TBI med board

Conacher

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Hello! I'm not sure if I'm doing this in the right section but my name is Chris and I'm a SSgt in the Air Force, I've been in 4 years. Well September of 2014 I was hit by a car that was doing 40 mph and suffered a TBI as well as a few broken ribs and a broken neck. I just entered the med board process in September of 2015 and I'm about to have my last medical evaluation on Friday. I'm curious as to how you figure out your medical retirement pay as well as VA pay if you go that route. I know you can only choose one or the other though. I currently have my fingers crossed with medical retirement which everyone tells me I'm going to get but I'm not expecting it either way. Well just wanted to introduce myself as I've looked over the forum numerous times this year.
 

Cargar241

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Hi,

First of all you don not get to choose VA or DOD its which ever is the higher of the 2 which is more then likely VA. now you don't get to chose retirement it depends if your unfitting condition is 30% or above. Below 20% DOD you will get a severance check. if you do end up retiring your pay will most likely be based off of your VA rating because your VA percentage will be higher/higher pay rate. You can google VA Paycharts and you will see the breakdown of payments.

http://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers/woundedwarrior/disabledretireest.html

this site will help the most. good luck
 

scoutCC

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VA or DOD its which ever is the higher of the 2
It is being a little picky, but this isn't fully accurate. DoD pay is offset by VA pay. This is more accurate than
I know you can only choose one or the other though.
So lets imagine you are unfit at 50%. VA rating is 60%. High 3 is 3600.
DoD retirement pay would be $1800/month.
VA compensation, w/ spouse would be about $1150/month.

VA comp is lower, but you will still receive it. It's tax free, protected from creditors, overall better. Each dollar from the VA then lowers the DoD pay by a dollar, this is the offset. Unless eligible for concurrent receipt through CRSC or CRDP.

So you get $1150 tax free from the VA, and $650 that is taxed from DFAS in this scenario.

The problem is that DoD pay is offset by VA pay doesn't carry much meaning. WTF does offset mean? Most people have significantly higher VA ratings than DoD ratings, which makes it so most people only see the VA pay. Generally its easier to just tell people they'll only get the VA pay. The retirement is only important for TRICARE and the id card. That's the short and simple answer that works about 90% of the time.

I'm curious as to how you figure out your medical retirement pay as well as VA pay if you go that route.
This is really hard to answer until you know what your ratings are. Then they will provide the break down for you. If you want to know ahead of time you have to make guesses. Reading the VASRD to understand how each condition is rated is the only way to come to a guess.
 

Conacher

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Unfortunately I don't qualify for either CSRC or CRDP because I've only been in just over 4 years and haven't deployed. I appreciate all your guys help. I got my last VA appointment tomorrow. For my med board.
 

gsfowler

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Without knowing your limitations in regards to TBI, there are a couple of benefits that you may want to look into.

The first is T-SGLI, it is a supplemental insurance that comes with your SGLI, it is for injuries that are sustained from a traumatic event, a car accident may qualify. Read through this: http://www.benefits.va.gov/insurance/tsgli.asp

The second is SMC(t) which is special medical compensation from the VA, here is a power point slide on it, there is a lot of information, so please ask questions if you have any. http://www.purpleheart.org/ServiceProgram/Training2012/10-M- SMC final.pdf
 

Conacher

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I didn't qualify for TSGLI sadly. When I did my taxes the year prior they recommended us switching to deerborne international which they had many people do so we did that which in turn canceled our TSGLI and I would have gotten at least $100,000 after my accident but instead I got nothing. They were a military tax place off base that specialized in them so I trusted them. Very wrong thing to do.

On another note being at 4 years 9 months of service what are my scenarios for retirement? Say they rate me at 30% disabled or 80% what would I get or my options be? I'm sorry I've looked over this stuff several times but my memory since the accident is terrible. Thanks for everything you guys.
 

chaplaincharlie

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Conacher

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Right. I wasn't asking for exact but worst case scenario and middle of the ground scenario.
 

scoutCC

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Worse case is 0%. TBI is a wierd one. Just saying TBI is close to meaningless, mainly because there is a good amount of mTBI being talked about lately, and the majority of mTBI is asymptomatic. Without symptoms, nothing to rate. The most common symptoms usually end up getting rated outside the TBI criteria. Migraines, vertigo, hearing, PTSD, lots of times those get associated with TBI and get separate rating codes, so really a single TBI event can get up above 100% and into SMC codes. A 10% or 30% for cognitive/memory problems is probably what I hear about most often under the TBI code or a 10% for headaches.

