My Story for Others IPEB finding of "fit" and the long appeal

Underbalanced

Registered Member
#1
Me:
ADSD November 2005
EAOS October 2021
ABH cross rated to CTN
Made CTN1
4 years later promted back to CTN2

My experience thus far. I write this to my best ability right now. Completely stressed out, anxiety ridden and just making it day by day. I wanted to share this even though it stresses me out even more then I am. I will hopefully bring in my dates soon to create a clear time-line with my complete process.

I have had Chronic Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Diarrhea. Every day I spend a few hours on the toilet on and off with pain and significant urgency. I had been putting up with it while realizing the military and job working in the intelligence community was exacerbating my symptoms. I had gone from every other day to every day, multiple events a day and occasional light soiling due to not getting to a bathroom in time because the long drives, waits or bathroom distances. The primary cause is specific foods, anxiety/stress, certain smells (perfumes) and physical training.

Additionally I had un-diagnosed sleep apnea. That probably did not help my Major Depression Disorder and Generalize Anxiety Disorder. I had been going to the doctors regularly since 2012. One impatient for addiction treatment. Several outpatient for Addiction and Behavior Health. 2016 I started to decide that I could not continue my life the way it was or I would end up going through finally with suicide to end the daily pain and always fearful of anything or anyone. After Treatment and more treatment I decided that I could decouple and restart and not have so much on my plate in life. After talking with my Doctors it was agreed that my conditions make me clearly unfit and should have been Med Boarded sooner. I also saw doctors out and town for alternative care for my pain which Gastrointestinal Clinic wont help with. I got certified for cannabis by other doctors to help my pain and motility but I cannot use currently due to Active Duty drug testing.

July 2018:
In 2017; my CO talked to my behavior health case manage. I lost my clearance access due to mental health; reasonably with my permission the case manger disclosed what was going on and told the CO "I was lucky I even show up to work". At the same time for a separate issue probably related to my mental health I got reduced in rank and loss 1/2 pay x 2 for a UCMJ. Failure to obey an order 2 counts; I did not fight this because I was in the medical board process. Prior to the UCMJ I had already been out of work for over 345 appointments with 2-3 hours of driving per appointment since 2015 but manage to keep MP/EP evaluations and promote (My rate is easy to promote).

November:
During the process of the VA appointments it appeared loosely based on reading the NARSUM and pairing with ratings with an attorney that I am at 90-100 percent and 70 percent of it being mental health. My command NMA said I was a working patient out 30-40 hours a week.

January:
My Medical board IPEB came back with a finding of "fit". I quote "The member has a diagnosis of OSA, IBS, anxiety, depression based on medical documentation. Based on the evidence contained within the case file, specifically the medical notes that document adequate treatment of OSA with CPAP and a long standing history of IBS, depression, and anxiety that in spite of, the member has successfully served in rate and promoted. His inability to work in rate at this time is due to the loss of confidence by his command for violations of the UCMJ, not because of his diagnoses such that the Informal Board has determined that the member's condition does not preclude him from the reasonable performance of his duties. Therefore, the Board finds the member fit to continue naval service and that he is reasonably able to perform the duties of his ratings."

My PEBLO, Doctors, PEBLO and command were surprised by this finding. My PEBLO reached out and referred me to National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP)nvlsp.org. NVLSP did and intake interview and accepted my case.

February:
The attorneys provided by NVLSP services filed an appeal and to have a formal hearing or findings over turned highlighting a new note from my Doctors which indicated restrictions for duty elaborating the LIMDU. Highlighting the command saying I have been a working patient. The request for a overturn or a formal hearing was denied. Simply in a few words stated "conduct" as why I was out of work.

