SAF-MR Email working or not?

josephk

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#1
Hi everyone,

New here. Medically discharged in 2007 from the Army after 5 years service with issues from back, hearing loss, mental health, etc. Returned from Korea to Ft Gordon Med Hold where I stayed for 8-9 months and received a 0% rating twice despite being prescribed 210 lortab, 90 flexiril, zoloft, ambien, and valium (only for panic attacks) and having to use a cane from time to time. Medical hold at that time was a f*ckin nightmare. Cadre treated everyone like children and the medical staff made you feel worthless (which didn't take much given the situation), so I took the second 0% rating and ran with hopes of the VA giving me a better shake.

At the end of the day I was medically discharged with 0% for.....wait for it........wait for it..........shin splints. No BS

Check into the VA a short time after being discharged and they perform a thorough examination over the course of a week or so, and they come back with very different results. Mental health stuff was similar to what the Army had already found, Anxiety disorder, Severe clinical depression, manic, etc. But the physical was very different. Sure, I had shin splints and my legs and toes would go numb, but the VA found that I had/have PARS syndrome (spondylolisthesis & spondylosis) [as well as about 10 other things found to be service connected]. So they awarded 60%, which is currently being reevaluated for increase.

I received the letter early last year notifying me of a chance to appeal the Army's decision, which I jumped at given what I always felt was a knife in my back. I sent the application and all the requested paperwork to the PDBR on Feb 28th 2017. The last update I received was 10/5 stating they were waiting on my medical records from the VA & Army...............after over 7 months. So I sent an email requesting an update 14 days ago, and I have yet to receive a response.

I said all that to say this, has anyone had any correspondence with the SAF-MR email in the last couple of weeks?
TIA
 

josephk

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#2
wow, this place is pretty dead too.

Either way, someone finally responded to my email. Because I had sent multiple emails I received two separate responses.

1st.
Sorry there is no change in your PDBR status.

Respectfully,
Physical Disability Board of Review

2nd.
Hello, your case is still in the records collection phase. Cases in this phase can take up to 24 months to complete.

Respectfully,
Physical Disability Board of Review

Super informative and professional. I responded to the 2nd asking if they meant 24 months from that phase or from the time submitted, it's already been over a year since I submitted the paperwork. They sent an email on 6/20/17 acknowledging they received it and on 10/5/17 saying they were still collecting documents.

So, it seems like they have literally done nothing in a years time.
 

Jason Perry

Benevolent Leader
Site Founder
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#3
@josephk,

Welcome to the PEBFORUM!

I don't know that I have much helpful information for you, but, I will comment on your posts. I hope all goes well for you and you get a good result from your appeal efforts.

New here. Medically discharged in 2007 from the Army after 5 years service with issues from back, hearing loss, mental health, etc. Returned from Korea to Ft Gordon Med Hold where I stayed for 8-9 months and received a 0% rating twice despite being prescribed 210 lortab, 90 flexiril, zoloft, ambien, and valium (only for panic attacks) and having to use a cane from time to time. Medical hold at that time was a f*ckin nightmare. Cadre treated everyone like children and the medical staff made you feel worthless (which didn't take much given the situation), so I took the second 0% rating and ran with hopes of the VA giving me a better shake.

Not sure what your entire case file and documents support about your proper rating, but, it seems you were found unfit with a 0% rating (hence the availablity of a PDBR review, which your posts suggest you are pursuing.

At the end of the day I was medically discharged with 0% for.....wait for it........wait for it..........shin splints. No BS
Based on all of your posts, I am not sure if you only requested a Physical Disability Board of Review appeal for your shins only or if you requested all conditions be reviewed. This would be an important and key issue in your case. You should have, in my opinion, requested a review of all conditions.


Check into the VA a short time after being discharged and they perform a thorough examination over the course of a week or so, and they come back with very different results. Mental health stuff was similar to what the Army had already found, Anxiety disorder, Severe clinical depression, manic, etc. But the physical was very different. Sure, I had shin splints and my legs and toes would go numb, but the VA found that I had/have PARS syndrome (spondylolisthesis & spondylosis) [as well as about 10 other things found to be service connected]. So they awarded 60%, which is currently being reevaluated for increase.
See my above comments. Did you request that the PDBR review all conditions or only your shin splints?


