PDBR with post-service records

peb100724

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Discharged in timeframe 2001-2009 honorable, medical separation 0% DOD rating. VA originally rated 30% back to date of discharge. Just recently got 100PT VA rating, and saw the VA historical ratings changes since discharge.

My PEB seems to list psych and knee on the front page. But the 30% VA rating was for jaw and back. However, the PEB lists jaw and back, but not on the front page (elsewhere lower down, not sure if this still qualifies as being in the PEB). Back is listed in the PEB by a clinician, but not on the front-page. Jaw is listed in the PEB only by my own self-notes I made (I was being treated at military dental, but a clinician didn't note that in the PEB), but VA rated it.

Psych wasn't even rated by VA until the recent 100PT, because in-service events came out in treatment years later (psych factors heavily into the new 100PT rating). In-service, psych issues were severe enough that I was being considered for MH (mental health) discharge at the time (don't remember the chapter, not bad but not favorable), got the honorable anyway though (maybe command and some of my doctors knew I meant well, but the combo of heavy psych meds and severe anxiety were crippling). But without better notes of the in-service events, psych was seen as questionable to my character, and ultimately psych was not DOD rated. I feel like my MEB/PEB itself looks incomplete because my MH issues and meds were an obstacle to me being able to think clearly at that time (not really a competent state of mind to put my signature on things).

So, 2 possible issues here for PDBR - 1. DOD/VA ratings disparity, and 2. post-service psych treatment records.

Questions --

Since the 30% VA rating at discharge is for conditions that weren't on the front-page of the PEB (1 of the VA conditions was only in self-notes in the attached pages), is it unlikely that PDBR would change my DOD rating based on the disparity with the 30% VA rating? Or do I still have a realistic chance with that part?

Would PDBR take my recent post-service psych treatment/records/exams into consideration, or is nearly 2 decades afterwards too many years later?

Is it worth doing the PDBR?

Is there any risk in this process to my VA 100PT status (i.e. 'waking-up' the VA and prompting them to review/reduce me)? If this process involves a VA C-file/records request, could that be risky (to my 100PT) in this situation?
 
Discharged in timeframe 2001-2009 honorable, medical separation 0% DOD rating. VA originally rated 30% back to date of discharge. Just recently got 100PT VA rating, and saw the VA historical ratings changes since discharge.

My PEB seems to list psych and knee on the front page. But the 30% VA rating was for jaw and back. However, the PEB lists jaw and back, but not on the front page (elsewhere lower down, not sure if this still qualifies as being in the PEB). Back is listed in the PEB by a clinician, but not on the front-page. Jaw is listed in the PEB only by my own self-notes I made (I was being treated at military dental, but a clinician didn't note that in the PEB), but VA rated it.

Psych wasn't even rated by VA until the recent 100PT, because in-service events came out in treatment years later (psych factors heavily into the new 100PT rating). In-service, psych issues were severe enough that I was being considered for MH (mental health) discharge at the time (don't remember the chapter, not bad but not favorable), got the honorable anyway though (maybe command and some of my doctors knew I meant well, but the combo of heavy psych meds and severe anxiety were crippling). But without better notes of the in-service events, psych was seen as questionable to my character, and ultimately psych was not DOD rated. I feel like my MEB/PEB itself looks incomplete because my MH issues and meds were an obstacle to me being able to think clearly at that time (not really a competent state of mind to put my signature on things).

So, 2 possible issues here for PDBR - 1. DOD/VA ratings disparity, and 2. post-service psych treatment records.

Questions --

Since the 30% VA rating at discharge is for conditions that weren't on the front-page of the PEB (1 of the VA conditions was only in self-notes in the attached pages), is it unlikely that PDBR would change my DOD rating based on the disparity with the 30% VA rating? Or do I still have a realistic chance with that part?

Would PDBR take my recent post-service psych treatment/records/exams into consideration, or is nearly 2 decades afterwards too many years later?

Is it worth doing the PDBR?

