Temp. Disqualify?! De NUKED!

hollypoptree

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#1
My medical officer just sent in a letter to my command that states I'm temp. disqualify and unfit to transfer. My command, and by command I mean the Master Chief in charge of my group, has decided to override this letter and I am still preforming all my duties. I actually love my job and I'm not complaining about having to continue it, I am pretty sure my doc thinks my job might have a small bit to do with aggravating my condition.

I am a nuke, and I have a phone conference with a JAG in a few days. My medical office recommended I speak to them directly to explain my 'duties and responsibilities' of now being denuked. Nobody has ever been in my shoes, at least it seems.

I feel really crappy about going above everyone and just speaking with a JAG, but my 'command' IS NOT honoring my medical letter and says I'll be transferring out soon. Someone at my command told me I need to go and talk to the CO. The CO! That's a busy man! Do we seriously have no rights!? Can't I just go talk to the CMC and cross my fingers? Any advice? Any?
 

cjmclark

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#2
There are actually many people who have been or are in a situation similar to yours. If you are unfit to transfer, you should be (at a bare minimum) placed in a Limited Duty (LIMDU) status. LIMDU is initiated by your medical officer performing an informal Medical Evaluation Board (MEB), after which you have to go through your local medical clinic's LIMDU coordinator to get all the paperwork done.

You should definitely seek whatever treatment your conditions require in order for you to be a happy, healthy individual. That said, here are the potential consequences of medical disqualification from the nuclear program -

1.) Possible recoupment of your re-enlistment bonus (if you have re-enlisted). The DODFMR, which is the DOD instruction that governs financial dealings, recently changed such that debt incurred due to bonuses lost because of non-disability medical disqualifications is no longer automatically waived. The debt is scheduled for recoupment and a request must be routed via your chain of command and PSD to the SECNAV to ask that the debt be waived.

2.) Possible separation from Naval service. If your condition is such that you are disqualified from the nuclear program, BUPERS will require you to submit a forced conversion package. Pending review of a conversion package, you would either be retained in a different rate or administratively separated. Keep in mind that the conversion rate for nucs is historically low (in the less than 5-10% range) and the entire military is downsizing.

If your condition could be rated as a disability, I would definitely recommend working with your medical officer to seek a Physical Evaluation Board (PEB). If you are disqualified due to a disability, your bonus cannot be recouped, and if the PEB finds you fit for continued service (even if you are disqualified from the nuclear program), the Navy cannot by law separate you for that condition.

Keep posting here and checking back. There are a lot of people here who can give you good resources to help you through this process. Ask your medical officer and admin office for help, as they're the big players in this process. And yes, talk to your CO if the rest of the chain of command isn't giving you the answers you need (though I would definitely talk to the CMC if you haven't yet).
 

Bananers

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#3
HPT,

Yep, plenty of people have certainly been in or are currently in your shoes...like me for example. I was medically disqualified nuke on 10/6/11 and am still performing the duties that I had been doing prior to that time (without the nuke pay...of course). (My bonus was also recouped because in the ECM's "professional medical opinion", I wasn't medically qualified to reenlist when I did.)

Definately get with your PCM and discuss LIMDU; the LIMDU paperwork will give specific instructions on those things that you shouldn't be doing. If you are unfit to transfer, then you should have sea duty screening stating that you are unfit to transfer. That is the documentation that you need to give to your chain of command so that they can send the message to PERS in order to get your orders canceled. I'm not sure what "letter" you received, but if they weren't sea duty screening or LIMDU paperwork, then my guess would be that the CoC likely doesn't believe that it came from a doctor.

Edit: Going back to the "letter"...was it a memo to your CO stating that you are disqualified for nuclear field duty? If it is the one that I am thinking of, it will also have on there "waiver recommended or waiver not recommended". This package of papers (mine had about 15) is required to be routed to the CO so that the command can send a message to PERS stating that you aren't qualified nuke. If this is the package of papers that you get and a waiver isn't recommended, you will be disqualified and will see a forced conversion message in a few weeks.

I see that your location is listed as Saratoga Springs...are you staff or student? That may make a difference in some of the paperwork. (I wasn't stationed in NY, but I know how the process works at NNPTC.)
 

COLTONMD

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#4
Not in the Navy but I would appeal and ask for a Grant Relief on your bonus. Though you may have not been eligible they should have seen that prior to issuing you it.
 

hollypoptree

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#5
Hey guys, thanks for the replies. The letter that was sent to my admin was a single page memo that only stated the doc's recommendation to temporarily disqualify me and that I'm unfit to transfer at this time. It also listed his point of contact on the matter.