I received the letter early last year notifying me of a chance to appeal the Army's decision, which I jumped at given what I always felt was a knife in my back. I sent the application and all the requested paperwork to the PDBR on Feb 28th 2017. The last update I received was 10/5 stating they were waiting on my medical records from the VA & Army...............after over 7 months. So I sent an email requesting an update 14 days ago, and I have yet to receive a response.
Unfortunately, the administrative appeals process can be quite lengthy.

I said all that to say this, has anyone had any correspondence with the SAF-MR email in the last couple of weeks?
Well, your later posts seem to suggest you have gotten a response. That is kinda a rare event in my experience. Most times, you get no response.

wow, this place is pretty dead too.

Either way, someone finally responded to my email. Because I had sent multiple emails I received two separate responses.

1st.
Sorry there is no change in your PDBR status.

Respectfully,
Physical Disability Board of Review

2nd.
Hello, your case is still in the records collection phase. Cases in this phase can take up to 24 months to complete.

Respectfully,
Physical Disability Board of Review

Super informative and professional. I responded to the 2nd asking if they meant 24 months from that phase or from the time submitted, it's already been over a year since I submitted the paperwork. They sent an email on 6/20/17 acknowledging they received it and on 10/5/17 saying they were still collecting documents.

So, it seems like they have literally done nothing in a years time.
Yes, that would not be an unusual result. Wish I had more to help or aid you in your process. It just takes a long time (way too long, in my opinion) to get progress via the administrative appeals process.

Another issue I point out, the statute of limitations for filing in Federal Court is six years from date of the decision of the "first competent board" that reviewed and rendered a disability finding decision. So, since you stated that you were medically discharged in 2007, you may be outside of the statute of limitations. However, there are exceptions to this and you may have a basis for claiming that the military "re-opened" your case by their sending you the letter and or on the basis of the nature of the PDBR statute. This issue has not been really fully fought out in court. I think there are good arguments that cases like yours should not be outside of the statute of limitations. However, this issue is not clear and, in your case, would take fighting out in court.

I hope all goes well for you and you get a favorable result.
 

josephk

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#4
All conditions were requested to be reviewed.

I always found it funny how they rated me for shin splints and not the multitude of other issues

I am not worried much about the outcome as my wife is still in, 23 years now, so there is little to no benefit if they increase. I just hate, anxiety, waiting on things to be completed or hearing back about something.
I have an appointment next week for my VA increase, THAT one actually matters.....at least IMO
 

josephk

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#5
VA sorta finished their process for rate increase last week, changed from 60% to 90% and pending 100% based on another form I have to fill out.

Received a reply from the SAFPEB people saying that they now have my VA records and my case is pending receipt of my Army and PEB documents (I began this process in Feb 2017)

Anyone know of or personally waited this long for their records to be received?

Anyone heard of cases where records were "lost"?

I just don't get a warm and fuzzy about this whole thing.
 

josephk

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#6
Wow, someone at the PDBR email address is being very responsive today.
Just thought I would share in the event someone else finds themselves in the same boat. Also, I didn't know they only looked at one year post service.



"The intent of the PDBR is to ensure you received an accurate and fair medical discharge. As such, we will focus on the two years prior and one year post medical discharge. Your recent VA decision will not affect your PDBR review. We received your records on 3 MAY 18.

Cases may take up to 30 months from application to completion.

If we cannot get your PEB your case will be suspended until such a time it is provided.

Respectfully,
Physical Disability Board of Review"

-------------------------

Hi,

That is at least some good news. Can you confirm the date my VA records were received? I only ask because my rating was recently increased from 60% to 90% and I feel that would affect the decision of the PDBR.

Is it atypical for record retrieval to take this long? Is there a maximum time limit for which a case has to be decided? What are my options if the Army/PEB does not submit my documents or, worse yet, has lost them?

I know that you deal with a lot of people, and I asked a lot of questions here. But, I would appreciate any help you could provide.


-------------------------------

We have received your VA records. Your case file is pending receipt of your Army medical records and your PEB documents.

Respectfully,
Physical Disability Board of Review
 
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