Is there any risk in this process to my VA 100PT status (i.e. 'waking-up' the VA and prompting them to review/reduce me)? If this process involves a VA C-file/records request, could that be risky (to my 100PT) in this situation?
If you were to do it it would be for Tricare. For most there is no additional compensation for medically retiring. you would have to calculate what 30% DOD multiplied by your HIGH 3 would equal and then compare it to your total VA compensation you received each month from the month you got out. If the total VA amount were higher then you wouldn't get any additional compensation. If you recieved severance you would have to take that into account. That would need to be paid back if you retroactively were to be retired too.

It's possible they screwed up but remember you would have to prove an injustice or major mistake. Also, its based on the time you were in not what the VA rates after you get out. I am not sure if it would be worth spending the time to try to get a medical retirement when you have finally reached 100% P&T VA.

#1 would be your best bet. #2 would have no bearing on anything as VA records have no weight with getting anything changed. They will only go off of medical records while you were in.

Lastly, requesting a C file should have no risk on any part of your current ratings and I encourage you get get them regardless of whether you plan on appealing anything. Its always good to see your medical file to know what's in it.
 
If you were to do it it would be for Tricare. For most there is no additional compensation for medically retiring. you would have to calculate what 30% DOD multiplied by your HIGH 3 would equal and then compare it to your total VA compensation you received each month from the month you got out. If the total VA amount were higher then you wouldn't get any additional compensation. If you recieved severance you would have to take that into account. That would need to be paid back if you retroactively were to be retired too.

It's possible they screwed up but remember you would have to prove an injustice or major mistake. Also, its based on the time you were in not what the VA rates after you get out. I am not sure if it would be worth spending the time to try to get a medical retirement when you have finally reached 100% P&T VA.

#1 would be your best bet. #2 would have no bearing on anything as VA records have no weight with getting anything changed. They will only go off of medical records while you were in.

Lastly, requesting a C file should have no risk on any part of your current ratings and I encourage you get get them regardless of whether you plan on appealing anything. Its always good to see your medical file to know what's in it.

Thanks for responding.

For "it's based on the time you were in", you talking about monthly amount or about difficulty in getting DOD rated at all or...?


For #2, trying to understand what you mean by "only go off of medical records while you were in"? --

Here Physical Disability Board of Review it says "The PDBR uses medical information provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the military department" -- so is that general medical rating info and not actual medical records, or....?

Here https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/604044p.pdf on page 11 it says "The Military Department concerned will obtain VA rating determinations issued on behalf of the former Service member. Once obtained, the PDBR will:
(a) Compare any VA disability rating for the specifically military-unfitting condition(s) with the PEB combined disability rating; and
(b) Consider any variance in its deliberations and any impact on the final PEB combined disability rating, particularly if the VA rating was awarded within 12 months of the
former Service member’s separation."

I'm just trying to understand how this works. Says they're supposed to consider the reason why DOD rating didn't match VA ratings. Says 12 months, but uses the word 'particularly' but not only 12. So, what post-service evidence can be used, and is there some work-around to get them to consider post-service evidence?
 
Thanks for responding.

For "it's based on the time you were in", you talking about monthly amount or about difficulty in getting DOD rated at all or...?


For #2, trying to understand what you mean by "only go off of medical records while you were in"? --

Here Physical Disability Board of Review it says "The PDBR uses medical information provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the military department" -- so is that general medical rating info and not actual medical records, or....?

Here https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/604044p.pdf on page 11 it says "The Military Department concerned will obtain VA rating determinations issued on behalf of the former Service member. Once obtained, the PDBR will:
(a) Compare any VA disability rating for the specifically military-unfitting condition(s) with the PEB combined disability rating; and
(b) Consider any variance in its deliberations and any impact on the final PEB combined disability rating, particularly if the VA rating was awarded within 12 months of the
former Service member’s separation."

I'm just trying to understand how this works. Says they're supposed to consider the reason why DOD rating didn't match VA ratings. Says 12 months, but uses the word 'particularly' but not only 12. So, what post-service evidence can be used, and is there some work-around to get them to consider post-service evidence?
So the old system LDES did not require the VA ratings to match the DOD ratings. IDES does but if you were in LDES that isn't the case. Yes they can look at VA ratings and exams after you get out and sometimes that can help but its not by any means a sure thing. Sometimes that can help if its obvious that the condition rated by the VA was the same severity based on medical records while serving.

