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HOW TO PUSH BACK WHEN THE PEB DEVIATES FROM THE VASRD

Recently, I was confronted with a situation in which a prospective client’s IPEB decision rated a thoracolumbar spine condition under VA Code 5003 for degenerative arthritis alone because the members felt that the primary injury was to the thoracic spine.  Since this spinal segment has very little range of motion, the IPEB members ignored a […]

WHEN WILL YOU BE PROVIDED MILITARY COUNSEL PRIOR TO AN FPEB OR FPEB APPEAL?

While I have honestly not met an incompetent or “bad” military counsel in 30 years of representing service members in the PEB process, the downside to working the military counsel is that their caseloads are much higher than civilian counsel. This gives them less time to work with you and develop your case. At the […]

HOW TO REQUEST A POST-FPEB HEARING

DODI133218e Before the new DOD1332.18 instruction was issued on November 10, 2022, service members could only submit written appeals of adverse findings by the FPEB panel of their service. But that is no longer the case. Under the provisions of Section 3.3d.1 of DODI1332.18, you can now request an additional hearing at which counsel can […]

HOW TO PREVENT AN IPEB MEMBER FROM SITTING ON YOUR FPEB PANEL

DODI133218e In a startling new change to DOD1332.18 that was issued on November 10, 2022, service members can specifically demand that the FPEB exclude board members who participated in the adjudication process of your case at the IPEB. See Section 3.3.c.2.b of DODI1332.18. This means that you can exclude IPEB members from sitting on your […]

HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU SUBMIT REBUTTALS TO YOUR MEB?

DODI133218e Before the issuance of the change to DOD 1332.18 on November 10, 2022, this was an easy question to answer- you were entitled to one Impartial Review and one Rebuttal. However, according to Section 3.2.e.6 of the new instruction, service members will be entitled upon request to at least one rebuttal of the MEB […]

New USAF FPEB Rules

Important Update for USAF members who are pending a formal hearing.   The Air Force recently updated its Rules of Practice and Procedure for formal hearings. If you have civilian counsel who has not recently represented clients before the USAF FPEB, then both you and your attorney should review a copy of the attached document. Why? […]

The Importance of Army IPEB Reconsideration Requests

If you are being processed through the Army PEB system and are either found Fit or have been found Unfit but have issues you wish to raise at a formal hearing, you and your counsel should consider drafting an IPEB Reconsideration Request (“IPEB Recon”) to accompany your election of options. If you have been found […]

Persuasively Using PEB-directed Rating Returns in Navy and Air Force Cases

Lately, the VA Rating Activity staff in Providence, Rhode Island, have been combining potentially unfitting conditions rated by analogy with referred conditions found in the VASRD.  This approach is typically not to the benefit of  Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force members.   For example, VA Rating Activity personnel have recently combined ratings for little-known autoimmune […]

Why IPEB Recon Requests Are Effective Tools in Coast Guard PDES Cases

When Coast Guard members receive IPEB findings that they do not like in their PDES cases, they usually check the box on Page Two of the CG-4808 form- the findings of the  PEB- to demand a formal hearing. Most of them assume that they will be going straight to a formal hearing. However, experienced Coast […]

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 […]

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