Extending MEB timeline to get to 20

dedwa26466

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Registered Member
Hello, I've been reading several posts on this forum and would like to know does anyone have tips on extending the IDES process? I am on AD in the Air Force and have 18 years 7 months of service. I used to think I would be doing this for another 10 years now I am praying I can get to 20. I was told the average timeframe is 8 months to include any appeals process during my initial discussion with my PEBLO. I didn't realize the rate of return to duty was less than 5% until recently, so when I found out about the pending iRILO last fall after being placed on profile for chronic migraines and a few other conditions I called and pushed to be assigned a PEBLO thinking I could get the process over with and the no TDY and no PCS restrictions lifted. I never thought my CC who only has ADCON would go against the recommendation of my OPCON leadership and recommend "do not retain" when I have won numerous awards and was competitively selected for promotion to O-5 recently. I am sure eventually this would have been inevitable, but had I known I would be pushed for a full MEB with less than 2 years to be eligible for regular retirement I would not have been so eager to get things rolling.

In Dec my package went to AFPC and I found out in early Feb a full MEB was directed. Since then I have met with my VA MSC to file claim. This occurred a couple weeks ago.

Now I am waiting for my medical appointments and I'm very nervous as I'm not sure the remainder of the IDES process will buy me the 17 months needed to get my full retirement benefits and CDRP if not returned to duty.

Would appreciate any advice on way forward and what to expect at VA exams etc.
 

Mike2686

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
I don't really have any advice regarding the timeline. From everything I have seen, the timeline has increased dramatically over the last 2 or so years.

The average used to be 270 days (9 months) from start to finish. From the timelines I have seen recently it looks to be 120-150 days.

So stretching it out 17 months seems out of the question, I'm no expert and maybe someone more qualified can help.

In reference to the VA exams, they are pretty cut and dry. Your PEBLO will work with you on them, but once scheduled, it's best not to miss them. All of mine were done within 30 days once the scheduling started.

I had to go in 2 times.

1. For all exams on the basics. Hearing, mental, physical etc..

2. Sleep study

It really just depends on your claims. List everything though. Turn in all supporting documents and it should be good. The doctors will kind of reevaluate you, ask you questions, and discuss certain things with you while still somehow leaving much to be desired. You won't know their opinion or the overall outcome until you get your findings.
 

Orange Sky

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Easily doable. I did mine by maxing out each review period then filing to SECAF. I also requested a formal board as well. I got over 20 by 2 months.
 

Tech

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Hello, I've been reading several posts on this forum and would like to know does anyone have tips on extending the IDES process? I am on AD in the Air Force and have 18 years 7 months of service. I used to think I would be doing this for another 10 years now I am praying I can get to 20. I was told the average timeframe is 8 months to include any appeals process during my initial discussion with my PEBLO. I didn't realize the rate of return to duty was less than 5% until recently, so when I found out about the pending iRILO last fall after being placed on profile for chronic migraines and a few other conditions I called and pushed to be assigned a PEBLO thinking I could get the process over with and the no TDY and no PCS restrictions lifted. I never thought my CC who only has ADCON would go against the recommendation of my OPCON leadership and recommend "do not retain" when I have won numerous awards and was competitively selected for promotion to O-5 recently. I am sure eventually this would have been inevitable, but had I known I would be pushed for a full MEB with less than 2 years to be eligible for regular retirement I would not have been so eager to get things rolling.

In Dec my package went to AFPC and I found out in early Feb a full MEB was directed. Since then I have met with my VA MSC to file claim. This occurred a couple weeks ago.

Now I am waiting for my medical appointments and I'm very nervous as I'm not sure the remainder of the IDES process will buy me the 17 months needed to get my full retirement benefits and CDRP if not returned to duty.

Would appreciate any advice on way forward and what to expect at VA exams etc.

With all formal appeals, it'll surely buy you more than 20 months.

As for the VA exams, go in fully prepared because those providers usually do not go through all your medical records that the VA sends them before your appointments. Most of the questions they'll ask you will be from the questionnaire so ensure to go through each of them before every appointment. DO NOT FORGET to bring all the medications (as well as all medical equipment and machines) you are currently using for all the conditions you are claiming so that the provider can see them and document them appropriately.

