Updated/Completed Timeline, Mental Health

Joker38

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Greetings everyone,

It has been a long, long time since my last post here, I had meant to keep a running timeline going throughout my process - alas, I failed. However since my case is now to all intents and purposes complete, here is a glance at my timeline:

OCT 18 - Diagnosed with Bipolar II w/Major Depressive Disorder
30 NOV 18 - Case referred to DAWG; Code 31 added to profile
17 DEC 18 - Code 37 added to profile; NARSUM complete
7 JAN 19 - Commander's Impact Statement submitted to PEBLO
14 JAN 19 - DAWG recommends full MEB; case submitted AFPC/DPAMM
16 JAN 19 - AFPC/DPAMM directs full MEB.
6-11 MAR 19 - VA C & P Exams complete.
8 MAY 19 - MTF submits finalized MEB package to AFPC/AFPC forwards to IPEB for final determination.
7 JUN 19 - AF Form 356, Findings and Recommended Disposition of USAF IPEB sent to PEBLO
9 JUN 19 - Received recommendation to be placed on TRDL, with ratings of 70% DoD; 90% VA
22 JUL 19 - Selected Retirement date of 27 Sep 19
4 SEP 19 - Began Terminal Leave
27 SEP 19 - Retired
27 APR 20 - Re-evaluated by VA for mental health progress.
1 MAY 20 - VA sends rating review determination, no change to recommended ratings.
24 SEP 20 - IPEB receives VA rating review determination
25 SEP 20 - IPEB sends me their recommendation to move me from TRDL to PRDL, with no change in ratings.
9 OCT 20 - Submitted my response, concurring with the IPEB findings.

So that was my timeline. I spent a year on the TRDL, almost to the day. My first rating review was conducted 7 months after my retirement (may have been sooner if not for COVID). Something I feel like I must stress, especially for mental health... KEEP UP with whatever your treatment plan was while you were still active duty. For example, I saw a therapist every two weeks for counseling, and my physiatrist once a month for medication needs. There was a little bit of a gap between my retirement and my treatment as a civilian, but that is expected based on a final PCS to wherever you are going, and the expected wait list for civilian treatment. However, if you decide to not keep up with your treatment plan, it is going to be difficult to prove that your condition is not improving, and therefore your ratings will probably be lowered.

When you have your review with the VA, when they ask you to describe how you are doing, describe what it would be like if you were not taking medication. Be honest, they will know if you are trying to pull the proverbial wool over their eyes. I was willing to be seen by whatever random doctor was assigned my case, mostly because I knew I had documented treatment for the past 7 months, and that my condition was essentially unchanged. However, you can request that someone who treats you on a regular basis complete the exam/review, to the best of my knowledge - if someone here is more wise on that, please feel free to set me straight as needed.

If you are on the TRDL, and like me, want to get off that as soon as possible, consistency seemed to be the key. In addition to the above regular treatment plan, I kept my medication regiment for the most part unchanged, with one exception. I say this because if you are frequently changing your medication/dosage, the VA/IPEB will see that your condition has not stabilized, and most likely recommend that you continue on the TRDL for a while longer.

PLEASE - I am NOT in ANY way saying that you shouldn't change your medication treatment if you or your doctor recommends it. However, if you are like I was, and the changes were more of a 'let's try this one' and you feel happy with what you are already doing, consider remaining with the status quo. I had a feeling that once I had been on my medication/treatment plan for a few months, and there were no major changes one way or another, I felt that my condition would be considered stable - I was right. My doctor had been wanting to change my medication almost every visit, but I felt like I needed my situation (retiring, moving, finding a civilian job, adjusting to civilian life) to settle before I made any medication changes. I felt like most of my issues at that point were being impacted by my transition. But again, that was just me, do what you feel is right and is going to do you the most good, I am simply sharing what I learned.

