Already rated 100% (not P&T); National Guard MEB?

#1
Hello,

Let me see if I can lay this out easily...

A little over 6 years active Army (ETS was Nov. 2015); Currently serving in the TXARNG since Dec. 2015...

Completed a VA claim prior to leaving active duty and was found 100%, not P&T, in March 2016 (completed C&P exams in Fall 2015); did not think I would get 100%, but I guess I am more "broke" than I thought.

Since serving in the TXARNG, conditions have not improved and I am currently seeking care from various VA specialists (podiatry, behavioral health, etc.) and I am wondering if I should be serving in the TXARNG at all; have not had a PHA since coming to the Guard but I believe we are scheduled for SRP during Feb drill.

Should I explore this MEB process? Who initiates? Will my current rating be affected? Will the MEB consider my current VA rated conditions? Will I be subject to bonus recoupment?

I was never told that I should have been considered for MEB while active, but looking back on it, I probably should have been.

I figured that since I'm a 25 series NCO that I could still do my job, but when it comes to some of the basic Soldiering stuff, I'm noticing it's not as easy as it used to be and is quite painful. I was going to just "Soldier On" though this 3 year contract.

It didn't occur to me that I may not be physically capable of finishing my Guard contract until we went to the range last summer; I was in a considerable amount of pain in my back, neck, feet and shoulders (all VA rated conditions) and this was without an IBA. Just looking for some guidance on the matter...Thanks.
 

Deno

PEB Forum Veteran
#2
Go talk to medical and tell them you can't do your job. Most likely it will start a profile that will lead into a medical board.
Your yearly Physical will start the process. Also your va rating possibly could be affected. I have no idea about bonus recoupment. Be ready to provide Dr records.
 

DaveK

Registered Member
#3
Hello fellow Vet,

You just started the big game. First, the Guard generally does not have a clear and understood process for a Soldier in your situation. I was in the Guard in several different states. A guide is in print, but most do not know even a portion of the rules.

Your VA rating will help. It is for all disabilities. The Guard will only rate the unfitting conditions. Ones that actually prevent you from being a Soldier.

As of law change in 2008 the Army MUST use the VA rating system for the unfitting conditions. Unless healing or fraud can be proven your VA ratings cannot be lowered by the fit for duty/MEB/PEB process.

You need to immediately file an LOD with the Guard for each injury even if it is already rated in the VA. The Guard likely won't have a doctor handy to sign the LODs. The VA will likely resist. Take the packet to a willing civilian doc and then bring it back for CMD signature. The LOD will be the focus of the MEB.

Write a simple statement about how your injury occured and how it impacts your life today. Take that and attach it to the LOD. Then attach all corresponding medical paperwork support such as VA stuff. It needs a clear diagnosis and a written connection showing service and/or combat connection.

Do NOT just accept separation. I have seen Soldiers just get pushed out the door. Depending on the findings you may likely be entitled to retirement in some form. Learn all the forms first. It is very dependent on your personal service history.

The PHA is designed to flag a Soldier. I have gone through several with a 100% VA rating. The PHA clearly stated I could not serve any more. The Guard is still slowly addressing this. Keep copies of all of your PHA before you turn it in. Get a printed copy of the final doctor notes. You may have to wait until later after it is in the system. Guard medical can see and print it.

You cannot start a fit for duty on your own. It must be your command or medical. Simply talk to them about what is going on and your concerns. But be careful to have all you paperwork prepared first.

Once that starts look into the 2016 update for INCAP if your civilian career is impacted. The Guard must pay a Soldier any lost pay while they go through the MEB process. As of the update it does NOT lower your VA pay.

Good luck,

Dave
 

Unspecified

Registered Member
#5
Brother,

I am currently going through the same process with a similar situation. I was injured on active duty in 2005 and decided to stay in as a reserve member. I have been 70% through the VA for 10 years now. I started the IDES process May 2015 and my packet is just now being submitted to the PEB. The hold up to the whole process on the reserve/guard side is the LOD. EVERY condition you wish to be boarded for must have an LOD. I don't care what anyone else tells you, you must have an LOD for conditions you wish to be boarded for. An LOD was never drafted for me because it's not something they do on active duty. Your commander will have to back date the LOD to the time the injury took place and submit with your Active Duty medical documents. This will take quite a bit of time because it has to be approved at a very high level. Mine had to be approved from USARC. Don't move forward in the process until you have an actual letter of approval of your LOD. After that, the process is smooth sailing.