March:
The attorneys pointed out that the FPEB by instruction does not have the authority to do a final denial of a hearing request and that it is only a recommendation to the Director Navy Counsel of Reviews Boards. SECNAV INSTRUCTION 1850.4E Subsection 4109. It happen to be that the DIRNCORB in 2015 delegated this authority for final denials to the PEB. The argument is that this was not what the SECNAVINST wanted to have delegated due to having a separate entity as a balance for formal hearing request. The attorneys placed an appeal to the DIRNCORB highlighting this as well as regardless of that fact there is more medical evidence suggesting unfitness. In addition my new evaluation March 2018 was submitted showing they will not recommend for advancement due to not observing me as I am out 3-4 days a week, that I am not out of work because the command does not "trust" me, that the command will not be returning my clearance access due to my mental health and a note from my Psychiatrist saying I am a risk to myself and any sensitive projects.

While the PEB did not afford me the proper appeal process and finalized the results; a message was sent out that I am fit for full duty and PSD changed by ACC code back to full duty. I am now late; very late on my return to duty screening which is normal AFTER all appeals had been exhausted as I understand it. The command is ordering it because it was ordered I am assuming by NAVPERS?

My Appeal the the DIRNCORB was March 30th and I am still waiting to hear back.

NVLSP and Attorneys have been amazing. Without them I would have probably took the ADSEP route which was hinted to me by my command already twice instead of fighting the process. I feel a lot better sharing all this instead of keeping it all deep inside and simmering.
 
Last edited:

Yyzforu

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#2
Just stay strong and keep us updated. Venting is a great tool. Plus many others may have been impacted similarly .
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#3
my husband is in the intelligence rate in the navy as well and was sent to the IPEB for severe migraines. when i say severe - think laying on the bathroom floor for the entire weekend.

with that being said, he was found FIT by the IPEB and when they said why, they copied and pasted his most recent eval.

he contested the finding of FIT and was granted a FPEB for may 8th. the process has flared my panic attacks back up and has made his migraines that much worse with all of the stress going on with the process of not being able to get in touch with anyone to find out WHO his lawyer will be for this FPEB. he will not be able to attend in person, either, which is another reason why we are pining away at trying to figure out who will be representing him. if we don't hear back soon, we will likely contact NVLSP, ourselves.

[just wanted to share a little bit of our story]

please keep us posted here - let us know how it all goes. i have a thread on here where it looks like i am talking to myself because i am updating it as much as possible, because one of the things i hate most about any forum is when you go to read it and it just stops, with no update what so ever.
 

Underbalanced

Registered Member
#4
my husband is in the intelligence rate in the navy as well and was sent to the IPEB for severe migraines. when i say severe - think laying on the bathroom floor for the entire weekend.

with that being said, he was found FIT by the IPEB and when they said why, they copied and pasted his most recent eval.

he contested the finding of FIT and was granted a FPEB for may 8th. the process has flared my panic attacks back up and has made his migraines that much worse with all of the stress going on with the process of not being able to get in touch with anyone to find out WHO his lawyer will be for this FPEB. he will not be able to attend in person, either, which is another reason why we are pining away at trying to figure out who will be representing him. if we don't hear back soon, we will likely contact NVLSP, ourselves.

[just wanted to share a little bit of our story]

please keep us posted here - let us know how it all goes. i have a thread on here where it looks like i am talking to myself because i am updating it as much as possible, because one of the things i hate most about any forum is when you go to read it and it just stops, with no update what so ever.
I performed well in because of being in super fear. The Navy emulates my childhood minus psychical abuse; so its like "duh, of course I am going to do well and promote" why would I want to be a shit bag and get in trouble or kicked out? Your husband is lucky they granted him a formal board. It is like they have no rhyme or reason it seems.

I think that the lawyer is assigned at or close to the last minute from the JAG? That was also why I went with NVLSP. I did not want to get stuck with a last minute gun ho Navy attorney.

I understand how sever migraines are. My wife has them once in a while pretty bad; it includes blindness/blurry vision and unable to move. We have a emergency vaporizer always loaded (with cannabis leaf w/ cannabis that contains CBD) it works faster then prescription medicine almost within 5 minutes or faster and without side effects. She follows up with a cannabis leaf containing both cbd/thc for full synergistic effects. This may be helpful for after the military part.


