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TDRL final exam question

nicclea

New Member
Registered Member
In Nov 2014, I was med-boarded from the Navy for MDD with Anxiety and pinched nerves in my back, and placed on TDRL with 40% and a VA rating of 40%. Since then, I've been seen at the VA at least once a month (excluding a year where I was being seen in town through the veteran's choice program) and have had two separate re-examinations for my VA rating for the same exact disabilities. My most recent one was late Dec 2019, and my VA rating is now 90%. I received an email saying I need to make an appointment with my nearest MTF, which is 4 hours away, for a final PPE. I asked the TDRL coordinator who sent the email if I could use the VA rating exam in lieu of driving 4 hours for an exam for the same exact disabilities, and his response was:

"TDRL is different from VA, you were placed on TDRL by a Navy PEB. If you opt for not going to the PPE them you will have to send those VA notes yourself to the PEB in order to qualify for benefits."

Here is where I'm a little confused; is opting out of the final PPE actually an option? In the notification of final PPE paperwork, it gives instructions for the MTF PEBLO to send a completed form, summary, and relevant medical records to the PEB in DC. If I have the option to opt-out of the exam and send my VA notes to the PEB myself, what forms would need to be included and which VA notes? I dont believe he meant for me just to fax or mail my VA decision letter, so what notes exactly are they asking for?

As long as I have been out of the Navy, I have only ever received VA disability pay, and not once have I ever received retirement pay. I never stepped foot on a base again, nor received a service ID card and have only received care through the VA. So, as far as I know, I haven't received benefits from the Navy through TDRL and, to be completely honest, feel more than a little overwhelmed and flustered getting this email after hearing nothing for five years. I apologize if this has been asked a million times; I tried to search through the forum boards and wasn't able to find something related to my question.
 

Wldra66it

Well-Known Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Your on TDRL, I wouldn’t advise declining the exam as you could possibly forfeit your retirement. If you’re under 20 years you won’t get both retirement and VA compensation pay as it’s considered double dipping you will receive the difference. Somewhere along the line your leadership failed you and you failed to do your part. While on TDRL you are entitled a DD Form 2 Retired ID Card, as well as Tricare eligibility. This sounds like a final determination exam to decide whether to place you on the Permanent Disability Retirement List (PDRL). Being a medical retiree whether TDRL or PDRL has the same rights and privileges as a regular retiree except for pay purposes. If it were me I’d drive the 4 hrs.
 

nicclea

New Member
Registered Member
Thank you both for replying. I should have said it in the original post, my apologies; yes this is the exam to determine if I am PDRL or not. The more I talk about it the more I realize I should just suck it up and go. Thanks for taking the time to reply!
 

Djd96

Well-Known Member
Registered Member
Thank you both for replying. I should have said it in the original post, my apologies; yes this is the exam to determine if I am PDRL or not. The more I talk about it the more I realize I should just suck it up and go. Thanks for taking the time to reply!

how did this end up going for you ? I am in this exact scenario. I have to drive 4 hours to my nearby NMT but the VA has already sent me a continuation of benefits letter.
 
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