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New Coast Guard Medical Manual Pending

FYI to all Coasties on a limited duty status or pending a medical board- there is a new Coast Guard Medical Manual pending final authorization that, in its current draft format, eliminates any reference to the chronic use of immunosuppressants as being service-disqualifying.  This development is good news for those with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, […]

Supreme Court Denies Review of Feres Doctrine Challenge

When Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas agree, you know that the world has turned upside down.  However, both justices would have granted certiorari to review a challenge to the infamous Feres Doctrine in the case of Daniel v. United States.  The Feres Doctrine was established by the Court’s decision in  Feres v. United States, […]

How to Prepare for Telephonic MEB Interviews in Army Guard & Reserve Cases

If you are an Army Guardsman or Reservist who is undergoing a PEB after being released from active duty orders, the odds are very high that your medical board narrative summary will be prepared by a doctor at Fort Gordon or some other remote facility based upon a telephonic interview as opposed to a live […]

4 Ways to Use Nonmedical Evidence to Win your PEB Case

In the performance-based PEB disability evaluation system, nonmedical evidence is vital in showing why one or more of your various medical conditions should be found service-disqualifying and assigned disability ratings.   This evidence typically consists of letters from supervisors, coworkers and subordinates describing how your injuries or medical conditions adversely impact you in the military workplace and […]

How to Win Range of Motion Issues in VA One-time Recon Requests

If your VA C&P examining physician inaccurately recorded your range of motion in a joint or spinal segment, you should obtain two new range of motion exams as soon as possible that will back up your contention- preferably from separate providers.  Then you will note these findings in a rebuttal to your MEB Narrative Summary […]

Why DOD Members Must Provide Input to the Command Impact Statement

For any DOD service members being processed through either the legacy or IDES systems, your Command Impact Statement will be one of the most critical components of your case.  This document takes many different forms- the Army DA7652, the Air Force AF1185 and the Nonmedical Assessment letter format for Navy and Marine Corps cases.   The […]

Why You Must Deal with Bad C&P Exams in IDES Cases

In September of 2018, I posted an update about how to deal with bad VA C&P exams in IDES cases that advised you to request a copy of your VA C&P exams within two weeks of taking the last exam. This received pushback from some PEBLOs, who argued that you would receive copies as part […]

Why You Should Personally Appear at Formal Hearings

While many services offer you the opportunity to appear at formal hearings by speakerphone or VTC, this is normally not a wise course of action.  Why, you may ask?  Quite honestly, appearing in person provides the board members with the chance to see you and observe your physical or emotional limitations in person. For example, […]

Critical Navy Election of Options Timelines

For all Navy and Marine Corps cases, the current timeline for submitting your Election of Options or Petition for Relief is 15 calendar days from the date of receipt. In other words, if the 15h day is a Friday, your EEO or PFR must be in no later than 2359 that day- otherwise, it will […]

Separating Migraine Headaches from Fibromyalgia

As with my previous post regarding fibromyalgia and mood disorders, your military rheumatology providers are likely to attribute chronic migraines- even if longstanding in nature- to your fibromyalgia diagnosis.  To overcome this tendency, you will need to have your treating neurologist prepare an addendum that specifically addresses how your prostrating migraines differ from the tension […]

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