Air Force MEB Process Questions

Keshia lynette

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Not sure if this is the right forum, but i am seeking some help on an issue

It will be 8 years in the Air Force in July. I am SF and i plan on making this a career. I have had problems with my legs and back. Legs since 2016 and back since 2018. My legs is the main issue, i am being told i have plantar fasciitis which is already in my records as of 2017. In 2014 records show that my L5 and L4 degenerate disc i believe. I am seeing acupuncture for my back. But as stated before i mainly get seen for my legs because it is affecting my job. I have been told i might have tibal tinnitus and compartment syndrome as of Dec 2018. I was told testing would be done to see if i have this condition. It is documented that my job does make my condition worse. My problems with my legs came from running and being very active. My PT scored are aleays above a 90. This Oct if i do not get off my profile i will be put up for Meb? Dawg? My question is how do stay in the military and hopefully inform the panel that i want to stay in but my job is the reason why my condition wont improve? I would like to retrain out of this career field. I have done physical therapy, injections, splints, acupuncture, and nerve block. What can i do to stay in the AF and retrain? Or should i just document everything and prepare myself?
 

Padgettra

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Not sure if this is the right forum, but i am seeking some help on an issue

It will be 8 years in the Air Force in July. I am SF and i plan on making this a career. I have had problems with my legs and back. Legs since 2016 and back since 2018. My legs is the main issue, i am being told i have plantar fasciitis which is already in my records as of 2017. In 2014 records show that my L5 and L4 degenerate disc i believe. I am seeing acupuncture for my back. But as stated before i mainly get seen for my legs because it is affecting my job. I have been told i might have tibal tinnitus and compartment syndrome as of Dec 2018. I was told testing would be done to see if i have this condition. It is documented that my job does make my condition worse. My problems with my legs came from running and being very active. My PT scored are aleays above a 90. This Oct if i do not get off my profile i will be put up for Meb? Dawg? My question is how do stay in the military and hopefully inform the panel that i want to stay in but my job is the reason why my condition wont improve? I would like to retrain out of this career field. I have done physical therapy, injections, splints, acupuncture, and nerve block. What can i do to stay in the AF and retrain? Or should i just document everything and prepare myself?
You need to work the system and process. I made a comment about retraining on the forum a few months ago and I received a comment back from Jason Perry in that thread. He indicated (my recollection) that once in the MEB process retraining is not and should not be an option. Either you can accomplish your AFSC task or not. Just my recollection and hopefully another member will chime in. Ron P
 

Padgettra

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Here is the thread comment from July 2018 for your reference.
Padgettra said:
Pavetim, just my personal interpretation of the statement "can perform based on rank, grade, office and title" is probably rooted in the U.S. Code verbiage which is generic. The "office" is not an actual office, yet more the basis of your position and duties. If your Commander desires, then it could be possible to cross train into a position that "could" allow you to perform. Yet, in the grand scheme of the Air Force it may not be practical to cross train a crew chief to say a Personalist or Admin? Yet, if that is what you desire then I would insure that type of statement is in your record. Best of Luck.
Click to expand...
Cross training would not and is not allowed once you are referred into the disability evaluation system. (In order to cross train, you need to meet retention standards, plus any additional service requirements for doing so; this is more flexible in the reserve components, but, overall, if this is the "defense," it should be undertaken well before you are formally identified as not meeting retention standards).

Moreover, the military cannot move you from job to job to find a place where you would be fit. Once you fail to meet retention standards (in the Air Force, these are the standards spelled out in the Medical Standards Directory), you must be processed for an MEB and PEB.

There is long-standing case law that spells this out:

"This means that an officer must be able to perform any assigned duty which the normal, healthy officer can perform, although he need not be able to perform under extraordinary conditions. See, Harris v. United States, 177 Ct. Cl. 538 (1966). "The Naval standards * * * require * * * that he [Naval officer] be physically capable of performing those [duties] which he would normally be called upon to perform in such manner 'as to reasonably fulfill the purposes of his employment'". Id. at 552. In other words, the Navy cannot shift an officer from assignment to assignment until a job is located that is not affected by the officer's physical disability."

