Med Boarded


So unfortunately I'm getting med boarded because I have an ICD defibrillator. I want to know a rough estimate as to what to expect. I'm sort of stressed because I don't know if the army will cover my surgery every 10 years to get the battery replaced.


Jim's Reply:

Have you been affected by the Corona virus? I ask because I've communicated with a small handful of active duty who are being med boarded because of heart problems and long Covid.

My experience so far leads me to think that DoD hasn't quite figured out what to do with young troops who are so sick. Because of the relative youth and good health and fitness of an active duty service member, DoD doesn't have to deal with a lot of heart disease. Some who I've communicated with are being isolated because nobody understands what to do with someone who has a pacemaker or ICD implant.

In any case you'll have to endure the lengthy med board process. Once you're out you'll be rated at 100% disabled by the VA and you'll begin receiving those benefits pretty soon. Once you have your DD 214 in hand DoD won't be of any help and the VA will be where you'll turn.

The finances will get complicated soon after depending on the nature and length of your service, any comorbidities like diabetes or musculoskeletal problems, whether you have dependents and so on. All of your aches and pains should be diagnosed and rated as you exit.

Your future health care will be provided by VA or health care is changing very quickly these days and it's hard to predict just how your care will be delivered down the road but your needs (ICD battery changes) will all be covered. You'll be rated as a service connected 100% disabled veteran and that will bring you a monthly check and other benefits for you and your dependents.

What you face isn't pleasant but the VA health benefits will make life a lot more tolerable for you. Good luck!



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