Advice for Pilot Program


PEB Forum Regular Member
Hello Everyone,
After two Limdu periods we are finally starting the DES process. So far it seems things are rolling along as they should. Our PCM has informed the MTF that he will be sending us for an MEB, he has talked to his CO and supervisors and they are on board with how we want the NMA to be written and patient admin has contacted us to tell us the process has started. As we are within the DC area and most of his treatment is at Bethesda we have also been told we will be in the DOD/VA Pilot program.

I am just going through 80 page document on the program with a fine toothed comb but I am hoping to also get advice from the forum on any tips you might have for us so we are prepared for as much as possible. Also, to Jason is it worth it to get a lawyer now in the process and are there specific ones that know the particulars of this program?

Just a bit of background, my BF is a Navy office with 7 years in and had to have a heart valve replacement last year due to 6 months of being misdiagnosed for endocarditis by our local clinic. He also suffered a stroke due to the endocarditis and now has a loss of right field of vision. He was a pilot but now works at a desk however, he is non-deployable due to life long anti-coagulation therapy(coumadin). We are continually told he will be found unfit and should get at least 30% but after spending months reading threads on this forum I know not to believe anyone.

Thank you for your help.

Jason Perry

Benevolent Leader
Site Founder
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PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member

Welcome! As far as retaining counsel, I think it depends on the facts of your case. Overall, the results out of the Pilot Program have been very favorable, but without knowing more facts, it is hard to say if there is anything that an attorney could help you with at this point.

Your only hearing from the military will be on fitness/unfitness and eligibility for compensation (EPTS, service aggravation, and other administrative findings). The rating determination will be handled through VA channels and your appeal would come later through normal VA processes.

There are not many other attorneys focusing on this area of the law. If you would like to discuss further, send me a Private Message with contact information.

Best of luck with the PEB and please let us know any questions.


PEB Forum Regular Member
Be prepared for a long fight. I am an NFO at a desk job who is also on lifelong anti-coag and was found fit by the IPEB because I could do my desk job. Make sure that your BFs NMA doesn't paint him as a JO superstar like mine did. No one wants to write anything bad about someone who busts their butt and tries to do a good job, but they end up screwing you over unintentionally. As far as I have seen thus far, the PEB in DC isn't aware of the USD DTM regarding non-deployability as they are still considering it not enough to render someone unfit. I don't mean to sound all "doom and gloom" but I am pretty frustrated...



PEB Forum Regular Member
Hi Tony,
Yes I know we have a challenge ahead of us and we are doing everything we can to mitigate the risk of just this type of situation. I had read your posts regarding your fit finding and we will be interested to hear your formal board hearing results when you receive them. Good luck and thank you for the heads up.


PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
As far as the pilot program, it really is a good program if you are planning on getting out. I recently went through the pilot and it took a LONG time, but now as a civilian, I am so thankful I don't have to fight for VA all alone. Just hang in there (I know that is easier said than done).
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