Post your timelines - Spinal IPEB/FPEB

OllieT

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
@RonG Thanks for that information. So there is really no tracking system. I get it though, a RVSR officer can make a decision and process from step1 - step 8 in twenty minutes and the persons claim is done. others however, more complicated cases require more indepth review and can take longer to process. I would like to know what systems ebenefits pulls data from to come up with the steps? Also why does VA even give a step tracking for people if there really is no such thing? I guess its just another government agency making things more complicated than they need to be.
 

RonG

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Each of the tasks must be accomplished; however, some appear to be done simultaneously .

One of the systems you asked about is Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS).

I think they receive so many telephone calls that they needed to provide a guide of sorts.

I once mentioned that on a much smaller scale, years ago in a travel section we lost one “person day” every day to providing answers to questions like, “When will I receive my travel pay?” The VA receives hundreds of more inquires than that relatively small travel section which had a staff of ~19.

From another veterans’ site:
How To Check Claims Status

There are several ways for a claimant to accurately and directly get the status of a claim:

  1. VSO Contact: You can call your VSO, Veteran Service Organization, who filed your claim with the VA. Veteran Service Organizations have access to the same VA computer tracking systems as the VAROs and the call centers and can also provide their clients with the status as shown in those systems.
  2. VA National Claim and Benefit Information Call Center: You can call #800-827-1000 and receive a status update from the VA, after providing identifying information.
  3. VA Regional Office: You can physically go to the public service desk of your local VA Regional Office. Provide photo ID and your social security number or VA file number and the service desk representative can answer your questions.
  4. eBenefits: You can go online to ebenfits and register. However, eBenfits is not always reliable. The VA contracts the eBenefits service from another company. Vets have often expressed frustration with the service for not uploading documents correctly, complaints that documents in ebenefits are not in the VA system, complaints that the information is not accurate and updates are not current.
Good luck,
Ron
 

OllieT

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
@RonG this is so informative, thanks for taking the time out to answer and explain the VA process a little more. I appreciate it.
I used to work in immigration and process visa applications so I know all about the calls, we had 26 people on phones all day tending to the masses. I would imagine that the VA processing is similar in that complex cases with very little evidence to make an educated determination for benefits take a little more time and get held up at certain points.
Thankfully we have the IDES process so we can process both DOD and VA simultaneously.

Thanks again @RonG, Ilsome great insight for other users to get a better understanding and to be able to stop stalking ebenefits website
 

OllieT

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
27 Sep 2018 - Referred MEB
27 Sep 2018 - Meeting with PEBLO & MSC
28 Sep 2018 - Phone meeting with JAG
05 Oct 2018 - NMA submitted by command
10 Oct 2018 - C&P Exams Completed
16 Oct 2018 - NARSUM submitted
23 Oct 2018 - MEB Completed
29 Oct 2018 - Signed Statement of Patient
31 Oct 2018 - Case sent to PEB
21 Nov 2018 - UNFIT finding case being forwarded to VA for ratings
27 Dec 2018 - Ebennefits changes from "review of evidence" to "preparation for decision"
02 Jan 2019 - Ebennefits changes from "preparation for decision" to "pending decision approval"
05 Jan 2019 - Ebennefits new claim opened and closed, decision letter sent. Old claim still "pending decision approval" Request for marriage and birth certificates.
16 Jan 2019 - VA percentage 80% - package sent to IPEB for DOD rating. Should hear something by next week.
 

CMANN

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
27 Sep 2018 - Referred MEB
27 Sep 2018 - Meeting with PEBLO & MSC
28 Sep 2018 - Phone meeting with JAG
05 Oct 2018 - NMA submitted by command
10 Oct 2018 - C&P Exams Completed
16 Oct 2018 - NARSUM submitted
23 Oct 2018 - MEB Completed
29 Oct 2018 - Signed Statement of Patient
31 Oct 2018 - Case sent to PEB
21 Nov 2018 - UNFIT finding case being forwarded to VA for ratings
27 Dec 2018 - Ebennefits changes from "review of evidence" to "preparation for decision"
02 Jan 2019 - Ebennefits changes from "preparation for decision" to "pending decision approval"
05 Jan 2019 - Ebennefits new claim opened and closed, decision letter sent. Old claim still "pending decision approval" Request for marriage and birth certificates.
16 Jan 2019 - VA percentage 80% - package sent to IPEB for DOD rating. Should hear something by next week.
How did you get your VA %? No one seems to want to tell me mine.
 

