formal board on tuesday - no counsel until day before?

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#1
quick back story/timeline:

husband suffers from severe migraines alongside other things [other things are on VA list]
neurologist refers him to MEB
MEB finds him FIT 5 days after submitting all paperwork
husband and everyone/doctors disagrees, we contested it
husband was assigned to lawyer to appeal for a FPEB
lawyer has him submit NMA and new non medical evidence so he could be granted a FPEB [new command statements, a statement from me, neuro wrote statement, coworkers wrote statement]
he was then granted a FPEB for may 8th
assigned to a JAG lawyer in DC
husband lets them know he cannot attend FPEB in person due to migraines being worse when traveling [passenger and driver]
lawyer says he has every thing he needs, and will speak to us may 2 to go over things for the board
assures us we have plenty of time

okay, so there you have it. now to get to what is concerning to us. hoping someone has either gone through this as well OR at least has some insight for us:

when my husband was found FIT, he contested this finding and wanted to be granted a FPEB. they granted him the FPEB and assigned him to a lawyer. he spoke with him and he told us that he has every thing he needs, including his medical records, etc.

yesterday, my husband emails him to see if they were still planning to speak this week, since his FPEB is on tuesday of next week and he felt the time crunch was starting to hit. the lawyer called him last night and we are VERY concerned with the things he told us...

he told us that he needs new medical evidence and new non medical evidence as well for the board. here's the thing - we already submitted that to him. he is confusing us because the first time we spoke, he stated that he had all of those things [he even mentioned having read my statement addressing the board] and apparently he now doesn't have any of it. and if he does, he is now asking for more. i am not sure what else i could say that i didn't already say in my statement. i don't know what else his command could say, coworkers could say, neurologist could say......that isn't already stated in the statements they composed for the first lawyer who said she needed those things in order to try and get him granted a FPEB.

i am so lost right now, as is my husband. my husband had to walk through fire to get these statements within 10 days to even request a FPEB and now we are being told that he needs more. my husband began to get frustrated on the phone slightly and tried his hardest to let the lawyer know that he feels there is a disconnect somewhere, and he wants to make sure that the lawyer truly does need something other than what he already has - because these are the things that he has asked for.

the lawyer also asked to speak with the neurologist two weeks ago and wanted us to send that to the neurologist AND him - so my husband had to sign a HIPAA form and even reached out to the neurologist and gave him the lawyer's number. the neurologist reached out to the lawyer that same day and the lawyer is claiming he never did. the lawyer said the only thing he has from the neurologist is a statement from the very beginning of his MEB process which says WHY the neurologist feels the MEB is necessary. the lawyer then tells us that we shouldn't have sent the HIPAA form back to him after it was signed, just the neurologist - although it's plain as day in the email he sent us asking us to do just that. it just feels like the lawyer doesn't know what he wants, or he doesn't remember the things he has asked of us, even though it's right there in the email in black and white.

we are so confused right now. this entire process has caused nothing but strife, anxiety, MIGRAINES for him......it's been taxing. [woe is me, i know]

we sent the lawyer the statements again last night and asked him to please get back to us today to let us know if there was something else he needed, because we have ZERO time to do this.

any advice?
 

18c_Gunslinger

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#2
You are worrying too much. Relax. I was in your same shoes not too long ago with the EXACT same feelings. You need to understand that the attorney does this on a daily basis, so while you feel anxious because of the time crunch, that is just business as usual for the attorney. These folks know what they’re doing and they will take care of you. Moreover, the board members are not stupid. The board members will give your husband a fair shot. From my experience, the board was very non-confrontational and non adversarial. They listened to what I had to say and considered my evidence And made an appropriate determination based on your new evidence and all other factors. The only thing that you can do at this point is to try to get as much documentation as possible and to not stress. The board isn’t as bad as you think it’s going to be.
 

