How to medically retire? (AFRes, 22 yrs TTIS, VA 100% P&T)

Hello all,

I am a newbie here. First post. So please go easy on me if I posted the wrong spot.

BLUF: I am Air Force Reserve (IMA) with 22 years of service. I have multiple musculoskeletal injuries while on active duty tours. VA rated me 60% immediately after my last AD tour in 2016 and I am now 100% P&T as of 2021. I have been “haggling“ with my MTF to be evaluated for “fitness” of continued service for the last year. They keep telling me all sorts of things like 1) I need permanent profiles first, but they will only issue temporary profiles for when I’m in duty status 2) I need LODs, but they have refused to follow through with establishing LODs because I am in and out of duty status 3) as a reservist I’m not there long enough to process me through MEB/PEB. As you can see, the theme here is being a reservist. I believe if I was AD, I would’ve been permanent profiled in 2016 and would likely have already been med boarded out by now.

I am now working with a patient advocate, PEBLO (informally), PCM, and individual reserve medical team (HQ RIO/IRM) on the matter, but I’m still going in circles. The issues seem to center on getting 1) a permanent profile (not just temporaries) 2) getting a retroactive LOD (or multiple) established and 3) a “real” AMRO review to have a chance of getting into the IDES and MEB/PEB process.

My list of VA rated service-connected conditions is long and therefore few are likely to be considered making me “unfit” for duty. That said, my 30% rated severe bilateral flat feet (pes planus) seems to qualify. I have come across two cases where AD service members were medically retired at the 30% rating for my same condition. My symptoms, diagnosis, and “90 day” profile happened on AD in 2016 (with referral to VA for follow-up) and my VA rating happened in early 2017 retroactive to the end of that 2016 AD tour. Now I’m just trying to figure out how to “package” this info back to the AF for proper processing.

Any advice on how to overcome the “reserve issues” with the MEB process? Any success stories out there?

Thanks!

Sam
 

Provis

Super Moderator
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Hello all,

I am a newbie here. First post. So please go easy on me if I posted the wrong spot.

BLUF: I am Air Force Reserve (IMA) with 22 years of service. I have multiple musculoskeletal injuries while on active duty tours. VA rated me 60% immediately after my last AD tour in 2016 and I am now 100% P&T as of 2021. I have been “haggling“ with my MTF to be evaluated for “fitness” of continued service for the last year. They keep telling me all sorts of things like 1) I need permanent profiles first, but they will only issue temporary profiles for when I’m in duty status 2) I need LODs, but they have refused to follow through with establishing LODs because I am in and out of duty status 3) as a reservist I’m not there long enough to process me through MEB/PEB. As you can see, the theme here is being a reservist. I believe if I was AD, I would’ve been permanent profiled in 2016 and would likely have already been med boarded out by now.

I am now working with a patient advocate, PEBLO (informally), PCM, and individual reserve medical team (HQ RIO/IRM) on the matter, but I’m still going in circles. The issues seem to center on getting 1) a permanent profile (not just temporaries) 2) getting a retroactive LOD (or multiple) established and 3) a “real” AMRO review to have a chance of getting into the IDES and MEB/PEB process.

My list of VA rated service-connected conditions is long and therefore few are likely to be considered making me “unfit” for duty. That said, my 30% rated severe bilateral flat feet (pes planus) seems to qualify. I have come across two cases where AD service members were medically retired at the 30% rating for my same condition. My symptoms, diagnosis, and “90 day” profile happened on AD in 2016 (with referral to VA for follow-up) and my VA rating happened in early 2017 retroactive to the end of that 2016 AD tour. Now I’m just trying to figure out how to “package” this info back to the AF for proper processing.

Any advice on how to overcome the “reserve issues” with the MEB process? Any success stories out there?

Thanks!

Sam
What is your goal? Medical Retirement from LOD would gain you Tricare immediately but would unlikely help you financially as most people with 100% VA in the Reserves get their entire chapter 61 medical retirement offset by their VA disability compensation. That offset will happen for you until you can reach and apply for your non regular retirement at age 60 or slightly less if reduced due to deployments. You get both your pension and VA disability through CRDP which you qualify for once you are receiving your non regular retirement.
 

Sam Cooke

New Member
Registered Member
What is your goal? Medical Retirement from LOD would gain you Tricare immediately but would unlikely help you financially as most people with 100% VA in the Reserves get their entire chapter 61 medical retirement offset by their VA disability compensation. That offset will happen for you until you can reach and apply for your non regular retirement at age 60 or slightly less if reduced due to deployments. You get both your pension and VA disability through CRDP which you qualify for once you are receiving your non regular retirement.
Provis, thanks for your reply!

