The PEB Process
If a service member develops a physical or mental condition that may make them Unfit for Duty, they must go through the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES), which combines the DoD Disability Process and the VA Disability Process. The second half of the IDES is known as the PEB Process.
The PEB Process begins after the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) sends its report to the Informal Physical Evaluation Board (IPEB), more commonly known as just the “PEB”. The PEB then reviews all the service member’s service-connected medical conditions to determine which qualify for Military Disability Benefits from the DoD. To qualify, a condition must make the service member Unfit for Duty.
At this point in the PEB Process, the PEB either returns the service member to active duty (if no conditions qualify) or sends each of the qualifying conditions to the VA to receive a Military Disability Rating.
Once the qualifying conditions are rated, the case is returned to the PEB, and the PEB publishes its decision.
This stage of the PEB Process usually lasts between 2 – 3 months. Depending on the complexity of the case, however, it could be shorter or longer.
At this point in the PEB Process, the service member can appeal both the PEB’s decision and the VA’s Rating Decision. If the service member does not appeal, then they are either placed on TDRL or separated from the military, and the PEB Process ends.
The Appeals Process
If the service member disagrees with the PEB’s decision, they can appeal to the next stage in the PEB Process: the Formal Physical Evaluation Board (FPEB).
Once the appeal, or “rebuttal”, is received, the FPEB reviews all the evidence of the case, holds a formal hearing, and makes a final ruling, either upholding the PEB’s original decision or replacing it with its own.
If the service member still does not agree with the FPEB’s decision, the PEB Process ends, but the service member can still appeal to a higher authority.
At the same time, the service member can also apply to the VA for a reconsideration of its Rating Decision.
The appeals portion of the PEB Process normally lasts 1 – 2 months.
Preparing for the PEB Process
To properly prepare for the PEB Process, preparations must be made before the start of the MEB Process. The PEB makes its decisions based on all the evidence that is forwarded to them from the Medical Evaluation Board. It is essential, then, that you properly prepare for the MEB Process in order for your PEB Process to proceed speed-bump free.