The Blog at Military Disability Made Easy

The Blog at Military Disability Made Easy: February 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Conditions to Cover in the MEB Exam for Military Disability

The MEB exams are the most important medical exams for both DoD disability and VA disability. Why? Because if a medical condition is not recorded in the MEB exams, then neither the DoD or the VA will give it a Military Disability Rating it for military disability.

The MEB exams are the medical exams a service member undergoes when first starting the MEB Process when leaving the military because of a disability.

Make sure that when you go to the MEB exams that you cover EVERY condition you have with the examining physician, no matter how small. You may need to also be examined by specialists for individual conditions. This is a good thing: The more evidence you have of a condition, the better it will be rated, and the more legit it will seem to the Rating Authorities. Remember, it is NEVER a good idea to fake it. People who fake it make me feel like this guy.

The DoD will only rate conditions that make a service member unable to do his job, but the VA will rate every condition that can be clearly connected to military service. So, even if a serious condition develops in the future, but is caused by a condition that was incurred while in the military, the VA will definitely rate it as long as the medical records are thorough enough to prove the relationship.

So, don’t be a macho man (or macho woman) and not go to the doctor about a condition. Your future depends on complete medical evidence that was recorded while you are in the military. Just go. It’s worth it. Similarly, don’t fake it and don’t understate it. Doctors can tell when you are faking, and if you fake one condition, they may think you fake them all, so you won’t get rated properly for your legit conditions.

Also don’t understate them. There have been clear cases where a soldier will go into an exam and try to act like the condition doesn’t really bother them—they’re fine, strong and brave. But if the physician records that you don’t really have any serious conditions, but then one gets worse, you don’t have any proof that it was caused by service, and so won’t get compensation for it. Just be completely honest right from the beginning, and you’ll get the military disability rating you deserve.

If you are already separated from the military, but you don’t have any medical records of conditions that were caused by or during service, sorry, it’s just too late. You MUST have documentation to get disability compensation. Sorry. I know that makes you feel like this guy.

For more info on Military Disability, check out our site:

Monday, February 17, 2014

Faking It?

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I would like to submit irrefutable evidence that the defendant is faking it.

What’s the fastest way to completely kill your military disability rating? Faking it. Why would this hurt you? If we think that you are clearly faking something, then we are most likely going to think that you are faking everything. You may have a legit condition that deserves rating, but doesn’t get rated because you are exaggerating the condition itself or other conditions. Don’t screw yourself over like this. Tell the truth the first time, and you’ll get what you deserve just like everybody else.

While you might think you are brilliant and going to be so convincing that they will rate your condition 100%, think again. Believe it or not, doctors are pretty smart. And we have tests and codes that communicate to other doctors that we believe the person is faking it. No, I’m not going to go into details about what these codes and tests are, because that would be teaching you how to fake it better. Not my goal at all. Sorry.

But I will give you an example. The other day I was evaluating an Air Force Sergeant who complained of back pain.  He was retiring after 20 years of service.  He had a few entries in his medical records about back pain, so I figured the condition was fairly legit since he had been clearly treated for it in the past.  Multiple times during the exam, however, proof that he was faking the severity of his back pain popped up.

When I asked him to bend forward to touch his toes he bent forward only 10 degrees and said that was all he could do because of the pain. That would be pretty severe back pain, all right. When he sat down in a chair, however, he did it easily with no signs of pain AT ALL. Duh. And when I asked him to perform some of the faker-tests for the low back, he always gave the wrong answer, clearly demonstrating that he was faking it. This guy made me feel like this guy.

The exam was so inconsistent that I placed on the write up that his “objective signs did not match his subjective symptoms”. Translating the doctor speech: I thought he was faking it. That line was all the VA needed to kill his rating. He probably got hardly any disability compensation at all, when he might have actually deserved some. He obviously had back issues that he was treated for while in the military. Had he come and truly demonstrated the severity of his back pain, he may have qualified for a higher rating than he actually received. But how could I tell how bad his back pain actually was since I couldn’t tell where the exaggerating ended and the truth began?

The military disability system is designed to give all of our veterans who have been injured compensation for their injury. Do not try to fake injuries to game the system. This is contrary to your values and is stealing from those who really have been injured and deserve that money. Not to mention it makes me feel like this guy.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Analogous Ratings

Okay, this is one of my favorite topics (not!). Even if not, it is one of the most important things for you to understand.

The VASRD simply cannot include every single possible medical condition in the world. There are just too darn many. Because of this, the VASRD includes the Analogous Principle that allows conditions that are not included in the VASRD to be rated on the rating system of the closest possible condition that is rated by the VASRD.

What exactly does this mean? Whatever condition you have that is not in the VASRD, find the next closest condition and rate it there. The best rule of thumb is to use the condition that shows most if not all of the main symptoms of your condition. So, if you have a condition that is not in the VASRD, and your main symptom is high blood pressure, then just rate it under the code for high blood pressure (code 7101). 

It can sometimes get a bit confusing trying to figure out where a condition should be rated. You may have to search a bit, but just remember: find the condition that has the majority of the same symptoms as your condition. 

If your condition is pretty complicated, and you really just can't figure out how to rate it, feel free to Contact Us, and we'll be more than happy to help you the best we can. 

For more info and a list of some of the most commons Analogous ratings, see our Analogous and Equivalent Codes page.