Service connection determination?

iatnvet

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
I have 21 years in the guard and 3 active. 20 year letter in hand. In april of 2011 at my yearly retention interview I was informed by my commander that I would not be retained. This did not set well with me as I had planned on doing 30. That afternoon on my way home from drill I was having chest pains. Went to emergency room and was admitted to hospital. After about a weeks stay in the hospital I was released. Diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and less than 10% ejection fraction. An lod letter was done and in the meb/peb process now. In september of 2011 I had a pacemaker/defibrilator implanted. I am reasonably sure from reading this forum that the defibrilator will definately be a deal killer for future service and that I will be considered 100% disabled. As a "part timer" what can I expect in the way of retirement and or VA disability? Does the fact that I was on drill and an lod was initiated automatically make this service connected or is that something that the peb decides?
 

89Falcon

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
In this case, they will likely find "EPTS LOD NA". I HIGHLY recommend you get some one on one counseling from a lawyer (NOT the ADC or JA) or an expert in these matters. I have a feeling that unless you were on 31 day orders when this happened, your PEB will be for "fitness for duty" only...and when they say "no", you'll be retired....with no benefits for your condition....just a normal, wait until you're 60, Guard retirement.
 

iatnvet

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Kind of what Ifigured but I am hoping to make a service connection to my condition. I realize the Cardiomyopathy did not develop just in the time that I was drilliing but rather over a long period of time. I have no family history of it and have been deployed to the gulf several times. What about the possibility of proving my military service aggravated the condition?
 

maparker

Moderator
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Below is what the law states on the matter. From my read, if you had a car accidenct on the way home from drill that was not due to gross negligence, it would be compensable under the IDES. If you had a heart attack on the drive home, it would be compensable as well. As heart condition, it might be a little more tricky. Is there heart damage suffered while on drill/driving to/from drill that causes you to be unfit? Or, is it a long running condition not specifically tied to drill duty? Regardless, they need to determine if your reserve duty, or previous active duty stint, permanently aggravated the condition. Another possibility is a presumptive condition tied to your active duty service in the gulf. If it can be detrmine the condition began while on active duty that would make it compensable as well.

From 10 USC 1204:

Upon a determination by the Secretary concerned that a member of the armed forces not covered by section 1201, 1202, or 1203 of this title is unfit to perform the duties of his office, grade, rank, or rating because of physical disability, the Secretary may retire the member with retired pay computed under section 1401 of this title, if the Secretary also determines that—
(1)based upon accepted medical principles, the disability is of a permanent nature and stable;
(2)the disability—
(A)was incurred before September 24, 1996, as the proximate result of—
(i)performing active duty or inactive-duty training;
(ii)traveling directly to or from the place at which such duty is performed; or
(iii)an injury, illness, or disease incurred or aggravated while remaining overnight, immediately before the commencement of inactive-duty training, or while remaining overnight between successive periods of inactive-duty training, at or in the vicinity of the site of the inactive-duty training, if the site of the inactive-duty training is outside reasonable commuting distance of the member’s residence;
(B)is a result of an injury, illness, or disease incurred or aggravated in line of duty after September 23, 1996—
(i)while performing active duty or inactive-duty training;
(ii)while traveling directly to or from the place at which such duty is performed; or
(iii)while remaining overnight, immediately before the commencement of inactive-duty training, or while remaining overnight between successive periods of inactive-duty training, at or in the vicinity of the site of the inactive-duty training; or
(C)is a result of an injury, illness, or disease incurred or aggravated in line of duty—
(i)while the member was serving on funeral honors duty under section 12503 of this title or section 115 of title 32;
(ii)while the member was traveling to or from the place at which the member was to so serve; or
(iii)while the member remained overnight at or in the vicinity of that place immediately before so serving, if the place is outside reasonable commuting distance from the member’s residence;
(3)the disability is not the result of the member’s intentional misconduct or willful neglect, and was not incurred during a period of unauthorized absence; and
(4)either—
(A)the member has at least 20 years of service computed under section 1208 of this title; or
(B)the disability is at least 30 percent under the standard schedule of rating disabilities in use by the Department of Veterans Affairs at the time of the determination.
 

iatnvet

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
(A)the member has at least 20 years of service computed under section 1208 of this title; or
(B)the disability is at least 30 percent under the standard schedule of rating disabilities in use by the Department of Veterans Affairs at the time of the determination.

