Question &Timeline

PGH Kid

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#1
So glad I found this forum! I have learned more in the last couple of afternoons reading this forum than I have from the last year of going through this process. Very frustrating. I was hoping that someone could give me some advice regarding my case. I was referred for a MedBoard because of my shoulder. I was scheduled to have my shoulder fully replaced last August. However, the morning before surgery, the doctor called and informed me that he did not feel comfortable performing a full shoulder replacement on me because at the time, I was 28, I was “too young”. He told me that replacements only last 20 years or so and then I would need a new one, each time making the replacement less effective. I don’t know the truth to this but here we are…. So I have had 2 orthoscopic surgeries with a bicep tenodesis to try and fix my shoulder. Both surgeries were unsuccessful. I continue to go to physical therapy (because PT fixes everything, obviously), acupuncture, and receive steroid/cortisone shots quarterly. All of my doctors keep telling me that I need to have my shoulder replaced, except for the surgeon. They continue to say too young.

So my question is, I am going through the board having had those 2 surgeries already, but I still need more. Am I shooting myself in the foot by getting out still needing a replacement? I am at the point where I do not want to try and stop the board to have another surgery, which would have to be from a civilian surgeon instead of Walter Reed. (My plan is just to have the replacement done once I am out). No way do I want to start this process all over again. I know there is a different percentage rating from having a replacement vs. not. Which is another question, if I am out and have my shoulder replaced, will it change my disability rating at all? Or does it stay at whatever it was when the board convened.

Here is my timeline – I have learned that this is the worst waiting game there is…

Aug 2016 – 1st surgery

Oct 2016- 2nd Surgery

(I asked to hold off on referral until after my wife gave birth to our son)

1 March 2017 – Referred for MedBoard

16 – 23 May 2017 - C&P Exams

20 June 2017 - Received and signed NARSUM

24 June 2017 – Package sent to PEB

14 July 2017 - Med Board Case Accepted on MOL

And now the waiting continues.....

Thanks guys!
 

jessylynn

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#2
I'm sort of in the same boat, I apparently need a knee replacement but am too young at 25 to receive one according to the doctors here. I figured I would just go through the med board process and get it taken care of when I get out. I don't think you're hurting yourself doing the med board now, as it's likely your referring doctor believes you need to shoulder replacement so it will be annotated in your Narrative Summary. You do also have the right to ask for a second opinion from another surgeon if you feel that a surgery is your best option right now.
 

jessylynn

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#3
I realized I did a horrible job addressing your questions. As long as your shoulder is annotated as an issue on your VA paperwork following your replacement you can go back and add the replacement to your claim. At least that's my understanding, that's why your VA rep tries to get you as many claims as possible so even if you're rated 0% from the VA for an issue, should the issue get worse, you can still receive VA treatments and benefits for it.
 

PGH Kid

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#4
That is what my understanding was also, I just wanted to see if anyone knew something in addition to or completely different. Thanks!
 

jessylynn

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#5
That is what my understanding was also, I just wanted to see if anyone knew something in addition to or completely different. Thanks!
No problem, I'm about a full month behind you so I'm trying to find some hope in your timeline!
 

thompson37355

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#6
28 June 2017 – Package sent to PEB

06 July 2017 - Med Board Case Accepted on MOL

I'm still waiting for the DOD part just so I can tell my command if I was found fit or unfit.
 

PGH Kid

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#7
UPDATE:

I have been trying to reach my PEBLO for a few weeks now…. I was trying to set up a time to come pick up my medical records (Which are probably lost now), I called and sent numerous emails, and never heard back. So this morning I get an email from a lady who says that my old PEBLO transferred somewhere else and that she will be my new PEBLO. No email, call, or anything. It has been made very apparent to me that I’m pretty much on my own trying to get through this process. My case has been at the PEB for almost a month now. When would be a good time to call VA to see if my package was sent there for ratings? Are there any signs that it was, or is this just a call and hope to find something out?



Thanks guys!
 

jessylynn

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#9
28 June 2017 – Package sent to PEB

06 July 2017 - Med Board Case Accepted on MOL

I'm still waiting for the DOD part just so I can tell my command if I was found fit or unfit.

Well shoot that's not the hope I was looking for! I'm so confused I thought that the PEB had 15 days to decide fit or unfit? Or is that just a pipe dream they feed us?
 

PGH Kid

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#10
I don't think I have heard of anyones case only taking 15 days for a fit/unfit desicion. It seems more like a month to two month process for every single step.
 

jessylynn

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#11
It's possible, if not likely that I'm ready the information they gave me incorrectly and getting the wrong numbers from it. I go sign my NARSUM this morning so I'll ask my PEBLO then.
 

1942

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#12
PEB standard is 15 days. Mine took 8 days to be found unfit after I signed the NARSUM. That said, from reading this forum timelines vary greatly at each step. I tried to use the average time for each step to estimate when I would move to the next stage. This also failed miserably. My VA ratings and my PEB findings both took way longer than the average to complete.
 

jessylynn

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#14
Oops, just realized this is under the Corps timeline thread. I am Army.
No worries! My PEBLO said we should hear fit or unfit within 45 business days, so at least I have an idea of a timeline..... This is just such a long process, that is in no way involved so it's easier to average off of other people's timelines.
 

PGH Kid

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#15
*UPDATE*

Package was accepted on MOL just under 60 days ago. I know this does not really mean anything, but I checked ebennifits this morning, and my claim status finally went from gathering of evidence to Preparation for Decision! So really no update at all, the waiting game continues. I was just excited to see something change, which hopefully means my case is actually moving forward, but probably not...
 

PGH Kid

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#16
*UPDATE*

I called my PEBLO to see if she had any updates, she informed me that I was found UNFIT on September 6th!
 

PGH Kid

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#18
*UPDATE*

I received my Informal Findings yesterday. 20% DoD and 80% VA. I have an appointment to talk to my lawyer tomorrow and see what he recommends. Honestly, I am happy with that and really do not want to wait and go through the appeal process. Looks like things are finally coming to an end!
 

jessylynn

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#20
called my PEBLO to see if she had any updates, she informed me that I was found UNFIT on September 6th
That's fantastic and that was only 37 working days, I'm at 26 working days today so maybe this will be a good sign!!!

Congrats on getting to the tail end of this process!