The Medical Evaluation Board (MEB)

Topics:

The Medical Evaluation Board
Medical Acceptability
After the Medical Evaluation Board
Preparing for the Medical Evaluation Board

The Medical Evaluation Board

medical evaluation board (MEB)

When a service member has a medical condition that may make them Unfit for Duty, they are referred to the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) and enters the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES). The Medical Evaluation Board is Step 4 of the IDES.

Each military installation with a medical facility has its own Medical Evaluation Board. The MEB is comprised of a group of medical authorities. There is no fixed number of people who can sit on a Medical Evaluation Board, but Medical Evaluation Boards normally consist of 2 physicians. A third specialist physician is required for psychiatric and dental conditions.

When a service member is referred to the Medical Evaluation Board, they submit evidence of their conditions, including medical records and a letter from their commander stating how the conditions affect their ability to do their job. (Normally these are submitted to the MEB directly by the service member’s commander and physician, but it’s never a bad thing for the service member to be aware and ensure that everything is properly submitted. It’s also not a bad idea for them to get copies of these documents.) Service members may also submit personal statements about their conditions.

The Medical Evaluation Board’s main job is to sort through this evidence and submit a report to the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB). In the report, the MEB determines which of the service member’s conditions are medically unacceptable.

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Medical Acceptability

Medically unacceptable conditions are ones that do not meet the Standards of Medical Fitness for each branch of the military.

Though the Medical Evaluation Board determines medical acceptability, only the PEB has the authority to decide if a service member’s conditions make them Unfit for Duty.

While it is very unusual for the PEB to rule a medically acceptable condition to be unfitting, it is not at all unusual for the PEB to rule a medically unacceptable condition to be fitting. The MEB looks only at the Standards of Medical Fitness that are in place. The PEB, however, looks at exactly how the condition actually affects the service member’s ability to do their job.

For example, the amputation of the index and middle fingers will always be judged medical unacceptable by the Medical Evaluation Board, but not necessarily unfitting by the PEB. If the service member is a gunman, then the PEB would most likely determine that the condition is unfitting since it would be very difficult for them to shoot a gun without these two fingers. If the service member were a linguist, however, the PEB would most likely judge their condition to be fitting since the service member would still be able to translate without any trouble.

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After the Medical Evaluation Board

Once the Medical Evaluation Board sends its report to the PEB, it’s role in the IDES ends.

If, however, the PEB does not feel that they have enough information to make a decision, they can send the case back to the Medical Evaluation Board. The Medical Evaluation Board is then responsible for gathering any additional information or evidence that may be needed by the PEB.

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Preparing for the Medical Evaluation Board

In order for the MEB Process to run as smoothly as possible and as quickly as possible, it is vital that all the proper evidence is submitted to the MEB right off the bat. To know what evidence should be submitted to the Medical Evaluation Board, Find Your Conditions so that you can know what information is needed to assign the proper Military Disability Ratings to your conditions.

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FAQs

What is the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB)?

The MEB is the first step of the medical discharge process. A service member with a medical condition that makes them unfit for duty is referred to the Medical Evaluation Board. The Board reviews their conditions and makes recommendations to the Physical Evaluation Board on which qualify as unfitting.

How long does the MEB Process take?

From the date of referral, the process takes roughly 2 months to complete.

How do I apply?

You do not apply to the MEB. Instead, you are referred by your military physician when you have conditions that they feel make you unfit for duty.

If I qualify for DoD disability, what benefits will I receive?

If the MEB and PEB both determine that your conditions are unfitting, you will either be medically separated or medically retired, depending on your disability rating. If you are medically separated, you will receive a one-time payment. If you are medically retired, you will receive a monthly payment as well as all other retirement benefits. You will also qualify to receive disability benefits from the VA.

How long does it take to receive my disability benefits?

You will begin receiving your benefits from the DoD within 2 months of separation.

How much money will I get monthly if I'm medically retired?

The exact amount you receive monthly is determined by your based pay and either your combined rating or your retirement percentage, whichever gives you a higher payment. You can find the full equation on our DoD Disability page.

Is the MEB part of the IDES?

Yes. Both DoD disability and VA disability are now combined through the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES). This system allows for veteran to start receiving benefits from the both the DoD and the VA as soon after discharge as possible.

What is the purpose of the MEB?

The MEB's purpose is to review all of the service member's evidence to determine which of their medical conditions make them unfit for duty. If there is not enough evidence to decide, it is the MEB's job to request more. Once they have finished their review, the MEB submits a report to the PEB with their recommendations.