BCMR Process... any help & input appreciated

VetHusband

Registered Member
#1
I wanted to say hello to everyone. Unlike many on this forum, I’m the husband of a veteran.

My wife was a victim of MST when she served in the Air Force back in the late 1980’s. And like many female service members, she was pretty much railroaded out of the Air Force by being given a diagnosis of “Immature personality disorder with histrionic features.” As many of you may be aware, this was used to so extensively by the armed forces to remove women from service who reported sexual assault that it is now widely recognized to be a false narrative reason for discharge. I have to say that with the amount of research that I had to do, finding examples of writing good case documents, probing for information in records, and being complete in filling out VA Form 21-0781a, I almost feel like and expert and reading and interpreting bureaucratic jargon. I also learned to be thorough and complete, because the last thing you want to do is have your case stalled because of insufficient information.

We filed her claim for VA disability benefits on 25 October, 2015. Unlike most reviews which can take upwards of 6 months or more, we received notification on 01 March, 2016 that she was rated 50% for PTSD related to the MST that occurred while she was on active duty.

We are currently working on getting her DD214 upgraded from “General – Under Honorable Conditions” with a narrative of “Misconduct—Other Serious Offenses” to an “Honorable Discharge,” hopefully with a Medical narrative. Her case was filed by VLI in late June of this year with the Air Force BCMR. Only after prodding by myself and a push from my senator’s office, we finally received a cursory email in late September letting us know the docket # that was assigned in early July. With an expected submission load of well over 10,000 cases this year alone, the expected wait time for an initial ruling will be 18 to 20 months.

So we are now in the waiting phase to see if the BCMR will grant her an upgrade to her discharge, and if the narrative will be changed to medical.

This is where I have questions. From reading many other comments on this forum and others, I keep seeing mentions of back pay and/or benefits back to the time of discharge. If her narrative is changed to medical, is she entitled to retroactive retirement benefits? If so, what are the next steps?

Thank you for your time. And to all of you who have served, I also want to say thank you for your service
 

FISTorDIE

Registered Member
#2
I believe someone had won their case to only be $50,000 in the hole with a recoupement from DFAS for SBP. There wouldn't really be any pay you would receive, she is already receiving comp from the VA. You already stated MST, so no CRDP or CRSC. I think other than SBP, MWR, Exchange, Tricare and flights would be the only benefits received. MWR and Exchange privileges can be had with a 100% rating. Exchange privleges might be had already with AAFES new policies, IDK about that one fully though.

How long has your case been waiting for boarding? You mentioned that your Senator received a response of 18-20 months so wondering how far along you are in the waiting process.
 

VetHusband

Registered Member
#3
I believe someone had won their case to only be $50,000 in the hole with a recoupement from DFAS for SBP. There wouldn't really be any pay you would receive, she is already receiving comp from the VA. You already stated MST, so no CRDP or CRSC. I think other than SBP, MWR, Exchange, Tricare and flights would be the only benefits received. MWR and Exchange privileges can be had with a 100% rating. Exchange privleges might be had already with AAFES new policies, IDK about that one fully though.

How long has your case been waiting for boarding? You mentioned that your Senator received a response of 18-20 months so wondering how far along you are in the waiting process.
We filed, with the help of VLI (Veteran's Legal Institute), in late June 2017. I received an email response (after several requests) on 14 September 2017 that they had received it 14 July 2017 and had assigned it a docket number.

"Your BCMR case is in the beginning stages of processing. When we begin the processing of your case, we will send it to the appropriate Air Force office of primary responsibility who will provide the Board an advisory opinion with a recommendation to the Board as to whether your application should be granted or denied. Said advisory opinion will be sent to you for review and comment where you will have an opportunity to provide rebuttal comments and any documentation in response within 30 days. Once we receive your response, your case will be presented to the Board, in its turn, for consideration. Due to a number of variables as well as a fluctuating workload, we cannot predict when a particular case will be reviewed by the Board and or decided. You should also know that we receive more than 6,000 applications a year. For this reason, cases are worked on a strict first-in, first out basis to ensure fairness to all applicants."

So we're early in the BCMR review process.

And to be honest we're not looking for monetary compensation. It's more the principal of her being given a less than honorable discharge. Any additional benefits she might receive beyond that isn't expected.

And bear with me... I'm not up to date on all the acronyms you used.
Exchange Privileges - I understand that. We're going to check and see if she qualifies.
Tricare - She has been given Tricare based on her rating.

Question of the following mean...
CRDP
CRSC
SBP
MWR
And flights? As in military transport?
 

FISTorDIE

Registered Member
#5
VA health care is not the same as Tricare nor the same as CHAMPVA. At 50% she would just be getting VA health care. Tricare are for Active Duty/Dependents and Retirees. CHAMPVA would be the VA health care given to dependents to the Veteran (this is given at the 100% rating).
 

VetHusband

Registered Member
#6
VA health care is not the same as Tricare nor the same as CHAMPVA. At 50% she would just be getting VA health care. Tricare are for Active Duty/Dependents and Retirees. CHAMPVA would be the VA health care given to dependents to the Veteran (this is given at the 100% rating).
As part of her diability compensation with the VA she has been given Tricare. Don't know if it usual for them to do that, but she has her card.
 

VetHusband

Registered Member
#7
VA health care is not the same as Tricare nor the same as CHAMPVA. At 50% she would just be getting VA health care. Tricare are for Active Duty/Dependents and Retirees. CHAMPVA would be the VA health care given to dependents to the Veteran (this is given at the 100% rating).
I'm sorry, just double checked. I got confused. She is in the TriWest program.
 

FISTorDIE

Registered Member
#8
TriWest is only for outside consults (Choice Program), She has Veteran Affairs Healthcare and that is it. @ 50% rating that is all she is entitled to currently.
 
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