Fit or Unfit determination Letter Standards

ranger2992

PEB Forum Veteran
#1
I followed up in another thread with the information that the "fitness" notification is not required, and it was better to use your energy on controlling things you can control. For all of the members that believe their PEBLO has to provide you with this letter, here is the policies from each service showing they don't. Bottom line is, some PEBLOs go the extra mile and try and help. Some of them don't. So don't get bent around wheel, and demand this letter. They will either give it to you, or not. And they are not required to.

Joe

Department of Defense

www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/DTM-11-015.pdf

l. If the MEB finds the Service member does not meet medical retention standards, assemble the MEB case file with all attachments and forward the complete MEB case file to the PEB.

m. Inform the MSC of the date of referral to the IPEB.

n. Within 3 days of receiving the IPEB findings from the PEB administration or at the next Reserve drill, provide a copy and inform the Service member of the IPEB findings, the VA proposed ratings and benefits estimate letter, and his or her options, including consultation with legal counsel. If the PEB finds the member fit, notify the MSC of that finding and provide a copy of the PEB findings to the MSC. Advise the Service member of their right to legal counsel regarding the preparation of a rebuttal of his or her fitness decision or disability rating, if applicable.

Navy/Marines

http://www.public.navy.mil/asnmra/corb/PEB/Documents/IDES WEB.html#6

INFORMAL PHYSICAL EVALUATION BOARD

Once the PEB receives and accepts your case, the PEB will convene an IPEB, where a Medical Officer and two senior (O-5/O-6) line officers review your DES case file and vote as to whether or not you are fit to continue military service.

The IPEB decision will include written justification supporting a Fit or Unfit and Not Physically Qualified or Physically Qualified (for Reserve personnel) finding for each of your medical conditions, and if your condition(s) are combat-related and/or incurred in a combat zone.

The board will also determine all of the following:

  • If your military unfitting injury or illness occurred while in the line of duty (not as a result of misconduct) and whether you are entitled to benefits.
  • If your condition existed prior to joining the military [Existed Prior to Service (EPTS)].
  • If you complied with the recommended medical treatment.
  • If your condition is permanent and/or stable.
At the conclusion of the IPEB, the next step will depend on the IPEB results/determination.

Informal PEB Determinations

If the IPEB determines you are unfit or EPTS: The PEB will forward your record to the VA to rate your “referred” (PEB-determined unfitting con-ditions) and MSC/VA “claimed” conditions.
 

ranger2992

PEB Forum Veteran
#2
Army

ampo.amedd.army.mil/Guidance/IDES%20GUIDE%20BOOK_FINAL.PDF

Step 1. Informal PEB renders fit/unfit determination
Step 2. If found unfit, PEB sends Request for Preliminary Rating to DRAS
Step 3. DRAS rates conditions and issues proposed ratings to PEB
Step 4. PEB issues fitness determination on DA 199 along with VA proposed rating
Step 5. PEBLO counsels Soldier on Informal PEB findings and election options
Step 6. (optional) Soldier consults with legal counsel
Step 7. (optional) Soldier may non-concur with Informal PEB determination
Step 8. (optional) Soldier may request a Formal PEB if the Soldier disagrees with the
Informal PEB fitness determination
Step 9. (optional) Soldier may request a VA Rating Reconsideration for unfitting
conditions
Step 10. PEB sends case file to PDA to approve findings
 

bobby_0081

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#4
So far I can't find a current Air Force policy, therefore it would just up to the DOD policy with lack of a policy.
This is all great information that you have taken time to pick out. I would say that if a member is found fit and returned to duty they would notify them that they are ok for continued service so it would seem silly to hide the opposite the way the AF does to its members. There is also an IDES timeline that is given to members and to keep the unfit determination away from the members just allows the branches that choose to do this an opportunity to exceed the time frames without people knowing about it and complaining about it. I understand that no one has to do it but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't and it also doesn't say it is illegal to do so no more than it doesn't say they have to. I guess it comes down to whether or not the various branches feel that it is important to try and keep their members informed throughout the IDES process or keep them in the dark. It seems the Army tries to keep their members informed with things like the IDES dashboard on AKO and although it is usually wrong it is at least more of an effort than the AF is making. I see so many complain about the IDES dashboard and I laugh to myself and wish that my branch of service cared enough to the even write an AFI in regards to IDES less lone try and keep me informed. I could also make the argument that by keeping the unfit determination away from the member that it would go against the DoD and VA's claim that IDES is "seamless and transparent". These are just a few of my thoughts...
 
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ranger2992

PEB Forum Veteran
#5
This is all great information that you have taken time to pick out. I would say that if a member is found fit and returned to duty they would notify them that they are ok for continued service so it would seem silly to hide the opposite the way the AF does to its members. There is also an IDES timeline that is given to members and to keep the unfit determination away from the members just allows the branches that choose to do this an opportunity to exceed the time frames without people knowing about it and complaining about it. I understand that no one has to do it but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't and it also doesn't say it is illegal to do so no more than it doesn't say they have to. I guess it comes down to whether or not the various branches feel that it is important to try and keep their members informed throughout the IDES process or keep them in the dark. It seems the Army tries to keep their members informed with things like the IDES dashboard on AKO and although it is usually wrong it is at least more of an effort than the AF is making. I see so many complain about the IDES dashboard and I laugh to myself and wish that my branch of service cared enough to the even write an AFI in regards to IDES less lone try and keep me informed. I could also make the argument that by keeping the unfit determination away from the member that it would go against the DoD and VA's claim that IDES is "seamless and transparent". These are just a few of my thoughts...
The main reason PEBLOs don't inform service members is because there is potential to render inacurate information. Giving somebody something that may change, is a bad idea. Yes in most cases things follow a norm, but in the cases it does not, it creates a bad situation.

The reason DOD has a standard is they want the service member informed with the information as it applies to their case. In the case of a fitness determination, what is the service member really getting? "oh they found me unfit, and I can start the official clock". It just doesn't work that way. There are so many factors that play into this system. It crosses from military, to VA and then back again. That opens it up to errors. The only advantage to receiving an "official" unfit memo is that a person can say "Oh I am done for sure now" As you said, you can figure this out fairly quickly by seeing they don't come back with a fit notification.

The downfall of having a memo in hand that says you are unfit is that people start to assume that they have "x" amount of days left. They start to plan their life around that, and then are very upset when they don't hit a benchmark. Some have even gone to the extent of sending family home, or accepting a job, and then have to shift all their plans. It can get costly, and metally exhausting. The reason DOD set the guideline to notify people of a decision once the VA comes back is because it is a more more predictable process from that point.

Again, I understand everybodies frustration, but I will tell you, this process is far better than it was five years ago. Talk to members like "amygalley" who are still waiting for VA benefits, and were improperly rated when the services got to make their own choice. They will tell you how hard it truly is. I go back to the most basic idea. While you are waiting, you are getting paid full salary. Use this time to make yourself better instead of focusing on a timeline that is actually a guideline, not a for sure thing by any means.

Joe
 

N7crapbob

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#7
Great information guys! Thanks for the post! And a question for all of you; Who is able to view a copy of the premliminary ratings? My peblo won't do it, so who else is able to see those ratings? Thanks!
 
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