ANG and Narcolepsy

Go Guard

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Registered Member
Hi~
I'm in the ANG, just hit my 20 year mark and just got diagnosed with narcolepsy. I know I will have to go through some type of process but not sure what to expect. I have about 10 years total AD and the rest reserves/guard. I read that narcolepsy is incompatible with military service and worried they will force me to retire. I would prefer to stay in....because I need that monthly income. Anyone know someone who was able to stay in with narcolepsy....it's the kind that I'm just extremely tired (never just fell over asleep, or cataplexy). Or, any suggestions/advice on what to expect/do? Thank you!
 

bcbberry

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I have Narcolepsy with Cataplexy. My lawyer told me that Narcolepsy can sometimes be found fit but if it's coupled with cataplexy, it's a slim chance. Are you on medication for it? If you are wanting to stay in, you need to express that to your command and your non-medical assessment(NMA) from the command needs to reflect that your Narcolepsy DOES NOT interfere with your ability to do your job at all. It needs to be in plain English. You should try to get buddy statements stating this as well. I was found unfit for it but that is because I am unfit due to it. Gather anything that helps build the case that Narcolepsy does not interfere with your job one bit. You really have to hone in on that. Goodluck!
 

samoandude

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Hi~
I'm in the ANG, just hit my 20 year mark and just got diagnosed with narcolepsy. I know I will have to go through some type of process but not sure what to expect. I have about 10 years total AD and the rest reserves/guard. I read that narcolepsy is incompatible with military service and worried they will force me to retire. I would prefer to stay in....because I need that monthly income. Anyone know someone who was able to stay in with narcolepsy....it's the kind that I'm just extremely tired (never just fell over asleep, or cataplexy). Or, any suggestions/advice on what to expect/do? Thank you!
I'm currently waiting on orders. I have the same narcolepsy as you. My MEB/PEB started back in April and yes it is an unfitting condition. I'm not sure exactly how long your board will take since you're ANG, but I will tell you that it is very much incompatible with military service, and depending on how many "seizures" you have (it is rated in the VASRD as petit mal epilepsy), they'll rate you from 10 to 100. I don't know how they even determined how many of these so-called seizures that I've had but they gave me a 20%. This means that I'm getting out with no medical retirement but with severance. If you want to get a higher rating than mine, I suggest that you get as much evidence of sleep paralysis episodes that you experience throughout the year. Maybe start a sleep journal? I'm assuming that it counts on sleep paralysis episodes because narcolepsy patients definitely aren't experiencing seizures. Good luck on your medical board.
 

twash017

New Member
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I'm currently waiting on orders. I have the same narcolepsy as you. My MEB/PEB started back in April and yes it is an unfitting condition. I'm not sure exactly how long your board will take since you're ANG, but I will tell you that it is very much incompatible with military service, and depending on how many "seizures" you have (it is rated in the VASRD as petit mal epilepsy), they'll rate you from 10 to 100. I don't know how they even determined how many of these so-called seizures that I've had but they gave me a 20%. This means that I'm getting out with no medical retirement but with severance. If you want to get a higher rating than mine, I suggest that you get as much evidence of sleep paralysis episodes that you experience throughout the year. Maybe start a sleep journal? I'm assuming that it counts on sleep paralysis episodes because narcolepsy patients definitely aren't experiencing seizures. Good luck on your medical board.
Samoandude, I have been diagnosed with Narcolepsy as well. I'm still confused as to entitlements piece. What all does your severance pay include? and Narcolepsy doesn't entitle you to medical retirement even though you're being forced out due to a medical condition?
 

fazwich

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I am being boarded for idiopathic hypersomnia, which is closely related to narcolepsy, but without REM. While researching on the VA Board of appeals website to try and figure out how they would rate me, I found that they consider "narcoleptic episodes" or "sleep attacks" to be analogous with minor seizures due to the shared brief interruption of consciousness.

An example of a decision by the board is here: http://www.va.gov/vetapp16/Files3/1619892.txt

If you do not have attacks, and instead only require controlled naps or experience sleepiness without loss of consciousness, a lower rating would be expected.
 

samoandude

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PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Samoandude, I have been diagnosed with Narcolepsy as well. I'm still confused as to entitlements piece. What all does your severance pay include? and Narcolepsy doesn't entitle you to medical retirement even though you're being forced out due to a medical condition?
From what I do know, medical retirement is only awarded to those who receive a rating of 30% or higher for the unfit conditions. So, if someone had unfit conditions and the ratings were combined to total up to 30%, then they'll get medically retired by their service. It has to be determined unfit by the service. If the combined unfit conditions were rated lower than 30%, then it'll be severance.

Severance pay is calculated using this formula 2*(highest base pay you've received)*years in service. So for an E-6 with 9 years in service will be awarded 2*(3303)*(9) which comes out to $59, 454.
 
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