OllieT

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
@CMANN I got mine from my PEBLO, he said that some don't give it out and he isn't meant to but that it won't change as the VA is done with it's side of the processing so why not give me that seen as we wait so long in the dark.
 

OllieT

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
27 Sep 2018 - Referred MEB
27 Sep 2018 - Meeting with PEBLO & MSC
28 Sep 2018 - Phone meeting with JAG
05 Oct 2018 - NMA submitted by command
10 Oct 2018 - C&P Exams Completed
16 Oct 2018 - NARSUM submitted
23 Oct 2018 - MEB Completed
29 Oct 2018 - Signed Statement of Patient
31 Oct 2018 - Case sent to PEB
21 Nov 2018 - UNFIT finding case being forwarded to VA for ratings
27 Dec 2018 - Ebennefits changes from "review of evidence" to "preparation for decision"
02 Jan 2019 - Ebennefits changes from "preparation for decision" to "pending decision approval"
05 Jan 2019 - Ebennefits new claim opened and closed, decision letter sent. Old claim still "pending decision approval" Request for marriage and birth certificates.
07 Jan 2019 - Package received by PEB for DOD rating. VA 80%.
 

OllieT

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
So guys.... I got my findings in and they offered me 20% with severance pay. My referred conditions are broken down as follows:
Neck pain with spinal stenosis: 20%
Left upper radiculopathy: 20%
Right upper radiculopathy: 20%

They found the radiculopathy as a category 2 condition and therefore it isn’t added into the percentage finding but adds to the finding of the neck pain with spinal stenosis as unfitting condition.

I am going to a formal board. I am not sure where it went wrong but neck pain was never in my original claims. It’s always been spinal fusions with spinal stenosis.
I have neck pain, however it is much more serious than that, I have nerve pain and have a spinal epidural every month and am on 1800MG of gabapentin just to get through my days.

I am speechless that they are able to do this in the Navy.
@Jason Perry is there any instruction or legal guidelines where it says they can combine and not rate conditions?

Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.
 

OllieT

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
27 Sep 2018 - Referred MEB
27 Sep 2018 - Meeting with PEBLO & MSC
28 Sep 2018 - Phone meeting with JAG
05 Oct 2018 - NMA submitted by command
10 Oct 2018 - C&P Exams Completed
16 Oct 2018 - NARSUM submitted
23 Oct 2018 - MEB Completed
29 Oct 2018 - Signed Statement of Patient
31 Oct 2018 - Case sent to PEB
21 Nov 2018 - UNFIT finding case being forwarded to VA for ratings
27 Dec 2018 - Ebennefits changes from "review of evidence" to "preparation for decision"
02 Jan 2019 - Ebennefits changes from "preparation for decision" to "pending decision approval"
05 Jan 2019 - Ebennefits new claim opened and closed, decision letter sent. Old claim still "pending decision approval" Request for marriage and birth certificates.
07 Jan 2019 - Package received by PEB for DOD rating. VA 80%.
11 Feb 2019 - DOD 20% VA 80%
28 Mar 2019 - Frmal Board date
 

OllieT

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I wanted 30% as I will need another spinal fusion next year so wanted to keep tricare coverage. I just want them to include my Radiculopathy
 

Nhoover500

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
That’s one of mine but I have lower back pain, I have like 3 herniated/ buldge disc in my lower back and 2 herniated disc in my neck. I am kinda scared because I didn’t have surgery or any operation that will lower it
 

OllieT

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I KNOW Plenty guys that haven’t had surgery and have been medically retired. Really it comes down to range of motion and that is what I’m fighting because they are saying that the radiculopathy isn’t unfitting. I hope you get retirement and don’t have to go to the formal board.
 

