Advice needed! Disability percentage question

Hello all

I haven't met with my PEBLO yet for my official ratings, but the MSC was able to give me an overview of what my rating is. Its currently 90%.
The kicker is, my referred condition, the reason I got boarded, was rated at 0%.
My questions are:
Will this mean that my rating will be 0%DOD, 90%VA? or would the DOD end up looking at any other conditions that are unfitting (assuming there are some with such a high rating) and add that into their overall percentage? I don't yet know the breakdown of the ratings.
If it is 0% DOD 90% VA does this mean that I would get severance pay, none of which would need to be recouped by the VA since the unfitting condition is rated 0%? Instead of getting 10% and getting severance, and having that 10% taken our of your VA disability every month until its recouped?
I've been told that this is best case scenario by a friend. I have also read that when theres such a large difference, it means theres something terribly wrong and youre getting screwed. The whole MEB process is stressful and has taken its toll on me. I just want my family to be ok, and to be able to move on with my life.

What would a 0% DOD, 90% VA mean for me? Would I still get good benefits?
Thanks in advance
 

denmom117

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Okay so there is chance you could be 0% DoD and 90% VA. I started at 0% DoD and 70% VA. The reason being the VA felt my referred condition wasn't service connected so the DoD concurred and left it at that. Thankfully I was able to appeal to the formal board and show how another condition that was considered unfitting should be moved to the 'referred' category. After my SAFPC appeal didn't go anywhere (ie they left my ratings as the formal board wanted them 10%) I filed my VARR using my medical records to show that my original referred condition was in fact service connected and equal to 30% based on their own rating determinations. I ended up getting 40% DoD and 70% VA by time it was all done, it took 27 months from when it started but the results were worth it.

I would wait to decide what and how you want to proceed until you see the VA package from your PEBLO, it will have the reasons why they rated things the way they did. You'll have a few days to decide what you want to do next, sign or appeal.
 

gsfowler

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0% is not a bad place to be if there are no other conditions that can be found unfit and rated at least 30%. The good thing about 0% is that you do not have to pay back the severance.

If you have medical evidence that warrants a 30% rating, then request a VARR, if not financially it may make more sense to accept the findings.
 

happysad

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0% is not a bad place to be if there are no other conditions that can be found unfit and rated at least 30%. The good thing about 0% is that you do not have to pay back the severance.


If you have medical evidence that warrants a 30% rating, then request a VARR, if not financially it may make more sense to accept the findings.

Thank you both for your replies.

Is it at all possible that the DOD will consider any unfitting condition in its rating, even if the condition was not my original "referred" condition? Or could that only happen through a formal board at this stage?
Could they only base their rating on the original referred condition, even if through C&P exams other issues that I claimed to the VA ended up being unfitting? I have a hunch that when I get the final ratings, I will see other conditions labelled as "unfitting" even though they were not referred initially.
I ask because this med board is exhausting and taking its toll on my and my family's well being. We are all suffering, and we want to move on. The thought of doing more appeals and spending many more months in this situation is beyond depressing. My spouse wants me to take 0%DOD and 90%VA (if that is how it breaks down) get severance pay, and just move on so we can rebuild our lives. But I don't want to be short changed if I could "easily" be retired.
I will be meeting with my legal council soon which I'm sure will help, but I am looking for any more input that I can get.
 

dotlak

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Thank you both for your replies.

Is it at all possible that the DOD will consider any unfitting condition in its rating, even if the condition was not my original "referred" condition? Or could that only happen through a formal board at this stage?
Could they only base their rating on the original referred condition, even if through C&P exams other issues that I claimed to the VA ended up being unfitting? I have a hunch that when I get the final ratings, I will see other conditions labelled as "unfitting" even though they were not referred initially.
I ask because this med board is exhausting and taking its toll on my and my family's well being. We are all suffering, and we want to move on. The thought of doing more appeals and spending many more months in this situation is beyond depressing. My spouse wants me to take 0%DOD and 90%VA (if that is how it breaks down) get severance pay, and just move on so we can rebuild our lives. But I don't want to be short changed if I could "easily" be retired.
I will be meeting with my legal council soon which I'm sure will help, but I am looking for any more input that I can get.
If you are confident that you have all the medical records to prove that your referred condition should be at least 30%, my advice for you is to fight it while you are still in service, at lease you are still getting paid. Severance pay is good but medical retirement is far better because of your family. Your family needs the TRICARE because buying healthcare plan is very expensive out there. Fight! Fight!! Fight!!! until you are satisfied that you get what you deserve.
 

