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View Full Version : Getting pinched with an MEB...worried sick now.



Drackore
08-07-2013, 06:08 AM
Well I've done everything I could to avoid this, but now it is happening. Just told I was getting an MEB.

Situation: Last deployment 2.5 yrs ago I hurt my back, diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease. Was put on a do nothing profile with a narcotic pain killer and limited duty for about six months. PCS'd. New base: Do nothing profile BUT saw an exercise physiologist who helped me lose weight. Started an exercise log (daily). Two straight years of Cardio exempt, but my last PT test was able to take and pass the walk test. This past spring started getting really bad daily headaches. Was put on a beta blocker, which now eliminates me from taking the walk test.

I also have moderate sleep apnea controled by CPAP.

I am almost at 16 yrs in. I can do my job, in fact I am doing a lot of jobs right now. I am an NCOIC, an acting Flight Super (due to the actual being deployed) and an add'l duty 1st Sgt. I also hold a wing Top 3 position. I do my job very well and take care of my people above all else. I am not living in a fantasy land though - I see MEBs come back to the unit all the time with different results for different people with similar problems. I also know I am expensive.

My CC probably has my back though, but with this one I am not 100% sure.

Anyone with similar TOS been through this and can offer me some insight, or at least put me a little at ease?

loggie94
08-07-2013, 07:49 AM
I've seen a few MEBs, and some tough ones while a Sq/CC, but have not been through one myself. At the 16 year point, medical retirement is a good possibility.

MEBs can be a long process... lots of long periods where you wonder if they forgot about you...be patient.

Your CC will have input to the board. Personally, I sat down with the person going through the MEB and talked through all the possibilities before filling out my recommendation -- your CC should do the same. Insist on it if you have to, but but I can think of nothing more important for a CC to take time to discuss with one of his/her troops. I don't know how much AFPC considers the CC's inputs, but their board results matched my recommendations in most of the cases I was involved in. The only way to know if your CC has your back is to sit down face-to-face with him/her and the shirt and discuss it all.

I hope your health improves... good luck with the whole process...

SENDBILLMONEY
08-07-2013, 12:10 PM
Well I've done everything I could to avoid this, but now it is happening. Just told I was getting an MEB.

Situation: Last deployment 2.5 yrs ago I hurt my back, diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease. Was put on a do nothing profile with a narcotic pain killer and limited duty for about six months. PCS'd. New base: Do nothing profile BUT saw an exercise physiologist who helped me lose weight. Started an exercise log (daily). Two straight years of Cardio exempt, but my last PT test was able to take and pass the walk test. This past spring started getting really bad daily headaches. Was put on a beta blocker, which now eliminates me from taking the walk test.

I also have moderate sleep apnea controled by CPAP.

I am almost at 16 yrs in. I can do my job, in fact I am doing a lot of jobs right now. I am an NCOIC, an acting Flight Super (due to the actual being deployed) and an add'l duty 1st Sgt. I also hold a wing Top 3 position. I do my job very well and take care of my people above all else. I am not living in a fantasy land though - I see MEBs come back to the unit all the time with different results for different people with similar problems. I also know I am expensive.

My CC probably has my back though, but with this one I am not 100% sure.

Anyone with similar TOS been through this and can offer me some insight, or at least put me a little at ease?

My wife got disability retirement at 17 years for a much briefer, much lighter combination of issues. The catch-22 I see is that people fight the process ("I've got X, Y, and Z medical issues but I can still do my job!") and then they end up cheerleading themselves out of a favorable disability rating. It's not what you do or how well you do it, you're just a number and Big Blue is trying to cut them right now and your conditions give them an excuse.

Chief_KO
08-07-2013, 12:20 PM
It is impossible for any of us to predict what the results of an MEB will be, we've all seen results that are head scratchers. All I can say is do your best to prepare yourself for either outcome. Given our current push for cuts I would not be surprised if you were medically retired. Having said that, start contacting your local veteran services officer (each county has one) as well as local vets orgs (VFW, Legion, DAV, etc) to start getting info on what they have for you. Benefits vary from state to state, do you have a plan to move back home or stay where you are? Check on your GI Bill benefits, learn what is/is not covered. Do you have certifications from your AFSC that are beneficial for civilian employment (if you plan on continuing in that career). If found disabled by the VA you are eligible to apply for the Vocational Rehabilitation program, something you could research now. Its effectiveness varies state by state as well.
Hope everything works out for you, which ever way it goes.