Nhoover500

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Honestly brother I’m a 7 year E5, New father, house , truck , with a lot happening. I’m hoping for 100, do you know if you have stipulation on what you can make after you get paid for example if you are a 100% VA is there a cap on what you can make in the civilian world ? Like social security disability.
 

RichDaniel

Registered Member
@OllieT,

I was recently referred for MEB for the following conditions:
  1. Lumbar degenerative disc disease, degenerative arthritis/spondylosis/facet arthrosis, spinal canal stenosis with L4-L5 disc abutting the traversing bilateral L5 nerve roots, and L5-S1 disc protrusion that abuts the traversing left S1 nerve root.
  2. Left L5 and S1 radiculitis/radiculopathy.
  3. Right L5 radiculitis/radiculopathy.
I have read a lot of posts that discuss radiculopathy either not being listed as a separate condition, or in your case, not receiving an unfit finding... I was wondering what your thoughts are on my referrals based off your experience...

I have been seen numerous times over the last ten + years for radiculopathy in both legs...

Thanks!
 

RichDaniel

Registered Member
That’s one of mine but I have lower back pain, I have like 3 herniated/ buldge disc in my lower back and 2 herniated disc in my neck. I am kinda scared because I didn’t have surgery or any operation that will lower it
Before my PCM referred me for an MEB he had me see a orthopedic surgeon who recommended surgery. I declined surgery and am now going through an MEB for LBP/Radiculopathy.
 

OllieT

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
@Nhoover500 I know a few guys who have 100% and actually still hold federal jobs so I’m pretty sure you are good to go. Yeah I’m an E5 with two boys under 2 and the sole earner in my household, another reason I am fighting to keep medical coverage. I’ve only been in 4years so getting to 100% would be tough. I never ever went to medical until I got injured. So my injury is really my only claim. Wishing you all the best, keep us posted on your progress.
 

OllieT

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
@RichDaniel welcome,

So basically after talking to my lawyer, it really depends on what Dr sits on your board. She actually laughed when I told her and she said, they have been doing this for ages and it is amazing that they still able to continue to do it. Saying that, I really hope that you get one of the good doctors and don’t have to go through all this.

Make sure you have evidence of a EMG or NCS to prove your radiculopathy. Which is what they are asking me for again.... this was my fourth EMG/NCS. Also make sure they are checking your ROM properly cus that is something the VA does that is shady! It’s like you have to try not get cheated through this whole process. Feel free to hit me up if you have any questions.
 

ctsusmc

Registered Member
My case for Lumbar Spondylosis with lower bilateral radiculopathy and Cervical DDD with bilateral upper radiculopathy was:
  • Referred to the PEB in April 2018.
  • IPEB Findings Dec 2018.
- Unfit for Lumbar and Cervical w/Radiculopathy, but they didn't include the ratings for the upper radic, and the VA screwed up the ratings for both my lumbar and cervical conditions.
  • Appealed to FPEB to have them include the upper and lower radic rating percentages.
  • FPEB on 26 Jan 2019.
  • FPEB Findings 21 Feb 2019.
- FPEB changed decision and said ONLY the Lumbar Spondylosis is unfitting, reduced the overall rating.
- Submitted PFR to Director, Secretary of the Navy Council of Review Boards on 8 Mar 2019.

- Will still need to file a VA Ratings Reconsideration once the PFR decision comes back.

~ Anticipating a retirement/separation between July-November 2019.
 

OllieT

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
@ctsusmc, I’m almost positive my findings will go the same way. I just want to know “legally” how they are able to do this? It is clearly outlined in the VSARD.

I think we should get all the guys that have radiculopathy issues that weren’t given a rating but contributed to the unfit finding and file a lawsuit against the DOD PEB. It’s not ok and apparently it happens often.

I’m sorry to hear about your findings, hopefully the VARR will come back with a finding that will get you over 30%. Keep us posted on the progress and outcome. Be interested to know if they give you legal framework sighting the clause on which they are basing their decisions.
 
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