DoD/VA Pilot Program Expansion

Jason Perry

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This info was forwarded to me recently. It describes the expansion of the DoD/VA Pilot Program. It looks like this is the "future" of the Military Physical Disability Evaluation System.


The MHS Senior Oversight Committee recently met and determined that the Disability Evaluation System (DES) pilot project should be expanded to include your facilities.

The facilities and their target stand-up dates are:

Air Force
Nellis AFB 30 Nov 08
Vance AFB 28 Feb 09
MacDill AFB 31 Mar 09
Elmendorf AFB 30 Apr 09
Travis AFB 31 May 09


Army
Ft Meade/Belvoir 30Sep08
Ft Stewart 31Jan09
Ft Polk 28Feb09
Ft Richardson 31Mar08
Ft Drum 30Apr09
Ft Carson 31May09

Navy
San Diego (Camp Pendleton) 31Oct08
Seattle (Bremerton Navy) 31OctO8
Jacksonville Navy 28Feb09
 

builtgypsy

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There are some big bases in that list. I believe the overall consensus is while the program is still going through its growing pains, it's still showing more promise than the one that's in place now, right?
 

jim1960

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I think this is a great step forward for the future. It is too bad that so many are getting the short end of the stick under the current system while some are getting the benefits of the new system.
 

californiasurfboy

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I am surprised. I thought Fort Sam Houston and Fort Lewis who have PEB locations and are a big source of OIF/OEF patients would be locations participating as well but I do not see them on the list..... did they already begin the program or are they in the process of implementing it right now?

I am glad the military is expanding this program though. Somedays I feel bad knowing I am experiencing something newer or improved while other guys are still having to go through the older system. Its like eating a steak dinner while a homeless man is watching you through the restaurant window. It kind of kills the appetite and enjoyment of the meal.... =/
 

Jason Perry

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Neither posts are implementing the DoD/VA Pilot Program. I don't know if there is a rhyme or reason to how they are selecting posts/bases to participate, but in the Army, the geographic location of the posts match up with cases now going to each PEB (before it was only at Walter Reed PEB). So, they may be pushing the program out to each PEB as part of the reasoning.

Overall, I think the Pilot Program is a good thing for members from a ratings point of view. The stats show that a majority of members referred to the program are ultimately retired. But I do have some problems with the program, namely that there is no ability to raise rating issues at the formal hearing. Given that the law states members are entitled to a "full and fair hearing" prior to separation for military disability, I think it is illegal to not afford an opportunity to argue these issues at the formal PEB. But as far as results, the program seems to be a step forward.

I also think there are many unexplored issues with the Pilot Program. A huge one is that I believe that the Pilot Program has created jurisdiction in the BVA and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims for military disability cases processed through the program. I also think that this triggers the VA's Duty to Assist- which is a huge benefit to members. But these issues have not yet been addressed on appeal, so we don't know the exact contours of the law yet.

I understand what you are saying about having mixed feelings being given this "improved system" while others are not. I would say that you should not feel bad about getting a fair(er) shake. You are getting a process that is closer to what I believe the law requires. Hopefully, one day we will get to a point where the system works for everyone the way it should.
 

RikersIsland1

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Well, looking over the forts whose soldiers are going through an MEB, this is what I found.

Mead/Belvior 19/36
Stewart 107
Polk 186
Richardson 61
Drum 398
Carson 403

On this list Carson and Drum have the biggest MEB population. But

Hood 905
BAMC 313
Bragg 395

So I don't know how they decided on the list.
 

jim1960

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californiasurfboy

You should not feel bad at all about it. You are getting what is fair and what should be offered to all.

Jason

I sure understand what you are saying it seems normal for the military give with one hand (in the open) and take with the other (behind the back of everyone that is not paying close attention)
 
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