AR20160007092

IN THE CASE OF:

BOARD DATE: 5 May 2016

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20160007092

THE BOARD CONSIDERED THE FOLLOWING EVIDENCE:

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 11September 2001 and 30April 2012, and whose MH diagnosis was changed during that process.

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

CONSIDERATION OF EVIDENCE:

1. The PDBR SRP conducted a comprehensive review of the applicant’s submissions and records for evidence of inappropriate changes in the diagnosis of an MH condition during processing through the military disability system.

2. The DOD memorandum, dated 27February 2013, directed the Service Secretaries to conduct a review of MH diagnoses for service members completing a disability evaluation process between 11September 2001 and 30April 2012, 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 applicant’s case, the SRP determined by unanimous vote that there should be no change to the applicant’s disability and separation 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 of the available records showed no MH diagnoses were rendered during the DES process; therefore, the SRP agreed there were no inappropriate changes in diagnosis. It was determined that no MH diagnoses were changed to the applicants possible disadvantage in the disability evaluation. Therefore, the applicant did not meet the inclusion criteria in the Terms of Reference of the MH Diagnosis Review Project.

3. The SRP agreed that Department of Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) section 4.129 did not apply since the MH diagnosis was received after separation. The SRP also considered whether any mental condition, regardless of specific diagnosis was unfitting for continued military service. The SRP agreed that evidence of the record reflected minimal MH related symptoms. There was no evidence from the medication profile of psychotropic medication use prior to separation. There was no evidence of suicidal or homicidal thoughts. The applicant was never seen in the emergency room for MH concerns nor was there evidence of psychiatric hospitalizations. The SRP concluded that there was insufficient evidence that any MH condition rose to the level of being unfitting at the time of separation; therefore, none were subject to a service disability rating.

4. The SRP turned its attention to a rating recommendation at the time of removal from the Temporary Disability Retired List (TDRL). It was noted that during the TDRL period, the applicant was additionally diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD). The SRP carefully reviewed the evidence for a separate diagnosis of MDD and determined the diagnosis was appropriately rendered and appropriately adjudicated as a not unfitting condition. The applicant had no hospitalizations, suicidal ideation, or visits to the emergency room for psychiatric reasons. He was able to work as a security guard and spend time with his son. Psychiatric symptoms were in remission and appeared to vary with the condition of his back injury. After due deliberation, considering all of the evidence and mindful of VASRD section 4.3, the SRP concluded that there was insufficient cause to recommend a change in the PEB adjudication for the MDD condition.

5. The available evidence shows the SRP’s 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 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) AR20160007092

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ARMY BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

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