) and on appeal to the Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR) and Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR). I also handle claims against the government at the US Court of Federal Claims."

    That said, I suggest that you make an inquiry with his Law Office at 1-800-576-5648 for additional pinpointed information.

    Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer."

    Best Wishes!
     

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