TDRL to PDRL (Stressing)

TIFFANYYOR23

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Hello Everyone,
I have recently been notified that I will be doing my reevaluation. It has me so stressed out that I had to get back on my anxiety medication. When I went through IDES, I had a really hard time because my disease is not in the VASRD. The initial code I was given was for a disease with a min of 30%. A week later, a new code was assigned (out of nowhere. The IDES people said they have NEVER seen this before) with a min of 10%. I fought and got the original code reassigned. It took a lot of fighting, but someone high in the IDES chain agreed that a mistake had been made. I did this so that I could be guaranteed medical retirement (30% is the magic number). My worry now is that they may change my code again when my stuff goes back to PEB. I just have the most random luck and my anxiety is processing every way this could go wrong. Can they change my code? If they change my code, will this be sent to the VA to get my code changed there as well? I am currently 100% P&T so a code change could really mess me up. How does the PEB determine if my illness is stable for rating purposes and can what they find effect my current VA percentage? I just want this part of my life to be over already. :(
 

johnbgately

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Tiffany,

It will be hard for anyone online to give an informed answer without knowing more about the original diagnosis, the prior course of events on the IPEB/FPEB level, etc. There are rating codes like those for MS that mandate a minimum rating of 30%, but it sounds like the IPEB attempted to rate it by analogy on the initial review. On TDRL review, the answer will really depend upon your branch of service. The Army TDRL review process is typically a rote exercise turning upon your TDRL exam- mostly done telephonically nowadays. The Air Force is similar nowadays but also places great stock in your post-service treatment records. The Navy, however, has been very arbitrary and capricious about revisiting past decisions as of late- in the past 24 months, in particular. The good news is that several of the personalities who take that approach are retiring or transferring out. Your goal should be to ensure that your current treatment records reflect the correct diagnoses, prognoses and current degree of impairment. If necessary, that will help you to offset a negative TDRL exam. Side note- the USCG and USPHS are very generous on TDRL review. As for your VA 100% PT & T, a DOD or USCG/USPHS TDRL review will not impact your VA 100% P&T rating.
 
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TIFFANYYOR23

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Tiffany,

It will be hard for anyone online to give an informed answer without knowing more about the original diagnosis, the prior course of events on the IPEB/FPEB level, etc. There are rating codes like those for MS that mandate a minimum rating of 30%, but it sounds like the IPEB attempted to rate it by analogy on the initial review. On TDRL review, the answer will really depend upon your branch of service. The Army TDRL review process is typically a rote exercise turning upon your TDRL exam- mostly done telephonically nowadays. The Air Force is similar nowadays but also places great stock in your post-service treatment records. The Navy, however, has been very arbitrary and capricious about revisiting past decisions as of late- in the past 24 months, in particular. The good news is that several of the personalities who take that approach are retiring or transferring out. Your goal should be to ensure that your current treatment records reflect the correct diagnoses, prognoses and current degree of impairment. If necessary, that will help you to offset a negative TDRL exam. Side note- the USCG and USPHS are very generous on TDRL review. As for your VA 100% PT & T, a DOD or USCG/USPHS TDRL review will not impact your VA 100% P&T rating.
Thank you for your response. I knew my illness, Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO), would be rated analogous to another illness going into my initial PEB process. When my results came back, I was rated analogous to syringomyelitis which has a minimum rating of 30%. I was fine with this although I believe MS, which my illness is OFTEN misdiagnosed as, would have been a more accurate analogy. What could be a better analogy than a disease that is seems so much like that it gets misdiagnosed as? I will never fully understand the VA process for picking analogous codes because at its core it makes no sense. Instead of finding a disease that is similar in nature to my OVERALL disease (NMO), they try to find a disease that fits the symptom (myelitis) of my illness that I experienced. I could understand this if they didn't know exactly what the person was suffering from, but my disease has a name and its own ICD-10 code which is G36 right behind...drum-roll...MS which is G35. Both being demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. I do not care what anyone says. That is not comparing apples to apples. Anyways, I came in to the office 10 days later or so and everyone was looking at me like my head had been cut off. I would soon find out it was because NEW results had been received for me and my new analogous illness was myelitis which holds a minimum of 10%. They said they had never seen this happen before. When findings come in one way and then get changed out of the blue. This was devastating because for obvious reasons, I didn't want to just be separated. I wanted to be retired out. I reached out to MS doctors worldwide, Individuals from the MS Center of Excellence (MSCoE) which is a VA entity, and many more trying to get evidence that is was incorrect because as I stated before, assigning me myelitis was not comparing apples to apples. They were taking a seed from my apple and trying to find a similar seed. The question I asked was "What disease is analogous to NMO". This was so the question didn't lead them to one answer or another. 100% of the answers were MS. I was given some advice as to whom to contact in the IDES process and I was able to get a hold of an individual very high in the food chain. He said he would personally look over my stuff and about a day later he emailed me stating that myelitis was in fact incorrect and he had my stuff changed back to the original analogous code for syringomyelitis. Again, it wasn't the MS I thought it should be , but I was back to a code that would guarantee me the magic 30%. Fast forward to now and I am concerned something similar could happen again. Someone who is ignorant to my illness may request that my code be changed back to myelitis. This is what I am afraid of because I fought so hard the first time that I do not want to have to do it again. That was a very stressful and depressing time in my life.
 
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