Cases & Deals

Soldier's disability appeal to Army's Physical Evaluation Board is reevaluated

Clients Client AL

After two formal Physical Evaluation Board hearings, Jones Day was successful in obtaining a permanent disability rating for their client who suffers from, among other things, chronic fatigue syndrome based on her receipt of the anthrax vaccine. The Physical Disability Agency (PDA) had awarded her a 40% disability rating.

The first formal PEB hearing was conducted in early May. At that hearing, Jones Day was able to present evidence to the Board that our client's quality of life and work performance have severely diminished based on the symptoms associated with chronic fatigue. Additionally, we admitted a memo drafted by an Army physician diagnosing her with chronic fatigue. The Board deferred its decision on the disability rating based on the fact that the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) did not officially render a diagnosis of chronic fatigue. As a result, the Board sent her packet back to the MEB for an additional medical evaluation confirming the diagnosis and entering the diagnosis into the official record.

Our client's packet wound its way through the system a second time and we had another formal PEB hearing in mid-July. Jones Day again presented evidence that her illness diminished her quality of life and ability to continue serving as a soldier. After deliberating, the Board gave our client a 20% disability rating. The President of the Board, however, told us on the record that it was a split decision and that the minority vote would be submitting a statement to the PDA explaining why he believed she deserved a higher rating. After reviewing the report, we learned that the minority member believed that she was entitled to a 60% rating.

Jones Day then assisted our client in drafting her appeal to the PDA. We disputed her disability rating, and argued that it should have been closer to 60%. The PDA agreed that the rating should have been higher, and awarded her a 40% rating. The client is pleased with the result and will now enjoy a "permanent disability rating" given that her final percentage was over 30%.