- MILITARY MEDICAL EVALUATION BOARDS
How Does an Army National Guard Soldier Get into the Physical Disability
Evaluation System (also known as the MEB/PEB Process) for Mental Health
First and Most Important: Do Not Sign the Non-Duty Related Medical Discharge
paperwork you have probably been given. This is incorrect and does not
follow Army Regulations. If you were on Active Duty for more than 30 days
and received your injury, whether physical or psychological (PTSD), then you
are entitled to be processed through the Active Duty Army Physical Disability
Evaluation System. If you sign the Non-Duty Related Medical Discharge
Paperwork you will be Discharged without the opportunity to present your case
and be given a possible Disability Rating that would entitle you to severance
pay or Medical Retirement from the Active Duty Military. If you have already
signed and been discharged, there is a way for you to seek relief from the
incorrect way you where discharged.
The Army National Guard Command Staff, Medical Branch, Inspector General,
etc. will actively and aggressively try to deter the soldier from going
forward with the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB). They are wrong and this
goes against Army Regulations (see paragraphs below). A soldier who has
obtained an injury/disability in combat or while on Active Duty for a period
of more than 30 days are required to be discharged only after you have gone
through the Disability Evaluation System.
Please note that the Non-duty related medical discharge paperwork does not
say "Non-Duty" on it. It only says that the soldier is being discharged for
"Medically Unfit for Military Service". Not until you read through the
appeal requirements does it state appeal for Non-Duty Related (NDR) cases
only. Also on the paperwork it states that you have the right to appeal to
the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB), however this is only to determine if you
are fit or unfit for duty. This is not used to determine if you meet the
requirements for a Disability Rating from the Army. Please see attached
copies for an example of the Non-duty related Medical Discharge paperwork
that the National Guard will probably send you.
Bottom Line: Do not sign the paperwork that you are given by the ARNG, you
will be forfeiting your right given to you by Army Regulations to either a
medical discharge or medical retirement from the Active Military. Do not let
anyone, your Commander, 1SG, State Surgeon, IG, TAG, State Command SGM order
you to sign the Non duty related medical discharge. Do not let them advise
you the course of action laid out below is not in keeping with Army
Regulations, they are wrong. Fight for your rights!
The following is information about the steps that need to be taken to start
the MEB. Also included are Army Regulation excerpts that pertain to your
rights in accessing the MEB/PEB process.
v Call Post-Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA):
§ Call Center 1-888-PDHRA-99
§ Request a referral for Mental Health
§ Request a copy of PDHRA DD form 2900 be sent to yourself
§ Request an LOD (Line of Duty) be filled out
§ A copy of the PDHRA will be sent to Medical Branch and the Soldier's Unit
Soldier's Commander must make the referral for a Mental Health Evaluation
at Ireland Army Medical Center at Ft. Knox, Kentucky.
§ Commander must call the Ireland Army Medical Center Behavioral Health
Clinic to set up an appointment for the soldier. Phone: (502) 624-0321
§ Commander will fill out letter "Commanding Officer request for routine
(non-emergency) Mental Health Evaluation" see attachment for a sample letter
§ The soldier will then have an appointment and will be put on travel orders
to go to Ft. Knox, Kentucky for an initial Mental Health Evaluation to
determine if the Mental Health issues warrant referral to the Medical
Evaluation Board (MEB).
§ If you are referred to the MEB another meeting will be set up in Kentucky
to begin the process. At that time a Physical Evaluation Liaison Officer
(PEBLO) will be assigned to assist you through the process.
Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) Purpose
§ Designed to evaluate the Active Duty or the Reserve Component member's
Medical Condition(s) to determine if they do or do not meet the medical
retention standards in accordance with AR 40-501, Chapter 3.
§ Documents a Soldier's medical condition(s) and duty limitations.
§ Refers Soldiers to Physical Evaluation Board (PEB), when the findings and
recommendations stipulate the Soldier does not meet retention standards.