happysad

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If you are confident that you have all the medical records to prove that your referred condition should be at least 30%, my advice for you is to fight it while you are still in service, at lease you are still getting paid. Severance pay is good but medical retirement is far better because of your family. Your family needs the TRICARE because buying healthcare plan is very expensive out there. Fight! Fight!! Fight!!! until you are satisfied that you get what you deserve.

I'm not completely confident that I could get 30% for my original referred condition, it doesn't fall into the normal codes for VA ratings. I think I could maybe get it up to 10% or 20%, but that would hurt me in the long run because I would have to pay my severance back. at 0% I wouldn't, from my understanding. It feels like for that condition, its either 0% or 30%, with nothing else being at all beneficial.
But I while I was referred for that specific condition, there are other things I claimed which I'm guessing are unfitting because of the high total VA rating. So I was wondering if the DOD will add those conditions to its rating without a formal board or any type of appeal.
 

dotlak

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I'm not completely confident that I could get 30% for my original referred condition, it doesn't fall into the normal codes for VA ratings. I think I could maybe get it up to 10% or 20%, but that would hurt me in the long run because I would have to pay my severance back. at 0% I wouldn't, from my understanding. It feels like for that condition, its either 0% or 30%, with nothing else being at all beneficial.
But I while I was referred for that specific condition, there are other things I claimed which I'm guessing are unfitting because of the high total VA rating. So I was wondering if the DOD will add those conditions to its rating without a formal board or any type of appeal.
DOD will not automatically add it if you didn't fight during the MEB stage but, you can take a risk of asking for a formal board to see if they are going to add it. Bear in mind that once you ask for a formal board, findings of the informal board becomes null and void and you risk being found fit. Weigh your options and see which one will benefit you at the long run. Best of luck!
 

gsfowler

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100% P&T will get you CHAMPVA for your dependents (if you do not have any other form of Tricare) and you also get base privilege (commissary & PX) access.

You can file a NOD and try to get your ratings increased once you have separated.

Like I had mentioned, 0% is the best severance to get, because it will not be recouped by the VA.
 

happysad

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Thank you for your replies.

Yes I'm leaning towards just accepting the findings (90% VA is a good thing!). I just have a hunch that Legal would be able to get my DOD rating higher for other claimed conditions IF I could stand the appeals process (which from my understanding will take months).
I was initially found fit, requested a formal board, but the fit decision was overturned without the need for a formal board. Out of curiosity, if I did go the formal board route to have other conditions added as unfitting, could they AGAIN overturn their finding and say fit again? Would they be very likely to do this because of the original fit finding? I'm mostly just curious about this.
 

gsfowler

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If you were found fit, then the formal board changed it to a unfit finding based upon your appeal, I think they are just willing to let you go.

Perhaps, if medical retirement comes into play (30% or greater) they may look at the case a little bit harder.
 

happysad

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This may be a silly question...

Is it possible to accept the board findings and take the 0% DOD, but still submit a VARR to try and increase that rating only on the VA side?

If not, lets say down the line the 0% condition gets worse and I appeal for a higher rating, could that negatively effect me in some way at that point? Like if the VA increases the rating to 10 percent, would I suddenly have to pay the severance money back?
 

dotlak

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This may be a silly question...

Is it possible to accept the board findings and take the 0% DOD, but still submit a VARR to try and increase that rating only on the VA side?

If not, lets say down the line the 0% condition gets worse and I appeal for a higher rating, could that negatively effect me in some way at that point? Like if the VA increases the rating to 10 percent, would I suddenly have to pay the severance money back?
Unfortunately, you can only do a VARR for your unfitting condition only. You can appeal by doing NOD once you get out. NOD appeal will not affect your rating on the VA side, it might help increase your rating. The Army rating stays the same once you get out.
 

happysad

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Unfortunately, you can only do a VARR for your unfitting condition only. You can appeal by doing NOD once you get out. NOD appeal will not affect your rating on the VA side, it might help increase your rating. The Army rating stays the same once you get out.

