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Current Active Soon To Be Veteran



Dear Sir/Madam,

I am currently under 1 year of Active army duty, I have been having issues with my knees, legs, shins and my hips. I have been getting evaluated for the same. Doctors are unable to determine the exact cause and its been going on for over 4 months with no changes to my condition. Doctors have recommended considering medmoard and I would like to proceed with the same but due to family issue I am looking forward to early discharge as MedBoard will take over an year. Most probably I am getting Administrative discharge. My question is Can I still apply for disability once I am out of the army on Admin discharge. If yes, what documents do I retain or collect from doctors which will be helpful with the process. Also, I would appreciate if you can guide me on how to get started with process once I am chaptered out.

Thank you so much for your help and guidance. Soon to be Veteran!

Thank you once again!

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As long as discharge is not BCD or dishonorable you will be fine. Keep an entire copy of the Service medical record. You will need it. When you get ready to file the claim, usually within 6 mos of discharge, let Hadit help.

Thanks for your service.


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Agree with jbasser about SMRs.

I regret not being more proactive about documenting my medical conditions prior to discharge. However, seeking disability compensation was the farthest thing from my mind at the time.

If possible, get copies of the SMRs prior to discharge and review them for omissions and inaccuracies. If you find mistakes in the SMRs, try to get them corrected prior to discharge and get copies of the corrected SMRs.

During your last year in service, make your doctors aware of any medical problems you have. Don't hold back. You want to have symptoms documented in your SMRs. A good example would be sleep apnea symptoms where someone has problems sleeping, snores a lot, wakes up gasping for air, sleepiness during the day. Probably the kind of symptoms many would just get some OTC meds to help them sleep and not think about going to a doctor. However, ten or twenty years later you finally mention these symptoms to a civilian doctor who diagnoses you with sleep apnea and prescribes CPAP therapy. You remember having these symptoms while in service and file a disability claim with the VA for sleep apnea. VA reviews your SMRs which have no record of sleep apnea symptoms and your claim is denied. If these symptoms had been in your SMRs this would have been a fairly easy claim for sleep apnea with CPAP and you would have been awarded 50% disability compensation for this one condition.

It is not unusual for claimants to obtain buddy statements from their fellow service members to support their disability claims, especially when there is little or no military documentation to support their claims. In order to support future disability claims, get detailed written statements from any of your fellow service members who can attest to injuries you sustained or medical symptoms you had. A bunk mate could attest to his buddy snoring or attest to his buddy being hurt during a fall, etc. The buddy statements are especially important when you didn't seek medical assistance or report it to your superiors. It is much easier to get these statements while you are still in service than to try to track down a former service member years later. Also would not be a bad idea to have a address book with names and contact info on your service buddies in the event you need to contact them later.

Any accidents or incidents in the military where you were hurt, get copies of the reports from provost marshals office. Any disciplinary reports during military service documenting events where you were hurt, get copies. These could be evidence needed for a future claim and contain references to evidence or witnesses substantiating your claim. Years later you might have problems getting copies of these records.

The more evidence or potential evidence you gather now will make it much easier for you down the road years later when you file more and more claims with the VA. JMO

Good luck to you and thank you for your service.

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I agree with the guys above. I was just medically retired last year, and my MEB/PEB only took 8 months. You should really think about the Medical Retirement as those are great benefits for the rest of your life. I was only 30 when I was retired and the Medical and Life insurance has been a cheap great benefit for my family. Tricare for life is a whole lot better than a lot of Health Insurance in the civilian world.

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Thank you so much for responding. I really appreciate everybody's response.

Georgiapapa - What is SMRs and whom do I request one?

So what I am understanding is once I get separated from Military under Administrative / Gereral or Honorable discharge and later I apply for my claim for disability and hopefully it gets approved will I be or will I not be entitiled to Insurance and Tricare?

Thanks again guys.

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SMRs are your Service Medical Records. It has been 44 years since I was discharged so I am not sure where you would get copies of your SMRs. Probably at your base medical facility but you can check with them to make sure.

You don't get Tricare unless you are retiring from military. If you go out on medical retirement as suggested by US VET, you would be eligible for Tricare. Once you get out, you can go to the nearest VA medical center and sign up for VA healthcare.

Good luck to you.

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