Would this not make my situation an automatic disability retirement then since I have over 20 years and with a defibrilator will be rated at 100%? As far as it being incurred or aggravated in the line of duty according to the x-rays of my heart there is damage commensurate with a heart attack, and the reason I went to the emergency room was chest pains that would also suggest a heart attack. I had no history of chest pain prior to that incident. As far as presumptives I have been deployed to Qatar and there is a presumptive fo Q-fever with service in Qatar. The doctors have suspected a viral attack of some sort could have caused my condition. I don't think they have tested me for Q-fever or even know if that is possible after the fact when the virus is not currently active in your system but I intend to ask my cardioligist about it.
 

Jason Perry

Benevolent Leader
Site Founder
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Heart attack changes the situation.

First, the sections of the law you cited probably do not help you- they concern the computation of compensation IF you are found unfit and disabled in the line of duty. Those are the initial questions.

You still need the line of duty finding in your favor to be eligible for military disability benefits.

For Veterans status, the question is somewhat easier:

38 USC 101.:

"24) The term “active military, naval, or air service” includes—
(A) active duty;
(B) any period of active duty for training during which the individual concerned was disabled or died from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty; and
(C) any period of inactive duty training during which the individual concerned was disabled or died—
(i) from an injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty; or
(ii) from an acute myocardial infarction, a cardiac arrest, or a cerebrovascular accident occurring during such training."
It it likely that you will need to fight the issue out for entitlement to MEB/PEB processing. At a minimum, you have the reserve retirement entitlement in hand, so that is a good thing. However, you may well do better with the 10 USC Chapter 61 retirement for your disability. The issues are somewhat complicated (both as to getting the award of military disability retirement, and what will result in the most benefit to you overall. Would need a lot more details to say more, but I think your initial fight is with any adverse line of duty finding.
 

iatnvet

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
I am going to Columbus AFB, Mississippi September 7th for what I guess is my PEB. I understand from reading this forum that at a PEB you would be seen by military doctors and a panel who would then give you your findings. The nurse handling my LOD/MEB/PEB case at my guard base explained it differently than that. According to her I will only be seeing my PEBLO and then a VA rep while there to discuss the PEB determination and finalize my discharge. She also claims that service connection has already been established. That don't sound accurate to me. I know from her telling me that I am only the second individual that she has had experience with on the PEB process. Is it possible that she is correct, or is she likely mistaken about the process? That just sounds too easy and different from what I have seen to be the case on this forum.
 

iatnvet

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Ok so I went to Columbus AFB on september 7th and found out I was just starting into an MEB. On DEcember 11th my PEBLO officer contacted me and said my MEB results came back as unfit for service and that I needed to sign some papers and send them back to her. I did and she said my packet was being sent to an IPEB now. My question is does this mean that they have not found "EPTS LOD NA" and that my condition has been demed service connected and have to be rated?
 

maparker

Moderator
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
The MEB should have stated if they found it EPTS or not. Regardless, the IPEB can say something different.

Mike
 

iatnvet

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
For EPTS it stated "no", for ocurred while entitled to basic pay it stated "yes", for permanently aggravated by military service it stated "no". The way it looks to me things are looking positive for me. Is that a correct assumption?
 

tktad

Well-Known Member
Registered Member
I was ordered to go see my civilian doctor during a PHA due to them finding an abnormal ECG. They said if I didn't go see my doctor, they would begin to process me out of the NG by a certain day. I went to see my doc and was diagnosed with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. I have 6 1/2 years active duty Army, and 5 1/2 years Army National Guard for a total of 12 years service, with no deployments. How can I relate this condition to Line of Duty? I was on IDT during the PHA. I am a Field Artillery member and we go to the field a lot. What are my options? Will I be put out with no benefits? I have a temporary P2 profile pending further cardio evaluation from my civilian doctor.
 

maparker

Moderator
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
If they try and put you out for the condition, ask for a non duty PEB. In days past, a non duty PEB could only determine fitness. As of 5 August 2014 with the release of DoDI 1332.18, a non duty PEB looks at both fitness and the compenseabilty of the condition. You will need to make the argument your condition began or was aggravated while in service.

Mike
 

tktad

Well-Known Member
Registered Member
How can I prove service connection? Do you think I will just be put out without benefits? My EF was 22% after I was cathed, but I had no blockages. It is just non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy and I am currently wearing a Zoll life vest defribrillator. My P2 profile has been extended until Mar 2015. I don't know what I can do.
 

maparker

Moderator
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
You can file with the VA right now and see if they service connect the condition. That can be helpful if the NG states the condition is not service connected.

Mike
 
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