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Author Archives: John Gately

DOD Creates New Discharge Appeals Board

The DOD has announced the formation of a new board of appeals for service members with separation dates on or after December 20, 2019. The Discharge Appeal Review Board (DARB) will provide a final review of discharge or dismissal characterization upgrade requests when petitioners have exhausted all available administrative remedies at the Discharge Review Board […]

DOD Wounded, Ill and Injured Compensation Benefits Handbook- 2020

For those of you who have not yet been provided a copy of the DOD 2020 edition of the Wounded, Ill, and Injured Compensation Benefits Handbook, I have attached a copy for you to download and share with anyone who might benefit from it.  Here it is: DoD-WII-Compensation-and-Benefits-Handbook_October-2020.12.20

Air Force BCMR Now Accepts Electronic Filing

For those of you who may have missed this development, the AFBCMR has now gone to portal submissions. This means that you can submit petitions for relief and supplemental documents electronically, as well as ascertaining your case status that way. Here is a link to the portal link for your use- https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2560800/new-air-force-review-boards-agency-website-launched/

News that You Can Use From the Board of Veterans Appeals

For all disabled veterans and their advocates, I have attached a link to the March 2021 Update from Ms. Cheryl Mason, the Chairperson of the Board of Veterans Appeals.   In addition to an overview of the Board’s current caseload and processing times, it provides vital information regarding uploading documents through the Centralized Mail Portal, procedural […]

VA Puts DBQ Forms Back Online

The VA has now complied with Congressional orders to repost the DBQ exam questionnaires online so that your private providers can complete them to provide much-needed evidence to support your VA claims.   For your convenience, I have posted the link to the new DBQ forms here: https://tinyurl.com/2hxb6k4u

VA Updates Musculoskeletal Ratings

On February 7, 2021, the VA updated the musculoskeletal rating criteria to include clear definitions for compartment syndrome and rhabdomyolysis, amongst other musculoskeletal conditions.  To see how these rating changes may affect you, please click on the attached link to the electronic CFR: https://tinyurl.com/1m3tka0h

Amazing Army Discharge Review Board Class Action Settlement

As part of a class action settlement on December 28, 2020, the Army will begin an automatic review of Discharge Review Board decisions from April 17, 2011, to the date of the settlement that denied relief to thousands of veterans affected by military sexual trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other behavioral health conditions. In addition, […]

[New Version] Unique Army Board for Injured Soldiers Separated without Disability Pay

The Army Physical Disability Review Board is a unique board that exists to review the petitions of soldiers who were separated or retired for conditions constituting a physical disability for which they did not receive disability retired or severance pay.   If you were separated or retired within the last 15 years due to medical reasons […]

When the Air Force IRILO Recommends a Full MEB

For Air Force members going through an MEB, the first step is always the Informal Review in Lieu Of (“IRILO”) review by AFPC.  If this review recommends a full MEB, things just became real- you must now decide what your goals would be in the full MEB process and how realistic they may be.  If […]

VA Resources to Help with COVID Impact on PTSD

It should come as no surprise to any of us that the current reliance on telehealth and the need for significant travel restrictions/safety precautions limiting access to PTSD providers and resources would adversely impact veterans with trauma-related stressor disorders.   However, the VA does have two great mobile apps- PTSD Coach and COVID Coach- that could […]


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