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Being Separated from the Navy after 20 Years
Old 12-08-2009, 02:37 PM   #1
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Being Separated from the Navy after 20 Years

Hello,

I am in the Navy Reserves and have 20 years of continued service. I went inactive for a year that crossed over 2 years so I only have 18+ years toward retirement.

I have been on active duty since March of 2007 and was diagnosed in 2003 with stage 3 kidney disease. While on this period of active duty my condition worsened and I was sent to a PEB. With a split decision the PEB ruled unfit for duty, separate without pay and benefits. They are linking my kidney disease to a condition I had 2 months before joing the Navy in 1989. By the boards own admission, it is a 1 in 100 chance the 1 disease could progress in to kidney involvement but they still said it was pre-existing. I filed an appeal and that was denied. The VA has approved me for transplant and will be doing the transplant. I am still on orders and have not separated yet.

Does anyone know:

1. Can I still do anything to try to get TDRL?
2. Can I still get my reserve retirement and how?
3. Will the VA provide health care for my family? I am married with 6 children.
4. What should I do? I don't have a job when I get out and am limited on what I can do. I have already filed my claim with the VA and they are just waiting on my final dd214.

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated as I do not know what to do next. Thanks.
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Old 12-08-2009, 02:48 PM   #2
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dadof6, sorry to hear of your situation.

One of our retired military members put together the best information we have on the subject of early medical retirement from the military here. I sincerely hope it is of some assistance to you.
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Old 12-08-2009, 02:50 PM   #3
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Old 12-08-2009, 03:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dadofsix View Post
Hello,

I am in the Navy Reserves and have 20 years of continued service. I went inactive for a year that crossed over 2 years so I only have 18+ years toward retirement.

I have been on active duty since March of 2007 and was diagnosed in 2003 with stage 3 kidney disease. While on this period of active duty my condition worsened and I was sent to a PEB. With a split decision the PEB ruled unfit for duty, separate without pay and benefits. They are linking my kidney disease to a condition I had 2 months before joing the Navy in 1989. By the boards own admission, it is a 1 in 100 chance the 1 disease could progress in to kidney involvement but they still said it was pre-existing. I filed an appeal and that was denied. The VA has approved me for transplant and will be doing the transplant. I am still on orders and have not separated yet.

Does anyone know:

1. Can I still do anything to try to get TDRL?
2. Can I still get my reserve retirement and how?
3. Will the VA provide health care for my family? I am married with 6 children.
4. What should I do? I don't have a job when I get out and am limited on what I can do. I have already filed my claim with the VA and they are just waiting on my final dd214.

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated as I do not know what to do next. Thanks.
The best of luck to you. Be sure to participate in any pre-seperation briefings etc. that may be conducted, they also may have a job fair, etc. You may also want to look into any DOD/Navy Civilian jobs that you may qualify for. Prior to your seperation make sure you have ALL of your medical conditions recorded and included in any follow-up submissions to VA (Sleep apenea, ringing in your ears, joint pain etc. etc etc...) Be sure to follow the link in the other message posted in response to yours.

Jim
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:54 PM   #5
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One other suggestion, prior to being separated, lock in some term life insurance. You may still be able to qualify with the Navy Mutual Aid Association. Good luck
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:04 AM   #6
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Write your congressman and senator. If that does not get you anywhere write to FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC local and national. Try to get attention to your situation. You served your country and now your country is not serving you. However, be prepared for a long slow battle. It is not easy fighting the Washington bureaucracy.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:34 AM   #7
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Write your congressman and senator. If that does not get you anywhere write to FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC local and national. Try to get attention to your situation. You served your country and now your country is not serving you. However, be prepared for a long slow battle. It is not easy fighting the Washington bureaucracy.
Thanks Rustic, I do plan on doing all of the above or whatever it takes. I already called my congressman and am waiting for a call back. I won't wait long before I call again.

As of right now it is looking like I'm going to get my reserve retirement which gives me 22 years to wait for my bennies.

The sad thing about all of this is my wife and 6 children don't have tricare now and I don't know how I am going to get them health coverage. I was really depending on getting TDRL for the tricare bennies.

Good news did come yesterday though, my friend got tested to see if he is a match for a kidney and he is! I should be getting the transplant sometime in the next few months.