Good luck. I'm sure everything will work in your favor.
 

dedwa26466

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Easily doable. I did mine by maxing out each review period then filing to SECAF. I also requested a formal board as well. I got over 20 by 2 months.
Thank you for providing some hope. I'm praying I can. I will definitely take the maximum number of days allowed for each step and request the impartial medical review, do rebuttal etc. If you don't mind me asking when did you start your process and when did you finally get through the process and retire?
 

dedwa26466

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
With all formal appeals, it'll surely buy you more than 20 months.

As for the VA exams, go in fully prepared because those providers usually do not go through all your medical records that the VA sends them before your appointments. Most of the questions they'll ask you will be from the questionnaire so ensure to go through each of them before every appointment. DO NOT FORGET to bring all the medications (as well as all medical equipment and machines) you are currently using for all the conditions you are claiming so that the provider can see them and document them appropriately.

Good luck. I'm sure everything will work in your favor.
First thank you for your response and words of encouragement.

As for the VA appointments I wasn't told I needed to take my CPAP and all meds so thank you for sharing that information. Maybe I would have received it once my appointments are booked.

As for the timeline, I hope you're right. Some of the posts online seem to have consolidated timelines between each step and others are much more spread apart so it's been hard to gage where I'll fall. I am just hoping by the Grace of God things will work out in my favor. I've had a couple people I knew personally go through an MEB and their experiences were so stressful that by the end they were bitter and full of resentment.

Honestly, I just don't want to get that way. I loved being in the military and I have made many sacrifices as all military members do. I just don't want to loose what I worked so hard for now that I am no longer able to perform the full fitness assessment. I thought that by my doctor stating I could still run 100 yards and lift 40 lbs I met the AF medical standards to deploy and would be okay. But my commander said since my pain and back issues are chronic, I have at least 6 to 8 appointments each month for pain management and physical therapy he felt it was best because I am loosing time at work.

What he didn't give me credit for is that I make up that time my coming back to the office and working late or taking my laptop home and doing work late into the night several nights a month to make up for any lost time at work. It's just a tough pill to swallow and hard to face the reality that my military career may be over soon. Just trying to remain optimistic that I will be okay no matter what the future holds and at least have a retirement certificate that said I served 20 years.
 

dedwa26466

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
I don't really have any advice regarding the timeline. From everything I have seen, the timeline has increased dramatically over the last 2 or so years.

The average used to be 270 days (9 months) from start to finish. From the timelines I have seen recently it looks to be 120-150 days.

So stretching it out 17 months seems out of the question, I'm no expert and maybe someone more qualified can help.

In reference to the VA exams, they are pretty cut and dry. Your PEBLO will work with you on them, but once scheduled, it's best not to miss them. All of mine were done within 30 days once the scheduling started.

I had to go in 2 times.

1. For all exams on the basics. Hearing, mental, physical etc..

2. Sleep study

It really just depends on your claims. List everything though. Turn in all supporting documents and it should be good. The doctors will kind of reevaluate you, ask you questions, and discuss certain things with you while still somehow leaving much to be desired. You won't know their opinion or the overall outcome until you get your findings.
Thanks for the information even though I hope you're wrong about me not getting to 20. Will certainly keep the forum posted as things progress.
 

tony292

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
There are many ways to stretch it out. How many days terminal leave will you have? Stop taking leave and save the rest.

Also 7 levels of appeals. Guess how much time you get to simply sign paperwork between each? Tens days. So if you appeal at every level, tack on another 70 days.

Appeals are

Narsum rebuttal
IMR (independent medical review).
MEB
IPEB
FPEB
VARR
Disability agency appeal

Also if your case goes through the holidays, it will
Slow down to a crawl as everyone is on leave/vacation.

Mine took 14 months.

Also may help (not sure about AF) is to as early as possible request a regular retirement.

If all else fails, near the end file a congressional to take up some more time.
 

dedwa26466

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
There are many ways to stretch it out. How many days terminal leave will you have? Stop taking leave and save the rest.

Also 7 levels of appeals. Guess how much time you get to simply sign paperwork between each? Tens days. So if you appeal at every level, tack on another 70 days.

