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Author Archives: John Gately

Appealing TDRL Findings to the BCMR/BCNR

Several service members placed on the TDRL have recently asked me if it was worthwhile to appeal that decision to the BCMR/BCNR of their parent service.   The short is no, in most cases, because most of the Boards of Correction take between 12-18 to process such applications. By that time, you will probably have already […]

How to Obtain Key Medical Evidence from VA Providers for Your TDRL Review

If you are on the TDRL and need updated medical evidence from your VA providers regarding the severity and stability of your TDRL conditions, you will find that some VA providers are reluctant to write letters to outside agencies like the DOD and the Coast Guard.  Here is how to get around that stumbling block- […]

The Importance of Advisory Opinions in BCMR/BCNR Cases

If you have filed a petition for relief in a BCMR/BCNR case, the first forward movement in your case after assigning a docked number will be the receipt of an advisory opinion drafted for the Board by your branch of service.   This document is like a defendant’s response in a lawsuit and should be analyzed […]

Preparation Tips for Virtual FPEB Hearings

In the age of COVID-19, the various PEB formal hearing panels are opting to hold hearings in either a virtual or telephonic format. If you are scheduled for a virtual PEB hearing, here are some preparation tips to help you effectively present your case to the FPEB members.   First, be sure to review the questions […]

How PTSD Cases Are Analyzed on TDRL Review

If you are placed on the TDRL for PTSD, you may expect to have your case reviewed within a few months of your initial retirement date. Even in the age of COVID-19, these reviews are still happening promptly.   I have been receiving calls regularly over the past few weeks from TDRL members in receipt of […]

New VA Hearing Management Contact Info

For your convenience, I have attached a document containing all of the key contact information for you to track the VA hearing schedule as it impacts your case. More importantly, it reviews what is necessary for you to schedule a virtual hearing that will help those already scheduled for hearings to stay on track by […]

DOD Considers Enlistment Waivers for COVID19 Patients

COVID19 DOD Accessions Update- And, in a classic example of the “walking it back” Washington two-step, it appears that the DOD is considering waivers for COVID19 patients who were not hospitalized due to the virus.  Stay tuned for more details to be posted here as the waiver policy and criteria are finalized.  https://bit.ly/2YIuNHw    

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 […]


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