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Philip Douglas Cave
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Philip Cave’s Answers

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  • I need military legal advice regarding a current situation that I am facing. My command ordered a command directed mental health

    evaluation because I have been taking treatment for a few months. I have heard that two things can happen here. I can get a MEB board for depression or an administrative separation for mental health reasons. Would having an admin separation affect...

    Philip’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If they did a CDMHE then they should have informed you in writing and also told you about rights to seek legal advice and second opinion.

    It depends on the actual diagnosis. Suffering from depression is not an automatic disqualifier without other factors being considered.

    A mental health issue might affect your clearance by creating a "Concern." There are many ways to "Mitigate" a concern if they take action to revoke your clearance. There is an appeal process.

    While you seem to be assigned to either Hurlburt or Eglin, I suspect you are a Marine? They can be tougher on people with alleged mental health issues. It depends on the "treatment" and prognosis for recovery. There happen to be many people on active duty receiving medication for anxiety and depression.

    A resignation isn't the simple answer here for various reasons.

    Get some one on one legal consultation or advice first before you take an action that might be irrevocable.

    And good luck, get and stay healthy.

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  • What kind of legal assistance can I get regarding Debt from Military Service.

    Upon leaving Military Service I was charged Leave (vacation) that was supposed to be convalescent ( not charged for medical reasons) and It put me in a negative balance. I received a letter from DFAS stating I owed them money. I disputed the debt ...

    Philip’s Answer

    Mr. Brumer has good advice for you.

    One other point, did you petition the board for correction of records? The problem will now be how long it is since the issue arose.

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  • What type of lawyer do I need?

    I left to train in the army from February 24 through July 09th. I have an apartment leased under my name, in which for the month of July- I didn't get around to paying my rent. It slipped my mind and my training regimen had increased. Typically, t...

    Philip’s Answer

    Agreed the issue is likely a little more complicated. But they still have to follow the SCRA once you went to training.

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  • I would like to know who is the one who decides if a soldier will have a MEB board or administrative separation board. Is it the

    command? Or is it the doctors at mental health that determine if the soldier should have a MEB board or administrative separation for mental health reasons? I am confused.

    Philip’s Answer

    They run parallel.

    The commanding general will then evaluate both "cases" and decide which to approve. That's why it is very important you do everything you can to "contest" the administrative separation.

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  • I am a 100% disabled soldier with service connected injuries. I receive compensation from the VA but not the active duty Army.

    I should receive benefits from active duty as a 100% medically retired soldier. How can I get medical retire and back pay.

    Philip’s Answer

    There are several attorney's on AVVO who specialize in the specialized area of military law relating to VA and medical benefits. Get in touch with one of them to discuss. As Mr. Cassara says, this is not a DIY project.

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  • I am in the army and I am in the process of being medically separated. Is the rating that they give me based

    on my base pay? If I am an E-5 and I get 30% disability rating, does that mean that it would be 30% of my E5 base pay? Also, is it true that if I am medically separated for disability reasons that I will get promoted one more rank?

    Philip’s Answer

    Pay based on rank.

    No promotion.

    Follow Mr. Sweet's advice about applying now for VA benefits, rating, etc.

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  • I need to request the Army Board of Corrections to fix my military record and I would like to know how long is that process

    taking. Also, if I request to have my rank adjusted and they approved my request, do I need to go to my chain of command with their approval or they will contact my chain of command? I would like to know how this process works and if HRC will also...

    Philip’s Answer

    taking--months.

    if I request to have my rank adjusted and they approved my request, do I need to go to my chain of command with their approval or they will contact my chain of command? The Board will make the appropriate notifications. But it wouldn't hurt to inform your command.

    The Board contacts HRC and gets information in addition to the package you submit. Command is not automatically informed.

    You should be sure to put a good package together. The burden is on you to prove you need the adjusted change.

    You should make sure the paperwork has been done properly first with your command and personnel and finance.

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  • Is my wife automatically entitled to my military pension?

    We have been married 12 years and I recently retired from the military. We may be getting divorced and I want to know if this is an automatic entitlement for her.

    Philip’s Answer

    It depends on the law of the state in which you divorce. Whether they consider income of property will decide how she may share.
    Because you are married over 10 years, should she get the proper documents at the time of the divorce, she will be able to get DFAS to assist in deducting her marital share from your retirement check.

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  • My attorney is dropping my case and need further assistance please.

    I had originally hired this attorney to handle my child support case. I am in arears and I currently pay a huge amount of child support and my financial situation has significantly changed. I had saved what $ I could to hire this attorney to go to...

    Philip’s Answer

    This is not an ethical issue.
    Changing counsel will do what? Save you money? Unlikely.
    If the lawyer is doing the work necessary it may be unwise to change horses in midstream.
    There also seems to be a disconnect. Did you not get a fee contract? And if so, what does it say. If he quoted a flat fee and that's in the contract, then generally that's the fee. If he gave you an estimate of a fee and is billing hourly, then yes it might take more work than expected and so the estimate may be off.

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  • Can I get my military ADSO waived if I want to pursue a PhD degree?

    I am in the Army and do not owe any money to the military and I have a 3 year ADSO was because of branch. I believe that my ADSO can be waive because is non-statutory but I do not even know where to start. Should I get a lawyer? What can I do?

    Philip’s Answer

    It may depend on your MOS, while the Army is drawing down, there are still some communities that are retaining people.
    How close you are to the expiration date will be a factor.

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