[UPDATE Part]
As of Thursday the 12th of April 2018.

My appeal to the DIRNCORB is still pending.

As for the Command and return to duty screening and assignment screening. I have only seen this PCM 4 times because the hospital changed mine 2 times due to doctors leaving the clinic. I was ordered to do the screenings explicitly. I showed up for my Primary Care Manager (PCM) appointment on time and it was at 0815 for my return to duty screening. When I walked in she said "oh you again, make this quick". I asked her to review the simple and short forms (2) return to duty screening and assignment screening. I had brought all my documents to make this process a breeze short of filling the paper work out for her. She said "oh I should make you fit for duty because the PEB said you are fit". I said "no my specialty care does not concur and says I should not be returned to unrestricted duty. Here are the documents that support this and you can review their notes in my records". She said she did not have time to be doing this paper work. She said stuff and mumbled then went to talk to another doctor who knows about the paper work process (she did not). After coming back after about 10 minutes she said "oh ok I just need to disapprove return to unrestricted duty and on the assignment screening put on your permanent restrictions.". She looked and started reading and said "oh i do not know what to put here" I started to explain what to put and she said "we do not have time to do this". She said I needed to wait tell her lunch break at 1115 and to on a separate paper pre-fill all the information for her.

I sat and pre-filled the paper work and waited in the lobby and 1130 rolls around; finally I am pulled into her office. I provided her the pre-written information which was even annotated to the document references. She paused and waited, said some things then said she could not do the paper work; she had to eat lunch and go to a meeting. She was about to send me away empty handed. I ended up getting her to write a note saying I had to schedule a follow up with her or another doctor to finish the forms. She really emphasized another Doctor. I left pretty mad because my CMC keeps getting on my LPO/LCPO and it is not their fault. I ended up putting in a complaint with the hospital and changing my PCM to someone who can be abreast of the medical history and understands how to complete required military paper work.
 
Last edited:

Edi

Registered Member
#5
Note to a
Me:
ADSD November 2005
EAOS October 2021
ABH cross rated to CTN
Made CTN1
4 years later promted back to CTN2

My experience thus far. I write this to my best ability right now. Completely stressed out, anxiety ridden and just making it day by day. I wanted to share this even though it stresses me out even more then I am. I will hopefully bring in my dates soon to create a clear time-line with my complete process.

I have had Chronic Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Diarrhea. Every day I spend a few hours on the toilet on and off with pain and significant urgency. I had been putting up with it while realizing the military and job working in the intelligence community was exacerbating my symptoms. I had gone from every other day to every day, multiple events a day and occasional light soiling due to not getting to a bathroom in time because the long drives, waits or bathroom distances. The primary cause is specific foods, anxiety/stress, certain smells (perfumes) and physical training.

Additionally I had un-diagnosed sleep apnea. That probably did not help my Major Depression Disorder and Generalize Anxiety Disorder. I had been going to the doctors regularly since 2012. One impatient for addiction treatment. Several outpatient for Addiction and Behavior Health. 2016 I started to decide that I could not continue my life the way it was or I would end up going through finally with suicide to end the daily pain and always fearful of anything or anyone. After Treatment and more treatment I decided that I could decouple and restart and not have so much on my plate in life. After talking with my Doctors it was agreed that my conditions make me clearly unfit and should have been Med Boarded sooner. I also saw doctors out and town for alternative care for my pain which Gastrointestinal Clinic wont help with. I got certified for cannabis by other doctors to help my pain and motility but I cannot use currently due to Active Duty drug testing.

July 2018:
In 2017; my CO talked to my behavior health case manage. I lost my clearance access due to mental health; reasonably with my permission the case manger disclosed what was going on and told the CO "I was lucky I even show up to work". At the same time for a separate issue probably related to my mental health I got reduced in rank and loss 1/2 pay x 2 for a UCMJ. Failure to obey an order 2 counts; I did not fight this because I was in the medical board process. Prior to the UCMJ I had already been out of work for over 345 appointments with 2-3 hours of driving per appointment since 2015 but manage to keep MP/EP evaluations and promote (My rate is easy to promote).