The main point I want to convey is that it is a high bar for you to win and get a medical retirement.

Secondly, most people fighting for a medical retirement don't know the financial implications if they win their case. By law any medical retirement pension must be offset by any VA compensation received. For most people their VA compensation is much higher than their medical retirement amount so they don't get any extra income by being medically retired. So you were in 8 years and had a E6 the base pay for 6 or more years on the pay table the amount was $2,709. Say they retro actively medically retire you at 30% DOD. Your base is computed at 36 months highest pay added up together and then divided by 36. Lets say your high 3 was $2,709 (this is using the base pay for the last 2 years in but if calculated properly the HIGH 3 would be lower). 30% of $2,709 us $812.00. Say you are 60% and single and that is your total VA % when you get out. Your VA compensation is $974 a month. Since your VA compensation is higher than your chapter 61 pension you get nothing. Just tricare.

If you were paid severance but should have been medically retired there is a chance that you owe money to the government if retroactively medically retired. You cannot get severance and a pension for the same unfitting condition.

Its hard to see it worth all of the work and time to try to get it fixed if there isn't a large financial benefit. especially since now you are 100% P&T. You are basically fighting for Tricare and if you believe you qualify for CRSC then there may be some extra $$$ In this scenario if approved for CRSC but the max benefit would be $541.80 in 2009 dollars. That's because CRSC is there to help recoup some of that VA offset to allow you to get your earned pension longevity. At 8 years that is 2.5% times your HIGH 3 which is 541.80 in 2009 dollars. You wouldn't even have a chance to apply and see if you could get anything until after you were retroactively medically retired.

Feel free to do what you think is right. I just want people to understand their chances of success and what the maximum outcome for having that success looks like. Too many people come on here after submitting a BCNR application to display disappointment and frustration. When they explain their case its very clear to us they didn't have good chance of winning in the first place or they win but are disappointed to find out it didn't help them financially. Both those scenarios suck!
 
So the old system LDES did not require the VA ratings to match the DOD ratings. IDES does but if you were in LDES that isn't the case. Yes they can look at VA ratings and exams after you get out and sometimes that can help but its not by any means a sure thing. Sometimes that can help if its obvious that the condition rated by the VA was the same severity based on medical records while serving.

The main point I want to convey is that it is a high bar for you to win and get a medical retirement.

Secondly, most people fighting for a medical retirement don't know the financial implications if they win their case. By law any medical retirement pension must be offset by any VA compensation received. For most people their VA compensation is much higher than their medical retirement amount so they don't get any extra income by being medically retired. So you were in 8 years and had a E6 the base pay for 6 or more years on the pay table the amount was $2,709. Say they retro actively medically retire you at 30% DOD. Your base is computed at 36 months highest pay added up together and then divided by 36. Lets say your high 3 was $2,709 (this is using the base pay for the last 2 years in but if calculated properly the HIGH 3 would be lower). 30% of $2,709 us $812.00. Say you are 60% and single and that is your total VA % when you get out. Your VA compensation is $974 a month. Since your VA compensation is higher than your chapter 61 pension you get nothing. Just tricare.

If you were paid severance but should have been medically retired there is a chance that you owe money to the government if retroactively medically retired. You cannot get severance and a pension for the same unfitting condition.

Its hard to see it worth all of the work and time to try to get it fixed if there isn't a large financial benefit. especially since now you are 100% P&T. You are basically fighting for Tricare and if you believe you qualify for CRSC then there may be some extra $$$ In this scenario if approved for CRSC but the max benefit would be $541.80 in 2009 dollars. That's because CRSC is there to help recoup some of that VA offset to allow you to get your earned pension longevity. At 8 years that is 2.5% times your HIGH 3 which is 541.80 in 2009 dollars. You wouldn't even have a chance to apply and see if you could get anything until after you were retroactively medically retired.

