Primary and Secondary Conditions

broken_but_not_fragile

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
As I am going through my MEDBOARD, I am reading/talking to a number of sources about the VA process and I keep seeing "primary and secondary conditions". My question is, "who determines what condition is a secondary condition to another one?" Is this strictly a VA thing and they decide something is a secondary to something or does it need to be spelled out somewhere. An example, I hear people using knee or feet conditions secondary to their back problems or GERD secondary to PTSD. Does anyone have any information on this or can point me in the right direction.
Thanks,
 
I would assume it's someone's belief as to how something is linked to their referred or already diagnosed conditions. Assuming you're active duty utilizing IDES, you won't have to worry about primary or secondary terminology unless you intend to file again for more benefit in the future.

Here's how the process has shaken out for me, as I don't know where you're at in the process, what branch you're in, if you're active or not, and what elections you've made:

Active USMC utilizing IDES. At the time of board, all diagnosed conditions were: back pain, adjustment disorder w/anxiety & depression symptoms.

I made a claim list much longer than that, I believe 24 claimed conditions were inputted (though more likely broken down to 19, things like mid-back pain & lumbar pain would get conglomerated into a DDD diagnosis).

The examiners from VES issued diagnoses for most of my claimed conditions, only referring one and outright rejecting two. I claimed the conditions, I was examined, I was diagnosed, and per the decision letter/notification letter I was shown all diagnoses made were service connected. Whether there are secondary considerations is largely inconsequential. As I said before there are a myriad of secondary conditions that can be claimed should there be an intent to file in the future.
 
That makes sense. The majority of the posts that I've read are usually from Veterans who have been out for a hot minute (not necessarily Active Duty going through MEDBOARDs). As for me, I am AD Army going through the IDES. I just received my NARSUM (pending any craziness, I should be getting my numbers in about 4-6 weeks).

Good Luck!!!
 
That makes sense. The majority of the posts that I've read are usually from Veterans who have been out for a hot minute (not necessarily Active Duty going through MEDBOARDs). As for me, I am AD Army going through the IDES. I just received my NARSUM (pending any craziness, I should be getting my numbers in about 4-6 weeks).

Good Luck!!!
Have you made your claim list/finished your exams? Seems people's definition of what a NARSUM is tends to change or gets lost in translation between branches.
 
I've finished my exams (looking at the results online was a mixed bag) and have just received my DA Form 3947 (Fit/Unfit) back. The process has been moving pretty steady and based on what I am told, I should be looking another 4-6 weeks till I get my DOD and VA numbers back and then 90-ish days to retirement. How about you?
 
I've finished my exams (looking at the results online was a mixed bag) and have just received my DA Form 3947 (Fit/Unfit) back. The process has been moving pretty steady and based on what I am told, I should be looking another 4-6 weeks till I get my DOD and VA numbers back and then 90-ish days to retirement. How about you?
Finished exams and VA claim closed, the proposals were sent to me after getting an agent that didn't know what they were doing on the phone. PEB is currently reviewing my case to determine fit or unfit. Feels pretty ass backwards to be found fit or unfit after the VA goes through the trouble of rating you and examining you.
 
Finished exams and VA claim closed, the proposals were sent to me after getting an agent that didn't know what they were doing on the phone. PEB is currently reviewing my case to determine fit or unfit. Feels pretty ass backwards to be found fit or unfit after the VA goes through the trouble of rating you and examining you.
Nice, in terms of getting your numbers! I've tried calling the VA to get a sneak peek but haven't been as lucky. Once they found out I'm Active, they immediately give me the script and nothing. It would be nice to get a ballpark number.
 
Nice, in terms of getting your numbers! I've tried calling the VA to get a sneak peek but haven't been as lucky. Once they found out I'm Active, they immediately give me the script and nothing. It would be nice to get a ballpark number.
Just ask to get the files attached to your claim sent to you. Took me like 2 hours to eventually get someone that just asked me for my email and sent it. Persistence is key. Just verify the claim actually shows up closed and that there are files attached. You can do this by checking the browser, not the app.
 
Medics know secondary conditions. There are many.
 
Just ask to get the files attached to your claim sent to you. Took me like 2 hours to eventually get someone that just asked me for my email and sent it. Persistence is key. Just verify the claim actually shows up closed and that there are files attached. You can do this by checking the browser, not the app
You are ahead of me then. I checked the site and it doesn't list anything yet. I guess wait it is.
 
When you got time and idle hands, you tend to find yourself guesstimating your ratings and looking at multiple websites.
Yes sir, I suspect nearly 100% are guesstimators. The board has medical advisors and should include secondary conditions. It sometimes doesn’t happen, which means a FPEB may need to be requested. Oft once a FPEB is requested, the board will give the member the secondary conditions without an actual appearance.
 
@broken_but_not_fragile

Review the VA's M21-1, Part V, Subpart ii, Chapter 2, Section D. It tells you exactly how the VA assigns secondary conditions. This is the source; everything else is merely opinion. The black-letter rule is always the safest place to start.

I hope this helps.

S/f,

Joel

Disclosure: I was a Marine JAG, Active Duty and Reserve IPEB & FPEB attorney, federal government civilian FPEB & TDRL-focused attorney at the Navy PEB, and now a private attorney focused solely on IDES cases. This post is meant as procedural insight only and should not be construed as legal advice related to a specific case or a legal analysis of facts thereof.

 
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