November:
During the process of the VA appointments it appeared loosely based on reading the NARSUM and pairing with ratings with an attorney that I am at 90-100 percent and 70 percent of it being mental health. My command NMA said I was a working patient out 30-40 hours a week.

January:
My Medical board IPEB came back with a finding of "fit". I quote "The member has a diagnosis of OSA, IBS, anxiety, depression based on medical documentation. Based on the evidence contained within the case file, specifically the medical notes that document adequate treatment of OSA with CPAP and a long standing history of IBS, depression, and anxiety that in spite of, the member has successfully served in rate and promoted. His inability to work in rate at this time is due to the loss of confidence by his command for violations of the UCMJ, not because of his diagnoses such that the Informal Board has determined that the member's condition does not preclude him from the reasonable performance of his duties. Therefore, the Board finds the member fit to continue naval service and that he is reasonably able to perform the duties of his ratings."

My PEBLO, Doctors, PEBLO and command were surprised by this finding. My PEBLO reached out and referred me to National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP)nvlsp.org. NVLSP did and intake interview and accepted my case.

February:
The attorneys provided by NVLSP services filed an appeal and to have a formal hearing or findings over turned highlighting a new note from my Doctors which indicated restrictions for duty elaborating the LIMDU. Highlighting the command saying I have been a working patient. The request for a overturn or a formal hearing was denied. Simply in a few words stated "conduct" as why I was out of work.

March:
The attorneys pointed out that the FPEB by instruction does not have the authority to do a final denial of a hearing request and that it is only a recommendation to the Director Navy Counsel of Reviews Boards. SECNAV INSTRUCTION 1850.4E Subsection 4109. It happen to be that the DIRNCORB in 2015 delegated this authority for final denials to the PEB. The argument is that this was not what the SECNAVINST wanted to have delegated due to having a separate entity as a balance for formal hearing request. The attorneys placed an appeal to the DIRNCORB highlighting this as well as regardless of that fact there is more medical evidence suggesting unfitness. In addition my new evaluation March 2018 was submitted showing they will not recommend for advancement due to not observing me as I am out 3-4 days a week, that I am not out of work because the command does not "trust" me, that the command will not be returning my clearance access due to my mental health and a note from my Psychiatrist saying I am a risk to myself and any sensitive projects.

While the PEB did not afford me the proper appeal process and finalized the results; a message was sent out that I am fit for full duty and PSD changed by ACC code back to full duty. I am now late; very late on my return to duty screening which is normal AFTER all appeals had been exhausted as I understand it. The command is ordering it because it was ordered I am assuming by NAVPERS?

My Appeal the the DIRNCORB was March 30th and I am still waiting to hear back.

NVLSP and Attorneys have been amazing. Without them I would have probably took the ADSEP route which was hinted to me by my command already twice instead of fighting the process. I feel a lot better sharing all this instead of keeping it all deep inside and simmering.
Your NMA screwed you up. Always write your own NMA before you give it to your command to sign it.
 

Underbalanced

Registered Member
#6
My NMA.
Is mbr working outside of his specialty?
Yes, working on general duties. Working Patient out of work 30 hours a week.

If yes, can the mbr continue service in rate?
No

Is the mbr deplorable or worldwide assignable?
No

If not recommended for PLD, explain why mbr can’t?
No, No comments listed for this section

Any phrases, or CO remarks that may have been used to make it sound like you can perform at work or hints at retainability etc?
- Attaching an image for this.
View attachment 2745
- Since this write up I have been advised I will no be receiving my clearance back while receiving behavior health treatment for my conditions which is indefinitely and my most recent note from my psychiatrist confirms that I should not work with classified information. The new eval stating I am out of work for medical and not retain-able for this reason, my psychiatrist note and a note indicated my clearance will not be returned has been provided in my current pending appeal.