Now lets discuss being rated prior to going through the IDES process. As long as you were not given 100% based on employability and your conditions have not improved, your percentage for the rated disabilities that you have an LOD for will remain the same.

Hope that helps,
SFC TAZ
 
#6
Thanks, Big Sarge. I appreciate the info.


Brother,

I am currently going through the same process with a similar situation. I was injured on active duty in 2005 and decided to stay in as a reserve member. I have been 70% through the VA for 10 years now. I started the IDES process May 2015 and my packet is just now being submitted to the PEB. The hold up to the whole process on the reserve/guard side is the LOD. EVERY condition you wish to be boarded for must have an LOD. I don't care what anyone else tells you, you must have an LOD for conditions you wish to be boarded for. An LOD was never drafted for me because it's not something they do on active duty. Your commander will have to back date the LOD to the time the injury took place and submit with your Active Duty medical documents. This will take quite a bit of time because it has to be approved at a very high level. Mine had to be approved from USARC. Don't move forward in the process until you have an actual letter of approval of your LOD. After that, the process is smooth sailing.

Now lets discuss being rated prior to going through the IDES process. As long as you were not given 100% based on employability and your conditions have not improved, your percentage for the rated disabilities that you have an LOD for will remain the same.

Hope that helps,
SFC TAZ
Brother,

I am currently going through the same process with a similar situation. I was injured on active duty in 2005 and decided to stay in as a reserve member. I have been 70% through the VA for 10 years now. I started the IDES process May 2015 and my packet is just now being submitted to the PEB. The hold up to the whole process on the reserve/guard side is the LOD. EVERY condition you wish to be boarded for must have an LOD. I don't care what anyone else tells you, you must have an LOD for conditions you wish to be boarded for. An LOD was never drafted for me because it's not something they do on active duty. Your commander will have to back date the LOD to the time the injury took place and submit with your Active Duty medical documents. This will take quite a bit of time because it has to be approved at a very high level. Mine had to be approved from USARC. Don't move forward in the process until you have an actual letter of approval of your LOD. After that, the process is smooth sailing.

Now lets discuss being rated prior to going through the IDES process. As long as you were not given 100% based on employability and your conditions have not improved, your percentage for the rated disabilities that you have an LOD for will remain the same.

Hope that helps,
SFC TAZ
 

Travelerusa40

PEB Forum Veteran
#7
Hello,

Let me see if I can lay this out easily...

A little over 6 years active Army (ETS was Nov. 2015); Currently serving in the TXARNG since Dec. 2015...

Completed a VA claim prior to leaving active duty and was found 100%, not P&T, in March 2016 (completed C&P exams in Fall 2015); did not think I would get 100%, but I guess I am more "broke" than I thought.

Since serving in the TXARNG, conditions have not improved and I am currently seeking care from various VA specialists (podiatry, behavioral health, etc.) and I am wondering if I should be serving in the TXARNG at all; have not had a PHA since coming to the Guard but I believe we are scheduled for SRP during Feb drill.

Should I explore this MEB process? Who initiates? Will my current rating be affected? Will the MEB consider my current VA rated conditions? Will I be subject to bonus recoupment?

I was never told that I should have been considered for MEB while active, but looking back on it, I probably should have been.

I figured that since I'm a 25 series NCO that I could still do my job, but when it comes to some of the basic Soldiering stuff, I'm noticing it's not as easy as it used to be and is quite painful. I was going to just "Soldier On" though this 3 year contract.

It didn't occur to me that I may not be physically capable of finishing my Guard contract until we went to the range last summer; I was in a considerable amount of pain in my back, neck, feet and shoulders (all VA rated conditions) and this was without an IBA. Just looking for some guidance on the matter...Thanks.
Make sure all your LOD medical records or exams from the doctor are less than 3 months old. Then take the medical exam docs plus proof it happened while in service or in the active component and have your Unit Administrator initiate an LOD. You will also need to provide a swore statement yourself about the situation and when it occurred. The key is to find medical docs that correspond to the date of injury while on active duty. Your UA will upload everything through MEDPROS and forward it to the surgeon who will review and sign off on it. Again, the key is to have current documentation from your medical doctor. The Surgeon will elvakuate and forward to the certifying officer. One he signs you should get a memo back signed saying your LOD has been approved. You need this memo along with the rest of your LOD package. One you have done all this for each condition then request or ask the surgeon's office if you can get orders to do a "fit for duty exam" at your nearest military base. Bring all your LODS to the active duty component MTF (they may not have YOUR LOD in file this is because you have been dealing with the Guard and their systems are different). Once at the MTF ask if they would recommend you for the MEB. Your local guard surgeon could also recommend you. Being that you are in the Guard and not coming off of MOB orders they will only pay you travel to and from the hospital and pay you to show up for drill and do light duty. They will not be able to put you on Active Duty Medical Orders. You already have your VA ratings so this may change if you go through the MEB Process. The good news is you might get a higher VA Rating without having to appeal on your own outside of the MEB which can take years. You have VA priority if going through an MEB. Also, any commanders statement that can address the seriousness of your condition will only help you. Usually the UA types it all up. Just let the UA know how your conditions are effecting you and if they can but this in the commanders statement. The commanders statement is key on getting a higher rate of DoD Disability Rating. Hope this helps, I use to do all the LOD and MEB processing for our command in the Reserves & Guard.
 

