Why You Should Never Assume Anything
Last week, I represented a client at a formal hearing who had retained me after receiving very strange PEB findings awarding him disability severance for a moderate sciatic nerve injury, but which ignored his lumbar spine injuries. A quick review of the case file revealed why- the drafters of his medical board and speciality addenda only wrote about the sciatic nerve as they thought that the limitations from the lumbar spine injuries would be intuitively obvious. Not so. If a condition is not discussed, then it is assumed not to be a problem. I contacted his providers and had them draft updated addenda to the medical board package clarifying these issues and supplemented it with updated non-medical evidence. After integrating this new evidence into our pre-hearing brief, we received an on the record decision permanently retiring him. The lesson to be learned- any unfitting conditions must be expressly identified in the initial package forwarded on to the PEB, otherwise they will be ignored.