Some Vets Get Chance at Medical Retirement
According to Military.com, Approximately 70,000 veterans who were given a medical separation between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2009 have the chance to have their separations reviewed and possibly changed to a medical retirement. To be eligible veterans must have been medically separated with a combined disability rating of 20 percent or less, and originally not found eligible for retirement.
Physical Disability Board of Review
Service members who have been medically separated since September 11, 2001 will have the opportunity to have their disability ratings reviewed to ensure fairness and accuracy.
The new Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) will examine each applicant’s medical separation, compare DoD and VA ratings, and make a recommendation to the respective Service Secretary (or designee.) A disability rating cannot be lowered and any change to the rating is effective on the date of final decision by the Service Secretary.
To be eligible for PDBR review, a service member must have been medically separated between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2009 with a combined disability rating of 20 percent or less, and not found eligible for retirement.
There are significant differences between this new PDBR review and a Board for Correction of Military (or Naval) Record (BCMR/BCNR) review. These differences are outlined here and are also in the instructions accompanying the application (form DD-294).
While the Air Force is the lead for the PDBR process, case tracking and reporting, a joint service board will conduct the evaluation and review of each case. Applicants will not be able to appear in person, but may include any statements, briefs, medical records or other supporting documents with their application. After the document review is completed and a final decision is made, each applicant will be notified of the decision and any further information regarding a change of rating.
A final version of the application (form DD-294) was approved on January 9, 2009 and is available at (under “DoD Forms Inventory 0001-0499”). Applications are now being accepted.
Please refer to the FAQ document for more information about the Physical Disability Board of Review.
You may contact the PDBR intake unit at the following address:
550 C Street West
Randolph AFB, Texas 78150-4743
Please keep in mind that their office cannot discuss the merits of your application. You may wish to contact your local veterans’ service organization for advice or guidance.
The DoD Instruction on the PDBR process is available here:http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/604044p.pdf.