Appeals are

Narsum rebuttal
IMR (independent medical review).
MEB
IPEB
FPEB
VARR
Disability agency appeal

Also if your case goes through the holidays, it will
Slow down to a crawl as everyone is on leave/vacation.

Mine took 14 months.

Also may help (not sure about AF) is to as early as possible request a regular retirement.

If all else fails, near the end file a congressional to take up some more time.
Thanks Tony292. I am definitely trying to not take any leave now that I'm undergoing an MEB with the exception of any use or lose I have, and I am trying to wait and take in September.

I am also hoping they will allow me my 20 days permissive days and I'm going to work on getting close to 70-80 days of regular leave if nothing urgent comes up. Guess I have to plan for the worse case scenario but hope I am in the less than five percent. I know it's unrealistic because I've had so many specialty appointments and I'm being boarded for chronic migraines, fibromyalgia, cervicalgia and lower back pain as my unfitting conditions.

As far as the appeals, I will definitely take your recommendation as that's what a few people has told me should help elongate the process. Hoping it does go through the holidays to buy me some extra time. I will just have to wait and see. It's hard to not get preoccupied with what I'm going through because of the huge impact the outcome can potentially have on my family and my life. I just pray to keep my sanity when it's all over. It is so stressful and makes e so anxious at times.

As for pushing the button, unfortunstely once the MEB process has started I believe you're no longer eligible to apply for regular retirement per AFI unless returned to duty is decided. I just don't see that happening when I see people with only one chronic problem getting a decision of unfit. I have potentially 4 that have plagued me for a while. So I can't.

I would like to know more about filing a congressional if you or anyone else has info on how that works and when would I be able to actually file one if necessary. The Office of Airman's Counsel won't even speak with me to offer advice until there's been a disposition of my case by the IPEB. So I feel like I'm on my own. I would really like to know what they would recommend based on my case, but I won't have access to legal advice until IPEB concludes. Thankful there is a forum like this so I can at least ask people that have been or are going through the process advice on what to expect and how to handle everything.

Thanks again!
 

Camp P Marine

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Along with the previously mentioned, C&P exams could be rescheduled (due to a clinic staffing issue, happened to me); reschedule as late as possible.

You mentioned having OSA, so if you don't submit the sleep study I believe the contractor will have to set one up for you, (more delay, scheduling). When all the exams are not yet back, the VA will not be able to rate your claim.

Each time paperwork is due take the max time, typically 10 days, late afternoon.
From start of MEB to my EAS, was 16 months. I stalled at every stage, but I did not appeal the FPEB findings.

See if TERA is an option if found unfit and you cannot make 20, as CRDP is available to TERA retirees, but not Medical, Chapter 61 under 20 years.
 

dedwa26466

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Along with the previously mentioned, C&P exams could be rescheduled (due to a clinic staffing issue, happened to me); reschedule as late as possible.

You mentioned having OSA, so if you don't submit the sleep study I believe the contractor will have to set one up for you, (more delay, scheduling). When all the exams are not yet back, the VA will not be able to rate your claim.

Each time paperwork is due take the max time, typically 10 days, late afternoon.
From start of MEB to my EAS, was 16 months. I stalled at every stage, but I did not appeal the FPEB findings.

See if TERA is an option if found unfit and you cannot make 20, as CRDP is available to TERA retirees, but not Medical, Chapter 61 under 20 years.
Congrats and thank you for the advice. I'm definitely going to take the maximum time for each appeal or response required and I'm hoping that I'll end up having several appointments spread out and a few other delays if I'm lucky. The process is stressful but if it's necessary that I move at a pace for responses and drag it out in order to save my career and get to 20 I will. 17 months seems so long though and being that I'm already in the claim filed by MSC waiting for C&P exam dates phase just hope I can last. Thankful there are people to connect with when I have questions.
 

Mike2686

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Thanks for the information even though I hope you're wrong about me not getting to 20. Will certainly keep the forum posted as things progress.
Lol no problem. Like I said, I have no experience with trying to extend myself and I haven't kept up with enough timelines for those that have lengthened their timelines. I am glad people with actual experience were able to chime in and offer their input!