I actually went to go speak with the CMC yesterday but we are having a change over and the man who is standing in, is actually the one who is trying to change the letter. My point of contact told me I should speak with a legal officer. I have an interview today with him.

I am a staff, and all this business got brought up because I failed my sea duty screening. I want to speak with the CO but that is really intimidating! Plus I get pretty emotional about this situation because of all the stress it's putting me through.

Thanks again for your replies. I'm sure I'll be following up with what the JAG's advice is.

I was told also by my medical officer LIMDU is more for people with broken shoulders, I just have severe stomach issues and allergies, and LIMDU isn't applicable to me. Is that true?
 

Bananers

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#6
If you are having medical issues that are currently unresolved, then LIMDU is certainly an option. LIMDU isn't just for those that have to have surgery, etc. It allows anybody with a medical issue that is serious enough to have time to find a resolution to their problem. I had to have a similar conversation with my PCM (He said that normally he doesn't put somebody on LIMDU unless there is a really good chance that their medical issues will be resolved), but we both finally agreed that I should be put on LIMDU. So maybe you just need to have a well thought out conversation with him about how LIMDU will give you time to recover. Keep in mind though, if you get put on LIMDU, the ECM will stop your SDAP unless your command requests a waiver for you to keep it.

As for the sea duty screening...your command should be sending a message to PERS so that your orders will get canceled. I would get in touch with your staff admin to see if that has been drafted yet. I would also get in contact with your detailer about what is going on.
 

Jason Perry

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#7
I was told also by my medical officer LIMDU is more for people with broken shoulders, I just have severe stomach issues and allergies, and LIMDU isn't applicable to me. Is that true?
NO! The Manual of the Medical Department lists conditions that require LIMDU, and SECNAVINST 1850.4E also contains conditions that trigger MEB/PEB review. "Broken shoulders" is not an exhaustive listing of conditions that warrant LIMDU. Basically, any condition that interferes with duty performance should be considered for LIMDU.
 

cjmclark

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The MILPERSMAN article (1306-1200) governing Limited Duty (LIMDU) can be found here: http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-n...n/1000/1300Assignment/Documents/1306-1200.pdf.

There is also a MILPERSMAN article (1306-1210) that specifically applies to nuclear-trained personnel on LIMDU: http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-n...n/1000/1300Assignment/Documents/1306-1210.pdf.

The portion of the MANMED to which Jason referred is Chapter 18; specifically, articles 18-2, 18-5 and 18-10 discuss LIMDU. It is here: http://www.med.navy.mil/directives/Documents/NAVMED P-117 (MANMED)/MMDChapter18.pdf.

Finally, the SECNAVINST Jason referenced is here: http://doni.daps.dla.mil/Directives...y Retirement Services and Support/1850.4E.pdf. (It's a long one.)

I've given you Navy links wherever possible to ensure that they're the ones currently in use.
 

hollypoptree

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#9
Talked to the Jag, and to my CMC today. I am feeling really productive. It is so hard to self educate on this topic due to the numerous reference, I suppose that's just like everything in the Navy, I really appreciate you posting the links Carl.

Jag stressed getting diagnosed. He had a lot of good information on the PEB process, limdu, and adsep, he wasn't very strong on the Nuke details I was hoping for but none the less, it was informative. He also expressed some concern that if I stay in this Temp disqualify status I may get adsept, in which he said one of the Jag's would represent me.

CMC advised me to tell my medical officer that I am doing better, transfer and then bring up my 'reoccuring' issue at my new command and start the process over. Again, this man is just the stand in. I was SHOCKED he said that.

He also said that he is giving the medical officer 30 days from Jan 5th to come up with a more permanent status for me. He also said he was sitting on the paper work medical mailed over but hasn't taken action yet. He asked me if I saw my LES and saw my pro pay was still there-like he's doing me a big favor. I'm an E-6 with 4 years in, it really isn't a big pay cut.

I also emailed my detailer, I asked my command to contact him weeks ago and explain my situation-which they didn't so this is the first time the ETC had heard of any of this. I felt like an ass.
 

cjmclark

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CMC advised me to tell my medical officer that I am doing better, transfer and then bring up my 'reoccuring' issue at my new command and start the process over. Again, this man is just the stand in. I was SHOCKED he said that.
I am appalled that a Master Chief would basically tell you to lie so that this can become someone else's problem. That is 100% the wrong answer.