Feel free to do what you think is right. I just want people to understand their chances of success and what the maximum outcome for having that success looks like. Too many people come on here after submitting a BCNR application to display disappointment and frustration. When they explain their case its very clear to us they didn't have good chance of winning in the first place or they win but are disappointed to find out it didn't help them financially. Both those scenarios suck!

Thanks for the balanced take on all this. healthy dose of caution. As well as Tricare, I can see where med-retirement can give a safety-net baseline if VA takes negative action in the future, and oconus space-a (100PT is conus).

So, in your opinion, the tooth-to-tail ratio here is probably bad unless through some pro-bono organization like NVLSP? Looks like NVLSP has PDBR cases listed on their site, and for cases applying for med-separation to med-retirement. not sure if my case would be too complicated, and they want something clearer. You have any opinion on trying to get a pro-bono like, for example, NVLSP on this case?
 
Thanks for the balanced take on all this. healthy dose of caution. As well as Tricare, I can see where med-retirement can give a safety-net baseline if VA takes negative action in the future, and oconus space-a (100PT is conus).

So, in your opinion, the tooth-to-tail ratio here is probably bad unless through some pro-bono organization like NVLSP? Looks like NVLSP has PDBR cases listed on their site, and for cases applying for med-separation to med-retirement. not sure if my case would be too complicated, and they want something clearer. You have any opinion on trying to get a pro-bono like, for example, NVLSP on this case?
Well if you can get someone pro bono to do it then sure why not? However, most of the time you can't get someone to take it pro bono because they reserve taking the most egregious cases since they are trying to serve those who will be helped most by a good outcome.

For me it is just about the time and effort and clogging up the system with another application that makes it slower for others who's cases can have a bigger impact on their lives if ruled in their favor. Imagine someone getting MST situation from a superior in combat zone and being chapter out for failure to adapt. The medical records along with their history of symptoms matches PTSD and there is an easy paper-trail. They were homeless after getting out and didn't have the mental capacity to apply for VA compensation right after getting out. 20 years go by and someone notices they got screwed and this entire time they should have been medically retired and should have applied for VA compensation. Well, the VA compensation requires you to apply and there isn't in most cases a way to retro back the pay for it. However, a retro medical retirement would back pay them from the date they got out. This would be life changing as they can't hold a steady job and so a lump sum backpay and Tricare would put them in a much better situation. Then monthly pay from the VA 100% going forward that will most likely offset their chapter 61 retirement and Tricare + VA health care means they are no longer living in poverty.

That is an extreme example and their are varying degrees of help. It's just hard to see someone spend the time to correct an injustice when the best outcome doesn't move the needle much for them.
 
So the old system LDES did not require the VA ratings to match the DOD ratings. IDES does but if you were in LDES that isn't the case. Yes they can look at VA ratings and exams after you get out and sometimes that can help but its not by any means a sure thing. Sometimes that can help if its obvious that the condition rated by the VA was the same severity based on medical records while serving.

The main point I want to convey is that it is a high bar for you to win and get a medical retirement.

Secondly, most people fighting for a medical retirement don't know the financial implications if they win their case. By law any medical retirement pension must be offset by any VA compensation received. For most people their VA compensation is much higher than their medical retirement amount so they don't get any extra income by being medically retired. So you were in 8 years and had a E6 the base pay for 6 or more years on the pay table the amount was $2,709. Say they retro actively medically retire you at 30% DOD. Your base is computed at 36 months highest pay added up together and then divided by 36. Lets say your high 3 was $2,709 (this is using the base pay for the last 2 years in but if calculated properly the HIGH 3 would be lower). 30% of $2,709 us $812.00. Say you are 60% and single and that is your total VA % when you get out. Your VA compensation is $974 a month. Since your VA compensation is higher than your chapter 61 pension you get nothing. Just tricare.

If you were paid severance but should have been medically retired there is a chance that you owe money to the government if retroactively medically retired. You cannot get severance and a pension for the same unfitting condition.