tellio2

Registered Member
#3
quick back story/timeline:

husband suffers from severe migraines alongside other things [other things are on VA list]
neurologist refers him to MEB
MEB finds him FIT 5 days after submitting all paperwork
husband and everyone/doctors disagrees, we contested it
husband was assigned to lawyer to appeal for a FPEB
lawyer has him submit NMA and new non medical evidence so he could be granted a FPEB [new command statements, a statement from me, neuro wrote statement, coworkers wrote statement]
he was then granted a FPEB for may 8th
assigned to a JAG lawyer in DC
husband lets them know he cannot attend FPEB in person due to migraines being worse when traveling [passenger and driver]
lawyer says he has every thing he needs, and will speak to us may 2 to go over things for the board
assures us we have plenty of time

okay, so there you have it. now to get to what is concerning to us. hoping someone has either gone through this as well OR at least has some insight for us:

when my husband was found FIT, he contested this finding and wanted to be granted a FPEB. they granted him the FPEB and assigned him to a lawyer. he spoke with him and he told us that he has every thing he needs, including his medical records, etc.

yesterday, my husband emails him to see if they were still planning to speak this week, since his FPEB is on tuesday of next week and he felt the time crunch was starting to hit. the lawyer called him last night and we are VERY concerned with the things he told us...

he told us that he needs new medical evidence and new non medical evidence as well for the board. here's the thing - we already submitted that to him. he is confusing us because the first time we spoke, he stated that he had all of those things [he even mentioned having read my statement addressing the board] and apparently he now doesn't have any of it. and if he does, he is now asking for more. i am not sure what else i could say that i didn't already say in my statement. i don't know what else his command could say, coworkers could say, neurologist could say......that isn't already stated in the statements they composed for the first lawyer who said she needed those things in order to try and get him granted a FPEB.

i am so lost right now, as is my husband. my husband had to walk through fire to get these statements within 10 days to even request a FPEB and now we are being told that he needs more. my husband began to get frustrated on the phone slightly and tried his hardest to let the lawyer know that he feels there is a disconnect somewhere, and he wants to make sure that the lawyer truly does need something other than what he already has - because these are the things that he has asked for.

the lawyer also asked to speak with the neurologist two weeks ago and wanted us to send that to the neurologist AND him - so my husband had to sign a HIPAA form and even reached out to the neurologist and gave him the lawyer's number. the neurologist reached out to the lawyer that same day and the lawyer is claiming he never did. the lawyer said the only thing he has from the neurologist is a statement from the very beginning of his MEB process which says WHY the neurologist feels the MEB is necessary. the lawyer then tells us that we shouldn't have sent the HIPAA form back to him after it was signed, just the neurologist - although it's plain as day in the email he sent us asking us to do just that. it just feels like the lawyer doesn't know what he wants, or he doesn't remember the things he has asked of us, even though it's right there in the email in black and white.

we are so confused right now. this entire process has caused nothing but strife, anxiety, MIGRAINES for him......it's been taxing. [woe is me, i know]

we sent the lawyer the statements again last night and asked him to please get back to us today to let us know if there was something else he needed, because we have ZERO time to do this.

any advice?
Provide your lawyer what ever he asks for as soon as you can. Medical evidence, and also non medical (statements from coworkers ect.) ask specifically what he feels would help your case then get it. Now is your chance you do still have time. You may also recap the facts or summarize his situation. For example have you submitted a list of all the medications used in the last 12 mos, how much time off the job. get letters from any source you can think of that shows how this disability has effected his social and professional life. No one is going to hand him what he deserves just because he deserves it "UNFORTUNENTLY" you must prove it and show the board (and your lawyer) what's going on. Don't expect anything to happen just because its the right thing. that's not going to happen. I should say it did not happen in my case. I had to bring up ideas and points to the lawyer myself. Was he in a combat zone or qualified similar status, if his problems are caused as the result of an injury? his lawyer should know but he will need to bring it up or he will not receive what he possible should.

Good luck
 

RaiderX

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#4
My two cents on this. Despite the headaches, and discomfort; go to the board in person. Let them see him at his worse to help sell you case.
 

