USAF said "Adjustment Disorder," everyone else said "PTSD"

CorazonDeOro

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Hey all, first time posting.

In July, 2010, I was Honorably Discharged for "adjustment disorder." For two years, I had been screaming PTSD, but no one would listen. My career tanked because of performance issues and it was all just horrible. Made E7 at around 10 years and had all manner of decorations and awards. Anyway...

I was separated at the end of July in 2010

Prior to that separation, I sought a civilian diagnosis and received one for PTSD and something else, maybe MDD. I possess that record.

Seems like I did the fast VA program. Is it called Quick Start? Regardless, I met with the VA examiner PRIOR to being discharged and he apparently concurred with the civilian PTSD diagnosis.

So, late 2010, early 2011, I received my VA benefit notification. 80% overall, 30% PTSD. Obviously, the VA ALSO agreed with the PTSD diagnosis.

Sometime later, I applied to increase the PTSD rating and it was increased to 50%, without a C&P examination. As I type this, that seems odd to me. My overall rating stayed at 80%.

Life absolutely went to shit after all that. I almost didn't survive, but here I am. During this time, I applied for another upgrade for the PTSD and it was approved for 100%. That's just for the PTSD... all the other stuff was still the same.

After receiving the 100% rating, I applied for SSDI, which I also received.

So, after all this, SIX doctors (who weren't military) either diagnosed, or supported, the PTSD diagnosis. I am treated for it monthly and have been hospitalized three times for SI.

My 214 says:
Sep Code: HFY - Adjustment Disorder
Reentry Code: 2C
Narrative: Adjustment Disorder

I'm seeking to have this all changed. I don't know if it's possible, but I medical retirement seems appropriate to me. I don't want to go back in, as I'm still hurting really bad.

What can I do?

~CDO
 

gsfowler

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Jason Perry

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I have recently filed a case in the Court of Federal Claims challenging the Air Force's practice of using Adjustment Disorder as a basis for discharging members without disability benefits. (Based on the failure to differentiate between "chronic adjustment disorder"- which is compensable- and all other/acute adjustment disorders).

You could apply to the BCMR. You could file a claim in Federal Court. It may be possible, if you are interested, in joining my suit as a named plaintiff in a class action.

Sounds like you have a very strong case for retirement.
 

CorazonDeOro

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I received my advisory opinions this morning. It appears to be superb news. The medical deferred to the MH and that letter concludes with:

"This consultant recognizes that unintended procedural error had been made and applicant should have undergone MEB. This psychiatric consultant recognizes the sacrifices the applicant has made for this country and appreciates his service.

RECOMMENDATION: The Psychiatric Consultant recommends granting the applicant relief by changing the record to reflect he underwent a Medical Evaluation Board and was found unfit by a Physical Evaluation Board, with the assignment of a disability rating of 30% for MDD, also claimed as PTSD under VASRD code 9434, and permanent retirement effective July 30, 2012."

I feel like the rating % should be higher, but I'm not keen on fighting that. What's the point? The main concern I have is retirement date. Assuming they put me on "imaginary" TRDL, it's only two years from separation. Isn't it supposed to be 5?

Breathing easy this morning...
 

Jason Perry

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RECOMMENDATION: The Psychiatric Consultant recommends granting the applicant relief by changing the record to reflect he underwent a Medical Evaluation Board and was found unfit by a Physical Evaluation Board, with the assignment of a disability rating of 30% for MDD, also claimed as PTSD under VASRD code 9434, and permanent retirement effective July 30, 2012."
I feel like the rating % should be higher, but I'm not keen on fighting that. What's the point? The main concern I have is retirement date. Assuming they put me on "imaginary" TRDL, it's only two years from separation. Isn't it supposed to be 5?
Looks like an overall favorable advisory opinion.

Where are you getting any reason to discuss TDRL and the years that would apply? The opinion recommended PDRL. I see no reference to TDRL or years that would apply to that issue. Don't know how to respond more to that issue that does not appear to apply to your case based on what you wrote.

Hope all goes well for you. Best of luck!
 

CorazonDeOro

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I got out in 2010. Curious where the +2 years comes from, so I guessed it was TRDL time. Thoughts?
 

Jason Perry

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I got out in 2010. Curious where the +2 years comes from, so I guessed it was TRDL time. Thoughts?
I have no idea where you are getting the 2+ years from. Nothing you posted describes that. (Maybe something you received but did not post mentioned that? I don't know).

In any event, from what you posted, the advisory opinion is recommending PDRL. That is what I am focused on and referencing as my understanding of your current case situation.
 

oddpedestrian

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Ok, that part doesn't matter.

