When a service member develops a medical condition and is referred to the Integrated Disability Evaluation System, they are appointed a PEBLO (Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer) to assist them throughout the process.
The PEBLO is the main point of contact between the service member, the family, the chain of command, the VA, and the PEB throughout the DoD Disability Process.
It is the PEBLO’s job to compile all the information from the service member, their physicians, their commander, and any other source that is necessary to properly assign Military Disability Ratings to each of their medical conditions that qualify for Military Disability. It is ultimately, however, the service member’s responsibility to ensure that their Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer is able to gather every piece of evidence essential for their case.
At the beginning of the Integrated Disability Evaluation System process, the service member’s physician’s referral is sent to the Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer. They then connect the service member with their counterpart in the VA, the Military Services Coordinator (MSC). The MSC is the service member’s point of contact for the VA Disability Process. The MSC helps the service member submit the VA Disability Claim and schedule the C&P Exam.
Before meeting one-on-one with the MSC, the PEBLO will call a multi-disciplinary briefing (MDB). During this briefing, the PEBLO, MSC, service member, and their representatives will meet to discuss the entire IDES process, what to expect, and the service member’s responsibilities throughout.
While the service member is working with the MSC, the PEBLO begins to gather information. Once the C&P Exam is complete, the results are sent to the PEBLO, and they send all the information they’ve collected to the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB).
While the MEB and the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) are doing their thing, the PEBLO will keep the service member updated on the progress of the claim.
Once the MEB makes its determination, the PEBLO sits down with the service member to review the results. The PEBLO is there to explain the decisions and answer any questions the service member might have.
Once the PEB makes its decision, the PEBLO will again sit down with the service member to discuss the results—both the PEB’s fitness decision and the VA’s Rating Decision. The PEBLO will explain the decisions, answer any questions the service member might have, and counsel the service member on the choices they need to make, including whether or not to submit an appeal (or “rebuttal”).
If the service member is unhappy with the PEB’s decision, the PEBLO will assist them in appealing to the Formal Physical Evaluation Board (FPEB). Once the FPEB makes a decision, the DoD Disability Process will be over, and the Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer’s job complete.
It is essential for the service member to obtain a copy of every record the PEBLO is able to gather during the process, including all of the Board decisions.
What is a PEBLO?
A Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer (PEBLO) assists service members as they undergo the medical discharge process.
Do I need a PEBLO?
PEBLOs are a valuable resource that can help make your separation process proceed smoothly, however, they are not always available and so are not necessary. You can navigate the medical discharge process without one with the help of the information on our site.
Will my PEBLO do everything for me?
No. They are intended to be a resource and assist during the process, but it is the service member's responsibility to ensure that everything is done correctly.
What will my Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer do?
It is your Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer’s job to compile all the evidence you gather from your physicians, your commander, Buddy Letters, and any other source that is essential to proving service-connection and to properly rate each condition. They will also connect you with their counterpart in the VA to ensure that the VA also receives all of the evidence necessary as part of the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES). Once everything is gathered, they will send your application to the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB).
When will I first connect with my Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer?
When your military physician refers you to the Medical Evaluation Board for a medical discharge, the referral will first go to your Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer. Once they receive the referral, they will contact you to start gathering evidence.
What does PEBLO stand for?
It is an acronym for Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer.
Does the Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer help with my VA Disability Claim?
No. While your Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer will connect you with someone in the VA to assist with your VA Disability Claim, the Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer's focus is only on DoD Disability, including the MEB and the PEB. Once you are officially discharged, their job will end.