If you have a recurring medical issue that prevents you from carrying out your duties, you need an MEB at a minimum. I won't lie...the pay cut hurts. I lost supervisory pro pay when I went LIMDU and sub pay (and had my bonus recouped) when I was finally medically disqualified. On the other hand, what kind of price can you put on your health and well-being? That money's no good if you're in no condition to spend and enjoy it.
 

hollypoptree

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Well it's been another STRESSFUL week of medical and my site flailing their arms, and words. The PMC I had spoken with before has now said 3 times I should tell medical I am satisfied with being undiagnosed I will continue my diagnoses at sea. All the surface guys I have spoken with about surface medical have said I'm better off getting treatment with civilian doctors, treatment on the ship sucks-but all the Chiefs and above I have spoken to highly disagree. I feel sorry for people who don't know better, I am glad I have enough experience now to know when someone is pulling my leg.

Medical still has me in a temp disqual status-pending transfer. My medical officer recommended today that I go speak with a psychiatrist. He said chronic medical issues are hard to deal with emotionally and physically and he thinks it will help-I cry every time I go in-hard to admit being a woman in the Navy..I'm not the type of woman who cries to get her way-I cry because I'm angry at this whole situation.

I also got treated by a doctor who issued me some medication that I'm pretty sure falls under the psychopharmaceutical category. It is a drug called hydroxyzine HCL. I got a big yellow light when I was reading the description of the drug, it is used as an antihistamine but also as an anti anxiety pill. She gave it to me for the antihistamine properties. When I told the Navy doc this, he said-go ahead and take it.

I'm pretty sure that as a Nuke I'm not supposed to be on any anti anxiety drugs. Any input on this? I told medical, and it is now in my record-I really don't want to get pinned for doing something wrong here...am I supposed to emphasize this medication with my command??
 

hollypoptree

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#12
I saw my civilian doctor (GI) and told her about my Chain of Command. She was disgusted in their behavior and assumptions, and told me that she would be willing to speak with them and help keep them at bay.

I found out yesterday that I am internally bleeding from my stomach and my intestines. I got a copy of the test results and went right up to the two individuals who have been telling me there is nothing medically wrong with me and pretty much made them eat their words. It made me have some stress relief knowing that I have proof, although I do not believe it needed to get to a point where I had to provide medical proof to my direct superiors.

I'm pretty disgruntled with the Navy right now.

Although my GI doctor said she doesn't know why I am bleeding-chrons, ulcers, Ibs-I have scheduled another visit to have a procedure done that will help diagnose.

I can't find any information on Worldwide assignable conditions. I think they determine that when you go to a PEB?? I'm still undiagnosed, and there has been (finally) mention of placing me on LIMDU, although who knows.

28 days till I'm supposed to report out to Washington, and my command still hasn't contacted my detailer. I have personally-to which I got shunned for.
 

hollypoptree

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#13
'Officially' LIMDU

I have a few forms one is an abbreviated medical evaluation board report. Not too sure what the next steps are. But I'm glad I ironed out all the mess between my command and my medical officer.
 

mobb70

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#14
Your command obviously doesn`t care about you. They don`t look at you like an asset anymore so your out with the dogs so to speak. I already went thhrough what you are going through so I speak with a little knowledge. Go back to medical and get on limdu otherwise suck it up and carry on. Jag cannot help you unless your in the MEB/PEB process anyway and dont feel bad, your not going over anyones head by looking out for yourself.
 

hollypoptree

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So I met with my medical officer today, and I'm pretty confused with what he has told me. The appointment was for a follow up, he asked if I was getting any better, he also told me that if I don't have any improvement that he is going to permanately disqualify me.

He said it was up to me, whether my condition has improved-since portions of what is wrong with me cannot be measured by any test, and we will follow up in 30 days.

I don't know what is going to happen, my condition isn't going to improve. When does a PEB happen and who initates it? He said that I would most likely go to Groton, and put in for a force conversion, and they would most likely decline it, then I would be Ad-sep'd.

I spoke to a JAG and he said I cannot be ad-sep'd if I have a medical condition...so when do I get a PEB and who Initates it?
 

Bananers

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The doctor that is taking care of your condition should do the paperwork for the med board.

As to what the JAG said, that is true...however, you would be separated "needs of the navy" if you don't get selected for forced conversion. Being on LIMDU keeps you from having to do a forced conversion until you have been cleared.
 

jdkirsh

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#18
Edit: Going back to the "letter"...was it a memo to your CO stating that you are disqualified for nuclear field duty? If it is the one that I am thinking of, it will also have on there "waiver recommended or waiver not recommended". This package of papers (mine had about 15) is required to be routed to the CO so that the command can send a message to PERS stating that you aren't qualified nuke. If this is the package of papers that you get and a waiver isn't recommended, you will be disqualified and will see a forced conversion message in a few weeks.
I have a question regarding this situation. Is there an instruction with a sample letter the command must do? I have a sailor who is going through this. She is separating at her PLD end date in December, we had just received her package saying waiver is not recommended. I am the one tasked to write up this endorsement letter and this is a first I had to deal with something like this.