Chance of retirement from ABCMR


PEB Forum Regular Member
Hello fellow vets and forum members. I'm looking for opinions from others who are more familiar with the ABCMR and it's process of requesting a medical separation upgraded to a retirement.
In 2010 I started the medical board process for a back injury. I initially injured it 2004 and after returning from Iraq in 2009 I reinjured it. I had my exam at Fort Knox in March 2011. Since I was AGR and had a great civilian job opportunity, I resigned and left active status effective 10 July 2011.
After about a month after my active discharge date, in August 2011, I started visiting the local VA for what ended up being diagnosed as depression from the chronic pain of my back. I also applied for VA disability the same time frame. I believe I was in the legacy process and not IDES as nothing was ever done in connection with the VA from my MEB.
In November 2011, still in reserve status and awaiting the results of my medical board, I had my C&P exam from the VA for my back. The next month, December 2011, I received my MEB/PEB results from my PEBLO. I was rated at 10% for my back. Since I didn't know anything else about the condition of my back at the time, I accepted the severance.
It took until March 2012 to get everything finalized and I was medically discharged effective March 11, 2012. A few months later I had my mental health C&P exam for the VA.
Fast forward over a year to June 2013. The VA comes back with all their disability results. I was awarded 40% for my back (based on the VASRD I must have had under 30° or less ROM), 30% for depression, and 20% for left leg radiculopathy for overall 70% effective July 11, 2011.
After recently discovering the ABCMR process, I started reading a lot of posts on here. The biggest thing I have noticed is many people state my MEB/PEB is supposed to be for the level I'm at on date of separation.....I'm paraphrasing a little, but that is the general idea. So, based on the results from my VA exam in November 2011, it shows I was worse than I was at my DOD exam.
The important pieces to sum up are: I had a VA back exam that rated me at 40%, 3 months BEFORE I was medically discharged at 10% from a DOD exam, which was 8 months BEFORE my VA one. Both were for the exact same injury/diagnosis. In the opinions of others on here, if I submit the VA back exam results as evidence, do I have a good chance of the board accepting it and using it to upgrade me to retirement?


PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
The BCMR looks for undisputable evidence that you were not given due process during your PEB. If the Army did everything it was supposed to due in regards to following the medical process required by the VASRD, than the BCMR is more than likely not going to change anything. Another issue you will have is the fact that you waived your right to appeal the PEB decision. The BCMR has a high standard when it comes to ruling against a prior conducted board. If you hire an attorney experienced in dealing with the BCMR, your chances will be bettered. Good luck moving forward.


PEB Forum Regular Member
So, I was able to get a copy of my VA exam done on November 1, 2011. Surprisingly, the Cleveland VA mailed it out in one day after I faxed in my request. It states the highest forward flexion ROM was 30%. I have been in contact with the NVLSP and sent the exam results to them as well. When they get other documents they requested with my ROI, I'm hoping these results will be enough evidence to prove my condition at time of separation.
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