Asthma - Received Ratings from VA

Kenyon

PEB Forum Regular Member
#1
So I have been going through the IDES process since October 2011 and I think I might be almost done, with a little problem.

I received my VA ratings packet back a couple of days ago, finally!! I am still waiting on the PEB for final confirmation, but I might have an issue with my ratings and not sure if I could get a higher rating. I currently take Advair 500, singular, albuterhal through rescue inhaler when needed, and a nebulizar when needed.

Upon looking at my ratings I have received 30% from the VA for my asthma because of "intermittent oral bronchodiliater therapy and a FEV-1 of 71 to 80 percent of predicted value (73%)". Which is exciting until I read the next line down that says "A higher evaluation of 60 percent is not warranted unless there is: ...intermittent (at least three per year) courses of systemic (oral or parenteral) corticosteroids."

I read that statement, get this, I know what it means! I have taken those steroids in the past: prednisone. But thing thing is, I usually only take them when I have flare ups in my asthma, so not currently with my list of meds. So what do I do? I looked through all of my papers that I have submitted and can't find any mention of prednisone in them. I could go get a letter from my primary care stating I have taken these three times within the past year (but NOT with dates I think?).

Would this look bad to the VA or the PEB? Or can I go back after this whole thing is over and submit to them that I take prednisone at least 3 times a year when I get better documentation and after I get discharged?
 

pittpan2005

PEB Forum Veteran
#2
If asthma is your unfitting condition I wouldn't want to take 30% when 60% is warranted. However you need to decide if it's worth fighting for......monetarily. It might be a case of DoD pay won't matter because VA is higher. Talk with a PEB attorney and see what they think. Does 60% DoD have a greater impact than 30%? How will you prove it? Ask the attorney if they think what you have or will have docuemnt wise is enough to ask the VA to reconsider it's rating, etc. Legal is the way to go from here.

Overall what VA rating are you expecting? DoD? Rank/years of service? Then we can do the numbers.
 

pittpan2005

PEB Forum Veteran
#3
Also, keep in mind retirement pay (PDRL) is for life. Even if the VA reduced your rating to 0% in the future, you would still have DoD retirement money to fall back on. So the VA pay may be higher(at least for now), but they can review cases at anytime so don't assume a VA rating/compensation is for life. Plan for worst case, but hope for best and build a case to keep it best case.
 

Kenyon

PEB Forum Regular Member
#4
I guess I am still waiting on what the PEB has to say, because I didn't think there was going to be two seperate ratings, I only know of VA. My PEBLO has said they have to wait on the VA ratings so the PEB can make its final decision.

I'm not sure what I'm suppose to expect, I guess 60% according to the VASRD, but I don't know anything about the DoD. I am only an E-3 with 4 and a half years in the Army National Guard, no deployments.
 

pittpan2005

PEB Forum Veteran
#5
I guess I am still waiting on what the PEB has to say, because I didn't think there was going to be two seperate ratings, I only know of VA. My PEBLO has said they have to wait on the VA ratings so the PEB can make its final decision.

I'm not sure what I'm suppose to expect, I guess 60% according to the VASRD, but I don't know anything about the DoD. I am only an E-3 with 4 and a half years in the Army National Guard, no deployments.
Just wait on the PEB then. They will most likely follow suit with your VA ratings for that "unfitting" conditon. Once you have it you can request a FPEB, VA reconsideration, etc if needed. Just gather evidence now to help support a 60% according to what VASRD needs.
 

pittpan2005

PEB Forum Veteran
#6
You will have a DoD rating for unfitting conditions and a VA rating for all conditions claimed. This is why you may have two different ratings.
 

Kenyon

PEB Forum Regular Member
#7
My unfit rating is asthma and that is my only condition claimed.

Still a little bit confused... Say my condition does get worse, I'm only 23, and expect when I get older it will get worse over time, can either the DoD rating or VA rating change after the initial rating?
 

pittpan2005

PEB Forum Veteran
#8
VA can change if you request an increase after leaving service or reconsideration while on active duty. DoD will provide your rating for "unfitting" conditions based on VA examiners rating for it. DoD rating won't change if placed on PDRL(permanent retirement). It can change if placed on TDRL. TDRL is a temporary retirement where they review you every few months to years. DoD ratings can increase or decrease during that time. TDRL lasts up to 5 years.
 

Kenyon

PEB Forum Regular Member
#9
Oh crap.... I just thought of something. About the same time I received my VA packet I had a big chunk of money deposited To my bank account, turns out it was for VA compensation & pension retroactive pay. I called the VA and made sure this was legitimate and they said it was, thinking nothing of it. I now think that this isn't a good thing to get from the VA and should try to get the DoD???? AHHHHHHH!
 

pittpan2005

PEB Forum Veteran
#10
You need to find out what is happening with your PEB. It sounds like the VA payed you retro, but that should only be done when separated. Something is either wrong or I am missing something.
 

Kenyon

PEB Forum Regular Member
#11
I have told you everything I know, there is something that is stuck in my head that wants to say I might have had a form about electing VA or something or may joint VA/DoD.... I'm seeing if I can find it now. And making a call to my PEBLO tomorrow
 

usafaviator

PEB Forum Veteran
#13
I wouldn't spend that money yet. If it was paid in error, the VA will take it all back at once when they realize their mistake.:eek: Even if they erroneously paid you early, they will probably take it back until you separate. Nothing worse than not having the money there when they try to pull it back out of your account.
 

Kenyon

PEB Forum Regular Member
#14
Upon looking at my ratings I have received 30% from the VA for my asthma because of "intermittent oral bronchodiliater therapy and a FEV-1 of 71 to 80 percent of predicted value (73%)". Which is exciting until I read the next line down that says "A higher evaluation of 60 percent is not warranted unless there is: ...intermittent (at least three per year) courses of systemic (oral or parenteral) corticosteroids."

I read that statement, get this, I know what it means! I have taken those steroids in the past: prednisone. But thing thing is, I usually only take them when I have flare ups in my asthma, so not currently with my list of meds.
So I checked with my doctor and pharmacy and I can only find two records within the last six months that I have taken corticosteroids , should I still try submitting additional evidence or just live with the 30%?
 

usafaviator

PEB Forum Veteran
#15
The requirement for the 60% is 3 times within a year. If you can only find two, I guess you (or your attorney) could argue that:

1. Your condition is not improving
2. You have already taken two rounds and (due to your condition not improving) it is logical that you will most likely be receiving another round in the near future (and probably intermittently throughout your life)

I don't know if that will get the 60%, but as long as you are already taking the inhaled corticosteroids daily, the chance of losing the 30% is slim, so it might be worth trying. That is just my opinion, YMMV.
 
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