The Physical Evaluation Board


The Informal Physical Evaluation Board
The Formal Physical Evaluation Board
Preparing for the Physical Evaluation Board
Physical Evaluation Board (PEB)

When a service member develops a condition that may make them Unfit for Duty, they are 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. PEBs normally have 3 members: a presiding officer, a line officer, and a physician. All, regardless of the military branch, hold the same decision-making power. 

The PEB 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 PEB. Once the report is received, the PEB 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 PEB decides that none of the service member’s conditions are unfitting, then they either return the service member to full duty or return the service member to duty with an assignment limitation code (this could prevent the service member from deploying abroad, etc.).

If, however, the PEB decides that at least one condition is unfitting, it then sends the unfitting conditions to the VA to be assigned Military Disability Ratings based on the rules of the VASRD. The service member is then either discharged 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, they can appeal to the Formal Physical Evaluation Board (FPEB) for reconsideration.

Once an appeal, or “rebuttal,” is received, the FPEB re-examines all the evidence and the PEB’s original decision. After looking at the evidence, if the FPEB agrees with the 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 decision, then it stands. The service member then has to pursue higher avenues of appeal, if desired.

If, however, the Formal Physical Evaluation Board disagrees with the original decision at any time in the process, it can adjust the decision as it sees fit. Any changes made override the original decision. If the service member is still unhappy with the changes that are made, they 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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What is the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB)?

The PEB is the final step in the DoD Disability Process. This board decides if a service member's conditions are service-connected and whether they make them Unfit for Duty.

How long does the PEB Process take?

From the date of referral, the process takes roughly 1-2 months to complete.

How do I apply?

You do not apply to the PEB. Instead, you are referred to the MEB by your military physician when you have conditions that they feel make you Unfit for Duty. The MEB then forwards your case on to the PEB.

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 PEB 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 PEB?

The PEB's purpose is to determine which of the service member's conditions are service-connected and make them Unfit for Duty. They then assign ratings for DoD Disability based on the VA's rating decisions.