MEB denied

Vlad

Registered Member
#1
Hello everyone, wondering if one of you could help me out with some advice.
I'm active duty US Navy, 2 months shy of fulfilling my contract. I've been diagnosed with PTSD and depression a few years back, and been going to the same psychologist and psychiatrist close to 3 years now. Upon the expiration of my 1st LIMDU, my psychiatrist(Naval Officer), scared me into signing my fit for full paperwork by saying "It's either this, or you get admin sep or med boarded, either one of those is not how you want to finish your time". He reassured me that I was ok, and I signed the paper. Turns out I wasn't ok. I was put on a second LIMDU shortly thereafter, ongoing group therapy, individual appointments, although I did stop taking meds due to concerns about their side effects. Noticing that my condition did not improve over this course of time, I started asking for a MEB. I was told by my providers would discuss it amongst each other, i kept getting the same response for 2-3 months, up until one of my providers(Naval Officer, psychiatrist) was reassigned to a different base on a short notice, leaving my the fate of my MEB recommendation in the hands of my psychologist. Today was my last appointment before the expiration of my 2nd LIMDU. My psychiatrist told me that my condition does not rendered me disabled, therefore she sees no need to put in a MEB initiation. Quite frankly, that upset me, and I explained, that being out of my rate, feeling suicidal 3-4 times a week, having nightmares, getting little to no sleep and being pissed off all the time to a point where people at work avoid me is considered disabling in my perspective. She disagrees. I feel like they yanked my chain up until it's almost time for me to leave, and then said no. Almost like they're sweeping the past 3 years under a rug and calling me fit for full just to wash their hands clean and get rid of me. So I guess my question to you guys would be what can be done about this, and how? Any help at all is appreciated, thank you very much in advance.
Vlad
 

SGT Bob

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#2
I'm not too familiar with how the Navy works but I am pretty sure you have the same rights as I do in the Army. If that is the case, you have the right to seek legal counsel. Here at Ft. Bliss, there is an attorney that is an advocate for soldiers with regard to the MEB process. I would recommend that you seek out the same where you are located. It's free and it is something we have a right to use. He has been a HUGE help to me.
 

pittpan2005

PEB Forum Veteran
#4
Keep in mind the Navy is looking to see if your medical condition leaves you non-deployable or unable to perform the duties expected/required of your rate/rank. Also, the DoD regulations put in place the separation physical to evaluate service members for medical conditions prior to separation to ensure they are separated appropriately. Does that mean they always do it correctly? Absolutely not, but keep in mind as a service member you are not entitled to request a PEB.

Your 2nd LIMDU is expiring. Are they saying you are fit for full duty, keeping you in a LIMDU status or PEB? They have to do one of three.

SGT Bob is 100% correct. Contact legal counsel.
 

Vlad

Registered Member
#5
Yes, they are saying that i will be fit for full, yet I have not been in my rate/rank or deployable for the past 2 years. So basically after my second LIMDU expires, I'll have 1 month before my contract is up, at which point I'll be separating as a fit for full member.
 

pittpan2005

PEB Forum Veteran
#7
Also, if you are just getting off LIMDU and in a full duty status obviously you are in a time crunch if you want to reenlist. Talk with admin and see if you can request an extension. Also, contact your career counselor so he can work his contacts at headquarters. Like Mike mentioned above if you are considered fit for full duty, but they will deny your reenlistment for those medical conditions that's complete BS. A recent case brought this to the forefront.
 

Vlad

Registered Member
#8
Update:
I sought out legal council from a disability adviser(not affiliated with JAG), and she said there was absolutely nothing in their power that they can do legally to change the decision of my provider. At that point I went to patient relations and filled out a complaint form, requesting a second opinion from another psychologist. I had no intention to reenlist, one of the points of my current provider is that I probably shouldn't. Whether or not I am medically eligible is still not clear. I have been told by others than I can reenlist, then go on 3rd LIMDU and get a MEB that way. I'm not too fond of that idea since I don't want to reenlist, nor do I want to "play the system". I want it to be made clear that despite best efforts from both me and my provider, my conditions have not improved at all, and essentially lying that I'm fit for full and passing the buck to VA is not what I consider to be fair to me or good medical practice in general. That's like taking your car to a mechanic who can't fix it, who then says "It's all fixed now, but you have to take it to another mechanic for the exactly the same problem right now". I want to sincerely thank all those who gave useful pointers, keep 'em coming.
 

