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Military & Veteran Lawyer > Blog > General > US Public Health Service Medical Review Board (MRB) and Medical Appeals Board (MAB)

US Public Health Service Medical Review Board (MRB) and Medical Appeals Board (MAB)

(The following is not legal advice and only an overview of the law. You must consult an attorney to obtain representation and form an attorney client relationship).

You are a US Public Health Service (USPHS) officer, reserve or regular, serving on extended active duty and received an injury or physical/psychological illness connected during your service. While the different service branches often process medical cases differently, you really need advice specific to USPHS policy. If you are a USPHS officer, we can assist you in determining whether you can remain in the USPHS. If you rely solely on the guidance of your USPHS Medical Affairs case manager, which all officers are given during fitness for duty (FFD) procedures, this crucial decision can compromise the outcome of your case. It is important to remember that these Medical Affairs case managers are not acting as legal advocates for you, but rather, their position is merely to provide guidance in navigating the procedural process of an FFD procedure.

USPHS officers would be well advised to talk to an experienced lawyer with legal military background and prior experience representing USPHS officers. Not only does attorney Thomas Roughneen have a proven track record of success in representing USPHS officers, but he is also a former Adjudicator with the Army Physical Evaluation Board, who was himself a Warrior-in-Transition and experienced his own FFD hearing. Our staff doctor Alice Tzeng, M.D. specializes in evaluating and treating injuries and diseases causing loss of function, disability and pain. At Citizen Soldier Law, you will get the advice and representation you need when dealing with MRB’s and MAB’s. Learn more below and contact our office for help with military disability matters nationwide.

What is the Medical Review Board (MRB)?

When you have a medical condition that may impact your ability to act as a USPHS officer, a MRB decides if you meet medical retention standards. If they find that you are medically unfit for duty, the MRB will make a formal determination of your eligibility for disability compensation.

What happens at the MRB?

The MRB determines whether or not the officer meets medical readiness standards. If the information is sufficient to make a decision, the MRB shall find the officer:

  • Fit for Full Duty
  • Fit for Limited Duty
  • Unfit for Duty
  • If the MRB finds the officer unfit for duty, he/she may be:
  • Separated Without Benefits
  • Separated with Severance Pay
  • Permanently retired
  • Placed on Temporary Disability Retired List (TDRL)

You will have the opportunity to review and comment on the information provided to the MRB. It is crucial to your case to provide accurate and comprehensive medical information. With experience in disability hearings during his military career as a Judge Advocate and as a former Adjudicator for the Army Physical Evaluation Board, attorney Thomas Roughneen and his staff at Citizen Soldier Law can help you pull together all relevant information and present it in a well-organized and compelling fashion.

You need the best medical and job-related evidence that you can provide. The decision to hire a lawyer can lead to a more favorable result with the MRB. Inadequate evidence can lead to errors on your record and injustices, such as separation with no benefits or separation with benefits lesser than that which you are actually entitled to. Even though MRB results can be appealed, the decision to pursue an appeal is another area in which consultation with a lawyer is strongly recommended, as the stakes with an appeal are even greater.

If I am permanently or temporarily retired for disability, how is my retirement pay calculated?

If an officer is permanently or temporarily retired for disability, the officer’s retired pay will be computed in accordance with the formula most favorable to the officer at the time of retirement.

Can I appeal the MRB findings?

Unless the program official or Director, CCHQ requested the fitness evaluation, the officer may appeal the findings of the MRB. If you are eligible to appeal the MRB findings and you believe the MRB made an error in its findings we can handle the appeal and obtain the necessary medical information to correct a poor result.

Get the Help You Need and the Benefits You Deserve

For skilled, knowledgeable, and effective representation before medical & physical evaluation boards or Veterans Administration appeals, call on Citizen Soldier Law anytime at 973-937-6010. We are a veteran-owned and operated law firm serving active-duty military and veterans nationwide.

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