Need help making my PEBLO accountable

SCBlueSkies

PEB Forum Regular Member
Without getting into my situation too much, I'll stick with timelines, and I'm not even sure if I'm posting this issue in the right place. If not, please advise.

I started my MEB on 27AUG10

Physical 13SEP1010
Date of NARSUM dictation 10DEC10 (late, but understandable)
Date of NARSUM consultation with patient 06JAN11 (late)
Date MEB packet sent to PEB 07JAN11

Here's the problem. I contacted my PEBLO on 24JAN11 two weeks after sending the packet to ask if in fact the packet had been forward to TX, several days later she confirmed. I then asked why my PEB tab within AKO had not been populated (the original reason I contacted my PEBLO is because the tab advises you to do so if you've waited the 48 hours and still see nothing), she advised me that the packet had been sent on 07JAN11.

07FEB11, I contacted my PEBLO again to ask why the PEB tab had still not populated. I then received an email from the PEBLO stating"


"To answer your question, the PEB section is filled out once the PEB actually adjudicate your case. Unfortunately, that has not happened yet. During the mailing process with Federal Express your MEB packet was returned to me damaged. I am currently waiting for guidance from management to continue processing your MEB.

I apologize for the delay and you are not bothering me, I will contact you as soon as I receive instructions from management."

What should I do here. I did respond to my PEBLO, and was pleasant, which I can assure you is not how I feel.

My frustrations are that why have I waited a month to find this out, when another cohort of mine has only waited a week and his packet is in TX? Why didn't the PEBLO call me to inform me of this issue as soon as she received the returned packet from FEDEX? Are they going to expedite my packet now because of the lengthy time? And why, oh why, must you wait for management to tell you to fix the packet and overnight it?

I know no one can answer for her, but my question to everyone is if anyone knows of a way to make these people accountable? Who do they answer to, and is there a hotline or a complaint line for this type of apathy?

I'd appreciate all guidance. I'm really not the type to go over heads, or to piss people off, I think it is counter-productive, but this is in a realm of it's own.

Thank you to everyone.
 

Jason Perry

Benevolent Leader
Site Founder
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I sure understand the frustration. In the best of cases, this process can be very frustrating.

That said, I would first ask what do you want out of this situation? If it is an apology, it sounds like she gave you one. If it is some sort of assurance that things won't be messed up again or that things will go faster, I don't think that anyone could do so (if they did, I think they would be lying). My point is that I am hard pressed to see what could be done to make you feel any better. They messed up. Who knows about the exact timeline? She could have known about the damaged package weeks ago. Or she may have been on leave and not known. Or she might have made a mistake. None of this will necessarily make you feel better. But, I am still not sure that there is anything that can be done to make it 100% right.

No, I don't think they will expedite your case. The PEB will most likely process it normally as it receives packets.

To answer your question about accountability and who you might complain to, I would say her supervisor, the Patient Advocate or the Ombudsman. I would just think about what outcome you want and whether you can accomplish it.

Whatever happens, I hope things do go well and you get a quick and favorable decision. Good luck!
 

SCBlueSkies

PEB Forum Regular Member
Jason, I appreciate your points and your response. To answer your question, I know nothing can be done about the issue thus, but I want to do whatever will likely aid in it not happening again.

In my experience with my PEBLO as well as other stories from close friends, the PEBLOs seem to be (at least where I am) desensitized to any sense of responsibility. Each time I have talked with her, she has cut me off, reminded me not to do her job, and answered my non-question halfway through me asking my actual question. I know they deal with these processes everyday, but to treat some us with disrespect as they do is rude. I liken it to the way a drill sergeant talks down to a private.

It's an ambiguous process, where the patient is told very little and made to believe that everyone has his/her best interest in mind, when in fact, I feel at times (at least with my experience) it's me against the world.

I will contact the patient advocate or ombudsman for sure. I'm not looking to go into a tirade, and if nothing will be done of it, I'd rather not waste my time. I'm just frustrated that some of the DOD civilians have such an entitlement/untouchable complex, that they can dangle the carrot in front of your face for as long as they want with complete disregard.

I don't mean to sully anyone's name, and I'm sure there are some fantastic PEBLOs out there, I just haven't heard from them, and wish I would have had a more pleasant experience.

Thanks again for all you do Jason. You answered my question, and that's more help than I've gotten from my PEBLO in six months.
 

Jason Perry

Benevolent Leader
Site Founder
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Some further thoughts:

I agree that fighting for your rights and the benefits you deserve is important. It is important both for each individual and for outcomes for others (that is, if in fighting for your rights you either force the military to change or to get used to doing things the right way, you can help change things for others).

A huge problem with the military disability evaluation system is "resources." There are not enough doctors. There are not enough PEBLOs. There are not enough PEB members. There are not enough attorneys (both assigned counsel and those advising the military on policies and individual cases). (A separate issue is, in my opinion, mis-allocation of assets...some of the available assets are not being used correctly).

As someone who works daily fighting for members benefits and reform to the system, I tend to focus on ways that will work to effect change. Everyone has the right to review and rebut their MEB. They have a right to a formal hearing. They have a right to rebut a bad outcome of a formal. And they have a right to sue if the military does not properly compensate them. These steps are concrete and can fix the problems.

I was not counseling the original poster to do nothing. However, I also don't know that any complaint can change what happened. Nor fix it in the future. I have seen much more egregious errors by PEBLOs. If it was just a mistake, I don't know what would change by getting a Congressman involved (or any more so by just having a frank feedback conversation with the PEBLO). If it is a matter or resources, i.e., they need more PEBLOs, I don't know that this would be identified or fixed by anything that would come from making a complaint.

I certainly don't want to discount the frustration. I also do not mean to discourage anyone from taking action where they think they should. I guess I just want to clarify that there are many egregious problems out there that are not getting the attention they deserve. (Personally, I would be more concerned with the contents of the MEB and whether it was accurately done rather than the few weeks delay...that issue is of exponentially more importance and I am willing to bet that the counseling provided on the contents of the MEB was subpar...mainly because the MTFs/PEBLOs/Outreach counsel have little experience in identifying important issues in the MEBs).
 

Jason Perry

Benevolent Leader
Site Founder
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Aside from me, there are only two other practitioners that I would recommend. There are not many of us out there. I will send you a PM with contact info.

EDIT:

Do you mean assigned military counsel or do you mean civilian attorneys? I will wait for your answer before sending contact info.
 

nwlivewire

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
I'd recommend jason on this website - the moderator Jason.

IMHO, it's good money spent!

v/r,
nwlivewire
 

JungleF18

PEB Forum Regular Member
All of his info is on his website - peblawyer.com

I used him for an MEB consult. Outstanding and specific advice! I now know what I should expect r.e. my PEB findings, and can plan going forward with respect to accepting/appealing.

Best of luck,
Jungle
USMC
 

Ruptured Duck

Moderator
PEB Forum Veteran
Insofar as holding a PEBLO accountable, you have to be your own best advocate and understand EVERYTHING about the Disability Evaluation Process (DES).

When dealing with incompetency (in any Government form) you have to take matters into your own hands the "Chicago" way...

They throw an email at you, you hit them with the Governing policy memo...

They pull a policy memo on you, you hit them with the AFI, AR, SECNAVINST etc...

They cite an AFI, AR, SECNAVINST to you, you quote the DoDD or DODI instruction the AFI, AR, SECNAVINST came from...

They quote a DoDD or DoDI to you, you read them THE LAW the DoDD or DoDI came from (U.S.C 5, 10, 32, 37, 38 etc.)...

They violate the Law...you hire Jason and make them pay...

Regards
 
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