Wish you the best!
 

lowriderdog37

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
I made an inquiry through AFPC about a month ago and they were saying that there is no current TERA option. Is there a different route when going through a MEB?
 

Camp P Marine

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I know this is for USMC, but the change is as of 03/05/2019, for TERA guidance up to the branch. The guidance is given here.

MARINE CORPS TEMPORARY EARLY RETIREMENT AUTHORITY PROGRAM > The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website > Marines.mil - MARADMINS

"2.a. TERA in conjunction with waiving Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) findings. Marines being considered for disability separation or retirement must complete the PEB process with a finding of “unfit”, have more than 15 but less than 20 years active service, and be willing to waive the PEB findings in order to apply for TERA. Marines approved for early retirement in these cases must have a retirement date that occurs within the timeframe that a disability separation or retirement is expected to occur. Marines disapproved for TERA in conjunction with PEB findings will be required to execute their disability separation as directed by the PEB. "
 

Pavetim

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PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
What does terminal leave have to do with timeline, how does that fit in? If you file a congressional does that hold off more time? Where is this 10 days coming from do you have an AFI reference, my peblo has been giving me 3 days for everything and i got 7 to approve or disapprove myy IPEB confined. I asked PEBLO about the 10 days and they said that's not true.
 

Maddog123

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
I don’t know about the AF, but the Army is 5 days to submit. And after closer review of the regulation, it states the findings will be final on the 5th day...so it’s really 4 days to submit. However you can request an extension in order to talk with your civilian lawyer. I have seen extensions for 7-10 additional days
 

ginovega

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
There are many ways to stretch it out. How many days terminal leave will you have? Stop taking leave and save the rest.

Also 7 levels of appeals. Guess how much time you get to simply sign paperwork between each? Tens days. So if you appeal at every level, tack on another 70 days.

Appeals are

Narsum rebuttal
IMR (independent medical review).
MEB
IPEB
FPEB
VARR
Disability agency appeal

Also if your case goes through the holidays, it will
Slow down to a crawl as everyone is on leave/vacation.

Mine took 14 months.

Also may help (not sure about AF) is to as early as possible request a regular retirement.

If all else fails, near the end file a congressional to take up some more time.

Mine Med Board began on 9/13/2018, So 11 months so far, I have done every appeal, now I just submitted my COAD 25 July 19, hoping it gets approved. I was told minimum processing time for COAD is 30 days...

However, I have not heard the Congressional option? Could some one elaborate on that?
 

eerf123

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
What does terminal leave have to do with timeline, how does that fit in? If you file a congressional does that hold off more time? Where is this 10 days coming from do you have an AFI reference, my peblo has been giving me 3 days for everything and i got 7 to approve or disapprove myy IPEB confined. I asked PEBLO about the 10 days and they said that's not true.
Regarding terminal, It’s my understanding that you cannot be forced to sell your leave. So if you have 60 days of leave on the books that gets added to your 20 days permissive plus 10 days out processing. So basically this adds 90 days to your timeline after all appeals have been exhausted and they are determining your actual retirement date.
 

Pavetim

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PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
eerf123 so say my eligible retire date is june 1, 2020. I have spoken with AFPC about leave and they claim their is no limit, just depends on what my CC approves so lets just say I take 60 days terminal and 20 days for tdy, lets just round up to 90 days. so say they medically retire me before my 20 years with a date of April 1, 2020. Now how would that terminal leave be taken into account ? So really I would just need to be able to make it till March 10, 2020 cause my 80 days would put me at june 1, 2020.
 

mixed.soulja79

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
eerf123 so say my eligible retire date is june 1, 2020. I have spoken with AFPC about leave and they claim their is no limit, just depends on what my CC approves so lets just say I take 60 days terminal and 20 days for tdy, lets just round up to 90 days. so say they medically retire me before my 20 years with a date of April 1, 2020. Now how would that terminal leave be taken into account ? So really I would just need to be able to make it till March 10, 2020 cause my 80 days would put me at june 1, 2020.
Just remember, the 20 days of PTDY is a privilege and not a right, or guaranteed. It’s up to command discretion.
 
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