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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, restrictive lung disease, bronchitis, asthma, or some other pulmonary disorder.  The real issue with rating by analogy to these disorders is that pulmonary function tests drive the rating criteria for respiratory problems, and such tests may not adequately reflect the extent to which the residuals or sequelae of COVID19 impair you.  I will be reaching out to both the DVA and the various DOD PEB panels this week to learn how they plan to approach this issue and will address it in future blog posts.

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