Jolly cheese

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#8
Hello fellow Vet,

You just started the big game. First, the Guard generally does not have a clear and understood process for a Soldier in your situation. I was in the Guard in several different states. A guide is in print, but most do not know even a portion of the rules.

Your VA rating will help. It is for all disabilities. The Guard will only rate the unfitting conditions. Ones that actually prevent you from being a Soldier.

As of law change in 2008 the Army MUST use the VA rating system for the unfitting conditions. Unless healing or fraud can be proven your VA ratings cannot be lowered by the fit for duty/MEB/PEB process.

You need to immediately file an LOD with the Guard for each injury even if it is already rated in the VA. The Guard likely won't have a doctor handy to sign the LODs. The VA will likely resist. Take the packet to a willing civilian doc and then bring it back for CMD signature. The LOD will be the focus of the MEB.

Write a simple statement about how your injury occured and how it impacts your life today. Take that and attach it to the LOD. Then attach all corresponding medical paperwork support such as VA stuff. It needs a clear diagnosis and a written connection showing service and/or combat connection.

Do NOT just accept separation. I have seen Soldiers just get pushed out the door. Depending on the findings you may likely be entitled to retirement in some form. Learn all the forms first. It is very dependent on your personal service history.

The PHA is designed to flag a Soldier. I have gone through several with a 100% VA rating. The PHA clearly stated I could not serve any more. The Guard is still slowly addressing this. Keep copies of all of your PHA before you turn it in. Get a printed copy of the final doctor notes. You may have to wait until later after it is in the system. Guard medical can see and print it.

You cannot start a fit for duty on your own. It must be your command or medical. Simply talk to them about what is going on and your concerns. But be careful to have all you paperwork prepared first.

Once that starts look into the 2016 update for INCAP if your civilian career is impacted. The Guard must pay a Soldier any lost pay while they go through the MEB process. As of the update it does NOT lower your VA pay.

Good luck,

Dave
Best most realistic advice I have seen for Guard members.
 

Jolly cheese

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#9
Brother,

I am currently going through the same process with a similar situation. I was injured on active duty in 2005 and decided to stay in as a reserve member. I have been 70% through the VA for 10 years now. I started the IDES process May 2015 and my packet is just now being submitted to the PEB. The hold up to the whole process on the reserve/guard side is the LOD. EVERY condition you wish to be boarded for must have an LOD. I don't care what anyone else tells you, you must have an LOD for conditions you wish to be boarded for. An LOD was never drafted for me because it's not something they do on active duty. Your commander will have to back date the LOD to the time the injury took place and submit with your Active Duty medical documents. This will take quite a bit of time because it has to be approved at a very high level. Mine had to be approved from USARC. Don't move forward in the process until you have an actual letter of approval of your LOD. After that, the process is smooth sailing.

Now lets discuss being rated prior to going through the IDES process. As long as you were not given 100% based on employability and your conditions have not improved, your percentage for the rated disabilities that you have an LOD for will remain the same.

Hope that helps,
SFC TAZ
More great advice for Guard/Reserve members. This is what all the confusion and hold up in the Guard is about.
 
#10
Good stuff!. Wish I would have known this a couple years ago....

I am currently rated at 90% VA with IU. My MEB packet is expected to be signed by MEB board and forwarded to IPEB sometime soon, still waiting on MEB official/unofficial results. My medical issues are all a direct result of IED (iraq 07') and have not improved since obtaining current rating.

Can anyone elaborate on the above statement:

" As long as you were not given 100% based on employability and your conditions have not improved, your percentage for the rated disabilities that you have an LOD for will remain the same."

I have had to file an NOD in the past due to an innaccurate rating, and I am still bit worried that my MEB process has a chance of reducing my current VA rating.... which my family depends on...

????
 
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