Former AD AF, current ANG member: State pharmacy board rescheduled meds to control migraines

dwittkam

New Member
Registered Member
A little background:
2009 (May): Commissioned Active Duty Air Force
2010 (Sept/Oct): Diagnosed with Hemiplegic Migraines (frequent an prostrating)
2010-2015 (Dec): Treated with multiple prophylactics and abortives by neurologists (all documented), only found one med (fioricet) that treated them as an abortive pretty effectively (rarely missed work, rare ER visits to treat pain)
2016 (Jan): Switched from AD to ANG (T-32 technician), migraines documented and waived by State Air Surgeon (AF 469, ALC-C2)
2019 (June): State Pharmacy Board reschedules my abortive drug, most doctors won't prescribe at all
2020 (Jan): New neuro prescribes new migraine preventive (requires refrigeration, taking me off worldwide deployable status; ALC-C3)
2019 (June)-Present: Number of migraines increases, duration increases, alll due to lack of effective treatment, not because the condition itself changed.

Question: Does anyone have any experience or knowledge on HOW this would be decided (service connection vs not)? The condition was incurred on AD, but was under control for 6-ish years and then waived when joining the ANG. My condition didn't change, but I lost the only effective treatment I had, which is now interfering with my work/duty. My perspective is that it should be service connected, but there's "wiggle" room for them to claim it "worsened" while not in an AD status.
 

Josh C

Well-Known Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Since you were diagnosed with Hemiplegic Migraines on active duty they are service connected. It doesn't matter if it gets worse latter it still originated on an active status and the State Air Surgeon was aware of it. Since you are a ANG T-32 technician you can file for VA at any point you want. You can go on Ebenefits and file an Intent to File, its really easy. Then you have 1 year to actually file a claim but you will be back paid to the day you submitted your Intent to file. You can get a service connection even at 0% all your medication will be covered by the VA. ALC-3 would require the medical unit to review your case at the DAWG and see if they want to refer your case for a MEB.
 

dwittkam

New Member
Registered Member
Since you were diagnosed with Hemiplegic Migraines on active duty they are service connected. It doesn't matter if it gets worse latter it still originated on an active status and the State Air Surgeon was aware of it. Since you are a ANG T-32 technician you can file for VA at any point you want. You can go on Ebenefits and file an Intent to File, its really easy. Then you have 1 year to actually file a claim but you will be back paid to the day you submitted your Intent to file. You can get a service connection even at 0% all your medication will be covered by the VA. ALC-3 would require the medical unit to review your case at the DAWG and see if they want to refer your case for a MEB.

My main concern was having them deemed "Not Service Connected" since they were manageable for years while on AD and only became unmanageable when I was no longer in an AD/T-10 status. There's language (somewhere that I can't seem to find, I thought it was in the DODI 1332.39) that lead me to believe they could weasel out and claim the condition was only aggravated (uncontrolled) AFTER I left AD and when I wasn't on orders in the ANG.
 

Josh C

Well-Known Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
No, if you have had a history of Migraines on active duty and where open about it when you went into the guard. That condition is defiantly service connected and it is then the responsibility of the VA to take care of that condition. I had issues with my knees on active duty and had been seen for yours and like 8 years later when my knees got worse while I was a title 32 Technician went to the VA and they service connected them because of active duty. I would defiantly look at going to the VA and getting Migraines on your record for the VA.

Have you ever filed with the VA? and are you enrolled in VA Healthcare? you have 5 years of VA healthcare after coming of active duty so you should be covered until 2021.
 

dwittkam

New Member
Registered Member
I already have an intent to file with the VA, so I'm not terribly worried about the VA side of things. However, I am concerned with being Medically Separated/Retired and HOW I'm classified (less than 8 years TAFMS, but what I would consider a service connected disability). My guess is I'm going to (politely) get the boot in the next year because they either MEB me while processing my ALC-C3 wiaver, or they do it when the 1 yr waiver expires and I'm still on refrigerated medicines (and off WW deployable status). I want to be sure I don't lose my technician job because of it and simultaneously not receive a medical retirement on the mil side. Its going to be hard to hold down a job with as much work as I miss (~10% of all my scheduled hours for the last 6 months) and the 40% disability from my tech position isn't enough to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies, I really need the retirement and not just severance from the military half.
 

Josh C

Well-Known Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Your going in the right direction then. So the VA is the Rating authority for the DOD so if you go through the VA and have a rating it becomes very hard for the DOD to say it isn't service connected. The 8 Year TAFMS only applies to conditions that fall under "Existed prior to service(EPTS)" conditions and if you are still on some active orders. If you have over 8 year and are on a active military status the DOD can't say it was a pre existing condition unless they have so sort of over whelming proof that you knew about it and falled to report it. As long as your migraines are the condition that makes you unfit for the MEB and that condition is rated 30% or higher you would get a military medical retirement ( TRICARE and retired ID) you would be eligible to collect that money right away. Most the time the VA money would be more than the retirement so you would opt to collect the VA over the retirement pay.

Its not a fast process to get the boot and you will have several chances to appeal along the way. They can't even start the Technician paperwork until you have been found unfit and the technician process takes at least 3 month if you are really lucky. You would collect 60% of your pay the first year then 40% every year after that as long as your income doesn't exceed 80% of your pre retirement pay. Plus you would collect your VA pay. Look at MilitaryVAmadeeasy.com and look up your condition you can also look up Airforce MEDICAL STANDARDS DIRECTORY (MSD) and see if your condition has a retention code.
 

dwittkam

New Member
Registered Member
Should I independently finish filing my VA claim? Med group says that as they process the Retirement/Separation, they'll file with the VA on my behalf and that having a "finalized" VA disability claim won't affect my MEB/military disability rating.

I'm not looking forward to the length of the process, especially since I'll still need to show up for work, etc. I'm pretty familiar with the VA rating for the migraines (its a little vague at the 50% level, but I'm WELL above the 30% level and SHOULD qualify for the 50%). What's the significance of the retention code? AF MSD shows one (L19) for migraines ("Standard Applies" across ALL classes, including retention).
 

Josh C

Well-Known Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I would file on my own. Ive been in the process going on 4 years now so I've gotten very familiar with it. I've been collecting my VA for the Full 4 years if I would have waited on my unit I would have missed out on 3 years of VA payment since they will normally only go back 1 year. They say they will submit it for you but if they do any thing wrong in the process it can get kicked back. A guy a work with waited and it got kicked back at the final QA phase and he lost out on a ton of money.

Your command is suppose to put you in for a Normal medical disability retirement When,on the technician side as soon as you can't meet your job standard. That is different from the Public law retirement you would get from not meeting medical requirement for the military any more. The way the public law works is as son as you go over the 80% you would lose the 40% for ever were the normal Federal GS/WG disability retirement you would lose the 40% only as long as you are making over the 80% but when you fall back under that amount you would re qualify for the 40%

The AF MSD will have the code on your NARSAM that they send up so if it has a retention standard your chances of getting MEBed out is high like 95% chance.

Get a copy of your medical record and it will remind you of medical conditions that you complained about but forgot. Then you can file for those conditions as well if you get 50% for migraines that is 1000+ a month tax free. So that is a really good start.
 
data-matched-content-ui-type="image_stacked" data-matched-content-rows-num="3" data-matched-content-columns-num="1" data-ad-format="autorelaxed">
Top