The process of a military medical board is daunting. Service members try to avoid medical, but sometimes a med board is necessary. The med board is a lengthy process. In this blog post, we will explain the basics of the military med board process.
How Is The Med Board Initiated?
The first step in the military med board process is to have your condition evaluated by a medical officer. This can happen during sick call, but also happens during a formal appointment. A medical officer must believe your condition makes you unfit for service. However, this is not something that you ask for.
How Do People Force A Med Board?
Officially, a medical professional must start the med board. However, admitting to certain medical issues is an almost guaranteed way to force a med board. A1C Jackson (name changed to protect privacy) was an airman in my unit who announced directly to our Squadron commander that he was suffering from mental health issues.
As a result, the commander referred Jackson for a medical and mental health exam. Ultimately, the Air Force separated Jackson. Jackson was looking for any opportunity to leave the Air Force.
However, forcing a med board is a dangerous game. Jackson was not medically retired. You need to understand that a med board does not guarantee you will be retired. The military may decide to simply separate you.
The Steps To The Med Board
After the initial referral, the refers you to the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB). A military assigns a DoD PEBLO (Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer) and a VA Military Services Coordinator (MSC) at this time. These two will work together as the Integrated Disability Evaluation System.
Next, the service member files a VA claim and completes any necessary C&P exams. After that, the PEBLO reviews the C&P exam findings.
The PEBLO submits a narrative summary to the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB). The MEB then decides which (if any) of the conditions are unacceptable for military service.
After that, the physical evaluation board (PEB) part of the med board is initiated. The Informal Physical Evaluation Board (IPEB) reviews the MEB’s findings. The IPEB then determines which of the disabilities are DoD Disability eligible.
If the IPEB determines that the service member has a condition that makes them unfit for duty, the VA will assign a disability rating. The VA will then assign you a DoD rating, and a VA rating.
Expect Two Very Different Ratings
However, the VA rating is typically higher than the DoD rating. The DoD will only rate conditions that make you unfit for duty. Alternately, the VA will rate all service connected conditions.
Finally, the military sends the PEB decision to the service member. The member can accept the finding med board ratings, but they can also request a formal review of either rating.
The member is then retired, temporarily retired, or separated from service.
Patience Is The Key To Success For A Med Board
A med board is a very lengthy process. As a result, many veterans mentally give up on the process. It is imperative that you remain engaged and fight for the benefits you have earned.
Are you facing a med board? Your new part-time job is researching your conditions. You also need to use sick call to document all medical and mental health conditions.
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