Medical Discharge outlook

Well, I am deciding to post this here since the OG isn't military.

As some of you know, I've been going through hell lately medically.

Angkle Injury (Visit to ER) (Medial Talus OCD Injury)
High-Blood Pressue
Appendix Removed
Surgery on Ankle (arthoscopy)
Blot clots in leg (neglected)
Blood Thinners
A localized infection
Surgery hasn't "worked" yet

I have been through the hospital over 30 times in the last 4 months for various reasons lately.

I finally got a solid answer from my Orthopedic doctor and he says it basically lies within my hands.

So, when the time comes, I have a few choices.

1. Refuse surgery - and stay with the limp
2. Have surgery - (stay in for 6 months longer)
3. Go to a Medical Evaluation Board - and try to stay in, or opt to try to get out.

Its going to be almost 8 months to a year with this process.

At that time, I will have 2 years in, or enough for my MGIB Bill.

So....What advice would you guys give?

Given all the problems I have, I would most likely get the magic 30% disability medical retirement, or I have the choice to stay in and deal with it.

I have a lot of promises outside the military that have popped up since I've been in and I'm less than 3 semesters from a BS Degree in Info Tech Management. I know I will have a job as well.

So I figure I can go to school for those 3 semesters, collect unemployment + disability and whatever other federal funding to finish school out, and I have very solid job leads.

What will be an advantage to me staying in the extra two years? I stuck in a job working with electronical component repair, I don't mind it, but my cup of tea has always been in the IT field.

I have a guilty feeling almost if I get out early too, like I didn't fulfill my obligation to my country, but I do have a honest most likely perm injury that will bother me for the rest of my life.

This is a little cluttered of a post, but feel free to ask any questions if you think it can help me get an answer from you or someone else.

Airmen First Class Finney

I would take the surgery probably. I mean, that way it's paid for and it won't trouble you down the road having to pay for it. Plus, as long as you're on convalescent leave and not quarters, you can still go to school.

If you knew how painful it is to get a bloodclot in your leg, and knowing that its something that could kill ya. Blah.

The thing is, I'd be held up for at least another year if I decided to take the surgery (6 months to see how it turns out, then another 4-6 to process, MEB, seperate, etc.,)

I have no problem getting this fixed on the outside, either the VA hospital will have to refer me (since this isn't a Bob Ortho job) or I can just use my parents insurance once I get back into college.

Thats awsome on his part.

Well, basically, I am going to try to get out

reasons

the military is not for me, or my health :(

I am just aiming to see if there is a good reason I should stay?

-fin

I got out on a medical and let me just say that med boards can be a very tricky thing. I saw quite a few guys, who I thought were in way worse shape than me, get back fit for full duty from the med board. Most of them ended up getting admin seps. Just weigh that into your thinking. Also keep in mind the longer you are in the more severance pay you will get. I believe as an E-4 with over three years I got about $12,000. Just some food for thought.

I would not take the severence options at all.

I am 100% on medical retirement, and I would much rather take the check each month, instead of the one time payment on my base pay + time in. Would be well worth it in the short and long run to take the monthly amount.

I just have to try to get 30%

Well shit

I just found out today I won't even have an option of staying in DUE TO ANOTHER F***** PROBLEM.

I just found out I have some kind of protein deficifency, so - doc said this usually ends up in MEB and may end up being on blood thinners for the rest of my life, oh joy.

Fin, you can take the severence and still "eventually" get the check every month. In your case, the limited amount of time you have been in and the fact that you are probably going to be rated pretty high percentage wise, you might see it pretty damn soon. Keep in mind the VA process takes some time too, and so you won't be getting that monthly check right away. Good luck.

I've heard that about the checks.

I won't mind a year delay, hell, I can just imagine the size of the check :)

And, it will let me collect full unemployment while I am waiting.

Dude, you are fucked up. Take as much treatment as you can before you get out, to include the surgery. Remember, military doctors are getting paid anyway. Look out for your self. It's not like you wished your conditions upon yourself. Think long and hard. Also, don't take the one-time payment. Every month, for ever will go much farther.

My wife went through med sep, and it took closer to 2 years than 1. She recieved 30% for chronic migraines(2-4 per week). Being an E-4 with just under 4 years, she got about $12000.

Now here's the tricky part. The severance check is taxed, because it is considered severance. If/when you go to the VA, and they approve you for disability, that money became disability pay, which is non-taxable. The VA will expect that money back before you start recieving full checks. If you have spent the money(like we did, since we didn't know and the VA in Guam wouldn't talk to her because she was discharging back stateside), then the VA will withhold half your monthly check until that amount is paid off.

Here's the really tricky part. The only amount you have to pay back is the amount you recieved in hand, after taxes. Now, since the money shouldn't have been taxed(because now it is disability), you can get that taxed portion back from whoever taxed it, and it is now free money which you do not owe back to the VA. I know it sounds hokey, but is legit and it is legal. We just did this a couple years ago. If you get 30%, then you also qualify for vocational rehabilitation, which pays for college. All of it, tuition, books, paper, pens, everything. Plus a $500 a month stipend. I don't know the details on that, but I do know that you will use your GI Bill first, as that is jsut the way you do it. Talk to your VA rep before/during all this stuff, make sure you get everything you are entitled to. If you hold onto that severance check when you go to the VA, you can get your monthly checks that much faster by just handing it over to them.

And GI Bill is tax free, since it is considered to be an education fund which you invested in. Unfortunately, if you are applying for any type of credit(car loan, etc.) it does not count as income.

"Unfortunately, if you are applying for any type of credit(car loan, etc.) it does not count as income."

Ouch, that could hurt some plans, does this hold true with disability?

I believe it is the same, but I am not an expert. You would probably want to consult a finance specialist or loan officer for that one. Besides, it's not enough that it would matter, my wife gets less than $400 a month, and her stuff is basically identical to yours.

From talking to my wife, she said there is a lot of paperwork to do in order to get that taxed portion back--this is obviously way down the road for you, but it doesn't hurt to have your ducks in a row. Talk to your VA rep when you start your med board stuff. If they don't know anything about the taxed money return thing(don't know what it's officially called), let me know, I'll get you the info. We never would have found out, but when I transferred to my next command after she discharged, there just happened to be a civilian contractor working there who had done the same thing, and he told us about it and told us how to get it done.

If your VA rep at the local military hospital tells you they can't do anything, get in touch with the VA directly and talk to a claims counselor(again, not sure of the exact name). Making appointments with the VA takes forever, you have to schedule a couple months in advance usually.

Another thought: In the Navy we have what is called TAP class, Transition Assistance Program. It is a class to help service member who are separating with finding out what they are entitled to, what stuff is out there for college, jobs, etc. If you have something similar, try and go through that as soon as you can and take good notes, that will help you find out who to talk to.

Understand on that

I actually got in contact with a Vets non-profit thing on base here. He says that they will help me with every step of the process, and will be able to provide laywers who have done tons of these cases.

He said they will always low-ball you, but with a lawyer on the appeal will usually get them to raise it up a little bit. If there is ANY way I can pull 50% up, I am gonna go for it, but my main goal is just to get 30%.