Update 29 APR 18:
My Appeal the the DIRNCORB was March 30th
18 APR 18 - DIRNCORB JAG said they were having issues with my appeal email attachments from my legal counsel
20 APR 18 - Still email issues, appeal was FEDEXed to DIRNCORB JAG
24 APR 18 - Appeal receipt confirmed by DIRNCORB JAG
29 APR 18 - Still waiting
 

oddpedestrian

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#7
They have always bitterly fought people on MEB who get UCMJ they had to actually go back and change discharges for combat vets they screwed over with UCMJ and general discharges in the thousands, this exception does not apply to personnel without combat time and disabilities. Some people in command take UCMJ like its a court-martial using any and all means to screw that person over even after they did their extra duty and lost rank. They expect you to keep your military bearing and remain respectful until discharge even if you have a lot MH disabilities and having a hard time coping. I would advise you to remain on your best behavior for the duration of the process someone in this process is definitely taking that UCMJ to heart. Your commander only partially pinned your problems on NJP.
 

Edi

Registered Member
#8
They have always bitterly fought people on MEB who get UCMJ they had to actually go back and change discharges for combat vets they screwed over with UCMJ and general discharges in the thousands, this exception does not apply to personnel without combat time and disabilities. Some people in command take UCMJ like its a court-martial using any and all means to screw that person over even after they did their extra duty and lost rank. They expect you to keep your military bearing and remain respectful until discharge even if you have a lot MH disabilities and having a hard time coping. I would advise you to remain on your best behavior for the duration of the process someone in this process is definitely taking that UCMJ to heart. Your commander only partially pinned your problems on NJP.
Well said!
 

Jason Perry

Benevolent Leader
Site Founder
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#10
I'd love to hear @Jason Perry weight in on the Navy PEB process. It sounds borderline in terms of compliance with DoDIs.
I am only providing "broad strokes" here, but in my opinion, the Navy is the worst service for properly adjudicating cases. I could provide many reasons why this is my opinion, but, it would take more time than I have at the moment. (Note that the processes between the services should be similar based on the directions found in the DoD Instructions and Directives.)
 

brokenlizard

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#11
Seams like a trend of Navy IPEB findings fit results by the most non medical part of the entire process, the NMA holds the most weight for us which is crazy when you explain it to someone new to the IPEB they look at you crazy!
 

chaplaincharlie

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#12
I am only providing "broad strokes" here, but in my opinion, the Navy is the worst service for properly adjudicating cases. I could provide many reasons why this is my opinion, but, it would take more time than I have at the moment. (Note that the processes between the services should be similar based on the directions found in the DoD Instructions and Directives.)
VSOs ought to take them to task before Congress! There should be no difference between the services in term of medical retirement. The USC authorizes medical retirement and DoD provides guidance to them all.

Thank you @Jason Perry for taking time to weight in.
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#14
my husband's FPEB is on tuesday of next week and we have yet to speak to his lawyer about the details, what he needs, etc. the few emails we have received from the lawyer, he tells us a few things he needs then calls us to let us know he doesn't need those things or questions why we'd sent those to him even though it's in black and white on the email where he requests these.

i am not an expert on any of this, but i wanted to say that i agree 500% with what @Jason Perry has mentioned here. they aren't just the worst when it comes to adjudicating cases - but also the worst when it comes to preparing for said cases. we understand they are busy and appreciate the work that they do for people. but my husband feels like a number and has felt [the last few times he has spoken with the lawyer over the phone] that he is very condescending and unwilling to explain simple things that he has complicated for us. prayers to all of you who are going through this process.
 

