Automatic Separation when Medically Exempted from 2+ Fitness Components?

colorado11k

PEB Forum Regular Member
Question: A buddy of mine (also facing an MEB) was told that being permanently exempted from 2+ components of the new Fitness Assessment for medical reasons is now an automatic medical separation or medical retirement. Is this right? Is there an AFI or other written guidance that supports this?

Background: I've been exempt (consecutive profiles) from sit-ups & running for 7 years due to degenerative spine issues, which I've learned to cope with, and which does not affect my daily job (in part, because I haven't had to run or do sit-ups, which exacerbates my back). Even when I asked my past providers directly, they have insisted that I'm not at risk for an MEB, because I can still exercise (elliptical, stationary bike, weights, etc.) and do my job. Now, I'm suddenly facing an MEB because my new provider at my new base noted that I've been on profiles for the same issue for over 365 days.
 

focuz

PEB Forum Regular Member
Unfortunately yes its true they consider having to do the walk an exemption. I am in the same boat.
 

jason5201

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There is no automatic separation for exemptions but a MEB will be considered. The new AFI is in effect and it states it very clear. 14. Airmen who have been exempted from 1 or more of the 4 components of the fitness test for a continuous 12-month period or have 4 component exemptions in a 24-month period will be reviewed by the UFPM. The UPFM will notify the Unit Commander, who will in-turn request the exercise physiologist/Wing FPM to review the case at the Deployment Availability Working Group (DAWG). The DAWG will ensure appropriate medical evaluation has been completed, decide whether or not a medical evaluation board (MEB) is required, and refer the case to the individual’s primary care manager for MEB initiation or for additional medical work-up when necessary. This guidance supplements guidelines established in AFI 36-2905 (dated 1 July 10), para 4.2.

http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/shared/media/epubs/AFI36-2905_AFGM2.pdf
 

Jeep Freak

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PEB Forum Veteran
colorado 11k asked for an AFI or other guidance, do you know? I'm being told differently. My profile exempts me from eveything except the waist measurement (I'm failing) and I was told that I would be able to stay AD. I am see a lot of thing where I'm being mislead, hopefully from ignorance by the MEB. If you can, I will try to find out tuesday if you can't.
Thanks
 

Soldiernurse

PEB Forum Regular Member
What is your Profile, i. e. Temp changed to Permanent after 12 months? Also, it is my understanding a Perm 2 is deployable, thus MEB not required. The key is deployable or nondeployable. A Perm 3 or 4 is nondeployable, thus requires MEB referral.

I'm no subject matter expert here. Just speaking on what I understand & have experienced. Jason would be the SME.
 

colorado11k

PEB Forum Regular Member
Soldiernurse: My profiles have always been 12-month temp profiles (written back-to-back since 2003), and all retained my worldwide qualification. My new provider's only reason for initiating an MEB was that the cumulative time of my profiles exceeded 365 days. My understanding is that a permanent profile can only be written after a MEB. I think I would be returned to duty, as I am quite functional, but a mandatory separation/retirement due to a 2+ fitness component exemption issue would snag me. I know from experience that running and sit-ups are a no-go.
 

Soldiernurse

PEB Forum Regular Member
True, a Perm Profile is considered a 'Draft' until the MEB/PEB process is completed. I'm surprised you were able to go past 12 months with Temp Profiles. Have you read a reg stating Run & Sit-up exemption results in Med Sep?
 

colorado11k

PEB Forum Regular Member
Soldiernurse: I have not read such a reg. That is exactly my original/opening question. Does such an AFI or other guidance exist...
 

Jason Perry

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Question: A buddy of mine (also facing an MEB) was told that being permanently exempted from 2+ components of the new Fitness Assessment for medical reasons is now an automatic medical separation or medical retirement. Is this right? Is there an AFI or other written guidance that supports this?

Background: I've been exempt (consecutive profiles) from sit-ups & running for 7 years due to degenerative spine issues, which I've learned to cope with, and which does not affect my daily job (in part, because I haven't had to run or do sit-ups, which exacerbates my back). Even when I asked my past providers directly, they have insisted that I'm not at risk for an MEB, because I can still exercise (elliptical, stationary bike, weights, etc.) and do my job. Now, I'm suddenly facing an MEB because my new provider at my new base noted that I've been on profiles for the same issue for over 365 days.
As to the question, no, there is no "automatic" condition for separation or retirement. That decision is based on unfitness....and there is no "bright-line" condition that equates to unfitness. See AFI 36-3212.

However, you talked about your own condition and facing an MEB. Those standards are in a different regulation (AFI 48-123).
 

jason5201

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PEB Forum Veteran
There is no automatic separation but the new AFI date December 2010 states 14. Airmen who have been exempted from 1 or more of the 4 components of the fitness test for a continuous 12-month period or have 4 component exemptions in a 24-month period will be reviewed by the UFPM. The UPFM will notify the Unit Commander, who will in-turn request the exercise physiologist/Wing FPM to review the case at the Deployment Availability Working Group (DAWG). The DAWG will ensure appropriate medical evaluation has been completed, decide whether or not a medical evaluation board (MEB) is required, and refer the case to the individual’s primary care manager for MEB initiation or for additional medical work-up when necessary. This guidance supplements guidelines established in AFI 36-2905 (dated 1 July 10), para 4.2.
 

