Understanding processes can alleviate frustration
By Col. Toni Tengelsen , 302nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron
/ Published January 29, 2007
PETERSON AFB, Colo. (AFRC) -- -- The Medical Evaluation Board, World Wide Duty and Line of Duty processes are very confusing and time consuming. Having some understanding of what they are, and how they work may help alleviate some of the frustration. The 302nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron works diligently to make this process as painless as possible. If you have questions, please contact the medical unit before an MEB, WWD or LOD takes you over.
Medical Evaluation Board - The policies and regulations allow a medical board to review a military record to determine if and when a member is able to perform their duties because of a physical disability. This allows the service to maintain a fit and vital force. It also allows for fair compensation to members whose military careers are cut short due to a service connected or service aggravated physical disability. This board is convened at Air Force Reserve Command and the determination comes from that level.
The active duty MEB meets a physical evaluation board at the local level and must have an approved LOD accompany the package. It is forwarded to Headquarters AF, then to AFRC for final determination.
World Wide Duty - The Reserve WWD is forwarded to the wing, then sent to AFRC for final determination. This process takes on an average of 120 to 160 days when all documentation is provided and received in a timely manner. Treatment of the member is done by his or her civilian provider and given to the Reserve Medicat Unit within a 60-day timeframe from the original diagnosis.
How the process works: The 302nd Airlift Wing member has an LOD injury or illness that is disqualifying in accordance with Air Force Instruction 48-123 and is deemed to have an MEB. The member will be seen by active duty physician to determine the outline of care throughout the process. Once the member has had all necessary medical treatment, he will remain on Profile 4 status until the completion of the board. The treating physician or a reserve physician will write the narrative summary for the member based on all medical treatment given to the wing member.
The packet consists of: member's name, rank, grade, Social security numbers, physician's name, medical treatment facility, date of MEB, WWD, copy of LOD (for active duty MEB), letter from member's commander (for Members Utilization Questionnaire) discussing ability to do job, military history, chief complaint, functional status, statement of prognosis (outcome), stability of current clinical condition, statement of treatment compliance, treatment and/or therapy.
Line of Duty determinations - The LOD is an administrative tool for determining a member's duty status at the time of an injury, illness, disability or when death occurred. It is a legal or medical determination of whether or not misconduct was involved in an injury or hospitalization on a member while on status. This determination is at a local level; the medical information is a recommendation to the legal review.
This is a formal process and is intended for major injuries or illness. Other injuries and illness that are not disqualifying only need to be documented in your military record.
The possible determinations for a line of duty are: In the Line of Duty, Existed Prior to Service, Not in the Line of Duty (not due to misconduct) or Not in Line of Duty (due to member's misconduct).
The medical LOD is initiated by patient administration, the admitting or attending physician or medical technician.
Things that you can do to make the LOD process smoother:
· Ensure you have follow-up authorization for illness, injury or disease before the appointment. All treatment must be specific for this LOD. Additional treatment, such as physical therapy, magnetic resonance imaging, etc., may require a separate authorization. Check with the medical unit.
· Provide medical unity with all needed documentation as quickly as possible. This may help speed the process.
Did you know that if you sustain a minor injury, disease or illness (such as colds, minor sprains) while on status, it will be documented in your medical record and may not be necessary to obtain an LOD? An injury, illness or disease can be pulled from your medical record late if proof is needed that something occurred on status.
The 302nd ASTS contact for MEB and LOD is Senior Master Sgt. Shannon Snare at 556-1132. For WWD and profiles, contact Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Oraweic at 556-1131.