If you serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard and have a physical or mental medical condition that makes it impossible or unsafe for you to perform your duties, you may be separated from the military for disability. The Secretary of each branch of the military has the authority to find a service member unfit for duty due to disability. Here's how the military's Disability Evaluation System (DES) determines if you are fit for continued duty or if you should be given a disability discharge or retirement.
Disability Separation and Retirement From the Military
The Secretary of each branch of the military service has the authority to find a service member unfit for duty due to a physical or mental disability.
Unfit for Duty: When You Can Be Found Unfit and Denied Benefits After Separation From the Military
If you are a military service member who has been referred to the Disability Evaluation System, you may have a lot of questions about what you can expect to have happen to your military career and
How to Advocate for Yourself in the Military Disability Evaluation System (DES)
If you find yourself referred to the
What to Expect at a Physical Disability Evaluation Hearing for Military Separation or Retirement
After you have been referred to the Disability Evaluation System for your branch of the service to determine whether you are unfit for duty (and should be retired from the military), the first step of the process is for a Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) to determine if you meet threshold requirements
How to Appeal the Physical Evaluation Board For Military Separation or Retirement
After you have had a formal Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) hearing to decide if disability has made you unfit for duty (and eligible for separation or disability discharge), you can choose whether to accept or appeal the PEB decision about issues such as your fitness to serve, your disability rating, and the type of unfitness finding issued.
Military Disability Rating Upgrades From the Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR)
If you are a veteran with a military rating lower than your VA disability rating, you can request an upgrade from PDBR.
Choosing Between DOD Retirement Benefits and VA Disability Compensation
It usually makes sense to take VA disability compensation, but in some cases DOD military retirement may pay more.
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Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions: Get the Most out of Your Retirement & Medical Benefits
Nolo's book covers veterans benefits, including VA health care and service-connected disability compensation, as well as Social Security disability and Medicare and Medicaid rules.
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