18c_Gunslinger

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#15
my husband's FPEB is on tuesday of next week and we have yet to speak to his lawyer about the details, what he needs, etc. the few emails we have received from the lawyer, he tells us a few things he needs then calls us to let us know he doesn't need those things or questions why we'd sent those to him even though it's in black and white on the email where he requests these.

i am not an expert on any of this, but i wanted to say that i agree 500% with what @Jason Perry has mentioned here. they aren't just the worst when it comes to adjudicating cases - but also the worst when it comes to preparing for said cases. we understand they are busy and appreciate the work that they do for people. but my husband feels like a number and has felt [the last few times he has spoken with the lawyer over the phone] that he is very condescending and unwilling to explain simple things that he has complicated for us. prayers to all of you who are going through this process.
The sad reality is that your husband is just a number. We are all just numbers. These attorneys are knowledgeable but are just so dang busy. If I had it to do all over again I would have paid a private attorney, not because I didn’t get a fair decision from the FPEB, but so I would feel less like a number. To me, you can’t put a price in the piece of mind you get from feeling well serviced by an attorney. I am hoping your husband gets a favorable result from the board.
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#16
The sad reality is that your husband is just a number. We are all just numbers. These attorneys are knowledgeable but are just so dang busy. If I had it to do all over again I would have paid a private attorney, not because I didn’t get a fair decision from the FPEB, but so I would feel less like a number. To me, you can’t put a price in the piece of mind you get from feeling well serviced by an attorney. I am hoping your husband gets a favorable result from the board.
thank you for the kind words. i couldn't have said it better, myself.
 

Underbalanced

Registered Member
#18
The sad reality is that your husband is just a number. We are all just numbers. These attorneys are knowledgeable but are just so dang busy. If I had it to do all over again I would have paid a private attorney, not because I didn’t get a fair decision from the FPEB, but so I would feel less like a number. To me, you can’t put a price in the piece of mind you get from feeling well serviced by an attorney. I am hoping your husband gets a favorable result from the board.
My wife said something about just being numbers and in-human too. She says they'll end up being the contributing factor for my death instead of just letting me go. I have been out of work all day or most of the day for medical appointments or intense pain for about 500+/- of the last 1095 days. This last year almost entirely.


Update: Late update was in the deep slumps for a minute.
April 24th: Medical completed return to duty screening and medical assignment with same restrictions as my original LIMDU.

May 1st: Denied FPEB appeal through DIRNCORB. In the letter from the DIRNCORB advised that if the MTF believes my conditions preclude me from my duties to re-refer my case but because I was found fit I have no right to a hearing.

- 11 Months since MEB Referral #1

May 9th: Commanding Officer, Medical and Department Head all met to do a status update. Command has no intentions of separating me administratively; it is fine that I no longer have a security clearance recommendation but will be reevaluated every 6 months for it. Will just sit in a holding division for 3 more years and continue medical treatment. Command will not accept return to duty screening or medical assignment with any limitations. Medical decided to go ahead and start another MEB because they will not write a unrestricted return to duty screening.

May 18th: Second Opinion Gastroenterology completed with new diagnoses Visceral Hypersensitivity Syndrome and Generalized Abdominal Pain.

== Start of MEB Referral #2 ==
May 25th: New MEB routed with 2 additional diagnoses from last time. Irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, Visceral Hypersensitivity Syndrome (New), Generalized Abdominal Pain (New), Major Depression Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder

May 29th: Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) / Convening Authority (CA) has signed off on the medical board recommendation. Waiting for PEBLO contact.
 
Last edited:

Underbalanced

Registered Member
#19
Update:
May 30th: Notified to sign my Second MEB Referral with LIMDU Coordinator in the morning, in the afternoon contacted for DES counseling and elections, MEB brief on June 5th and official PEBLO assignment.

Happening fast this second time around.
 

Underbalanced

Registered Member
#20
Update: PEB will not accept another case for me until 01 Sep 18.

Worked on my stats from my medical record to see how much work has been missed. Since 2015 have missed out of work 46% of the time for appointments or symptoms.

Does anyone know if a member initiated ADSEP would hurt the board of corrections attempt to change it from ADSEP to medical?
 
data-matched-content-ui-type="image_stacked" data-matched-content-rows-num="3" data-matched-content-columns-num="1" data-ad-format="autorelaxed">