The Medical Evaluation Board process is often a stressful period for a service member. There is often some uncertainty as to whether the individual will be unfit for duty and what sort of disability rating they can expect.
The process often begins after a period of limited duty. A Medical Evaluation Board is initiated where a doctor documents the member's medical history, physical status, and duty limitations. There is an inquiry into the extent to which medical conditions interfere with duties. Lawyers are usually not involved at this stage - when doctor's are examining whether the member meets retention criteria.
Following the creation of the Medical Evaluation Board Report, a Narrative Summary is authored. The NARSUM includes all of the ratable conditions that will be referred to the Physical Evaluation Board. The member has 3 days to appeal. It can be extremely important to have a lawyer knowledgable in the Disability Evaluation System, medicine, the Veterans Administration Schedule of Ratings and Disabilities, and the actual PEB process review the NARSUM. A free consultation is highly advisable. Many firms advertise that they handle medical evaluation boards. However, you want somebody that is knowledgeable about the medicine involved in your case and the VASRD.
An informal PEB determines whether you are fit or unfit for duty. If you do not like the results of that finding, you can appeal for a hearing. Lawyers knowledgeable in the medicine of your case can be valuable at the hearing. There is risk involved in the hearings also, because the board could determine that a condition was not service connected. These are considerations that must be discussed with counsel.
Disability calculations can be complicated. They function in 10 percent increments. Ratings above 30% result in inclusion in either the Temporary Disability Retired List (TDRL) or Permanent Disability Retired List (PDRL). Separation and disability checks are dependent on the disability rating. The distinction between the TDRL and PDRL is significant. Under the TDRL, you will have to undergo a new evaluation every 18 months to determine whether your condition has improved or resolved.
The stakes in a medical evaluation board are so high, you should take a few minutes to consult us with the email form to the left or a phone call.
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