Djgrafitti

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Registered Member
I've been exempt from running and situps for 4 years now and my PCM said there is no excuse to not pass a PT test within a year of your double hernia surgery. My case is heading to the DAWG but it sounds like my PCM will just say no to the MEB process and I will be admin seperated for physical fitness.
 

Jason Perry

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I've been exempt from running and situps for 4 years now and my PCM said there is no excuse to not pass a PT test within a year of your double hernia surgery. My case is heading to the DAWG but it sounds like my PCM will just say no to the MEB process and I will be admin seperated for physical fitness.
Then I would argue you need to be referred to MEB despite what the PCM says/thinks. You may have to fight this later (if you never get an MEB/PEB, this would have to be through the BCMR). Let's hope they do the right thing, but if they do not, you can fight.
 

CrackedBack

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Hi all...new to this MEB business but wanted to throw out that I am a 22 year AD Capt (13 Prior enlisted) and have had back/neck problems for several years. I've been exempt from running/sit-ups/push-ups for about 4 years. I had an artificial disc replacement surgery and currently have 7 documented (MRI) herniated discs throughout my back (my enlisted time was spent as a Heavy Equipment Operator). I pass the PT test via walking, waist measurement and height and weight. At my last Dr's appt (2 weeks ago), PCM wanted to initiate an MEB based on my continued pain and PT exemptions.

I'm still in a lot of pain but can manage my work load and suffer through the PT Test. She didn't quote any regs but mentioned that based on consecutive exemptions, I'd be required to go through the MEB. I'm in hopes that it is a painless process but after reading thorugh some of the forums, my hopes are dwindling.

I'm scheduled for a ROM measurement on 30 Nov. Any insight is appreciated...bend till I drop vs. bend till I feel pain?

Good Luck to all...given our current budget situation, who knows what to expect???
 

dkokoszka

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PEB Forum Veteran
First of all you need to ask yourself do I want to stay in or get out.

The MEB/PEB can be a long process.

You stated you have 22 years of AD, so you have nothing to lose by going thru the MEB/PEB Process.

22 years puts you at 55% lenght of service retirement.

It mght be hard to get a disability rating higher than 55% just for your back condition unless you have "other" medical issues.

All medical issues should be brought to the attention of the MEB/PEB.

You will NOT lose your lenght of service retirment if you geta disability rating lower than 55%.

You would be entitled to CRDP since you are over 20 years of active service.

If you want to get out, then it would benefit you to have limited range of motion.

Range of Motion is done using a Goniometer, they will take each measurement 3 times.

So, the lower you range of motion is the higher your disability % will be for your back condition.
 

CrackedBack

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First of all you need to ask yourself do I want to stay in or get out.

It mght be hard to get a disability rating higher than 55% just for your back condition unless you have "other" medical issues.

All medical issues should be brought to the attention of the MEB/PEB.
Thanks for the info...yes, I have other medical conditions that could drive up my percentage...however, I'm in hopes to continue with the AF.

I'm weighing the pros and cons as I have had a good career and enjoy my job, but after several trips to the "stans" I don't know how much more my body can handle. Pain meds are a routine part of my diet, not sleeping much, and my recent neck surgery has left me with limited ROM in all directions.

One other thing I'm a tad confused about is the difference between military percentages vice VA percentages??? Who wins? IF I'm rated at 30% by the AF and say 70% by the VA...what is the bottom line? I don't have a clue as what the actuals will be...just throwing out numbers. If found "un-fit," which percentage will I be assigned?

Thanks again...
CrackedBack
 

CrackedBack

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On another note...don't want to change the flavor of the "original" forum...if any of you know of a different discussion group to jump in I'd appreciate it.
 

HuntingDog22

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I am going through the same problem. The only thing is my UFM is telling me that i have to take a PT Test and i am only doing waist. The issue i am having is that i am basically unable to move at all and have no way to do anything physical to keep fit. Since this will be my 3 failure due to my back issue my UFM came to me and told me that I will be an Airmen after this. There is no way my doctor will ever listen to me and put a total exemption, even though in the afi it states "rare cases". The only thing i could think of doing is talking to the ADC.
 

Jason Perry

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If they demote you, you can fight this after. Ask for a second opinion or new care provider. If your condition is keeping you from performing, you should be exempted.
 

maparker

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Crackedback,

Your Range of Motion (ROM) should document the point of pain along with how far you can bend through the pain. See the VA worksheets. The data from the applicable worksheets is required to be included in your MEB for each condition.

Index of Disability Examination Worksheets (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)

The VA rates all service connected conditions. The military rates only the ones they deem to contribute to unfitness. Therefore the VA rating is usually higher than the military rating. Your military disability benefits is tied to the military rating and your VA disability benefits is tied to your VA rating.

If you are found unfit for a condition that is deemed combat related, your military retirement will be tax free which is a significant benefit.

Mike
 

CrackedBack

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Thanks maparker...learning more every day. Long road ahead! Thanks also for the link. Met with PEBLO (un-officially) yesterday and he promised that this would be "no longer than an 8 month process." From what I've read here, I think he may be the most optomistic PEBLO in the system. We'll see.

CrackedBack
 
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