I just don't know what to do from here.
Congrats!!! You are one of the very few cases I know where the service turned an Honorable discharge to a medical retirement. You are correct the services are required by law to place the service member on TDRL for a PTSD diagnosis and then reevaluate at a later date to determine final ratings. The 5 years is the maximum allowed time for them to make that determination they can actually make a final rating 6 months from discharge, most get a final rating between 1-3 years from discharge.

Right now you will need to find a DEERS ID card issuing facility and get your blue retirement ID card. You can now take advantage of Tricare Select or Prime for civilian healthcare needs. If you have dependents you need to enroll them at a DEERS facility as well. I would also submit an application for CRSC with the Air Force and set up mypay to receive your retirement statements.
 

CorazonDeOro

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Congrats!!! You are one of the very few cases I know where the service turned an Honorable discharge to a medical retirement. You are correct the services are required by law to place the service member on TDRL for a PTSD diagnosis and then reevaluate at a later date to determine final ratings. The 5 years is the maximum allowed time for them to make that determination they can actually make a final rating 6 months from discharge, most get a final rating between 1-3 years from discharge.

Right now you will need to find a DEERS ID card issuing facility and get your blue retirement ID card. You can now take advantage of Tricare Select or Prime for civilian healthcare needs. If you have dependents you need to enroll them at a DEERS facility as well. I would also submit an application for CRSC with the Air Force and set up mypay to receive your retirement statements.
Thank you for that info! You interpreted my question correctly and I appreciate the clarification.

However, these were only the advisory opinions. I have no significant issue with what they returned, so should I just say I concur (because I do) and wait for the final board decision?

I live next to an Army installation and I have a DAV ID, so the DEERS part is easy. I think there's even an Air Force MPF there. If not, I won't have to travel far. So, provided the board does grant relief based on these advisory opinions, I'll need to take their decision, get a blue ID, start the process for getting a new DD214, and all the other bits and pieces, right?
 

oddpedestrian

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They will mail you a large retirement certificate with new retirement orders those orders will also be forwarded to DFAS as well, make copies they only sent me one. You are now eligible to travel space A as well if you want to use that benefit. I also wondered where the 30% was from but I'm assuming they just went off your PTSD rating from the VA at the two-year mark which would be appropriate. The DOD does not alter ratings outside the TDRL time frame which is more of a plus than a minus IMO.
 

CorazonDeOro

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Wow, I can't believe it's been this successful, to date. It feels like vindication for sure.

In-service, I had dx for both PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder. The 30% on the BCMR is for "Major Depressive Disorder, also reported as PTSD" VASRD code 9434. I'm not sure what the code is, but my VA rating is based on PTSD. I wonder if the "can't be paid twice for the same thing" rule will come into play? I sure wouldn't getting some sep pay back.

I suppose I'll concur with the advisory opinions and just wait. I'm kind of used to that by now. :)
 

CorazonDeOro

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I'm a week past my 30-day response period for the advisory opinions. I suppose there is no way to predict how long it will take for a final decision. I can't wait to have this chapter behind me and get that blue card in hand... ugh. What an ordeal.
 

CorazonDeOro

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I won! Waiting on the final papers, but they sent me a notice of proceedings. I am officially on the PDRL as of mid 2012.
 

Warrior644

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I won! Waiting on the final papers, but they sent me a notice of proceedings. I am officially on the PDRL as of mid 2012.
Indeed, congratulations; this is definitely outstanding news for sure! :D Take care! :)

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
 

EDDIEBROCK919

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Reading this post and available options gave me not only hope but a new perspective!

Today I finished the last of my VA appointments after going through the ringer with the AF "Mental Health" docs. I ended up getting separated at 15 years without a chance of retirement or continued service. I was denied for a MEB, not once, but twice from two different AF "doctors" from the same clinic. My Commander gave me the benefit of the doubt and pushed for me to get a fair shake but I was disapproved to get outside perspective from another clinic. My Commander even he agreed they are just checking boxes and not taking care of the individual. My diagnosis, "Adjustment disorder" and an "unspecified mood disorder". I have documentation dating back for years of struggling with PTSD related to combat. I was offered to get medically retired back in 2013 after being inpatient for 33 days for PTSD and I let my pride get in the way. I had a breakdown on my sixth deployment, so I reached out for what I thought was a tentative plan for treatment. When I came back the base mental health was substandard. They were so booked up with appointments it was difficult for me to even get an intake with a provider, I had to deal with the run around, unprofessional behavior, cancelled appointments, lack of care and concern, and downplayed symptoms. My psychiatrist even told me to my face that I didn't fit the criteria for a MED board, and since I was so close to my separation date there was not much she could do for me, and ended up sending me to outpatient and telling me just to deal with the VA. What I came to find after I had a disagreement with her over stipulations and circumstances that she put in her notes and reports that I was seeking compensation and lied repeatedly trying to demerit me trying to get treatment. I was diagnosed in outpatient for PTSD and MDD. Every diagnosis I have received conflicted with this clinic's dignosis, and today I was rated at 70% for PTSD through the VA. My VA doctor was "actually" helpful, compassionate, understanding, and said that a lot of times the AF mental health only cares about keeping the mission sustainable. What course of action should I take, I originally was going through the IG and patient advocate until I found out they all have each others interest right before discharge. I still have all my records and documentation.
 

