found fit for duty - now contesting - help?

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#1
i have typed it out so many times, hoping to get responses but have had zero luck. hopefully this will be the place for me to be.

husband was referred to MEB late october 2017 and all paperwork was submitted two weeks ago. MEB for severe migraines prostrating 5-6 times a week for past seven years. [VA list is a laundry list, including CPAP machine and sleep apnea, BP issues, hearing loss, etc]

got a call monday saying his findings and ratings were in, so yesterday he went and they told him he was found FIT.

when they asked the DOD why he was found FIT, they copied and pasted his chief's four sentence statement.

his chief's statement was more or less my husband's latest eval - which of course is extremely positive.

when my husband went into work, his chief asked how it all went. my husband showed him why they found him FIT, and pointed to the statement the MEB made - and his chief openly admitted that he had misread what they were asking for, and that he had screwed up. the MEB asked how the migraines had negatively effected the sailor at his job, but instead the chief thought [i am assuming?] they were asking what kind of sailor he was.

anyway - we are contesting this. all of his medical records, statements, etc say he is unfit. some of our concerns, and maybe someone can help us:

we have now worked with three different PEBLOs. we were told we would just work with the one, and instead we are getting thrown from one person to the next - which has not made this whole thing easy at all.

the lawyer we were assigned to has not contacted us for counsel and it has been almost 48 hours. this lawyer isn't even in the same state as us and refuses to give her phone number out to her clients. we have asked numerous times, and everyone continues to tell us the same thing, over and over - no phone calls to her - only email. we have TEN DAYS to get this stuff together, and we have no idea what to get together because she has yet to counsel us.keep in mind three of those days is a three day weekend coming up - which means we don't even have ten days to get this done... is there anything we can do about this?

even if his chief and command make new statements, will this even have any weight for a new medboard?

what are some things we can include that would help? a statement from me, as his spouse?

past co-workers that have seen him go through this for years? current co-workers statements?

we both feel we have been given the short end of the stick when it comes to who has been helping us with this [PEBLO, lawyer] so we are in high hopes to get information from you all. i know this isn't the norm, but it's what we need to do. if they will not fight for my husband, i will. i cannot see him like this anymore.

thank you, everyone!
 

Yyzforu

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#2
I was found fit in 2016 for a similar situation. except my command intentionally made statements to keep me in. Are you on Pendleton by chance, if you are there is a great attorney who has experience with formal boards. I was told that a statement from my soon to be ex-wife would help me if I am found fit this time around so I would assume yours would as well. Good luck and stay positive. I hope someone with more experience chimes in here to help you guys.
 

Sullysull48

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#3
I can understand your frustration with this process. My situation is a lot different than yours. But , I had to contact legal over the % I was given.

I was found unfit during the Christmas holidays. I had 10 days to agree or disagree with my DA 199. My suspense date was Jan 2nd. I contacted legal on the 21st of December.

To make a long story short. Legal got back with me on the 2nd of January. The good thing is. Legal can ask your PEBLO for an extension.
 

Sullysull48

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#4
The legal counsel that I had was great. I was at a point to just accept the wrong %. Legal told me no, because I had a good case. In the end it paid off.
Keep fighting.
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#5
I was found fit in 2016 for a similar situation. except my command intentionally made statements to keep me in. Are you on Pendleton by chance, if you are there is a great attorney who has experience with formal boards. I was told that a statement from my soon to be ex-wife would help me if I am found fit this time around so I would assume yours would as well. Good luck and stay positive. I hope someone with more experience chimes in here to help you guys.
thanks so much - we are not at pendleton - we are in virginia in the navy. thanks for the input!
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#6
The legal counsel that I had was great. I was at a point to just accept the wrong %. Legal told me no, because I had a good case. In the end it paid off.
Keep fighting.
i truly wish i could say the same about the legal counsel my husband was given. right now we are playing a waiting game to hear back from this woman. my husband is going to the medboard place tomorrow and speaking with someone to get the ball rolling.
 

Yyzforu

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#7
i truly wish i could say the same about the legal counsel my husband was given. right now we are playing a waiting game to hear back from this woman. my husband is going to the medboard place tomorrow and speaking with someone to get the ball rolling.
Have you contacted NLSVP?
 