Hopefully this is useful to someone out there. Please feel free to reach out, either by way of DM or by posting a response on this thread if you have questions, or need to talk to someone. I am more than willing to discuss my case with anyone, and will be checking back here frequently now. Good luck to anyone going through this process, it is the ultimate military game of 'hurry up and wait'.
 

chaplaincharlie

Super Moderator
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Lifetime Supporter
Registered Member
Thanks for completing the loop. You are welcome to hang around and help others through the process.
 

styles857

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Greetings everyone,

It has been a long, long time since my last post here, I had meant to keep a running timeline going throughout my process - alas, I failed. However since my case is now to all intents and purposes complete, here is a glance at my timeline:

OCT 18 - Diagnosed with Bipolar II w/Major Depressive Disorder
30 NOV 18 - Case referred to DAWG; Code 31 added to profile
17 DEC 18 - Code 37 added to profile; NARSUM complete
7 JAN 19 - Commander's Impact Statement submitted to PEBLO
14 JAN 19 - DAWG recommends full MEB; case submitted AFPC/DPAMM
16 JAN 19 - AFPC/DPAMM directs full MEB.
6-11 MAR 19 - VA C & P Exams complete.
8 MAY 19 - MTF submits finalized MEB package to AFPC/AFPC forwards to IPEB for final determination.
7 JUN 19 - AF Form 356, Findings and Recommended Disposition of USAF IPEB sent to PEBLO
9 JUN 19 - Received recommendation to be placed on TRDL, with ratings of 70% DoD; 90% VA
22 JUL 19 - Selected Retirement date of 27 Sep 19
4 SEP 19 - Began Terminal Leave
27 SEP 19 - Retired
27 APR 20 - Re-evaluated by VA for mental health progress.
1 MAY 20 - VA sends rating review determination, no change to recommended ratings.
24 SEP 20 - IPEB receives VA rating review determination
25 SEP 20 - IPEB sends me their recommendation to move me from TRDL to PRDL, with no change in ratings.
9 OCT 20 - Submitted my response, concurring with the IPEB findings.

So that was my timeline. I spent a year on the TRDL, almost to the day. My first rating review was conducted 7 months after my retirement (may have been sooner if not for COVID). Something I feel like I must stress, especially for mental health... KEEP UP with whatever your treatment plan was while you were still active duty. For example, I saw a therapist every two weeks for counseling, and my physiatrist once a month for medication needs. There was a little bit of a gap between my retirement and my treatment as a civilian, but that is expected based on a final PCS to wherever you are going, and the expected wait list for civilian treatment. However, if you decide to not keep up with your treatment plan, it is going to be difficult to prove that your condition is not improving, and therefore your ratings will probably be lowered.

When you have your review with the VA, when they ask you to describe how you are doing, describe what it would be like if you were not taking medication. Be honest, they will know if you are trying to pull the proverbial wool over their eyes. I was willing to be seen by whatever random doctor was assigned my case, mostly because I knew I had documented treatment for the past 7 months, and that my condition was essentially unchanged. However, you can request that someone who treats you on a regular basis complete the exam/review, to the best of my knowledge - if someone here is more wise on that, please feel free to set me straight as needed.

If you are on the TRDL, and like me, want to get off that as soon as possible, consistency seemed to be the key. In addition to the above regular treatment plan, I kept my medication regiment for the most part unchanged, with one exception. I say this because if you are frequently changing your medication/dosage, the VA/IPEB will see that your condition has not stabilized, and most likely recommend that you continue on the TRDL for a while longer.

PLEASE - I am NOT in ANY way saying that you shouldn't change your medication treatment if you or your doctor recommends it. However, if you are like I was, and the changes were more of a 'let's try this one' and you feel happy with what you are already doing, consider remaining with the status quo. I had a feeling that once I had been on my medication/treatment plan for a few months, and there were no major changes one way or another, I felt that my condition would be considered stable - I was right. My doctor had been wanting to change my medication almost every visit, but I felt like I needed my situation (retiring, moving, finding a civilian job, adjusting to civilian life) to settle before I made any medication changes. I felt like most of my issues at that point were being impacted by my transition. But again, that was just me, do what you feel is right and is going to do you the most good, I am simply sharing what I learned.

Hopefully this is useful to someone out there. Please feel free to reach out, either by way of DM or by posting a response on this thread if you have questions, or need to talk to someone. I am more than willing to discuss my case with anyone, and will be checking back here frequently now. Good luck to anyone going through this process, it is the ultimate military game of 'hurry up and wait'.
What conditions are re-evaluated. From what I have been told so far it is only the referred condition/ the condition that made me “ unfit “ and has “(unstable)” in the diagnoses on my findings.
Is this correct ?
 

Joker38

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
What conditions are re-evaluated. From what I have been told so far it is only the referred condition/ the condition that made me “ unfit “ and has “(unstable)” in the diagnoses on my findings.
Is this correct ?
You are correct, the only conditions they should be reevaluating are those that were listed as your unfitting conditions. If you were only found unfit with one condition, then that’s the only exam you’ll do.
 
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