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24-Year old with Chrons Discharged without benefits.
Old 05-31-2008, 01:39 AM   #1
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24-Year old with Chrons Discharged without benefits.

Hello, I was recently diagnosed with Chrons. I joined the Navy in 2005 and was thought to have Colitis, I had no symptoms at that time, I was permitted to join and was put in my service record. While deployed in Nov 2007 I suffered a major Flare up Underway and asked to be flown off the ship to receive medical treatment, my request was denied and after a few months I could no longer walk right, sit down or eat most foods and used the bathroom about 10-15 times a day with blood. After seeing about 5 doctors in Yokosuka Navy base I was diagnosed with Chrons Disease and was treated with High steroid treatments and currently recieving monthly infusions of Remicade. I am stationed on Limdu on shore in Japan. My flare ups are still not under control but it is not as bad as it was underway. I recently got my PEB back and the result of this was to be discharged without Benefits and Rating was Not Rated. The reason behind this was my disease was Preexisting. I am in process of going to a Formal Board and fighting this. I am not sure what I am going to do after the Navy, even in the short time that I was in I managed to be a EP sailor and was promoted to E-5 in under 3 years. I planned to make Navy a career, but now it has been shot down, and I will be receiving no medical coverage. The VA will not give me any information on benefits from them until I get final findings from Navy.
Does anyone have any advice?
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Old 06-01-2008, 05:38 PM   #2
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Welcome to the board, Muzzey.

Your best bet would be to see a lawyer or paralegal at base Legal and read through the regs that govern your enlistment's pre-existing conditions. Don't just talk with them-- ask for their help in reviewing the specific instructions & regulations and how they pertain to you. They may be able to determine whether the enlistment paperwork was done correctly and whether the current board is following the applicable procedure. It might help to emphasize that you're not out to sue anyone or seeking vengeance-- you just want to make sure this is all done correctly the first time so that you don't ever have to revisit it.

If you haven't already, your next step would be to post this at Military.com's or the Navy Together We Served (United States Navy - Together We Served) discussion boards to get the advice of others who've been there.

You might want to talk to the base hospital about a Crohn's support group. If there's one in your area then you can review your PEB with them and find out their experiences.

While you're at Military.com you can also look up their benefits guide to figure out what you're already entitled to and what you may be able to fight for. You'll also meet plenty of other people who left the Navy with no idea what they could do, and who did just fine.

A friend of mine has been dealing with Crohn's for nearly two decades. She's doing well and the treatments get better every year.
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:15 PM   #3
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Wow, that sucks. I think it's a bit unfair for them to do this considering that you probably didn't know that you had Crohn's beforehand. My friend also has the disease and he didn't find out until he was 23. He had to undergo surgery to remove the infected part of his gut. Another coworker also didn't find out until he was 26 and he was in the hospital after a major flare up last year. I'm not sure of the military rules regarding this, but Nords' advice seem quite good. They should know that you didn't mean to deceive them and you just want things to be sorted out. Meanwhile, maybe you should look into finding another job with your existing skills. For the most part most private companies don't discriminate against medical conditions as long as you can do the job. You are still really young so you will have a lot of opportunities to learn and find another career. Anyway, I hope you get better and everything gets sorted out.
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Old 06-14-2008, 08:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzzey View Post
Hello, I was recently diagnosed with Chrons. I joined the Navy in 2005 and was thought to have Colitis, I had no symptoms at that time, I was permitted to join and was put in my service record. While deployed in Nov 2007 I suffered a major Flare up Underway and asked to be flown off the ship to receive medical treatment, my request was denied and after a few months I could no longer walk right, sit down or eat most foods and used the bathroom about 10-15 times a day with blood. After seeing about 5 doctors in Yokosuka Navy base I was diagnosed with Chrons Disease and was treated with High steroid treatments and currently recieving monthly infusions of Remicade. I am stationed on Limdu on shore in Japan. My flare ups are still not under control but it is not as bad as it was underway. I recently got my PEB back and the result of this was to be discharged without Benefits and Rating was Not Rated. The reason behind this was my disease was Preexisting. I am in process of going to a Formal Board and fighting this. I am not sure what I am going to do after the Navy, even in the short time that I was in I managed to be a EP sailor and was promoted to E-5 in under 3 years. I planned to make Navy a career, but now it has been shot down, and I will be receiving no medical coverage. The VA will not give me any information on benefits from them until I get final findings from Navy.
Does anyone have any advice?
My understanding is that the Navy/military determination re: disabability and the VA's are totally separate. In addition to the advice you were given earlier, if you are discharged from the Navy, contact the State Service Officer for either thhe American Legion or the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Whether or not you are a member, their role is to assist vets in getting all the bennies they're entitled to.
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Old 06-14-2008, 08:42 PM   #5
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Physical Evaluation Board Forum

This site is from a man named Jason Perry. He used to be an Army JAG officer and handled PEB cases while he was in. Now he gives free advice to servicemembers who are going through the medical boards process. He is also a practicing lawyer for PEB cases. I suggest you go there and start looking around and asking as many questions as you want; replies come quick.

Good luck!
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:12 PM   #6
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......
Does anyone have any advice?
Advice? - OK -your only 24, still young, but already time to start building wealth & security (if there is such a thing)

Try to get what you can out of the Navy/VA - but don't let it entirely overwhelm your life to the point you are doing nothing else - in the meantime:

Get a good career going or start a business - start bringing in some income - go back to school only if it's going to directly lead to something with lifetime earnings potential.

LBYM (Live Below Your Means) - start saving & investing - learn about personal finances & investing - don't take on any personal debt (except maybe for a house at some point - but even then do it smart)

Make sure you are taken care of re: your medical needs w/health insurance.

Find a good girl (or guy if that's your pref I guess) & form a lifetime partnership. Have a good life, don't forget to have some fun, & try to RE (Retire Early)

That's just my 2 psi.
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:27 PM   #7
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Hi Muzzey,
I'm sorry to hear of your problems. My 24 yr. old daughter has ulcerative colitis. She has been through a litany of meds. She Is also currently taking remicade infusions bimonthly. I know how painful uc and crohns can be. I also know how expensive remicade is, $4,000 per tx. Do whatever you have to to get med. coverage through the va. It will be difficult and expensive to get coverage on your own. Good luck.
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