How to File an Effective SAFPC Appeal after a USAF Formal Hearing
A little over a month ago, the Air Force restored the SAFPC appeal process- a post-hearing appeal right it suspended during the height of the pandemic. The SAFPC appeal process involves a written appeal supplemented with medical and nonmedical evidence that seeks to overturn an adverse decision by the Formal PEB (“FPEB”). There are two solid bases for a SAFC appeal. First, you can argue that the FPEB’s decision constitutes a mistake of law or fact. Or, you can demonstrate that there is new medical or nonmedical evidence such that, if it had been available to the FPEB members, the result in your case would be different. Based on my experience representing Air Force members in this setting for 25+ years, I find that combining these two approaches typically yields the best results. In closing, I would also note that you can consider filing a VA One-time Recon Request or a Limited Assignment Status if your SAFPC appeal is denied. Thus, a bad FPEB decision is not the end of the line in Air Force PEB cases.