Humira MED board Retirement ???

mcatus217

Registered Member
#1
So I recently executed a PCS move to VA Beach from Gulfport, MS. I had my referrals go through as we do when establishing a new PCM. I went to my Rheumatologist for my initial appointment and he stated he is placing me 105 and starting a MED board for me. Never dealt with this before.

I’m a Purple Heart recipient with a few other issues as well. Anxiety, depression, TBI, etc. I’m being treated for that stuff and it’s business as usual.

I’ve been on Humira for a year because of severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. I was treated originally at Keesler AFB and continued duty as normal. No mention of separation, boards, etc. needless to say I was caught off guard by this. I have heard that humira puts a member into a non-deployable status but MED board? Really?

I have 18.7 years of active service and was curious if this board could have a negative impact on my retirement? I’ve heard that anyone with over 18 years is safe but they’re only rumors. I’ll stop taking the humira if it impacts my retirement. I’m an LDO and was commissioned with 12 years of service. So I cannot retire until I have 22 years in.

Any help, info or guidance would be greatly appreciated. I’m pretty frustrated with this whole thing.
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
#2
I'll address the rumor part first. It is incorrect that anyone over 18 years is "safe". A MEB can cut a career short even after 19 years.

It may be possible fo you to stretch out the MEB for 1.3 months to hit 20 years.
 

mcatus217

Registered Member
#4
My original USAF doctor said that Humira wouldn’t have any career impacts. Now that I’ve moved the USN is saying different. I would have never started it if I knew this would happen. Or I would have at least looked for a different medication.
 

mcatus217

Registered Member
#5
I just don’t understand why after being on Humira for over a year that it just now makes me have to face a board. How can these guys in the medical world make a decision on someone’s career to potentially end it after almost 19 years in? The frustration based in the lengthy battle I’ll fight is what makes this so difficult for me & my family
 

KSBear

Registered Member
#6
I know the Army has a packet you can fill out called a Continue on Active Duty (COAD). This is to keep people from losing a retirement. The requirement is that you have over 15 yrs Active. Your Branch may have something similar. This allows you to stay and retire despite MEB finings.
 

mcatus217

Registered Member
#7
I know the Army has a packet you can fill out called a Continue on Active Duty (COAD). This is to keep people from losing a retirement. The requirement is that you have over 15 yrs Active. Your Branch may have something similar. This allows you to stay and retire despite MEB finings.
Thanks for the input. Looks like I’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I’ve got RA & PA as well as Psoriasis which didn’t show up until I had 10 years in. It was controlled with topical for years but last year I had 2 surgeries and also got strep throat. Apparently trauma to your body and strep infections cause serious psoriasis outbreaks. I was put on Humira and everything cleared up; 100% clear. I’ve had no issue executing my duties, no issues st all. This is why this caught me completely by surprise. My wife and I had planned our future off of my retirement. Thanks again.
 

KSBear

Registered Member
#8
You can absolutely fight to stay in. The biggest thing is if you can perform your duty or not. You can fight and appeal the MEB and PEB portion if they find you unfit to try to continue service. but again I'm going by an Army MEB/PEB standpoint.
 

mcatus217

Registered Member
#9
Would/could everything be reversed if I chose to no longer take these medications? Granted they’ve worked wonders for me but I’d be willing to stop taking them or to switch if I could find a replacement
 

Goku

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#10
Would/could everything be reversed if I chose to no longer take these medications? Granted they’ve worked wonders for me but I’d be willing to stop taking them or to switch if I could find a replacement
It’s not that simple with Humira. I take it and just because it works doesn’t mean another medicine will work. You risk that happening. The reason Humira is a service disqualifier is because it messes with your immune system. You cannot deploy on Humira. Right now its instant 60% just by taking it. Drag out your board but I do not suggest not taking it if it is working for you.
 

Odiemus

Registered Member
#12
To clarify for some... the Humira = Auto 60% is for the psoriasis if it impacts over 25% (?) of your body. However it is rated lower if it is held off by topicals. You do not get the 60% for taking injections for the RA/PA. They rate that based on damage/usability of joints or exacerbations (which have no clear definition). 10% ratings for joints with pain... an extra 10% bilateral if the joints on both sides are impacted.

Steven you can look them up in your services medical regulations. The injectables are considered a no-go since they have to be refridgerated and are hard to maintain in a deployed environment. However, I heard that there was an individual who was able to deploy with them.

Also... DO NOT forgo your medications. I went undiagnosed for 7 years and my RA ramped up to 11 in about 1.5 years (which is about how long it took them to finally call it RA). Now we are "playing catch up" trying to slow the "very aggressive" disease. The damage is irreversable and early medication can keep it from getting worse. My 2 cents.
 

chaplaincharlie

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#14
The 18 year rule is not totally myth, but it has no bearing on the PEB process. It protects a member from being RIF'd between 18 and 20 years of service.

I'd slow roll the whole process. You should be able to make 20. I'm sorry to hear about your illness. Mike
 

bleacherspy

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#15
This section of SECNAVINST 1850.4E is what most people use to come up with the 18 year "safe" statement, but the fact is you are not guaranteed anything in the MEB process:

6007 Voluntary Retention
CHNAVPERS and CMC (M&RA) also may, upon a member's request, particularly from
a member with over 18 years but less than 20 years of active service, retain Unfit to
continue naval service members in a PLD status when such retention is consistent
with the guidance in paragraph 6003 and is in the best interests of the service and the individual.


