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Daughter And Discharge


airforcemom

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Thank you for letting me be a member of this board. Long story will try to make it short. My Daughter has served for ten years, USAF. Four months ago they sent her to the Azores unaccompanied (has Husband and two small children). When they sent her there she had already been diagnosed with Depression, OCD and Thyroid of which none had been stabilized with meds. Now, 4 months later she is so bad they are sending a packet to Randolph for discharge. None of her illnesses are under control yet..... Her symptoms worsened GREATLY because she was seperated from her family...Her Thyroid is out of control. She also has Hypertension that was diagnosed in the AF.

What I need help with is what she can expect next.... what should she do to protect herself?

I really don't even know what to ask..can anyone give me some tips etc to convey to her...at this point she does seek a discharge.

Jeanette

USAF Vet

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Greetings! I am Nichole~Jeanettes daughter! I am currently awaiting the my medical board results, my MEB pkg, was just put in the mail today the 24th of Jan from Ramstein to AFPC, Randolph AFB, Texas.

What I do know as of now, is that I cannot fill out the VA comp paperwork until I am discharged from the service, and cannot even start collecting benefits until after my official date of separation, lucky for me, my husband is Active Duty Air Force, and I will become his dependant. It appears that I will be medically discharged with severance pay, and sent back to the states, as I am currently serving oversees. I have allready obtained copies of all of my medical records (both volumes) and will not be able to attend the briefing until I know what my discharge date will be, and get back to the states.

I have been diagnosed with OCD, depression, hyperthyroid, hypertension, and take MANY pills! All of my "problems" are service connected, and did not exist prior to my coming on Active Duty.

I have done MUCH research and I know that before I can be awarded VA benefits (disability) my records have to first be reviewed. Do we know how long this process takes? and what can the expected outcome be?

Edited by Nichole (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

if you take the severance package expect to have your VA checks kept unitl you pay back the amount of your severance, I know it sucks but they do it to everyone, myself I say don;t take the lump sum, if you are rated over 30% and with all your problems you should be getting a medical retirement not a severance package but I could be wrong, it wouldn't be the first time and won't be the last. If you do take the severance check they will collect back every penny including the taxes they with hold from it, so you have to fight to get that money back to. There are some strange rules to it but if you are getting compensation not related to why they are discharging you from the service then you are supposed to get that without garnishment, but what the government gives it takes away. When I started getting SSD they withheld over 3,000 from the first 2 years of my checks at 15% per month to pay the VA for my open heart surgery which I still have a claim in appeal for, you should have less problems getting rated since you are being seperated, I waited until what 11 years after desert storm, I was stubborn and didn't want anything to do with the VA until I had to, no job, no insurance, and a complete meltdown later, I was diagnosed with COPD, hypertension, arthersclerotic heart disease, triple bypass 2 failed stents, PTSD gaf's nothing higher than 45 in the past 3 years, rashes, and a lot of other issue's and a VARO I made mad at me for writing congressmen, senator's the president and newspapers. I am in my 4th year of appeals, they just gave me 2 C&P exams for the stroke and heart problems. Just file as soon as the board processes and I have heard the VA is supposed to have OIF/OEF veterans on fastrack for claims. Don;t get your elected officials until you only have to as a weapon of last resort, do not think you will get ahead of the game like I did and write letters from the time the claim starts, it just makes the VA mad.

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TESTVET

I hate to soudn completely ignorant...but I am a bit confused now...when you say I will have to pay the severance back...what exactly do you mean by that?

Because I am looking at about $52,000.00 in severance, if they decide to discharge with severance...they hold all of my VA checks up until that amount? Am I understanding this correctly?

What is the difference between a medical severance and medical retirement? I was told that medical retirement may not be right for me considering my TIS.

My MEB, is for OCD, hyperthyroid, and hypertension. But I have other issues that i would be collecting disability for...along with the OCD, hyperthyroid, and hypertension.

My god...THAT SUCKS!!!! DANG!!!! How the heck do you survive???

Thanks for the heads up!

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  • HadIt.com Elder

exactly what I said if the air force gives you 52,000 the IRS is going to take back part of it for taxes as if you made it all in the same year, then the VA is going to with hold your VA SC compemsation until they collect back the 52,000 you have already been paid then you get to fight with the tax departments for Federal and or state if they take state taxes to, it just flat makes a mess out of everything. Better you get told now than to have you think you get 52,000 plus a VA check when that just isn't going to happen. Somehow the govt is going to stick you with the fickle finger of fate, my ex brother in law had to pay back 25,000......... it sucks... took him over 2 year before he collected a check and they processed his claim in 3 months he was SC for a bad back

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Greetings Nichole!

I am an AF woman veteran 1980-1986.

I have had some dealings with Randolph over the years for a discharge upgrade (which I won). If I were you, I would stay in close rapport with Randolph. Get a contact person and keep it very professional, cool and detached. Tell them you want to be helpful, and to contact you with any questions. Make contact on a regular bases and take notes.

