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Recent Blog Posts

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 […]

Separating Mood Disorders from Fibromyalgia

If you are going through the disability process and are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, there will be a natural tendency for military providers to lump all your symptoms under this diagnosis- even if the other conditions arose much earlier than the fibromyalgia itself.  This is particularly true with mood disorders like anxiety and depression.  In order […]

Unique Way to Increase Rating for Rheumatoid Arthritis

In a recent case, my client had received a 40% disability rating for Rheumatoid Arthritis (“RA”) under the VA Code 5002.  While this was a good initial rating, it did not reflect the real impact of this disease upon him.  Sadly, he didn’t have the significant weight loss, anemia or severe incapacitating episodes 4 or […]

What Changes to DOD IDES Timelines Mean to You

In July of 2018, the DOD Secretariat unveiled major changes to the timelines for processing IDES cases.  The goal of these changes is to complete 80 percent of all active duty and Reserve/Guard cases within 230 days.  Each service is taking its own unique approach to implementing this mandate, but most of these changes will […]

Coast Guard Rolls Out Pilot IDES/VA Program

Until this year, unlike the other armed services, the Coast Guard had not participated in the Joint DOD/VA IDES program and has retained the traditional legacy PEB structure.  This structure will begin to change in 2019, as the Coast Guard rolls out its own version of the IDES process at its pilot test sites at […]

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