My goal is to secure 1) premium free Tricare for fam (rather than TRS @ $230/mo) for the next 18 years (currently 40 yrs old) 2) 100% Ch33 GI Bill (currently @ 80%) and 3) a significantly increased CRDP retirement pay, once 58 1/2 years old (even at a 30% rating vs points-based ~11%).

Those goals stated, “cracking the code” to get into the IDES as a reservist and actually making it through the whole process to medical retirement is the challenge. My AD MTF just doesn’t want to keep me on a profile for more than 90 days and has “stopped” multiple LOD processes over the last few years because I was “unavailable” (aka no longer in a duty status) when they started the process.

I know of another reservist in my same office who has an “unfitting” condition and is already IRILO’d, but keeps getting dropped from IDES every time he comes off of AT or IDT duty status. This on-again off-again nonsense has been happening over the last few years. He has no confidence he will ever actually be med-boarded out.

Any tips, guidance references, or experiences for reservists to successfully medically retire?
 

Provis

Super Moderator
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Provis, thanks for your reply!

My goal is to secure 1) premium free Tricare for fam (rather than TRS @ $230/mo) for the next 18 years (currently 40 yrs old) 2) 100% Ch33 GI Bill (currently @ 80%) and 3) a significantly increased CRDP retirement pay, once 58 1/2 years old (even at a 30% rating vs points-based ~11%).

Those goals stated, “cracking the code” to get into the IDES as a reservist and actually making it through the whole process to medical retirement is the challenge. My AD MTF just doesn’t want to keep me on a profile for more than 90 days and has “stopped” multiple LOD processes over the last few years because I was “unavailable” (aka no longer in a duty status) when they started the process.

I know of another reservist in my same office who has an “unfitting” condition and is already IRILO’d, but keeps getting dropped from IDES every time he comes off of AT or IDT duty status. This on-again off-again nonsense has been happening over the last few years. He has no confidence he will ever actually be med-boarded out.

Any tips, guidance references, or experiences for reservists to successfully medically retire?
Okay. Your CRDP is based on longevity and not your DOD% if you do get medically retired. So the only way to increase CRDP is to increase your VA% or stay in longer so your non regular pension is higher. I would contact some attorneys to see if they could help. Consultations are free and if your branch isn't following the law when it comes to LOD's they would be able to help. I will send you some private attorney contacts.
 

RonG

Super Moderator
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Lifetime Supporter
Registered Member
Hello,

This is accurate: "Okay. Your CRDP is based on longevity and not your DOD% if you do get medically retired. So the only way to increase CRDP is to increase your VA% or stay in longer so your non regular pension is higher."

The increase of the VA amount would also decrease the amount of retired pay reduced/offset/waived. That would also reduce the amount of residual retired pay if any.

The bottom line: CRDP will never exceed the amount determined by the longevity computation. CRDP, when combined with residual retired pay (if any) cannot exceed the longevity amount.

Good luck,

Ron
 

Sam Cooke

New Member
Registered Member
Okay. Your CRDP is based on longevity and not your DOD% if you do get medically retired. So the only way to increase CRDP is to increase your VA% or stay in longer so your non regular pension is higher. I would contact some attorneys to see if they could help. Consultations are free and if your branch isn't following the law when it comes to LOD's they would be able to help. I will send you some private attorney contacts.
Ah, I wasn’t aware of CRDP only going by “longevity” rather than DOD%.

I saw this from DFAS…
  • you are a disability retiree who earned entitlement to retired pay under any provision of law other than solely by disability, and you have a VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater. You might become eligible for CRDP at the time you would have become eligible for retired pay.
…but I didn’t interpret that as meaning the DOD% would no longer be considered. So, as I am VA 100% P&T, my “points” will always matter for CRDP? Are you able to point me to the guidance that directs such?

Regardless of the CRDP calculation, I think the health insurance difference alone is reason enough to pursue medical retirement over “grey area” reserve retirement, unless I am missing some trade-off consideration?

As an E-6, I am now basically volunteering my time when doing military duty. My military base pay is about $140/day (before taxes) and my VA comp is about $130/day (tax free). I don’t mind the volunteering to serve, per se, but the out-of-pocket travel costs to my unit and back hurts.
 

Sam Cooke

New Member
Registered Member
Hello,

This is accurate: "Okay. Your CRDP is based on longevity and not your DOD% if you do get medically retired. So the only way to increase CRDP is to increase your VA% or stay in longer so your non regular pension is higher."

The increase of the VA amount would also increase the amount of retired pay reduced/offset/waived. That would also reduce the amount of residual retired pay if any.

The bottom line: CRDP will never exceed the amount determined by the longevity computation. CRDP, when combined with residual retired pay (if any) cannot exceed the longevity amount.

Good luck,

Ron
Hi Ron, thanks for your response. As I replied to Provis, I wasn’t aware of that CRDP nuance.
 
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