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Retirement Physical?


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Hello all, 

I’m set to retire next year and I was curious about disability claims, and how to properly document any ailments. Is there such a thing as a retirement physical? Is it different from my annual PHA? Hopefully I can get a more in depth physical so I can get my health issues on paper. 
 

If this is a thing, how far ahead of my retirement date should I schedule said physical? If it makes any difference, I am in the reserves. 
 

thanks for your input!

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Make an appointment with a VA disability retirement rep. There is a lot to go over. To start getting your disability asap you need to have your claim filed at the 6 month prior point. There’s a calculation and a bunch of forms to fill out. Do yourself a favor and request your full medical record on disc tomorrow. Takes like a month to come back and then either fill out the paperwork yourself or hire a company to do it. Don’t wait till it’s time. You won’t see any disability money till significantly later after your service ends.

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Thank you. I have already requested my records, and I know of a guy who works for the VFW who will comb through them. I’ll have to find out if he fills out the paperwork on my behalf. I’m 8 months out, so I’m getting started now. 
 

As far as a physical is concerned, should I schedule one with my wing, or should I do it with my civilian doc and have him send over his findings to my wing?

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You can do either. An SHPE appointment at the base clinic or just go straight to the VA for them to do the physical. Not sure if one route is better than the other. I did the VA physical. Was super easy. But I’m still on terminal so don’t have my rating yet…


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Also. Just noticed on your IMR page on the SHPE tab there is some info on doing VA stuff. It’s just general in nature but talks about submitting your VA disability claim 90-180 days prior to being done. The VA guy I talked to said doing it this way puts you in priority. Don’t wait.

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On 10/24/2021 at 6:11 PM, Guardian said:

I think it’s a mil appointment with mil provider and a VA rep shows up for it

That was not my experience, perhaps it depends on location.

I started by making an appointment with the DAV rep at Family Support Center.  The DAV rep spent 4 hours going through my medical records page by page and asked questions about every entry.  He submitted the paperwork on my behalf.

Next I had a very brief appointment with the Flight Doctors basically telling me I would be moving to Family Medicine and continuing my prescription (Flonase).  

A few weeks later the VA sent me a list of appointments, some on base, most off base at civilian providers.  At no point did I step inside a VA facility despite having a large VA hospital 20 miles away.

First I had to have a LOT of blood drawn on base.  Next I was referred to an imaging center off base where I had 21 X-Rays of my back, shoulder and knee.  I was in treatment and eventually had surgery for a herniated disc in my lower back, also a knee injury from Afghanistan getting out of a burning plane. 

The most maddening appointment was with an ENT.  They scheduled me for an appointment TWO STATES away in Biloxi.  It was the oddest doctor's visit of my life.  The Doctor's office was in an industrial park in a metal building in a very odd neighborhood in Biloxi.  I walked into the lobby and was greeted with the motif you see in the pictures...yes that is Tweety Bird and Sylvester.  I've also attached a video of the exam room which was nothing but movie posters and action dolls.  The Doctor came in to do a hearing loss and tinnitus evaluation.  He gave me a 20 minute dissertation on how he was fired fromt he VA because he spoke up too much.  For the actual exam he asked me "Are you left or right handed when you shoot your rifle?"  Huh?  I fly gunships Doctor....."Oh...what side are the guns on?"  The left...."Ok, that makes sense, with your left ear, have a nice day."

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Two weeks after all of these appointments I had an appointment with a local doctor who has a contract with the VA to do an eval based on all of the above plus a physical exam.  The doctor was actually amazing.  That dude checked every possible way I could bend, move my legs and arms and took measurements of each movement.  I remember at one point I was trying to contort in a certain direction and I was in pain but trying to push through it.  The doctor stopped me and asked what I was doing.  I basically I told him I was not trying to cheat the system and I could push through it.  The doctor stopped me right there and told me "I don't think you are trying to cheat and I am not going to let you cheat, but 26 years of flying takes a toll on the human body and I will make sure we document it."  If you are like me I spent most of my career avoiding the doctor so nothing would get in the way of me flying.  Let go of that approach and let them document so you are covered later in life.

The doctor submitted his report and about 60 days later I got a note from the DAV telling me what my rating would be.  The VA mailed me a letter but some how the DAV found out first.

I took my eval to my local FAA doc and he went through it, no show stoppers, I did need one common waiver which the FAA granted no issues.

 

 

 

 

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Wow I feel like I must’ve missed something after reading Clearedhot’s experience. I did a 45 minute phone call with a VSO who went through my record with me and submitted the paperwork. Then I did some bloodwork, a hearing test, and a mobility test/ q/a session with a Doc contracted by the VA. Did all of that in one location, took about 2 hours. Don’t have my rating yet, probably going to get shorted.


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Get a copy of your medical records, and find out who the base VSO is. They can assist you with filing your VA disability claim. If you have between 180 days and 90 days left in the Air Force, they can work to file what's called a Benefits at Delivery Discharge (BDD) claim. Essentially you do all the work, and then immediately upon retirement receive any VA disability pay.

You will have to do a SHPE exam with Flight Medicine, this is a separate appointment than your annual flight physical. You can use is at you VA disability exam, however, I personally choose to not do that. 

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On 10/26/2021 at 8:15 AM, Guardian said:

Great write up man. Thanks. What body part required a waiver from both FAA and Mil?

Penis reduction x 2.

On 10/26/2021 at 8:15 AM, Guardian said:

How was the experience doing the FAA thing?

Local doc at my airport worked the process and he was awesome.  The FAA was slow but no hiccups on that end.

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