Need Help with EPTS Rebuttal

Discussion in 'MEB Report and Narrative Summary' started by SSuD, May 18, 2017.

  1. SSuD

    SSuD PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Greetings All,

    I have been in the service for a little over 2.5 years. Late 2015 I became really anxious while performing job duties (briefings, interviews, etc). At first, it was just intermittent and performance-related. However, by December, it had progressed to panic attack-provoking anxiety, which manifested not only in my job, but in social settings, too. By 2016 I had enough of trying to deal with it on my own so I went to BH for help. During my intake, I was asked if I had ever suffered from social anxiety in the past. I answered no because that is the truth. However, I did mention that, just like anyone else, I would get stage fright once in awhile when presenting projects in college, before a big game, etc. Later on, I clarified this by stating I had never experienced panic attack symptoms before the Army, and that I was having these panic attacks while working AND outside the office in social settings (i.e. I have panic attacks when shopping, eating in public, standing in lines or checking out with a cashier, conversing with strangers, making a phone call to a stranger such as customer service to fix an issue).

    Fast forward to present-day and I am going through the MEB. My NARSUM comes back and states my Social Phobia existed prior to service (EPTS) AND it is NOT permanently aggravated by military service. This angers me because I have never sought treatment or prescribed medication for, or been diagnosed with any type of psychiatric disorder. How do I go about rebutting this claim? I know statements from coworkers, family and friends are good but I want to know if there is a way for them to also look at my medical records and deconflict what they say.

    I also have another mental health diagnoses (BPII) which may by itself fit the 30% threshold but to be on the safe side I want my Social Phobia to be rated by the DOD just in case it is not.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jahlon

    jahlon PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2017
    Messages:
    514
    Trophy Points:
    193
    Yeah, this is a rough one, I totally sympathize for your situation.

    The EPTS issue is that you haven't been in for 8 years, and you kinda/sorta admitted to having the precursor to Social Phobia (anxiety) prior to being in service when you said you had stage fright. This gets into the really murky waters of would you have manifested the symptoms you have now, regardless of military service. You also said "like anyone else" but not everyone experiences anxiety before big events.

    You need to be able to figure out what exactly (what event) specifically caused you to manifest all these symptoms. That could go a long way to showing that the cataclysmic event was during your period of service.


    The infamous eight-year rule:

    EPTS and genetic conditions are normally notDoD Disability or VA Disability unless they are service-aggravated. If a service member served in the military on active duty for 8 years or more, however, then their EPTS or genetic conditions are automatically considered service-aggravated, and thus eligible for disability compensation, unless it can be proven otherwise.

    Basically, if the service member served 8 years or more, then the EPTS or genetic condition is considered service-connected and fully ratable as long as it is diagnosed while the service member is still on active duty. It is eligible for all
    Military Disability Benefits, as long as, of course, it also makes the service member Unfit for Duty for DoD Disability. It’s a bit of a gift for giving so much of their life to the service.

    If the condition is not diagnosed until after the service member's discharge, however, then it is not considered service-aggravated, and thus not eligible for VA Disability. This is the general policy, but we have seen some exceptions made, so it may be worth a shot to submit a
    VA Disability Claim for it anyway. Just don't be surprised when it's denied, which will happen far more often than not.

    This 8-year service-connection rule does not include the other conditions noted on our
    Conditions That Are Not Ratable page.

    http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/service-connected.html#eight
     
  3. chaplaincharlie

    chaplaincharlie PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,046
    Trophy Points:
    933
    Ask for an second opinion, ask for an IMR.
     
    SSuD likes this.
  4. SSuD

    SSuD PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Three particular incidents may have contributed to my initial panic attacks, I'm not sure about the extent of each.

    The first was while talking with my first line supervisor and him randomly starting to dicusss my job performance lately. He said leadership wanted him to confront me about it. I started to hyperventilate and sweat because it was confrontational. I also had racing thoughts about being kicked out of the Army because of poor job performance, not being able to provide for my family, etc., all of which at the time seemed pretty reasonable to me. I started to cry and shake, eventually having to run out of the room to the bathroom to calm myself down. From then on I was very hesitant to speak to him and any other coworkers in fear that he told them what happened and then asking me about it and bringing out those symptoms again.

    The second involved me taking a train off post (stationed overseas) like I usually did before to get some food. Somehow I got off at the wrong stop and could not figure out which train was the right one to get back to post. My phone battery was on 15%, I had about an hour or so before curfew, and didn't bring any cash with me. I rushed through the crowd on the platform and got on the train I thought would take me closer to post but it seemed to be further. I sat in the corner of the train car crying and panicking until another soldier came up to me and helped me get back to post. After that I stayed on post, became guarded in crowded areas like restaurants and shops on post.

    The third was having a mTBI last year that caused irritability, mood swings, headaches and tinnitus, amongst other things. I became easily angered and decided that it was best for me to stay to myself for the most part to avoid behaving inappropriately and unprofessionally. I had panic attacks in situations where I could not flee from things such as being put at parade rest or attention to talk to superiors, standing in line to pay for groceries, chatting with friendly strangers.
     
  5. SSuD

    SSuD PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Today I non-concurred and decided to submit a rebuttal. I'm gathering statements from a close friend, my parents, and my last team leader to attest to my symptoms. I've never been treated for or diagnosed with any psychiatric disorder before joining the military. I successfully completed college, was involved in student government, volunteered and coached youth sports/programs.
     
  6. jahlon

    jahlon PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2017
    Messages:
    514
    Trophy Points:
    193
    Given what you said about what you believe caused your symptoms, Chaplaincharlie is spot on. The next logical thing to do is to request the IMR.
     
    SSuD likes this.
  7. SSuD

    SSuD PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    33
    So, since I already request to submit a rebuttal, how do I also request an IMR? Just go back to my PEBLO?
     
  8. jahlon

    jahlon PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2017
    Messages:
    514
    Trophy Points:
    193
    Depends on where you are exactly in the process.

    Words in the MEB process matter because the entire thing is called the MEB process, but the actual MEB phases is very small.
     
  9. SSuD

    SSuD PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    33
    I just got my NARSUM this week and found out which conditions were acceptable/unacceptable.
     
  10. jahlon

    jahlon PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2017
    Messages:
    514
    Trophy Points:
    193
    So at this point are you trying to stay in the service? Or are you trying to just have the record properly reflect when you developed your anxiety disorder?
     
  11. SSuD

    SSuD PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    33
    The latter. It's neither good for me or the Army for me to remain in it, especially considering my hypomanic and depressive episodes. I've also been on several anti-depressants, a benzo, and two beta blockers and I've only gained minimal relief over the past year or so.
     
  12. jahlon

    jahlon PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2017
    Messages:
    514
    Trophy Points:
    193
    Then in your rebuttal, don't try to argue away the EPTS, just state matter of facts things, most specifically the TBI.
     
  13. SSuD

    SSuD PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Got it. Thanks for the insight. I'll keep everyone updated as things go along.
     
  14. SSuD

    SSuD PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    33
    PEBLO called today saying my appeal for SAD changed from EPTS to non-EPTS. Should be sent to IPEB this week.
     

Share This Page