If you’ve been playing along at home you will not be surprised to hear that Dr. M. has not submitted his notes for the final NARSUM for Sean’s MEB. We heard mid-week that he was back from his leave (I personally hope he went somewhere warm and tropical) and the hospital commander had instructed him to have notes completed and turned in by Friday, a deadline set by Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin’s office.
Crossing fingers that it got done and we will receive beginning of next week.
Once that step is complete, we will receive all documents and notes and have seven days to review them with assistance through the Lawyers for Warriors program. Everything is reviewed with a fine-tooth comb and changes, rebuttals, or appeals are added. From there it moves to a Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) at Ft. Lewis, Washington where all evidence is reviewed and a decision is made regarding his disability rating and he is released from the Army.
While the PEB has timelines within which to complete this review and rating, it can easily go the way of the MEB and stretch on indefinitely. I would like to say we are feeling positive about this process and looking forward to a swift resolution, but. . . .
On another frustrating front, we have the VA, specifically the VBA (Veterans Benefits Administration), to contend with. For the past four months they have reduced Sean’s monthly benefit. We went into the office in August and were given paperwork to resolve the error. We have been in two subsequent times to ask about the status, and have gotten conflicting answers. The first lady said it was processing and the money owed would be deposited mid-September. The second lady (after the money was not deposited) told us that Sean’s file was out of the office and nothing had been done on the claim.
We know that his file is back in the office now, so maybe he will get his back pay with his October benefits pay before they owe for five months.