retirement vs. seperation vs. medical retirement

Discussion in 'Transition Issues' started by casey, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. casey

    casey PEB Forum Regular Member

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    O.K., I need an education. I recently talked with a veteran and found out that the "free" medical for the rest of your life belief may not be necessarily true. So please, all of you who are educated about the differences regarding military retirement vs. seperation vs. medical retirement please help.

    I personnaly have been in for 17 years and have been offered a 20% rating with seperation plus severance pay. I am appealing, hoping to at least get my rate raised enough for medical retirement. But honestly, what am fighting for. I mean, what is really the differences between these situations.

    I really think that there are many of us new to this whole process that are quite honestly uneducated to our benefits, and what we are gaining and losing based on our individual situations.

    Thanks.
     
  2. rockymtnmama

    rockymtnmama PEB Forum Veteran

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    If you receive more than 50% VA compensation, you are seen for free. If you are less than that, you are seen at a rate comparable to your income. The VA will only cover you unless you are 100% disabled through the VA.

    Military/Medical Retirement: You still have to pay for Tricare and it is based of off your rank when you separate. The only thing to keep in mind is that there are talks about rates going up tremendously. I know someone who pays about $400 year and they may end up paying about $2000 a year(that is what I pay now for Blue Cross/Blue Shield through my federal job). Of course, this covers your entire family and that is where the difference lies!

    Good luck.
     
  3. commosgt

    commosgt PEB Forum Veteran

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    casey, keep fighting and don't let up.

    I was discharged in 2003 with 10% rating from the Army. With the help and guidance of LTC Mike Parker, I have submitted to the PDBR for review due to the fact I was rated 70% from the VA 6 months after discharge (currently 90% due to MH, Fibro, etc) and I was only rated for one disability when i had other disabilities that were not rated. As far as your question is concerned you will need a 50% rating or above to get a head to toe care from the VA. Through the VA your family is not covered only you unless you are 100% P & T. So i suggest either you retire, get a 30% rating from the Army, or take what you get, get out, file with the VA and then have your pay recoup to pay back the Severance pay, and apply to the PDBR and hopefully getting your increase to 30%. If i miss something you guys correct me please as most of my wisdom is on the VA side of things. I urge you to fight for 30% or above whatever it takes!!
     
  4. casey

    casey PEB Forum Regular Member

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    First, thanks for the replies.....

    A couple of questions off the top:

    Medical retirement (30% or higher): So I pay for medical coverage no matter how I retire, Is my family receiving medical coverage, what is my retirement pay (high 3?). I still get access to military installations. Isn't there something different about my pay in comparison to regular retirees (20 years)? Something about double dipping as it relates to the VA? Is medical coverage at least free on installations?

    Seperation: I basically get nothing. Sure I get severance pay, but I can't help but feel as though it is a form of robbery as I have to pay it back.
     
  5. commosgt

    commosgt PEB Forum Veteran

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    Casey, I will try my best to answer your questions (anyone else want to chime in, by all means do so).

    1. With medical retirement 30% or higher:
    a. Yes you will pay for medical coverage for the whole family and yourself.
    b. retirement pay call DFAS, if you do retire apply to CSRC and CDRP
    c. Yes you will retain your ID card and base privledges as well as your family. Kids till 23 or 26 (not sure) as long as they are in school, same thing for medical.
    d. Yes your pay will change but I am not going to lie to you about this as I am not too sure myself as I am close to 12 years and I wonder about this.
    e. Yes tricare is free at MTF on base everywhere else is a copay and/or certain percentage. Just depends in civi world.
    f. Not sure about the double dipping question.
    g. If you go the VA route you are not covered head to toe unless you get 50% or above. the family doesn't get medical till 100% P & T. Check your state benefits from where you where you entered active duty. The state may give you benefits for being a veteran. Mine is Texas, lots of benefits for Vets.

    As far as separation with less than 30%, you get VA pay but you will have to fight your A$$ off getting it. I was lucky the first round, the next two rounds were very difficult to 80 and now 90%. Yep you got that right i was granted severance of 40K, taxed and got 33K, the VA took the severance and paid the Army for almost 6 years. And now I applied to the PDBR and probably will never see it back in my hands. I submitted to the VA a request to requesting records on my severance pay and they are acting like I have no idea what I am talking about but yet they took it anyway and it is on my DD-214. So basically it is rough one way or another but make the choice for your you and your family. I chose my path as i did due to the fact I did not know nor did i know who i was due to the meds and conditions i was going through. If i would have done it all over again knowing what i know now I would have fought with everything i had down to last breath!
     
  6. maparker

    maparker Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    You absolutely want to fight for retirement. There is a lot you need to understand and that will come in time but absolutely request a formal board and fight for retirement.

    Mike
     
  7. Manu

    Manu New Member

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    I'm new to this forum, so any information is appreciated.
    An MED has been initiated on me and found that i have a few of condition listed that are considered as "unfit for duty". They are:
    - depression (more than two hospitalizations in the past year)
    - chronic migraines
    - cervical and lumbar issues

    My question is, would all three be considered in my military retirement rating or just one. The regulation only lists conditions and does not specify that only one condition is rated which leads me to believe that any condition listed has to be considered. Is this correct?
     
  8. AvnSgt

    AvnSgt PEB Forum Veteran

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    Manu - There is no easy way to answer this. Although 3 conditions are listed on your MEB, as unfit for duty. The PEB action will be your determining factor. The PEB should rate them independently, however, in past years there has been a history of other outcomes. But, don't be discouraged, because there is an excellent support group here with many people who have shared this experience, plus a great deal of knowledge. So, when you find yourself facing an undesired outcome of the PEB, you can bring it back to get some great advice.
     
  9. Manu

    Manu New Member

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    Thanks AvnSgt. At least now i know they should take all three to consideration. My migraines have been the main reason I'm been unable to work since i have them 24 hours a day for eight months. thanks for the information. It's great to know there's people in the same situation who understand.
     
  10. usafaviator

    usafaviator PEB Forum Veteran

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    Also realize that just because a MEB determined the conditions unfitting, the PEB decides which (if any) of the conditions get a final unfitting rating (although they consider all conditions listed from MEB). They might determine that all three are unfitting, or maybe one or two, or they could even find that none of the conditions are unfitting and return you to duty. What may seem to make sense to us often gets re-spun at the PEB and receives an outcome that we don't expect (thus the opportunity for FPEB/appeals). The VA conducts the rating phase (using the VASRD as reference), and the PEB then just requests the ratings for the conditions they determine unfitting. Additionally, if you don't agree with the VA ratings, you can request a one time rate reconsideration.
    This whole process is constantly "evolving" and, often times, fails us. Just remember to stay on top of things, continue to hang out here in the forum and CYA.;)
     

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