They forget to go read section 6003 which stipulates a lot of "ifs" and also look over this paragraph:

6001 Continuance On Active Duty Of Physically Unfit
a. General policy is that any service member found to be Unfit to continue naval
service by reason of physical disability to perform the duties of his or her office, grade, rank,
or rating will be retired or separated. However, as an exception to this general policy, and
consistent with the guidance in this enclosure, when CHNAVPERS or CMC (M&RA)
determine that a need for a service member's skill or experience justifies the continuance of
that service member on active duty or in active status in a limited assignment, the service
member may be retained on active duty or in active status for a specified period of time.
Such status is known as Permanent Limited Duty (PLD).


If the MEB continues, you can certainly slow it down to get some more time in, but getting all the way to 22 to retire as an officer with your LDO rank is slim. There is an option if the board continues as section 6007 alludes to. You could be found unfit and placed in PLD (permanent limited duty) status and continued on active duty to make your retirement. Your CO will need to endorse it in your NMA and then you will have to request it via the PEB process. Download SECNAVINST 1850.4E and start getting smart on it. Enclosure (6) talks specifically about PLD and that is where I pulled section 6007 from. Section 6008 talks about the PLD request.

If you are found UNFIT and medically retired, I am fairly certain you will be retired at the rank you hold now, because you will not be subject to the 10 year minimum. Don't hold me to that, but that's what I have read. I'm not sure how it would affect your high-3 retirement calculation (or whatever system pertains to you) because I don't know those regs either. That's probably Title 10 stuff. Bottom line is that you need to do everything you can to get to 20 total years at a minimum so you become eligible for CRDP or CRSC pay
 

Jermaine

Registered Member
#16
To clarify for some... the Humira = Auto 60% is for the psoriasis if it impacts over 25% (?) of your body. However it is rated lower if it is held off by topicals. You do not get the 60% for taking injections for the RA/PA. They rate that based on damage/usability of joints or exacerbations (which have no clear definition). 10% ratings for joints with pain... an extra 10% bilateral if the joints on both sides are impacted.

Steven you can look them up in your services medical regulations. The injectables are considered a no-go since they have to be refridgerated and are hard to maintain in a deployed environment. However, I heard that there was an individual who was able to deploy with them.

Also... DO NOT forgo your medications. I went undiagnosed for 7 years and my RA ramped up to 11 in about 1.5 years (which is about how long it took them to finally call it RA). Now we are "playing catch up" trying to slow the "very aggressive" disease. The damage is irreversable and early medication can keep it from getting worse. My 2 cents.
It’s not that simple with Humira. I take it and just because it works doesn’t mean another medicine will work. You risk that happening. The reason Humira is a service disqualifier is because it messes with your immune system. You cannot deploy on Humira. Right now its instant 60% just by taking it. Drag out your board but I do not suggest not taking it if it is working for you.
Question? Was the MEB initiated due to the use of humira?



I'
 

Jermaine

Registered Member
#17
Thanks for the input. Looks like I’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I’ve got RA & PA as well as Psoriasis which didn’t show up until I had 10 years in. It was controlled with topical for years but last year I had 2 surgeries and also got strep throat. Apparently trauma to your body and strep infections cause serious psoriasis outbreaks. I was put on Humira and everything cleared up; 100% clear. I’ve had no issue executing my duties, no issues st all. This is why this caught me completely by surprise. My wife and I had planned our future off of my retirement. Thanks again.
I'm going through the same situation but its with Chron's. How did the MEB rating turn out for Humira? I really would like to receive my Medical retirement and no severance pay.
 

Jermaine

Registered Member
#18
To clarify for some... the Humira = Auto 60% is for the psoriasis if it impacts over 25% (?) of your body. However it is rated lower if it is held off by topicals. You do not get the 60% for taking injections for the RA/PA. They rate that based on damage/usability of joints or exacerbations (which have no clear definition). 10% ratings for joints with pain... an extra 10% bilateral if the joints on both sides are impacted.

Steven you can look them up in your services medical regulations. The injectables are considered a no-go since they have to be refridgerated and are hard to maintain in a deployed environment. However, I heard that there was an individual who was able to deploy with them.

Also... DO NOT forgo your medications. I went undiagnosed for 7 years and my RA ramped up to 11 in about 1.5 years (which is about how long it took them to finally call it RA). Now we are "playing catch up" trying to slow the "very aggressive" disease. The damage is irreversable and early medication can keep it from getting worse. My 2 cents.

Could you clarify the about statement "To clarify for some... the Humira = Auto 60%" I take the Humira injectable shot every 2 weeks for over 2 yrs now. I'm going through a MEB due to the medication. I would love to recieve the 30% or greater to provide medical care for my family.
 

Army_PSYOP_1SG

Registered Member
#19
I have Psoriasis and had to go before a MEB. I been on Humira for 12 years now. They will not kick anyone out for psoriasis. Since its an autoimmune disorder and the fact that Humira has be stay refrigerated, the Army will not deploy a soldier with the disorder in an austere environment. They will give you a P2 rating the a V duty limiting code meaning you cannot deploy oconus and cannot be in an austere environment.
 

Jermaine

Registered Member
#20
I have Psoriasis and had to go before a MEB. I been on Humira for 12 years now. They will not kick anyone out for psoriasis. Since its an autoimmune disorder and the fact that Humira has be stay refrigerated, the Army will not deploy a soldier with the disorder in an austere environment. They will give you a P2 rating the a V duty limiting code meaning you cannot deploy oconus and cannot be in an austere environment.

That's the thing, I had a P2. Soldiers are getting caught up during SRP. POTUS new memo Deploy or Get out. Humira will make you non-deployable for "World Wide Deployments". My Profile that I had for Years was changed to a P3 while in remisson. If you're still on Active duty, I highly recommend for you to get prepared for the unexpected.
 
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