Thanks again everyone for all the advice. I do appreciate the quick and helpful responses.
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:07 AM   #8
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Geez, I find it hard to believe they would separate you before you were fully recovered from the surgery.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:50 PM   #9
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One other suggestion, prior to being separated, lock in some term life insurance. You may still be able to qualify with the Navy Mutual Aid Association. Good luck

I've been retired from the Navy for so long that my info may no longer be correct. But it used to be that if you had SGLI, you had the right to convert it to a civilian whole life policy upon separation from active duty without medical underwriting. I did it because I was concerned about a potential medical condition at the time. That condition didn't materialize so I dropped it. As I think more about this, it may have been that you converted it as a term policy for 5 years and could then switch to whole life. In any event, they will cover this at separation seminars.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:53 PM   #10
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Another quick thought...

When you are applying for VA medical benefits, the Legion or VA can help you (regardless of whether or not you are a member.) I know more about the Legion. Each state (Department, in Legionspeak) has a full-time "Service Officer" whose job it is to help vets get their due from the VA. You can submit applications to the VA through the Legion/VA and they will advocate for you. These Service Officers have lots of experience dealing with the VA and know all the ins and outs.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:24 PM   #11
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I've been retired from the Navy for so long that my info may no longer be correct. But it used to be that if you had SGLI, you had the right to convert it to a civilian whole life policy upon separation from active duty without medical underwriting. I did it because I was concerned about a potential medical condition at the time. That condition didn't materialize so I dropped it. As I think more about this, it may have been that you converted it as a term policy for 5 years and could then switch to whole life. In any event, they will cover this at separation seminars.
The mutual aid assoc will also normally insure someone eligble for SGLI. There policies are normally cheaper than SGLI, and much cheaper than VGLI.

I never heard of the conversion of SGLI to whole, I would think the term may be a better solution for more coverage than converting it to whole.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:28 PM   #12
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Dadofsix:

Here are the instructions I was able to track down that should apply to you. Something tells me they might be treating you as if you were ACTIVE and not RESERVE. Two different sailors - with most rules applicable to both, but in this case - very different. (I understand you are a reservist on active duty) Make sure you forward this info to your JAG (one only hopes this is the angle s/he is taking with your case - your "final decrees" should only be coming from PERS 9 something!):

BUPERSINST 1001.39F, CH 2

g. SELRES members who …or are found not fit for retention by a PEB and who have at least 15 years of qualifying service may be eligible for early retirement (see chapter 20 for details).

CH 20

3. Reservists who have retired under 10 U.S.C., 1201, 1202, 1204, or 1205 due to a physical disability.


CH 20, 2003
  • The 20 year requirement has been reduced to 15 years for certain SELRES determined to be NPQ/unfit. To be eligible for this early retirement the member must:
    • meet all other requirements of law for retirement (see 10 USC, ch 1223)
    • be a member of a SELRES component.
    • Be determined NPQ by NAVPERSCOM (PERS-95) as recommended by BUMED.
    • Be approved by NAVPERSCOM (PERS-9)
Also, since you are USNR and on ADT orders for the moment, is your parent NOSC aware of the entire situation? The more I think about the ADSW/mob/ADSW/ADT, etc...the more things sound fishy - and it almost sounds like they are processing you as USN. Please have your JAG investigate.

Hope this helps
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:12 AM   #13
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The mutual aid assoc will also normally insure someone eligble for SGLI. There policies are normally cheaper than SGLI, and much cheaper than VGLI.

I never heard of the conversion of SGLI to whole, I would think the term may be a better solution for more coverage than converting it to whole.
I don't disagree on your second point. It's just that my recollection - probably fuzzy - is that you did VGLI for 5 years or so as term and then had the option to convert to whole life. And also that if you are otherwise uninsurable, whole life might be your only port in a storm.

I've had a NMAA policy for many years - long since paid up. It's a good organization.
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:17 AM   #14
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Converting VGLI Coverage (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)


"VGLI policyholders have the option to convert their VGLI coverage to an individual policy of insurance at any time. In order to convert VGLI coverage, the policyholder must:

select a company from the Participating Companies listing,
apply to a local sales office of the company selected,
obtain a letter from OSGLI verifying coverage (VGLI Conversion Notice),
give a copy of that notice to the agent who takes the application
Policyholders may convert their coverage to a commercial policy at standard premium rates, without having to provide proof of good health. The conversion policy must be a permanent policy, such as a whole life policy."

So, as I had recalled, it's a two-step process:
- enroll in VGLI when you separate
- convert VGLI to a commercial individual policy.
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