Its hard to see it worth all of the work and time to try to get it fixed if there isn't a large financial benefit. especially since now you are 100% P&T. You are basically fighting for Tricare and if you believe you qualify for CRSC then there may be some extra $$$ In this scenario if approved for CRSC but the max benefit would be $541.80 in 2009 dollars. That's because CRSC is there to help recoup some of that VA offset to allow you to get your earned pension longevity. At 8 years that is 2.5% times your HIGH 3 which is 541.80 in 2009 dollars. You wouldn't even have a chance to apply and see if you could get anything until after you were retroactively medically retired.

Feel free to do what you think is right. I just want people to understand their chances of success and what the maximum outcome for having that success looks like. Too many people come on here after submitting a BCNR application to display disappointment and frustration. When they explain their case its very clear to us they didn't have good chance of winning in the first place or they win but are disappointed to find out it didn't help them financially. Both those scenarios suck!
I would add that for some people it’s not about the money. In my case the Air Force said I had an “adjustment disorder” snd showed me the door while the VA said it was major depressive disorder with 100% P&T and I have a forensic psychologist that says the symptoms exhibited while on active duty never demonstrated adjustment disorder. For me its about obtaining a retirement that was taken from me with a wrongful discharge, the pride of being a retiree and not someone who was tossed away by the military.
 
I would add that for some people it’s not about the money. In my case the Air Force said I had an “adjustment disorder” snd showed me the door while the VA said it was major depressive disorder with 100% P&T and I have a forensic psychologist that says the symptoms exhibited while on active duty never demonstrated adjustment disorder. For me its about obtaining a retirement that was taken from me with a wrongful discharge, the pride of being a retiree and not someone who was tossed away by the military.
I agree. Your situation was one of many where swaths of Soldiers were shown the door with adjustment or personality disorders instead of being put in LDES. Those cases have a lot better chance of winning though since many times the symptoms contradicted the diagnosis.
 
I agree. Your situation was one of many where swaths of Soldiers were shown the door with adjustment or personality disorders instead of being put in LDES. Those cases have a lot better chance of winning though since many times the symptoms contradicted the diagnosis.

That person's case is similar to mine. DOD had unfavorable psych notes/assessment, then 100PT afterwards at the VA for the same thing when it was reviewed and more came out later. My case is kind of similar to the extreme example you gave earlier (minus the unfavorable discharge). Interesting that you spoke to me about "clogging up the system" and to "do what you think is right", but to them you say their case has "a lot better chance of winning". suggestions on how you think my post should have been written to make this clearer?
 
That person's case is similar to mine. DOD had unfavorable psych notes/assessment, then 100PT afterwards at the VA for the same thing when it was reviewed and more came out later. My case is kind of similar to the extreme example you gave earlier (minus the unfavorable discharge). Interesting that you spoke to me about "clogging up the system" and to "do what you think is right", but to them you say their case has "a lot better chance of winning". suggestions on how you think my post should have been written to make this clearer?
Your case isn't as clear. You don't know if paperwork was messed up etc. You say you were kicked out via another condition. The issue you will have is that you weren't referred for something else that blatantly was used as an excuse instead of mental health. When the military kicks someone out with adjustment disorder or personality disorder and has well documented mental health issues that parallel the same symptoms of the other condition its very clear the military did the wrong thing.

You didn't appeal and request a FPEB and had only 1 condition that was non mental health that got you booted. They have a decent argument that mental health symptoms do not constitute unfitting alone. They have to rise to the point where they interfere with your duties. So if you have performance reviews that show you meet the standard then your mental health issues did not rise to the level.

In the FPEB you didn't appeal. The board is looking for an injustice or clear error. They side with the original results. They will state you had an opportunity to appeal to request mental health be added and did not do so. Another difference is they backdated you 30% Mental Health. That doesn't help you and in fact hurts your case. If the VA had backdated your mental health 70% or 100% that would have helped your case since those symptoms are pretty much unfitting regardless of your job and were rated by the VA within 12 months of getting out. The closer the exam was to when you got out the better you case if rated 50% or higher. 30% mental health symptoms can go either way. That's why you see most found unfit with mental health at 50%, 70% & 100%. Its not very common to be found unfit for mental health at 0%, 10% & 30%. Though I have seen it on occasion it very rare.

