Big win for veterans clinic in Pittsburgh
After serving for nearly ten years in both the Air Force and the Army, Sgt. (RET) RM was medically discharged due to mental health issues that began negatively impacting his ability to work shortly after he returned from an extended combat tour in Afghanistan. Despite the fact that his post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused him to be institutionalized briefly by the Army before eventually being discharged, RM received a disability rating of only 30% from the VA. Since his discharge, RM has struggled with maintaining gainful employment. He has held dozens of jobs in multiple career fields, but none have lasted more than a few days largely due to his difficulty working with others. RM was referred to Jones Day Pittsburgh through the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Veteran’s Clinic, which is largely run by Jones Day.
Jones Day associates Jeff DeVore and Scotland Duncan filed a Notice of Disagreement and an accompanying brief in support of the appeal. In April 2011, Jeff and Scot argued RM’s case for a disability rating of 100% before a Decision Review Officer (DRO) based on the statutory disability rating tables. After nearly two years of working with Jones Day (and nearly three years after he was medically discharged), RM finally received a decision in his case in September 2012. The DRO ultimately agreed and granted RM a 100% disability rating. This means that RM will receive back pay for the difference between what he was paid and 100% disability amount for the 33 months between his initial rating of 30% and September of 2012. He will also continue to be paid at 100% going forward and will receive full medical treatment from the VA without cost to himself.