BCMR (Air Force), help!

robert5082

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I want to do a BCMR claim to change my narrative reason for separation (as listed on my DD214). Currently it says “Disability, existed prior to service, PEB”. From my research it should have been 30% military retirement, which would make me (and wife + child) Tricare eligible.

Statement of facts:
  1. Childhood asthma, one admission at age 5, symptoms ceased around age 11.
  2. Enlisted Feb 2009 when I was 21’ish years old, listed Asthma at recruiter and MEPS (its on my paperwork).
  3. MEB/PEB initiated around April 2010 due to shortness of breath during PT.
  4. PEB came back and I was young and stupidly signed it without appealing (1.8ish years served total).
  5. PEB recommended separation and said that asthma was EPTS and was not aggravated by military service (followed natural progression).
  6. Did the VA Benefits Delivery Before Discharge, was awarded 30% for asthma based off service aggravation and the daily medication.
  7. Discharged 10/28/2010 (no DoD% or severance pay) and on 10/29/10 my VA rating went into effect.

I have all my military medical records, personnel file and my MEB/PEB file (including emails from AFPC). The MEB/PEB gave no clear and unmistakable evidence (factual) to sustain their assumption/opinion/speculation/conjecture that my asthma was not aggravated by service (National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, page 8). Asthma is a tricky disease and presents differently for each individual, so not sure where there "natural progression" came from.

I will be honest, I want to know what my chances are. 10%, 50%, 90% ect. If anyone wants more info please let me know.

Robert Johnsen
 

chaplaincharlie

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Your asthma resulted in an MEB within 14 months of enlistment. I assume it manifested before the MEB was commenced. How long after enlistment did your symptoms start? What happened in those 14 months between enlistment and MEB commencing to aggravated your asthma?
 

robert5082

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When I joined I was out of shape (that is an understatement). I noticed some troubles breathing in basic and AIT but figured it was due to going from very little exercise to a ton of exercise. So I never said or did anything about it. At Nellis AFB I started to notice a little more trouble but still didn't say anything. When I got to Hill AFB in Utah it got worse and I eventually mentioned it to a doctor I worked with (I worked in the medical group). Then an MEB started.

As for what aggravated my Asthma I am honestly not sure what did. Inhaling tear gas was probably not a good thing, I assume some of those old buildings had asbestos which also would not have been a good thing. Not sure what evidence the VA used to say that it was aggravated by service. My main thought was that since I didn't have any signs/symptoms since age 11'ish and then only experienced Asthma again during and after military service it must have been from that.
 

RonG

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[Selected excerpt]

As for what aggravated my Asthma I am honestly not sure what did. Inhaling tear gas was probably not a good thing, I assume some of those old buildings had asbestos which also would not have been a good thing. Not sure what evidence the VA used to say that it was aggravated by service. My main thought was that since I didn't have any signs/symptoms since age 11'ish and then only experienced Asthma again during and after military service it must have been from that.
I am not suggesting you do not have a valid claim, but asthma is generally a lifelong condition and may become inactive (dormant) for many years. Children often "outgrow" their asthma only to have it return during adult years.

Ron
(My combined ratings include 10% for asthma; adult onset.)
 

chaplaincharlie

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It sounds like exercise induced (vice made worse) preexisting asthma starting in basic training. Getting a change from the BCMR sounds like a long shot.
 

robert5082

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Good morning,

Thank you so much for the response, I was on the fence about filing a BCMR claim. In the back of my mind I knew it was probably a long shot.
 

chaplaincharlie

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Good morning Robert,

Sorry to be the bearer of discouraging news. You can still file, just think that you should not get your hopes up.
 

oddpedestrian

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I agree with Charlie so many people put weight on a VA decision not knowing the VA has the last call with EPTS, OTH, among other adverse actions in favor of the vet for benefits. I must add that the VA is often very liberal in granting claims and benefits to Veterans with questionable or adverse characterizations the DoD is quite the opposite.
 

NoleNation

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Doesn't hurt to apply. But make sure you don't wait any longer because there is a three-year time period to apply unless you can show "good cause." You may wish to consult an attorney.

Personally, I successfully applied to the AFBCMR based on a VA disability decision but the Board looked at not only the VA decision but also my military treatment records. My case is, of course, different from yours. But what do you have to lose applying?
 

Ed2w1

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Is there a possibility that the AFBCMR will look at cases past 3 years?
 
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