Being in the U.S Army has been one of the best decisions I have made in my life. It has taught me discipline, respect, leadership, and honor.
I joined the military at 22 years old to change my life around and become something bigger than myself. I have been to many places and have done many great things I never thought I could do in my life. I joined the Infantry and the biggest downfall is your body taking a beating.
You push your body to limits you never thought you could go before, like road marching for 25 miles, running countless miles in any condition, repelling out of helicopters, and of course fighting our country’s war wherever and whenever.
Doing all the great things and hard work in the military will catch up to you weather you like it or not and some people might find their self going through the Medical Evaluation Board/Physical Evaluation Board.
Medical Evaluation Board (MEB)/Physical Evaluation Board (PEB)
The Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) is an informal board comprised of at least two physicians who evaluate the Soldier’s medical history, condition, and extent of injury or illness, and recommends whether or not the Soldier’s medical condition will impede his/her ability to continue serving in full duty capacity in his/her office, grade or rank.
- The MEB is designed to evaluate your medical condition(s) to determine if one or more conditions do not meet Army Medical Retention Standards IAW AR 40-501, Chapter 3
- The MEB Process initiates with the Second Signature of a DA Form 3349 (Physical Profile) with a P3/P4 designator indicating that you may not meet retention standards
- Documents your medical condition(s) and duty limitations
-Refers you to the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB), when the findings and recommendations stipulate you do not meet retention standards or when referred by an MOS Administrative Retention Review (MAR2)
-Returns you to duty if your conditions meet medical retention standards.
- Getting referred to the PEB does not mean you must be found unfit by the PEB or will be discharged from military service
The Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) determines if the Soldier is fit for continued military service and his/her subsequent eligibility for disability compensation.
The PEB is the only board in the military that can determine whether a Soldier is deemed fit or unfit for continued Military Service.
- if found fit for duty, your case will not be referred to the VA for a disability rating
- if found unfit, the PEB will forward your case to the VA disability Rating Activity Site (D-RAS) for a combined disability rating for all of your medical conditions
- if found unfit , Army disability benefits will be determined based only on those conditions found to be unfitting by the PEB for continued military service
- Once the PEB receives your Proposed VA rating and completes their fitness determination, you will be notified by your PEBLO and counseled on your election options
- Informal PEB (IPEB)
-Your MEB is initially reviewed informally by the PEB
-This stage is termed by the IPEB and consist of a review of the medical and administrative documentation to render a fit/unfit determination for each condition
-You do not appear before the IPEB
- You can request for a Formal PEB, which is a hearing before 3 members of the PEB if you do not agree with the findings of the IPEB
- Formal PEB (FPEB)
-IPEB findings are not binding upon FPEB
-You have the option to appear before the FPEB
-Soldiers PEB Counsel (SPEBC) will help you prepare and represent you or you can obtain legal representation of your choice
- Once all is good with with the IPEB decision, your PEBLO will be notified
- Your PEBLO will then schedule counseling sessions to review the IPEB findings and recommendations, usually within 24 hours but NLT 3 calendar days
- You can also seek consult with an attorney from local SMEBC office (or legal representation of your choice) to determine how you want to respond to the PEB findings
- You will be given ten (10) calendar days to make a decision
Deployments and just regular field training can play a big part on your body and it is very important to keep all your documents if you may ever go to the hospital or even sick call so you can have a paper trail showing that you were actually seen for that certain injury or sickness.
If there are no documents then it’s like the injury or sickness never occurred. So keep all your documents and keep them in a safe place.
Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES)
What is the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES)?
IDES is the process that integrates the resources of the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to evaluate, following a set of comprehensive medical examinations, your referred medical conditions and any other medical conditions that you may wish to claim (Service-connected)
The IDES process is intended to quickly deliver you a finding regarding your fitness for continued military service and if you are to be determined unfit, to provide you with a single sourced disability rating by the VA, that will be used by the DoD and the VA to determine your benefits.
During the whole process, you will be counseled and advised on how you can contribute to the development of your case as well as your rights and responsibilities when presented with the results of the disability evaluation process.
One of the biggest benefits of this process is that you and your family will NOT have to undergo redundant examinations and evaluations through two separate systems (DoD and VA). The IDES has combined the two to make the process run more smooth and quick.
If you are determined unfit for for continued military service, you will go through a much smoother transition, including receiving benefits and compensations from the VA without delay upon separation or retirement.
What is a Narrative Summary (NARSUM)?
A NARSUM is the heart of the MEB
It is a comprehensive report, written by your health care provider, provides a “word picture” of each medical condition, history and status. It also includes a determination about whether each condition is medically unacceptable IAW the criteria listed in chapter 3, AR 40-501. if so, the case is referred to the PEB for further adjudication.
Your Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer (PEBLO)
When going through the MEB process, you will be assigned a Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer (PEBLO). Your PEBLO is the person that will guide you through your IDES process. Your PEBLOs are your primary points of contact for information concerning your case and the IDES process.
Your PEBLO will schedule you for your counseling sessions throughout the processing of your case and will refer you for legal consolation and briefing with a Soldiers MEB Counsel.
Most time Soldiers won’t seek Legal if they feel their rating and everything are fitting for them but I suggest even if you think everything is good to go, get a second view on it from legal so everything is for certain because this is your life on these documents.
Your PEBLO will also go over programs such as (e.g. Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP), Army Wounded Warrior (AW2) Program, VA Military Service Coordinator, etc.) prior to any separation or retirement.
PEBLOs will also prepare Unit Notification Memo notifying your Commander that you have been referred into the IDES and request a completed DA 7652 (Commander’s Performance and Functional Statement).
You get the idea, your PEBLO is going to get work done with the help of yourself in this whole process. You have to make sure you inform your PEBLO with any changes along the way weather it be your phone number changing, change of command, change of address, and anything of the sort.
Your PEBLO is the go to person if you have any questions or concerns regarding your whole process.
Important things to know when starting the MEB process
- Your first 80 days are the most critical in the process
- DO NOT miss any of your appointments and be on time with your CAC ID and PIN and in appropriate uniform
- No shows for any appointments will be reported to your Commander and may require a military escort to all future appointments
- Always provide accurate phone numbers
- Let your PEBLO know if you change your unit of assignment or any change of phone numbers or addresses
- Contact your PEBLO if you leave town
- And most IMPORTANT, ask questions. This is your career and your board.
In closing, I hope the information I provided is helpful to those who are going through the MEB/PEB process. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below and I will get back to you.
Thank you for your service and God Bless!!
I am getting Med Boarded and I leaned how to make money working from home due to my back problems.