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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 33889
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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I was diagnosed with acute pulmonary fibrosis, and emphysema

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I was diagnosed with acute pulmonary fibrosis, and emphysema with small case of COPD. Doctor placed me on Oxygen, My unit has no Oxygen on hand at unit. The Medic there gave me quarters for the first drill month that I was on Oxygen, the second Month I was excused and paid and accredited with my uta`s. However April drill I was marked down as split drill and not paid, or given credit for my uta`s. My question is...Is this legal and the norm when a soldier gets illness or injury`s. I need to know are they suppose to give me excused absents under medical reasons and accredit me with satisfactory uta`s? Please explain to me the law on this matter, and let me know if they are doing anything wrong here. Thank you for the help. Oh! bay the way they have put me in for a MEB board. Sgt. James Bray Also I called Fort Lee and spoke with a Miss Jones MEB counsel Rep she told me she could not help me because I was a Guardsman and not active duty, but she did say I needed to get something in writing from them about being excused and being placed in split drill status. I just fill since it is a illness and not of my negligence, I should have an excused absents and be accredited my uta`s until boarded and give a discharge or retirement. I cant help my sickness, and sure can not help they cant acommadate my needs. Do I need to hire a lawyer to handle this for me? I have 17 years 11 months and I fill they are trying to keep me from reaching my 18 year mark, is there anything I can do to reach 18 year mark?



Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

The MEB is the key to this process...can you tell me the status of that? Where are you at in that process?

Also, have you applied to the VA yet for compensation?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The Meb had only been recommended from unit level, has not been given a date yet, have not applied for va disability yet for these illnesses.
Thank you

One more question please...these conditions...are they documented in your service medical records? If so for how long have you had any of them?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It has been turned over to state generals office, I received a letter from them saying I was being put in for a Meb, and given a permaanate profile, so I think yes it has?

And that is good...that is, the fact they have you on profile and are processing for a MEB is good (for you)

But first the bad news. There is no regulation that allows them to pay you while you are not able to work (perform drills)

The National Guard is fundamentally different than the regular Army in several is how pay is earned.

In the regular (active duty) Army, a soldier is on "duty" for pay purposes 24/7. So injuries they incur that require them to recover/recuperate have no impact on their right to pay.

But for a Guardsman, pay is tied to periods of "duty" that are not continuous. Soldiers are put into a duty status over a weekend or during IT. This status allows them to be eligible for points (towards retirement) and pay.

If a Guardsman is not physically or mentally able to perform their duties, there is no requirement for the unit to call them to duty. There is no regulation that allows the guard to pay a soldier while they are recovering. So the person who told you " no boots on ground, no pay!" is correct.

Now...that said, I suspect you will do OK from this.

If you have a service connected disability that precludes you from performing your duties, I would expect the MEB to recommend medical retirement. If that happens, you would be retired at your current grade and your pay would be based on your service to date.

Also, I would urge you to contact your local (county) veterans services officer (VSO). What you describe? You are going to be eligible for VA compensation benefits. That can help offset the loss of income from your military pay.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne: the guard is not required to pay you if you are not able to drill. But they should run a MEB to determine if your injuries / physical condition is tied to your service...if it is, I would expect them to retire you
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