RTD w/Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Thebrittanyk

Registered Member
Good morning,

I am currently AD AF with 8.5 yrs TIS and have just rec'd my ratings of 10% DOD/40% VA for Ankylosing Spondylitis. I am fighting for a RTD designation and have begun the appeal process/contacted OAC. Things that I have working in my favor are: never been on profile for this condition, have had majority of Excellent on all PFTs, have 100% Commander support, and have PCM/Rheumatologist support. I do not have any fusion/growth on my spine or any limited ROM; only attributes for Diagnosis are HLA-B27+ with frequent painful flares. Had a trial of two infusion meds (hence the MEB), and discontinued at the rec of my Rheumy after no improvement on them. Now on Gabapentin for pain which has provided relief, and am told by PCM that I am fully deployable on this med.

Looking for tips/recommendations from anyone who has 1) gone through an MEB for AS and/or 2) fought to be RTD and won (or lessons learned if not).

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide! I'll be happy to answer questions.

Brittany
 

chaplaincharlie

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I got a RTD on my first MEB, post heart attack. It is possible. Two things that helped is I continued to exceed PT standards and had a strong CC letter. Glad you have OAC working your case.
 

Ruru86

Registered Member
Hi, thebrittanyk, I just was wondering if you had any updates on your case to share. Thanks!
 

Thebrittanyk

Registered Member
Hi, thebrittanyk, I just was wondering if you had any updates on your case to share. Thanks!
Hi Ruru86, I am actually at Randolph AFB right now for my formal hearing on Thursday. I meet with me attorney for the first time this morning. I will provide an update as soon as I can. Are you going through something similar?

Brittany
 

Ruru86

Registered Member
Hi thebrittanyk, thanks so much for your response. Yes, I’m going through a very similar process but I’m still awaiting my VA ratings. I similarly have excellent PFTs, 100% commander support, have never missed work for AS. However, the only real difference is that I’m also on Humira. My guess is that they will say that makes me non-deployable. I kinda know my fate but I’m curious to see how the FPEB addresses your case because you look like the perfect RTD candidate. I wish you the utmost luck! Do keep me posted.
 

Thebrittanyk

Registered Member
Hey Ruru86, I just wanted to give you an update...I was supposed to have my formal hearing today at 1. However, I waited with my attorney for 20 minutes after my start time when the board finally called. I thought "this is it!", and then my attorney mouthed to me (along with a thumbs up) "You won!". Apparently, the board had taken those 20 minutes to review and discuss my case and my exhibits and agreed with my summary request to be returned to duty. I didn't even have to see them! They had initially denied my summary request last Thursday, so this was a surprise. From speaking with my attorney, humira (or any injectable/infusion) will be the kicker. I am fortunate that I do not have any fusion so can make due with natural remedies and approved pain meds. He did say that appealing to the SECAF is where people have the most success for a RTD. I hope that your case works in your favor; I would love for you to keep me updated. It's a long journey, and mine started 14 months ago. I'm so thankful that it's finally over.

Brittany
 

Ruru86

Registered Member
Congrats, thebrittanyk! That is amazing news! So happy to hear you will be RTD. I will definitely keep you in posted on my case.
 

Ruru86

Registered Member
Hi thebrittanyk question for you - how long did it take you to get your ratings after your file was sent to the AFPC IPEB?
 
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