Warrior644

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Reading this post and available options gave me not only hope but a new perspective!

Today I finished the last of my VA appointments after going through the ringer with the AF "Mental Health" docs. I ended up getting separated at 15 years without a chance of retirement or continued service. I was denied for a MEB, not once, but twice from two different AF "doctors" from the same clinic. My Commander gave me the benefit of the doubt and pushed for me to get a fair shake but I was disapproved to get outside perspective from another clinic. My Commander even he agreed they are just checking boxes and not taking care of the individual. My diagnosis, "Adjustment disorder" and an "unspecified mood disorder". I have documentation dating back for years of struggling with PTSD related to combat. I was offered to get medically retired back in 2013 after being inpatient for 33 days for PTSD and I let my pride get in the way. I had a breakdown on my sixth deployment, so I reached out for what I thought was a tentative plan for treatment. When I came back the base mental health was substandard. They were so booked up with appointments it was difficult for me to even get an intake with a provider, I had to deal with the run around, unprofessional behavior, cancelled appointments, lack of care and concern, and downplayed symptoms. My psychiatrist even told me to my face that I didn't fit the criteria for a MED board, and since I was so close to my separation date there was not much she could do for me, and ended up sending me to outpatient and telling me just to deal with the VA. What I came to find after I had a disagreement with her over stipulations and circumstances that she put in her notes and reports that I was seeking compensation and lied repeatedly trying to demerit me trying to get treatment. I was diagnosed in outpatient for PTSD and MDD. Every diagnosis I have received conflicted with this clinic's dignosis, and today I was rated at 70% for PTSD through the VA. My VA doctor was "actually" helpful, compassionate, understanding, and said that a lot of times the AF mental health only cares about keeping the mission sustainable. What course of action should I take, I originally was going through the IG and patient advocate until I found out they all have each others interest right before discharge. I still have all my records and documentation.
Welcome to the PEB Forum! :)

At this particular point in time, I would highly suggest that you immediately follow the feedback as written by @gsfowler in his reply #2 message above to include contacting @Jason Perry for legal assistance moving onwards. I hope for a favorable outcome at the conclusion of the appropriate Air Force appellate board for your individual situation. Take care!

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
 

CorazonDeOro

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Reading this post and available options gave me not only hope but a new perspective!

Today I finished the last of my VA appointments after going through the ringer with the AF "Mental Health" docs. I ended up getting separated at 15 years without a chance of retirement or continued service. I was denied for a MEB, not once, but twice from two different AF "doctors" from the same clinic. My Commander gave me the benefit of the doubt and pushed for me to get a fair shake but I was disapproved to get outside perspective from another clinic. My Commander even he agreed they are just checking boxes and not taking care of the individual. My diagnosis, "Adjustment disorder" and an "unspecified mood disorder". I have documentation dating back for years of struggling with PTSD related to combat. I was offered to get medically retired back in 2013 after being inpatient for 33 days for PTSD and I let my pride get in the way. I had a breakdown on my sixth deployment, so I reached out for what I thought was a tentative plan for treatment. When I came back the base mental health was substandard. They were so booked up with appointments it was difficult for me to even get an intake with a provider, I had to deal with the run around, unprofessional behavior, cancelled appointments, lack of care and concern, and downplayed symptoms. My psychiatrist even told me to my face that I didn't fit the criteria for a MED board, and since I was so close to my separation date there was not much she could do for me, and ended up sending me to outpatient and telling me just to deal with the VA. What I came to find after I had a disagreement with her over stipulations and circumstances that she put in her notes and reports that I was seeking compensation and lied repeatedly trying to demerit me trying to get treatment. I was diagnosed in outpatient for PTSD and MDD. Every diagnosis I have received conflicted with this clinic's dignosis, and today I was rated at 70% for PTSD through the VA. My VA doctor was "actually" helpful, compassionate, understanding, and said that a lot of times the AF mental health only cares about keeping the mission sustainable. What course of action should I take, I originally was going through the IG and patient advocate until I found out they all have each others interest right before discharge. I still have all my records and documentation.
I 100% agree with Warrior664. Definitely get with an expert. Also, if I can help in any way, please message me. My case hasn’t been posted in the reading room yet, not sure why, but I’ll share my docket number as needed for ‘precedent,’ if that’s the correct legal term.

Sounds like you may also be eligible for CRSC, so have a look into that.

Keep us posted! Best
 
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