Sullysull48

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#9
My MEB was out of Fort Gordon, GA. I am a reservist. So, I never saw my PEBLO . It can be frustrating, but hang in there.
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#11
thanks so much - everyone has been super helpful, but i am finding that most contest ratings they receive - not many have contested being found fit that i can see. a few here and there - so trying to get as much information as i can. i will fight for my husband. :)
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
#13
thanks so much - everyone has been super helpful, but i am finding that most contest ratings they receive - not many have contested being found fit that i can see. a few here and there - so trying to get as much information as i can. i will fight for my husband. :)
Please do not let the finding stress your family out to much. Request the formal board and communicate to the PEB attorney assigned that you would like a unfit finding. They will do their best to summarize your husbands medical condition and why it does not meet retention standards.
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#14
NLSVP provides free legal representation for a variety of case types for military.
just found the NLVSP website and will definitely be looking into it. right now, it has been 72 hours with no response from the lawyer we were assigned to for his FPEB. nothing comes easy with this, it feels like. i guess we should have known better. the issue we're having? is that his migraines are becoming even more frequent with all of the stressors playing into this whole thing and needing to contest it. hence why i am the one all over the boards and not him - i am trying to take as much off of his shoulders as possible.

Please do not let the finding stress your family out to much. Request the formal board and communicate to the PEB attorney assigned that you would like a unfit finding. They will do their best to summarize your husbands medical condition and why it does not meet retention standards.
we are still waiting to hear back from the attorney. we now have seven days to contest this and a three day weekend ahead of us.... so, really? four days. we don't want to ask for an extension because we feel that will hurt him more than anything. but we are doing this!
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#15
just wanted to update here, even if nobody else reads it. at least that way my husband and i have a timeline to look back on and laugh at - considering a lot of this has been a complete joke at this point.

yesterday, i called the PEBLO and demanded they speak with us because we are tired of being bounced from one PEBLO to the next. he spoke with me and said that we should have heard from the attorney by now, but since we hadn't, he was going to email her and let her know we were awaiting her response since we now only have five days to contest thie finding of FIT.

today, husband went into the MEB office and spoke to the PEBLO, letting him know we still have not heard from the attorney. the PEBLO then informed us that the attorney responded to him, saying she had not received anything from us, then went on to ask for our email address - even though she already has it from when we sent her my husband's personal statement a couple of months ago for the IPEB. so even though she has his email, still no word back.....

husband also went to the PEBLO that read him his findings and asked her for a trim sheet, where we can see why the FPEB found him fit. she is supposed to be sending it to him via email during her lunch break today.

husband is now at the neurologist to see if the neurologist would be willing to compose a statement saying that he disagrees with the fit findings - over the phone, he said he would because he has been saying for over a year that he should not be active duty status or otherwise in his MOS or any other MOS in the military.

he is also going to be requesting a print out of all the appointments he has ever been to, that way he can decifer the amount of time missed from work due to this ailment over the past seven years. we also noticed that a few of his medical records were NOT included to the packet sent up to DC to the IPEB, so we will be retriveing those as well and including them in his contesting of the fit finding. one of the medical records that was conveniently not included was a radiology report of the findings of his MRI where they found a cyst at the base of his head.......again, convenient.
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#16
also - still no word from the attorney. still refuses to give out the number to contact said attorney. husband contacted the program manager at the MEB office to request he be reassigned to another attorney willing to help counsel the way he legally has a right to do at this time.
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#17
just another update: lawyer finally emailed my husband and wants to do a phone consult with him at 1530 on tuesday - two days before the ten days is up for him to be able to contest this.
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
#18
That is perfectly fine. All they are going to do is check a box on a form requesting a FPEB. For what the attorney has to do, it will not take to much time.
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#19
i was under the impression she would let us know what we need to do to contest this - what forms may be helpful, statements, etc.

i say this because we've already checked a box that states we're contesting this with the PEBLO
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#20
UPDATE: lawyer called my husband last night and spoke with both of us for about 10 minutes to let us know what we needed to provide her with for our phone consult on tuesday afternoon. it's pretty much the same thing members here stated we should look into getting, which we have.

this morning, husband has a meeting with members of his chain of command to go over what he needs. first and foremost, he wants to be 500% honest with them about how this has effected him. he has been the type of person to go into work and pretend every thing is fine, because he doesn't want to look bad to his higher ups. his command is super supportive of their sailors, so we are in high hopes that they will see this through and understand the magnitude of his condition.

my anxiety had been bad the first 48 hours or so where i was losing sleep and doing all the research i could. yesterday and today have been slightly better where i have to just let this all into god's hands at this time. i know that, as spouses, we say it all the time: but we are the ones that see behind and in front of the scenes, whereas the commands don't get to see it as much. some do, yes. but not all. my husband received a print out of all his appointments and it made me want to get sick. just from the beginning of 2017, we have over 1,000 sheets of paper alone. i know that may be small to some - but for someone who was deemed fit, it seems unreasonable.
 
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