20+Years
08-07-2013, 12:42 PM
^ What he said. The part that concerns me is the headaches. Know a Chief that recently got med retired due to migrains. It was in connection to a TBI though, so dunno. The MEB process seems to be random at best.

I do KNOW however, you are allowed to go before the actual medical board and appeal your case if the findings don't sit well with you. You will have to ask your medical rep about that part.

45ACP
08-07-2013, 06:17 PM
I just went through an MEB/PEB last year for Chronic Migraines/Anxiety. The process is really scary at 1st, but then you realize that your health is number one and actually look fwd to you new future. Your commander’s letter weighs very heavily/ and so does the PT test. The whole process took about 9 months and was very stressful at times. The process believe it or not is very fair they aren’t out to screw you, but you need to educate yourself on NARSUMs and make sure everything is documented in your records. PEB forum has a wealth of info.
I was returned to duty with a C-2, I was very surprised. I guess my CC's letter and my 92 on my PT test kept me in. Make sure you sign up for TAPS that was a good class and gets you ready for the possibility of getting out. Study the VA rating for your condition so you know what to do at your examination with them. I highly suggest stopping by DAV or the VFW before your VA physical. I was kind of upset that they kept me in once I found out what my potential disability rating would be.

imported_Shove_your_stupid_meeting
08-08-2013, 10:07 PM
Yikes. Good luck with that. I recently jacked-up my back again, and I understand the fear associated with saying anything about it these days.

Airborne
08-09-2013, 12:55 AM
If you cant deploy or the full PT your only doing part of what the AF requires others to do an is not fair. The outside is not is scary as you think. You probably have $200 in your savings account in an AFSC that is a dead end. Thats me being an internet tough guy.

Silverback
08-09-2013, 03:27 AM
People on here have given some honest answers. The MEB process is unpredictable. No two cases are exactly the same either. I wish you the best of luck in fighting it. However, if things do not go as planned get a Plan B and C ready just in case.

cloudFFVII
08-09-2013, 11:47 AM
I faced an on again/off again MEB for 12 years (could always do the walk test, probably that is the only thing that saved me) until finally being cleared and taken off my profile this year, and I just passed my first official PT test with all components.

There are plenty of us that understand the stress you are under (12 years coming up on that, especially when my son was very young, yes a lot of nights I didn't get a lot of sleep). I know we're conditioned today to "not" have faith in the system, but this is one circumstance where you have to trust the system.

You WOULD have a chance to plead your case if it came back where they were trying to separate you but you wanted to stay. I did see a circumstance where someone was MEB'd for asthma (incorrectly), went to the board, fought and won it, and was able to stay in the Air Force.

My prayers and best wishes to you that everything works out, thank you for serving in the best Air Force on the world.

imported_StandardsAMust
08-09-2013, 12:48 PM
Drakore,

Go talk to your shirt and see what he/she says. Most likely this will have to be reviewed by your commander...don't you worry, don't you worry child...the Air Force has a plan for you...

euripedes
08-09-2013, 01:10 PM
MEB's are scary but I think people would really be surprised how many MEB's are given return to duty by the board. I'm medical and there are people still on active duty today with MS, HIV, Cancer survivors etc that all met the MEB board and were returned to duty but with strict restrictions i.e. they must be stationed in an area where hospitals can treat them, no overseas assignments etc. Now today's climate is very different with the drawdown so the process is definitely more stringent. I've also seen people with the most miniscule injuries be medically boarded or even medically retired so it's to the extreme on both sides of the spectrum.

But you can't help when your body starts breaking down man. I played football all through high school and up until my junior year of college before i enlisted. Now after almost 18 years on deck, my shoulders are shot and my knees are arthritic to the point that i'll need a knee replacement when I'm 50. But I can do the walk test and I've never had any other exemptions so my docs have never even mentioned an MEB board. But if it got to the point where i couldn't even do that, as much as i love my job, I'd be all for the MEB.

Gonzo
08-09-2013, 01:18 PM
I had two of my folks MEB'd at the same time(ish). Both had been in about 12 years or so. Both offered a severance package NOT medical retirement. One took the money and bounced and the other fought it and stayed in. Both issues were similar in scope as far as their ability to continue their effectiveness for the AF. The one that fought to stay in had to accomplish letters from her leadership stating that even due to her issues she could still be a productive member of the AF, letters went up to include the group CC. It took a long time to get a change from the MEB but it did happen.