Beckham v. United States, 183 Ct. Cl. 628, 637, 392 F.2d 619, 623 (1968) (Emphasis added).

(This entire case can be found in the Resources section of this site. Here is a link: http://www.pebforum.com/resources/beckham-v-united-states.97/ )

If you are thinking to fight for fitness, I would consider all of your options very carefully. I don't know if you have a good case for a return to duty finding or not. Also, given your years of service, you may want to carefully consider taking as much time as possible throughout the process and retain qualified counsel. The differences in outcomes could be huge.
 

chaplaincharlie

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I think the NMA letter you command will send can help keep you in. Obviously if your are hard broke, no letter will help. In borderline case the NMA letter has greater effect. Get with command the minute you are notified of an MEB!
 

Keshia lynette

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Registered Member
Thann you for the reply. Very informative! This definitely explains my options. Im not sure if i do not meet the retention standards but i will definitely find out. Any advice on how to make sure my conditions are documented propely in case the MEB doesnt go in my favor? I want to prepare for the worse. Again i have feet, leg, and back pain.
 

Keshia lynette

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Here is the thread comment from July 2018 for your reference.

Cross training would not and is not allowed once you are referred into the disability evaluation system. (In order to cross train, you need to meet retention standards, plus any additional service requirements for doing so; this is more flexible in the reserve components, but, overall, if this is the "defense," it should be undertaken well before you are formally identified as not meeting retention standards).

Moreover, the military cannot move you from job to job to find a place where you would be fit. Once you fail to meet retention standards (in the Air Force, these are the standards spelled out in the Medical Standards Directory), you must be processed for an MEB and PEB.

There is long-standing case law that spells this out:

"This means that an officer must be able to perform any assigned duty which the normal, healthy officer can perform, although he need not be able to perform under extraordinary conditions. See, Harris v. United States, 177 Ct. Cl. 538 (1966). "The Naval standards * * * require * * * that he [Naval officer] be physically capable of performing those [duties] which he would normally be called upon to perform in such manner 'as to reasonably fulfill the purposes of his employment'". Id. at 552. In other words, the Navy cannot shift an officer from assignment to assignment until a job is located that is not affected by the officer's physical disability."

Beckham v. United States, 183 Ct. Cl. 628, 637, 392 F.2d 619, 623 (1968) (Emphasis added).

(This entire case can be found in the Resources section of this site. Here is a link: http://www.pebforum.com/resources/beckham-v-united-states.97/ )

If you are thinking to fight for fitness, I would consider all of your options very carefully. I don't know if you have a good case for a return to duty finding or not. Also, given your years of service, you may want to carefully consider taking as much time as possible throughout the process and retain qualified counsel. The differences in outcomes could be huge.
Thank you for the thread, i read it very carefully and it breaks down everything. I think retrain will not be an option.
 

Warrior644

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@Keshia lynette,

Welcome to the PEB Forum! :)

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
 

Keshia lynette

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Update:
Commanders Impact statment Turned in on 9 August sent to up.
21 August I got notified to do a full MEB. It was quick i was expecting to be notified in 4-8 weeks but apparently the MEB are going fast. Any advice for someone who is going through a MEB for chronic back pain, leg, feet and Bilateral fasciitis. I PEBLO was honest and let me know that people with chronic pain come back with little rating.
 

Rjohnson87

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Firstly what is the main issue that you are being sent up for an MEB? Typically only one issue will be your MEB contention, and the rest will be for VA compensation. For instance I am being MEBd for my knee pain, but also have issues with my ankles, opposite knee, and right hip because of my main knee issues. But my main knee is what determined full MEB and ultimately being medically retired.
 
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