EODStew24

PEB Forum Veteran
#9
Just had the same thing happen to me.... I was being seen here at Nellis AFB (I am active army), for almost a year now for PTSD, mTBI. Two different doctors here said I should be sent to MEB, and never deploy again. The Army said I had to go to Fort (Anonymous), and after an hour with the Doc. at Anonymous.. yes I said an HOUR, he said there was no need for a MEB.????!!!? Two doctors who seem me regularly in Las Vegas have said I have serious problems, yet a doctor who meets with me once for an hour says no need for MEB. I contacted AW2, my congressman, and my senator... I also contacted the Fort Anonymous Mental Health Office as well regarding the case, and asked if that doctor knows something the others dont. I told them that his irrational decision, is placing not only my health in jeopardy, but my future soldiers I will have to command, because I am not fit to be a leader anymore..... This system is bullcrap!
 

SGT Bob

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#10
I understand that you don't want to "play the system" but there is nothing wrong with that if you are honest and deserve the benefits due to you. If you just get out and apply for VA benefits, you are possibly forfeiting pay and benefits from DOD that you have a right to receive. You're in a tough position but, if I were you, I would fight for what is right.
 

EODStew24

PEB Forum Veteran
#11
I did what maparker told me to do. I looked up AR 40-501 (Army retention and fitness standards)... you should have something similar to that in your branch. I literally just spoke to the mental health coordinator at the base that said I was good, told them to read the Reg. Based on my TBI symptoms (headaches, dizziness, occasional atrophy in arms, altered personality, speech, memory and attention deficit, concentration problems) it is in the regulations that I be boarded. The PTSD symptoms, anxiety, depression also show in the reg. that I should be boarded. So I went to Nellis AFB, they have a MEB department there, and based on my understanding, any MTF even of another service, can initiate a MEB... Hope it works out.
 

Vlad

Registered Member
#13
Thank you very much EODStew24, after some digging around I found Navy instruction on initiation of MEB, seems like I fit the criteria, now it's just a matter of question of who to take it to. I requested a second opinion, but if there's anything else you guys can suggest, I'll be very grateful. Here is a link to the official Navy instruction for all those who might find it useful:
http://doni.daps.dla.mil/Directives...y Retirement Services and Support/1850.4E.pdf
 

Vlad

Registered Member
#15
After my complaint went through, I got a phone call from the MTF DIVO, who asked me about the situation and told me that the other psychiatrist that I'll see will review my case thoroughly before making a determination. I'm planning on taking the Retention Guidelines with me to my appointment, if they say no again, I'll either reenlist and go on a 3rd LIMDU or contact my congressman, these people are trying way too hard to get rid of me.
 

EODStew24

PEB Forum Veteran
#16
I just found out that my PEBLO misunderstood the DR. (WOW!) The PEBLO thought the Doc said I was good to go, clear for duty, but it was actually that the doc said I was "coping better that day" but still agreed with the previous diagnosis of my two doctors here in Vegas. So, I WILL be MEB'd! Thank God that it figured out....

Quick question... if the MEB finds me fit.. and I appeal, what do you think the chances of an unfit ruling are... I understand each case is different, but three docs saying my condition is serious to warrant a MEB.. I would guess I am going to be found unfit.
 

maparker

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#17
No, plenty of people are required a MEB for not meeting retention standards and then found fit by the PEB. A lot depends on your MOS, rank and what your CoC says in terms of the condition impacting your duty performance.
 

EODStew24

PEB Forum Veteran
#18
Maybe I am just thinking too much into it.... I am not officially "Branch Qualified" because I have been on medical hold for a year. I was prior enlisted as EOD, and now I am a 2LT that would be a Medical Service Corps Officer. I have talked to my CoC here... and they agree with me that an Officer with my issues, shouldn't be leading soldiers.
 

EODStew24

PEB Forum Veteran
#19
To finish what I was saying above... I guess I was trying to account for other factors such as : Army downsizing, Med. Service Corps/ and LT's overstaffed.

How often does the PEB agree with the MEB?
 

maparker

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#20
The question is not about MEB/PEB agreement. The MEB determines if you meet retention standards which is really just universal screening criteria to see who must be evaluated by the PEB. The PEB does an evaluation based on the specific individual's rank, MOS and duty requirements. An infantryman is more likely to be unfit due to a knee condition than a admin clerk. Both fail retention standards but only the infantryman is unfit.

Mike
 
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