AR20160002369

IN THE CASE OF:

BOARD DATE: 3 March 2016

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20160002369

THE BOARD CONSIDERED THE FOLLOWING

1. Application for correction of military records (with supporting documents provided, if any).

2. Military Personnel Records and advisory opinions (if any).

THE APPLICANT’S REQUEST, STATEMENT, AND EVIDENCE:

1. The applicant requests a review of the military disability evaluation pertaining to a mental health (MH) condition.

2. The applicant states, in effect, the case file should be reviewed in accordance with the Secretary of Defense directive for a comprehensive review of members who were referred for a disability evaluation between 11 September 2001 and
30 April 2012 and whose mental health diagnosis was changed during that process.

3. The applicant submitted an application through the Department of Defense (DOD) Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) Mental Health Special Review Panel (SRP).

CONSIDERATION OF EVIDENCE:

1. The PDBR SRP conducted a comprehensive review of the applicants submissions and records for evidence of inappropriate changes in the diagnosis of a mental health condition during processing through the military disability system.

2. The DOD memorandum, dated 27 February 2013, directed the Service Secretaries to conduct a review of mental health diagnoses for service members completing a disability evaluation process between 11September 2001 and 30 April 2012 in order to determine if service members were disadvantaged by a changed diagnosis over the course of their physical disability process.
3. In the processing of this case, an advisory opinion was obtained from the PDBR SRP and the applicant was provided a copy.

4. The applicant did not respond to the advisory opinion.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS:

1. After a comprehensive review of the applicants case, the SRP determined by unanimous vote that there be no change of the applicants disability and retirement determination.

2. The SRP reviewed the records for evidence of inappropriate changes in diagnosis of the MH condition during processing through the military Disability Evaluation System (DES). The evidence in the available records show the diagnoses of anxiety disorder not otherwise specified (NOS) and major depression were rendered. The SRP determined that MH diagnoses were not changed to the applicants possible disadvantage in the disability evaluation system. Therefore, the applicant did not appear to meet the inclusion criteria in the Terms of Reference TOR for the MH Diagnosis Review Project.

3. The SRP acknowledged the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); however, the SRP agreed the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) adjudication of anxiety disorder NOS with major depression was supported by the evidence. While the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) carried a diagnosis of PTSD, it was not used consistently by the VA. The SRP concluded there was insufficient clinical evidence that the applicant fully met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), diagnostic criteria for PTSD, specifically, Criterion A and C.

4. The SRP then considered if the Department of Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) Section 4.129 was applicable. The provisions of VASRD Section 4.129 did not specify a diagnosis, rather it stated “mental disorder due to a highly stressful event,” thus its application was not restricted to PTSD. The record of evidence did not demonstrate a specific traumatic event. Therefore, the SRP concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support the application of VASRD Section 4.129.

5. The SRP considered if there was evidence for a VASRD Section 4.130 rating higher than 10percent. It noted that while the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) psychiatrist and the MEB both used the description for the 30percent rating to describe the level of disability, the commander reported that the covered individual (CI) had no difficulties at work in her alternate duties. In fact, there were no limitations in her primary duty from the MH condition other than the expressed desire by the applicant to drive a commercial utility cargo vehicle (CUCV) rather than a heavy vehicle. The applicant noted she enjoyed her job at the nursing home. She was not hospitalized, reported no panic attacks, had no visits to the Emergency Room (ER) for MH concerns, and was reportedly compliant with her medications. There were no reports of domestic violence or violence in the community. There was no reported history of suicidal or homicidal thoughts, plan, intent, or attempts at any time. The SRP panel considered the evidence and determined that the preponderance favored a 10percent disability rating.

6. The available evidence shows the SRPs assessment should be accepted.

BOARD VOTE:

________ ________ ________ GRANT FULL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT PARTIAL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT FORMAL HEARING

____x___ ____x___ ____x____ DENY APPLICATION

BOARD DETERMINATION/RECOMMENDATION:

The evidence presented does not demonstrate the existence of a probable error or injustice. Therefore, the Board determined that the overall merits of this case are insufficient as a basis for correction of the records of the individual concerned.

_______ _ _x______ ___
CHAIRPERSON

I certify that herein is recorded the true and complete record of the proceedings of the Army Board for Correction of Military Records in this case.

ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20040003532

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ARMY BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

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ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20160002369

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ARMY BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

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