So I could accept 0% DOD 90% VA, then do a VARR after the fact, potentially increasing the VA disability but leaving the DOD disability alone?
Or I could accept the findings and do a NOD afterwards, potentially making my unfitting condition compensable while still keeping my severance pay intact?

Trying to understand all the options...
 

Camp P Marine

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So I could accept 0% DOD 90% VA, then do a VARR after the fact, potentially increasing the VA disability but leaving the DOD disability alone?
Or I could accept the findings and do a NOD afterwards, potentially making my unfitting condition compensable while still keeping my severance pay intact?

Trying to understand all the options...

If you do a VARR you're asking the VA to reconsider only your unfitting condition. So you're asking them to increase your 0% to 10%, possibly 20% or wherever it should be according to 38 CFR http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div5;node=38:1.0.1.1.5

If it is increased you will then have to repay your severance because you can't be paid for the same disability twice. The DOD has to apply VA % to your unfitting condition. If VA says it was 0%, now it's 10%, it'll be 10% DOD.

However, if you think the VARR would bump you from 90 to 100% I'd say it's worth it. Check out this site:
https://www.microhealthllc.com/va-disability-rating-calculator/
Here's why.
Assuming married no children.
Monthly VA disability compensation check:
90% = $1,888
100%= $3,068 - 10% ($~154) = $2914 (minus 10% to repay severance)

Now if you have other conditions that could fail retention standards going to a FPEB and trying to add those conditions to reach 30% (DOD) or more could qualify you for medical retirement. Could you qualify for CRSC? These are factors to consider as well.
 

gsfowler

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It is not likely a VARR will bump a 90% decision to 100%.

If it were increased to 10%, the combined rating would increase to 91%.

It would be better to do a NOD on a claimed condition.
 

dotlak

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It is not likely a VARR will bump a 90% decision to 100%.

If it were increased to 10%, the combined rating would increase to 91%.

It would be better to do a NOD on a claimed condition.
It's hard to say since you don't know what his actual rating is. 90% could be 94% rounded up to the nearest 10th and if that's the case, 10% VARR will make a big difference. Just saying?
 

happysad

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Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond.

I have a few more claimed conditions which didn't make it onto the original claim, but I was told they would be added later, so there is potential for an increase there as well. I guess ultimately, knowing the real break down of percentages will help me reach a decision as to how to move forward. If its a matter of being 94% and needing something else to boost the rating, it might be worth it like dotlak said. But I have other conditions waiting in the wings which might help the rating as well.
I would not be eligible for CRSC.
How long do you think it will take to hear from my PEBLO? Its been about a week since the ratings were finished by the VA
 

dotlak

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Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond.

I have a few more claimed conditions which didn't make it onto the original claim, but I was told they would be added later, so there is potential for an increase there as well. I guess ultimately, knowing the real break down of percentages will help me reach a decision as to how to move forward. If its a matter of being 94% and needing something else to boost the rating, it might be worth it like dotlak said. But I have other conditions waiting in the wings which might help the rating as well.
I would not be eligible for CRSC.
How long do you think it will take to hear from my PEBLO? Its been about a week since the ratings were finished by the VA
Mine took exactly two weeks from when VA said my rating was sent to PEB. It might be two weeks or less but I don't think it's gonna be long before you receive your ratings.
 

happysad

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Sorry, I've got another question!

What are the odds that they would change my VA rating upon discharge? Like if they propose 90%, and I accept, can they look over the records and say "oops we made a mistake, we'd rather give you 10% for this" or "we're going to take this off" or anything like that? Or is that 90% solid for now?
I would hate to take 0% DOD 90% VA, only to have them lower that 90% VA right away. I'm, probably just paranoid.
 

gsfowler

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Not likely, the ratings are based upon the CFR's. It is good to double check their work though.
 
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