Hope this information helps. Each person's situation is different and even those that are similar can have a wide range of outcomes.
 
Your case isn't as clear. You don't know if paperwork was messed up etc. You say you were kicked out via another condition. The issue you will have is that you weren't referred for something else that blatantly was used as an excuse instead of mental health. When the military kicks someone out with adjustment disorder or personality disorder and has well documented mental health issues that parallel the same symptoms of the other condition its very clear the military did the wrong thing.

You didn't appeal and request a FPEB and had only 1 condition that was non mental health that got you booted. They have a decent argument that mental health symptoms do not constitute unfitting alone. They have to rise to the point where they interfere with your duties. So if you have performance reviews that show you meet the standard then your mental health issues did not rise to the level.

In the FPEB you didn't appeal. The board is looking for an injustice or clear error. They side with the original results. They will state you had an opportunity to appeal to request mental health be added and did not do so. Another difference is they backdated you 30% Mental Health. That doesn't help you and in fact hurts your case. If the VA had backdated your mental health 70% or 100% that would have helped your case since those symptoms are pretty much unfitting regardless of your job and were rated by the VA within 12 months of getting out. The closer the exam was to when you got out the better you case if rated 50% or higher. 30% mental health symptoms can go either way. That's why you see most found unfit with mental health at 50%, 70% & 100%. Its not very common to be found unfit for mental health at 0%, 10% & 30%. Though I have seen it on occasion it very rare.

Hope this information helps. Each person's situation is different and even those that are similar can have a wide range of outcomes.

Might be some confusion here, not sure if you were thinking of someone else's post.

My top post says that PEB listed psych and "Psych wasn't even rated by VA until the recent 100PT, because in-service events came out in treatment years later (psych factors heavily into the new 100PT rating). In-service, psych issues were severe enough that I was being considered for MH (mental health) discharge at the time (don't remember the chapter, not bad but not favorable), got the honorable anyway though" - so as far as I know, psych was in the PEB and seemingly unfitting (based on what they were about to do), but excluded somehow and DOD used their negative assessments to deny an actual DOD rating, which affected my VA claims until just recently. The PEB went through anyway, on a different condition.

I just recently got a VA psych rating, initial, very high, after years and years. That's why I said 2 issues in my post. The 30 was by VA at discharge for other conditions, not psych. The new rating was part of the reason for my interest in PDBR now (another part was seeing the 30% back to discharge date).

You're right, I didn't appeal at that time. I didn't have a VA psych rating. You're also right that I (thankfully) didn't get a lower-level discharge. Most people going to the PDBR wouldn't have that anyway.

How likely do you think the lack of an appeal at that time, could sink my case for the PDBR?
 
Might be some confusion here, not sure if you were thinking of someone else's post.

My top post says that PEB listed psych and "Psych wasn't even rated by VA until the recent 100PT, because in-service events came out in treatment years later (psych factors heavily into the new 100PT rating). In-service, psych issues were severe enough that I was being considered for MH (mental health) discharge at the time (don't remember the chapter, not bad but not favorable), got the honorable anyway though" - so as far as I know, psych was in the PEB and seemingly unfitting (based on what they were about to do), but excluded somehow and DOD used their negative assessments to deny an actual DOD rating, which affected my VA claims until just recently. The PEB went through anyway, on a different condition.

I just recently got a VA psych rating, initial, very high, after years and years. That's why I said 2 issues in my post. The 30 was by VA at discharge for other conditions, not psych. The new rating was part of the reason for my interest in PDBR now (another part was seeing the 30% back to discharge date).

You're right, I didn't appeal at that time. I didn't have a VA psych rating. You're also right that I (thankfully) didn't get a lower-level discharge. Most people going to the PDBR wouldn't have that anyway.

How likely do you think the lack of an appeal at that time, could sink my case for the PDBR?
Everything is looked at based on conditions in effect when you were serving. Meaning there are Soldiers who back then were not medically retired who would be now under IDES. Very few people are successful in winning the relief they are seeking.

Main question then. When was your first VA rating for mental health. What was that rating?
 
Top