Neck is usually 10% or 20%, usually depends on how far you can move it. Broken ribs usually heal, so 0%, but can get higher if there are residual breathing problems. Lots of variables, really have to go with the specifics of your symptoms, not just the diagnosis.
 

chaplaincharlie

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Right. I wasn't asking for exact but worst case scenario and middle of the ground scenario.
Symptoms are required to make an educated guess. Many diagnoses can be rated at 0% depending on the symptoms.
 

chaplaincharlie

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Without knowing your limitations in regards to TBI, there are a couple of benefits that you may want to look into.

The first is T-SGLI, it is a supplemental insurance that comes with your SGLI, it is for injuries that are sustained from a traumatic event, a car accident may qualify. Read through this: http://www.benefits.va.gov/insurance/tsgli.asp

The second is SMC(t) which is special medical compensation from the VA, here is a power point slide on it, there is a lot of information, so please ask questions if you have any. http://www.purpleheart.org/ServiceProgram/Training2012/10-M- SMC final.pdf
Great PowerPoint on SMC! Thank you for sharing.
 

Conacher

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Ok now I got my results back 2 weeks ago. I got 80% VA and 40% DOD. But they forgot to include a bunch of broken bones that I got during the accident. I broke my neck, my left shoulder blade, my forehead and eye socket, as well as 3 of my ribs. So they are redoing the stuff for my med board. Now my PEBLO told me the only thing the Air Force will rate me on for my accident is the TBI I received and just the TBI only which is why I only got 40% from them to begin with. He had me sign my AFF 1180 and all that as well. I just want to make sure everything is going correct with how the AF does their ratings and whether or not I could have gotten a higher Air Force rating with all the broken bones listed.

Either way I think I'm for sure going with the VA for my med board, and hopefully I can get 100% with all the broken bones they forgot. Let me know.
 

slayhert

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The military branch only rates the item that is disqualifying for service. Broken bones by themselves are not disqualifying. Thats why they only rated the TBI.
 

Conacher

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The military branch only rates the item that is disqualifying for service. Broken bones by themselves are not disqualifying. Thats why they only rated the TBI.
Ok awesome thanks for filling me in. That's good to know. But I'm curious my buddy got 70% for kidney failure and it makes me think I got screwed having 3 brain surgeries getting 40%.
 

gsfowler

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Ok awesome thanks for filling me in. That's good to know. But I'm curious my buddy got 70% for kidney failure and it makes me think I got screwed having 3 brain surgeries getting 40%.
The VA ratings come from the Code of Federal Regulations, CFR 38 Book 3, also known as the VASRD.

Having a surgery performed does not necessarily mean you will get a high rating.

What you get rated for are the residual effects of a condition that affects you.
 

Conacher

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Ok so it's been a few months since my last post. In May of 2016 I was told that my med board was going to get redone for higher ratings. I spoke with my peblo again in September about sending up another package for new dates to go see the doctors for the medical board. Well it is now January and I'm not going to work anymore and my new package hasn't gone up yet.

My original 6 year enlistment date ends in February but they of course are telling me that I'll still continue to get paid without reenlisting. I'm really hopeful for much better ratings than my last medical board 80% VA 40% DOD. I'll keep this post updated in the future.
 

Conacher

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Also they are adding PTSD to my medical board as well as headaches for symptoms.
 

Conacher

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So I received my results on August 1 2017 and I was rated 90% VA and 60% DoD. Now my peblo already told me that basically I received a 98% rating from the VA so she said she was going to send up other items highlighted to try to get me to 100%. I really hope it's successful because I haven't been able to get a part time job outside of the Air Force in the past year with all of the free time I've been given.

I've already started my things with Social Security Disability as well with an attorney and should hear back soon as well.

Does anyone know how long it typically takes to hear back when your file gets sent up for one time reconsideration? It was sent up Friday August 4th. Thanks for your help!
 
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