The Physical Evaluation Board

Topics:
The Informal Physical Evaluation Board
The Formal Physical Evaluation Board
Preparing for the Physical Evaluation Board

When a service member develops a condition that may make him Unfit for Duty, he is referred to the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES). The fifth step in the IDES is the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB).

The Physical Evaluation Board is a group of medical professionals and line officers that have the authority to decide what conditions qualify for DoD Disability. Physical Evaluation Boards normally have 3 members: a presiding officer, a line officer, and a physcian. All Physical Evaluation Boards, regardless of the military branch, hold the same decision-making power. 

The Physical Evaluation Board is divided into two phases: the Informal Physical Evaluation Board (IPEB) and Formal Physical Evaluation Board (FPEB), although the Informal Physical Evaluation Board is most commonly just referred to as the Physical Evaluation Board.

The entire process from the IPEB to the FPEB is referred to as the PEB Process.

 


The Informal Physical Evaluation Board

Just before the Physical Evaluation Board in the IDES is the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB). The MEB first reviews a service member’s case and then submits a report to the Physical Evaluation Board. Once the report is received, the Physical Evaluation Board reviews it and all the additional evidence that was submitted with the case.

It is the Physical Evaluation Board’s job to decide which, if any, of the service member’s service-connected conditions qualify for DoD Disability. To qualify, a condition must make the service member Unfit for Duty.

If the Physical Evaluation Board decides that none of the service member’s conditions are unfitting, then the Physical Evaluation Board would either return the service member to full duty or would return the service member to duty with an assignment limitation code (this could prevent the service member from deploying abroad, etc.).

If, however, the Physical Evaluation Board decides that at least one condition is unfitting, it would then send the unfitting conditions to the VA to be assigned Military Disability Ratings based on the rules of the VASRD. The service member would then either be separated from the military or placed on the Temporary Disability Retired List (TDRL). 

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The Formal Physical Evaluation Board

If the service member does not agree with the (Informal) Physical Evaluation Board’s decision, he can appeal to the Formal Physical Evaluation Board for reconsideration.

Once an appeal, or “rebuttal”, is received, the Formal Physical Evaluation Board re-examines all the evidence and the Physical Evaluation Board’s original decision. After looking at the evidence, if the Formal Physical Evaluation Board agrees with the Physical Evaluation Board’s original decision, a formal hearing will be scheduled and the service member will have the chance to present evidence in person. If even after the hearing the Formal Physical Evaluation Board still agrees with the original Physical Evaluation Board’s decision, then it stands. The service member would then have to pursue higher avenues of appeal.

If, however, the Formal Physical Evaluation Board disagrees with the Physical Evaluation Board’s original decision at any time in the process, it can adjust the decision as it sees fit. Any changes made would override the original decision. If the service member is still unhappy with the changes that are made, he can then appeal to a higher authority.

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Preparing for the Physical Evaluation Board

To ensure that your conditions are judged correctly by the Physical Evaluation Board, it is essential that you submit all the pertinent information to the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) at the beginning of the MEB Process.

Find Your Conditions on our site so that you can make sure you submit all the evidence needed to properly rate your conditions.

Submitting the proper documentation is key!

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