Also, you will want to study and save the DoD Regulations for MEB's, PEB's, and related issues.

Title 10, U.S.C., chapter 61, provides the Secretaries of the Military Departments with authority to retire or separate members when the Secretary finds that they are unfit to perform their military duties because of physical disability.

DoD Directive 1332.18, SEPARATION OR RETIREMENT FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY, DoD Instruction 1332.38, PHYSICAL DISABILITY EVALUATION, and DoD Instruction 1332.39, APPLICATION OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SCHEDULE FOR RATING DISABILITIES, set forth the policies and procedures implementing the statute.

See also Air Force Instruction 44-157 -- MEDICAL EVALUATION BOARDS (MEB) AND CONTINUED MILITARY SERVICE http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinf...blafi44-157.htm

If you need to fight, it will be fire with fire (the technicalities of laws and regulatins win every time). Below, I have added a helpful. URL

Keep us posted! ~Wings

U.S. Air Force Physical Disability Division

http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/disability...0Page%20new.htm

People with less than 20 years of active service at the time they are removed from the service by reason of physical disability may be either separated or retired, based on the following:

If you have a disability that is rated by the military disability evaluation system at 20% or lower, you can be discharged (most likely with severance pay, unless the condition existed prior to service and was not permanently aggravated by service or misconduct is involved).

If the condition is rated at or above 30% you will be recommended for permanent retirement or placement on the temporary disability retirement list (TDRL).

How is the percentage of disability determined? The Physical Evaluation Board must use the "VA Schedule For Rating Disabilities", along with specific DoD guidance to determine the percentage of disability. The "VA Schedule For Rating Disabilities" can be found on the web: http://www.warms.vba.va.gov/bookc.html

Military Disability (Medical) Separations and Retirements

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/theorderlyr...dseparation.htm

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Greetings!

WOW...I am so overwhelmed, with all the support that I am getting from everybody...Thank you all so very much!

Question...what is the difference between the military disability evaluation system and the VA disabilty ratings?

I am on information overload! But it is much appreciated. B)

Many Thanks! Nichole :P

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  • HadIt.com Elder

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE DISABILITY SYSTEM

http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/safmrbr/bcdisability.htm

The Air Force Disability System operates under disability laws (Title 10, USC, Chapter 61, Retire or Separation for Physical Disability) which have been enacted to establish a means of removing members from active duty who can no longer perform their duties because of physical disability.

In contrast to the Air Force Disability System, the VA's System (Title 38, USC, Veterans' Benefits), provides for compensation of members based on employability and eligibility for additional compensation to make the veteran "whole." Their evaluation does not consider a member's fitness or unfitness for military service. Since the VA must identify and apply these factors in rendering decisions, VA ratings are often higher than that of the Air Force. An individual may also find that while the Air Force did not separate them because they did not have an "unfitting condition," the VA may rate them based on their guidelines. Additionally, the VA over a period of years, may require reevaluations in accordance with a member's changed physical condition. Individuals may not receive compensation from he Air Force and VA for the same disability. Veterans often find the dual systems confusing, particularly when their benefits are adjusted.

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ok...my next question...how do they come up with the percentage? I saw the table of percentages...however, I have some medical issues, that I don't see covered on that table, how do they justify what percentages they come up with? And...if I am offered severance pay on my way out...do I have the option to decline or is it something I have to take?

Many Thanks for all of the very useful info!

It is much appreciated! :P

Edited by Nichole (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

I wish I knew those answers I don't but I advise you to get good sound advice from wings, see a military lawyer or a civilian one this is your future you are talking about, you can appeal the Medical Boards decision and they will try and tell you if you fight them they will lower your ratings, but for some reason they back off when you fight back, they know they are wrong usually. Most vets that get out medically once they accept the severance package and go to the VA for compensation usually end up getting higher %'s awarded by the VA than the one the service seperated you at, dirty oh yea but what the heck if the govt can save money it's done every day. Many vets take the severance thinking they get out with a lump sum and then in 3 or 4 months start gettting a VA check, they never and I mean never tell them the VA is going to recoup the severance. Get good legal advice it's your future.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Like Test Vet sez, See an Attorney well versed in TITLE 10 U.S.C. !

search "disability"

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/usc..._sup_01_10.html

Your query disability returned 210 results. Your search has returned a large number of results. You might want to consider using additional terms to narrow it.

