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Prior service with 'lumbar disc degeneration'

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#1 JoJo88



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Posted 27 January 2016 - 22:59


I am prior service(5 yrs AD army). I separated with an honorable discharge, re-entry code of 1, and 10% disability for 'lumbar disc degeneration'. 


I've assembled a competitive WOFT packet so far, but I just received my VA compensation medical screening records and apparently I am incapable of "lifting 30 lbs more than 4 times" and "can't sit or stand for longer than 4 hours'. 


These numbers are wildly inaccurate and I have no idea where the VA got them from. I haven't relayed these records to my recruiter yet(just received them myself), but regardless of their accuracy, I am afraid that these laughable numbers will make my chance of ever serving again nonexistent. 



Has anyone ever had to deal with a similar situation?

Is a reevaluation possible?



Thanks in advance for any response.

#2 Dmurray


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Posted 28 January 2016 - 14:46

Have you had your flight physical yet? When I had mine done they were very thorough about any prior back problems ( I've wrecked a couple motorcycles). The reason they supplied was back problems are common amongst pilots because they are seated for so long.

As far as a reevaluation goes, I haven't had to deal with anything like that. However, it wouldn't hurt to contact the VA and see if it is possible. I would imagine any decent human might be helpful if you explain your situation. Then again, it's the VA we're talking about.

Good luck.

#3 JoJo88



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Posted 28 January 2016 - 21:39

I haven't had my flight physical. I've been told that I need a MEPS physical prior to the flight physical. My MEPS physical has been pushed back until I could provide ALL medical records from the VA. 


My recruiter is sending all of my records to MEPS/up the chain. We've also added a medical assessment from my primary VA health care provider saying that my back won't keep from doing my job basically. 


As of now I am hoping for a green light from MEPS. If they say I am a liability, I'm told that my best chance would be to get some kind of expert opinion from either the VA or a private doctor and try again.

#4 brackac


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Posted 28 January 2016 - 22:15

Hey, I know you.

#5 JoJo88



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Posted 04 November 2018 - 21:45

So as hopeless as my original post was, Ive obtained both my MEPS and flight physicals. I ended up being broken until proven healthy. I went back to the VA and asked to be re-evaluated, got an MRI, got reduced from 10% to 0% for my back, saw a civilian neurologist, saw physical therapist, got written approval from both and then explained my situation to MEPS and the flight surgeon.

I will say be careful what medical documenation you share with MEPS. Im not saying hide legitimate medical issues, but dont make more work for yourself and MEPS than you have to. My initial recruiter told me because I had a service connected disability rating, that Id have to produce all military medical records for MEPS (another recruiter down the road later told me sharing any of this information was unnecessary). Not only was this a very lengthy process to get the documents from the VA, it raised a lot of questions.

For example, I once was given Motrin for some achey knees and during the busy the doc noted that Im now-legged. Thats it. No follow up. Did another 4 years in the army without a single complaint about my knees. But, because MEPS saw this I had to get X-rays and a note from an orthopedic doctor saying theyd be okay in the army.

Ill also say that if you are prior service, it may be cheaper to go through the VA for these notes or imaging, but consider time saved by going to civilian doctors.

There is a good podcast that describes the process of MEPS medical waivers. There are a couple other episodes that might be helpful other people too.

Some stuff isnt and shouldnt be waiverable, but just because youre told no the first time doesnt mean all hope is necessarily lost.
  • wwlandon7792 likes this

#6 Jlopez13


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Posted 05 November 2018 - 16:29

Thanks for the update! I'm in a similar situation right now and it's good to hear something positive come out of this.
  • Rat_Taylor likes this

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