Over 20 years service with ADSC, medical retirement question...

Lars7899

Registered Member
BACKGROUND:
Chief Complaints: I have had chronic back pain for the past 15 years, however it has gotten much worse in the last 18 months (Radiating to legs and feet). PT has failed, Pain management has failed, injections etc no effect. My PCM has submitted me for DAWG review and potentially and MEB, however 12 months ago when I was reviewed for the same issues they returned me to duty with rolling profiles. It has gotten to the point where I am regularly missing work due to quarters and having to make regular PCM/ER visits to manage the pain. There is potentially surgery pending after psych review and updated imaging.
Other Complaints: possible non-deployment related PTSD/Anxiety disorder (under care of mental health to determine), ulnar neuropathy, headaches, sleep apnea, shoulder arthritis, chronic knee pain, urological pain related to vasectomy, class 3 dental

QUESTION:
Based on all of the above, I'm ready to hang up my boots... when I discussed with my PCM about resubmitting my case to the DAWG to try to get an MEB rolling he initially responded "you're at 20 years, why don't you just retire?" I tried to explain I have an ADSC until 2022 but he was a civilian and I'm not sure he understood that's not something I can just do. That said, when reviewing the applicable AFI's it says over 20 years requires an unfit condition with a minimum of 0% percent rating.

Will this affect the DAWGs decision making process in referring me to an MEB (last time I was reviewed I had <20 years service)?
Also, is there anything I can do in the meantime to advocate for myself?
Will the fact there is a pending surgery make them want to hold off making a decision to send it to an MEB?

I know once the MEB process starts and I have a liaison there are options, but since the only way to get to an MEB now in the Air Force seems to be through the DAWG I don't know how to make sure they get an accurate picture of how unproductive I have become and how much this is affecting my daily life.
 
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