18c_Gunslinger

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#6
I was going to do a VTC but I wanted to go there so they could see me walk and see my prostetic and so I could tell them exactly how I feel. I felt like they were more likely to make a different decision when I was not sitting in front of them.
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#7
Provide your lawyer what ever he asks for as soon as you can. Medical evidence, and also non medical (statements from coworkers ect.) ask specifically what he feels would help your case then get it. Now is your chance you do still have time. You may also recap the facts or summarize his situation. For example have you submitted a list of all the medications used in the last 12 mos, how much time off the job. get letters from any source you can think of that shows how this disability has effected his social and professional life. No one is going to hand him what he deserves just because he deserves it "UNFORTUNENTLY" you must prove it and show the board (and your lawyer) what's going on. Don't expect anything to happen just because its the right thing. that's not going to happen. I should say it did not happen in my case. I had to bring up ideas and points to the lawyer myself. Was he in a combat zone or qualified similar status, if his problems are caused as the result of an injury? his lawyer should know but he will need to bring it up or he will not receive what he possible should.

Good luck
thanks for the information - we have asked what all he needs for the FPEB, and we were told that the lawyer would call us monday to let us know. his FPEB is tuesday. that is where the frustration and head scratching stems from. how does anyone expect us to provide them with important documents less than 24 hours prior to his FPEB is my husband's worry. i hope that makes sense.
 
Last edited:

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#8
My two cents on this. Despite the headaches, and discomfort; go to the board in person. Let them see him at his worse to help sell you case.
my husband receives quarterly botox injections for his migraines. they are godsend, although they only last six weeks. but that six weeks of relief is every thing to him. his appointment for the botox is the day before, in the afternoon, and if he is unable to make this appointment - he will have to wait another two months for the next available slot they have available. his health is being put first at this time - so even if he could make the trek to DC? he would miss his injection appointment and suffer greatly. we spoke to his lawyer about this and he feels my husband will be fine if doing this over the telephone. they have that option for a reason. if they give him a finding of UNFIT but give him a horrible rating, we will fight that [contest it] at that time. the lawyer stated that he would make sure to let the fpeb members know that the reason he isn't attending in person is due to this - he said this happens all the time.
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#9
I was going to do a VTC but I wanted to go there so they could see me walk and see my prostetic and so I could tell them exactly how I feel. I felt like they were more likely to make a different decision when I was not sitting in front of them.
unfortunately the military isn't logical like we are - but i will say that if they give him a finding of FIT just because he didn't sit in the same room as them on the day of his FPEB, then we will continue to contest their findings.
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#10
You are worrying too much. Relax. I was in your same shoes not too long ago with the EXACT same feelings. You need to understand that the attorney does this on a daily basis, so while you feel anxious because of the time crunch, that is just business as usual for the attorney. These folks know what they’re doing and they will take care of you. Moreover, the board members are not stupid. The board members will give your husband a fair shot. From my experience, the board was very non-confrontational and non adversarial. They listened to what I had to say and considered my evidence And made an appropriate determination based on your new evidence and all other factors. The only thing that you can do at this point is to try to get as much documentation as possible and to not stress. The board isn’t as bad as you think it’s going to be.
correction: my husband is worrying too much [making his migraines become worse] and as his spouse, i can't watch it happen much longer. someone asked me on here a while back why i was so active here [in a private message] and i let them know that if nobody else will advocate for my husband [PEBLO, lawyers, etc.] then i will. so if it seems like i am freaking out, i apologize. i am doing my best to gather information from you fine folks to set my husband's mind at ease right now. we have heard more positive than negative when it comes to the board members :) but what concerns us the most is that the lawyer is calling us less than 24 hours prior to the FPEB to let us know what he needs. those expectations of us getting all these documents in less than 24 hours time seems far fetched. [hope that makes sense]
 

chaplaincharlie

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#11
A military appointed attorney usually doesn't meet with his/her client very far in advance. That is the drawback of a "free" attorney. I hate that because you need to know in advance what to gather and bring to the table.

Paid attorneys are expensive, but perhaps only in the short term.
 

concernedwife

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#12
well said, charlie. unfortunately we aren't even meeting with him - we just need to know what he needs. i have faith it will all work out. :)
 
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