Author Archives: John Gately
DOD to Ban COVID19 Survivors from Joining Military
The DOD plans to permanently disqualify all prospective enlistees or officer candidates who are diagnosed COVID19 survivors- no info yet on whether waivers will be granted. Check back for updates, as I will post any info on potential waivers as it becomes available. See the attached link for details. https://bit.ly/2YH13uL
Major Problems with VA C&P Exams during COVID19
Due to the COVID19 pandemic, many VA providers have been tasked with performing C&P exams by telemedicine. However, they currently have no way of performing objective assessments by telemedicine- i.e., range of motion in your joints, length of scars, etc. So, they are merely writing “unable to perform due to COVID19” for any exams requiring […]
DOD Extends Travel Restrictions to June 30. 2020
On Monday, the Secretary of Defense extended travel restrictions until June 30th- for disability hearings, this means that in-person hearings will not occur until later this summer, if at all. As per my previous post, the United States Army has opted to mandate that hearings will be telephonic for the foreseeable future. The real issue […]
Army Formal PEB Hearings Go Telephonic Due to COVID19 Pandemic
The Army PEB recently decided to convert all pending FPEB hearings to telephonic proceedings to comply with DOD limitations on domestic travel due to the COVID19 pandemic. Here is how I will respond to this development. First, while the regulations allow for telephonic proceedings, I will file a reconsideration request seeking an “on the record” […]
VA C&P Exams by Video Call- An Accident Waiting to Happen?
Faced with a mounting backlog of Compensation and Pension (“C&P”) exams in IDES cases, the VA has decided to conduct as many of these exams as possible via a videoconference call. This bizarre development has caught both VA examiners and the PEB system off-guard, with no one knowing how to conduct objective physical exams by […]
Board Delays & Extending Enlistments Due to COVID19
I have had several inquiries this week from prospective clients who have requested formal hearings in IDES cases, only to be told that these hearings will be scheduled for July, August, or September due to the COVID19 situation. While this may change soon, enlisted members and probationary officers whose service agreements will expire while awaiting […]
How Will COVID19 Cases Be Rated in the PEB Process?
As our nation battles the COVID19 pandemic, I pondered how service members rendered unfit for further service due to residuals of COVID19 will be rated in the disability process. Since the VASRD does not contain a schedular rating for this new disorder, we may expect that it will initially be rated by analogy to COPD, […]
What Impact Will a Positive COVID19 Test Have on Your Assignment Status?
While widespread testing for COVID19 has not yet occurred, it is logical to assume that the military will institute mandatory testing once a proper procedure is available. This testing process will raise a few questions regarding the availability of those who test positive for worldwide assignment and deployment. This discussion will be complicated by […]
How to Find VA DBQ Forms
While the VA has discontinued publishing Disability Benefit Exam Questionnaire (“DBQ”) forms on its website, I have attached the last historical link to these forms to help you to be better prepared for your VA C&P exams. Here it is: https://web.archive.org/web/20190807143131/https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/dbq_ListByDBQFormName.asp
VBA Eliminates Need for Wet Signatures
In order to ease the burden on claimants and their advocates in the electronic claims era, the VBA has essentially eliminated the need for “wet” signatures on claims and appeals forms. I have attached the current agency guidance below for your use to expedite the filing of claims and appeals. VBA Wet Signatures