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exactly what I said if the air force gives you 52,000 the IRS is going to take back part of it for taxes as if you made it all in the same year, then the VA is going to with hold your VA SC compemsation until they collect back the 52,000 you have already been paid then you get to fight with the tax departments for Federal and or state if they take state taxes to, it just flat makes a mess out of everything. Better you get told now than to have you think you get 52,000 plus a VA check when that just isn't going to happen. Somehow the govt is going to stick you with the fickle finger of fate, my ex brother in law had to pay back 25,000......... it sucks... took him over 2 year before he collected a check and they processed his claim in 3 months he was SC for a bad back

Nicole, Testvet is absolutely correct. They will give you the $52,000 plus any paid vacation you didn't take etc but he said the IRS is going to take their part for taxes. If they do, let me know because military disability is not taxable. I have a number that will give you your taxes that were taken out back to you ASAP! They took tax out of my severence pay and had to give it back to me six months later. Unless the law has changed, and I doubt it has, you should receive the complete $52,000. Now the downfall of that is exactly what Testvet said. If they give you that lumpsum, you will not receive any monthly compensation until that amount has been recouped. I have been discharged since '98 and at a 20% SC. I am still in the negative for the next 5 years. Understand that whatever you are discharged for, the total compensation amount is for that. That is the only amount that they can touch as recoupment. If you receive service connection for anything else, they will have to pay you for the that amount. They can not recoup you for the original ailment! I know! Been there, Done that!!!

Swan :P

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  • HadIt.com Elder
Nicole, Testvet is absolutely correct. They will give you the $52,000 plus any paid vacation you didn't take etc but he said the IRS is going to take their part for taxes. If they do, let me know because military disability is not taxable. I have a number that will give you your taxes that were taken out back to you ASAP! They took tax out of my severence pay and had to give it back to me six months later. Unless the law has changed, and I doubt it has, you should receive the complete $52,000. Now the downfall of that is exactly what Testvet said. If they give you that lumpsum, you will not receive any monthly compensation until that amount has been recouped. I have been discharged since '98 and at a 20% SC. I am still in the negative for the next 5 years. Understand that whatever you are discharged for, the total compensation amount is for that. That is the only amount that they can touch as recoupment. If you receive service connection for anything else, they will have to pay you for the that amount. They can not recoup you for the original ailment! I know! Been there, Done that!!!

Swan :rolleyes:

RECOUP does not mean the VA will ask for the money back. It means the VA will not begin to issue your disability check until the money has been spent, per month. In other words, If you are rated 100%, and you get $52K lump sum, your VA check won't begin for approx. 2.3 years! Hope this helps, I'm terrible at math lol!

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Well...I should know my fate by the end of this week!

My MEB is taking place and I should know very soon, if I stay or go...keep your fingers crossed that I get my wish and get my seperation from the service and get sent home to live happily ever after with my husband and two beautiful kids that I hjaven't seen in 5 months now!

Then...I'm sure the "war" with the VA will begin! ;)

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Nicole I hope you get what you want, but remember the grass is not always greener..... you have the knowledge of the collection efforts so you are years ahead of other uninformed veterans, knowledge is money, keep informed and learn the regulations, if you are rated over 30% they have a great program called VOC REHAB that pays for college and computers and programs for your classes while they pay you to go to school. You have a whole new world ahead of you, 10 point vet preference for government jobs, etc. You have earned rights and privileges use them.

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Well, I am a few months down the road from where you are right now. I got out on an MEB the 1st of Dec. They make the decision about severance pay, you dont have a choice Im afraid. I got a little over 47K in a lump sum severence pay. Over $13K was withheld from that amount for taxes. I just spoke to the IRS about the tax matter. Refer to IRS pub 525 under sickness and injury benefits.

"Retroactive VA determination

if you receive A LUMP-SUM DISABILITY SEVERANCE PAYMENT and are later awarded VA disability benefits, exclude 100% of the severance benefit from your income. "

Ive already received my W-2 for 2005 from the military and the severance pay is included as taxable income. What I have to do is go ahead and file as is. Then, when I receive my rating from the VA, they said to do an ammendment to my return and exclude the severance amount, attach a copy of my VA rating, and send it in. Then you get the rest of the tax withheld back. Hopefully, you will get your severance pay, and VA rating all in the 2006 tax year, so you dont have to do an ammendment like me.

As for the VA withholding payments to repay the severance, thats just how they do it. I am using my severance pay wisely to live off of right now. If I get a 30% rating, I will not start to receive monthly VA checks for about 8 years.

Good luck on yours.

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and the verdict is in...damnit!!!

I was rated as 30% by the Air Force and am being placed on Temporary Retirement, from what I have read, I will be receiving 50% of the base pay regardless of the 30 rating, I do have the option to appeal, but am not sure I want to stare the "gift horse" in the mouth. My ultimate question is...can I go ahead and apply for VA disability while on Temp retirement...or do I have to wait until I am either "officially" retired or seperated?

MANY, MANY THANKS! ;)

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  • HadIt.com Elder

as long as you are on TRDL you are not a veteran as far as the VA is concerned you are still ative duty sorry

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Can someone tell me where I can find useful information on SBP?

I am under the impression that VGLI may be the way to go for insurance coverage, but would like to do a little more research on the SBP beofre making a final decision...

Thanks!

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