February 2, 2011

The Appeal is Back ...

Posted by meli on Wednesday, February 02, 2011 in | No comments

... 90% and it's PERMANENT!!!
OMFG, could you all hear my screams of excitement?!
This was the BEST news we've heard in a while. And on a day my hubster really needed it, too. He had a bad day at work; letting his frustration get the best of him. He was simmering and ready to blow. Thank the universe for knowing just when to drop this news on us. 

It was just Monday (2 days ago) that all of the appeal paper work got sent up, so we were waiting for a call from the lawyer that was going to represent us down there; so we could go over our case, etc. We were told we'd hear from him yesterday, but nothing came. Then today, after being bitched out by his command, and him nearly getting himself into another heap of trouble with his brain damaged temper, they told him that his appeal was already back, and to head over to the office to be read the results. 

I thought my heart was going to fail me. We've heard plenty of stories of people appealing a decision, and the military countering with a "lower offer". You know the whole "don't appreciate what we've given you, fine, we'll give you less" thing? Yes, they actually DO do that! Since the paperwork was JUST fully submitted, and we hadn't heard from our lawyer yet, the thoughts running through our minds were not good. 

BUT ... because my husband finally listened to me and took my advice (urged him to include copies of his lab reports showing that his thyroid hormone remained at a stable healthy level until the full thyroidectomy; which occurred AFTER the recent assault, demotion, and inpatient stay in the mental ward. Also urged him to get a letter from his therapist of a few years stating that he's been diagnosed with and dealing with ptsd w/depression for the past 7 years ... with no marked difference upon being diagnosed with hypothyroidism following the surgery. His condition was/is as stable as it's going to get). Those two things gave the Colonel down there all he needed; he saw no reason to send the appeal back to the board for review, so there was no need to have a lawyer represent us. He ruled that Nick's conditions are stable; which changed the temporary status of our retirement to a permanent status! OH HAPPY DAY!!! He also changed the TBI (traumatic brain injury) rating from 40% up to 70% ... which is where it should have been rated in the first place (I explained it in a previous post). Since that was just a clerical error, there was also no need for the board to reconvene on that... our total rating % changed from 80% to 90%.

Halle-Freakin-Lujah !!!

There really should be no trouble getting 100% from the VA now. Military retirement percentage is only calculated for conditions rendering a soldier unfit for duty. They'll only compensate for injuries and conditions that prevent you from remaining in the military. The VA compensates you for all injuries. Nick has a list of conditions that would still allow him to serve in the military that the VA will rate him for ... sleep apnea is one of them (standard rating of 50% alone). With everything together, like I said, it should definitely be 100%! Which is huge. I mean, the pay jump between 90 and 100% from the VA is HUGE (we're talking an 1100$ difference)! But also, the benefits are amazing. The VA process will be a whole 'nother thing (hoping to get started on that process tomorrow, actually) I'm sure I'll blog about it along the way. I know you're eager to hear all about it ;-) lol

It'll take a few days for this retirement paperwork to process through post here before the official orders are drawn up. Once that happens, they give him about 10 working days to clear post (turn in gear, sign out of all offices... ie library - to make sure you're current and have no over due books, outstanding balances, etc) and then we'll take the rest of our leave (60 days worth); we're planning to stay here during that time. Hoping to knock out all of the VA appointments. The entire VA process will take approx 4-5 months... but the check-ups, appts, etc should only take between 2-6 weeks. We're hoping that by staying here, and devoting those 2 months of leave to doing just that, we'll be able to knock it out really quickly. Once on leave, though, we really wont have any more dealings with the military. No calling in, no formations, no signing out. Once leave is over, the computer automatically changes his status to retired. So really, in about TWO WEEKS we will be DONE with the military!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll say it again
Halle-Freakin-Lujah !!!


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