Relevant Army Regulations pertaining to the Mental Health Evaluation
§ DoDD 6490.1 Mental Health Evaluations of Members of the Armed Forces
Section 4.6.3: Fitness and Suitability for Continued Service. The
mental healthcare provider shall advise the commanding officer about a
recommendation for return of the Service member to duty, referral of the
Service member to a Medical Evaluation Board for processing through the
Disability Evaluation System, or administrative separation of the Service
member for personality disorder and unsuitability for continued military
Section 184.108.40.206: If the Service member is clinically determined to
not meet retention standards as defined in DoD Directive 1332.18 based upon a
DSMIV Axis I or Axis III medical condition under reference (l), a medical
board report shall be forwarded to the Service's Physical Evaluation Board
for determination of fitness for continued military service.
§ DoDD 6490.4 Requirements for Mental Health Evaluations of Members of the
· Enclosure 3: Commanding Officer Request for Routine (Non Emergency)
Mental Health Evaluation See attachment
Enclosure 4: Service Member Notification of Commanding Officer
Referral for Mental Health Evaluation See attachment
v Relevant Army Regulations pertaining to the rights of Reserve Component
Soldiers that were physically or psychologically injured while on Active Duty
§ AR 40-400 Patient Administration Chapter 7
This is an overview of the Military Personnel Physical Disability
§ AR 40-501 Standards of Medical Fitness Chapters 3,7 & 10
Chapter 3: Medical Fitness Standards for Retention and Separation,
Section 3-33 Anxiety, Somatoform, or dissociative disorders
This is the section for PTSD although it is not specifically listed
Chapter 7: Physical Profiling
This chapter refers to PULHES requirements
A Soldier should have a 3 or 4 in one of the areas to be referred to
· Chapter 10: Army National Guard
Information on procedures for National Guard Soldiers who have
Non-Duty Related Medical Issues
§ AR 635-40 Physical Evaluation for Retention, Retirement, or Separation
· Chapter 4 Procedures
Section II: Initiation of Medical Evaluation This describes the
Commanders referral process to the MEB for a Soldier.
· Appendix B: Army Application of the Department of Veterans Affairs
Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD)
¨ B-107. 9200-9511 Mental Disorders
Lists the Criteria that are "supposed" to be used to determine disability
rating of Soldiers.
§ Department of Defense Directive (DoDD) 1332.18 Separation or Retirement
for Physical Disability
Section 1.4 Establishes policy for processing Active and Reserve
component members who have conditions that are cause for referral for
physical disability evaluation.
§ Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 1332.38 Physical Disability
Section 4.3: The applicable standards for all determinations
related to physical disability evaluation shall be consistently and equitably
applied, in accordance with 10 U.S.C., to Active component and Ready Reserve
Enclosure 3 (E3.P4.3) Applicable Statute for Reserve Component
A Reserve component member shall be adjudicated under the statutory
provisions applicable to his or her duty status at the time of onset or
aggravation of the condition for which the member is determined unfit. This
means a Ready Reserve member not on extended active duty at the time of his
or her referral into the DES, but who is determined unfit for a disability
incurred or aggravated while the member was on a call to active duty of more
than 30 days, comes under the provisions of 10 U.S.C. 1201-10 U.S.C. 1203 and
not 10 U.S.C. 1204-1206. In such a situation, "in line of duty while
entitled to basic pay" rather than "proximate result" is the applicable
statutory requirement for entitlement to disability compensation.
· Enclosure 4 Guidelines Regarding Medical Conditions and Physical
Defects that are cause for referral into the Disability Evaluation System
¨ Section E4.13 Psychiatric Disorders
Ø Use of the Multiaxial System of Diagnosis
§ DoDI 1332.39 Application of the Veterans Administration Schedule for
· Enclosure 2 (E2.A1.5.1) 9200-9511 Mental Disorders
This section describes the criteria for evaluation of Mental Disorders
and includes Table 8 Psychiatric Functional Impairment Guideline summary.
This information was put together to assist soldiers in their rights
pertaining to the Disability Evaluation System. For further information or
clarification e-mail: email@example.com
A really good forum for the DES process is www.pebforum.com