Physical Evaluation Board (PEB)
720 Kennon Street Washington Navy Yard
Suite 400 Washington, D.C. 20734
Fax: (202) 685-6627 Comm: (202) 685-6422
The PEB is a fact-finding board that evaluates all cases of disability on behalf of the Marine / Sailor and the Service in accordance with applicable laws, guidance, and directives. The PEB adjudicates the nature, cause, degree of severity, and permanency of the disability concerning the Service member referred to the board. The board evaluates the condition of the Service member against the physical requirements of his/her office, grade, rank or rating.
Cases brought before the board include Disability Evaluation, Appeal of Medical Retention Review, Reevaluation of Temporary Disability Retired List members, Overseas Disability screening, and appellate review of Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance claims..
The Navy PEB reviews cases, conducts hearings, and renders decisions regarding Service members’ fitness for continued Naval service in a fair, timely, and transparent manner in order to maintain a fit fighting force and compensate Service members when their disability caused the termination of their military service.
The Disability Evaluation System (DES) process is involuntary, but Service members have rights and options as they navigate the process. From the point of referral through final disposition, Service members have the ability to review all information leveraged for the fitness determination. At the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) phase members have the right to consult with attorneys, request independent medical review, and to refute evidence or comments made in regards to their condition. During the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) phase Service members are allocated specific points in the process to review PEB decisions and elect for additional due process. The process is governed by the documents listed under the references hyperlink.
Disability Evaluation System
The DES is the mechanism for determining return to duty, separation, or retirement of Service members because of disability in accordance with Title 10, United States Code. There are two different processes within DES: the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) and the Legacy Disability Evaluation System (LDES). The DES process is applicable to all active duty members as defined in Title X, DODI 1332.18, and SECNAVINST 1850.4_
IDES:The key element of IDES is the integration of military service department and the Department of Veterans Affairs. This integration enables quick and seamless transition for Service members found Unfit to VA benefits upon separation. The activation of VA benefits upon separation is enabled through IDES due to the ability for the Service member to file a claim with the VA for service-connected injuries above and beyond the initial referred conditions that drove the referral into the DES process. Because the IDES process has additional steps with the Department of Veterans Affairs, it is a lengthier process than Legacy DES.
LDES:The LDES process is the same as IDES with the exception of the VA claim process, associated Compensation and Pension exams, and VA disability ratings step. In the LDES the MEB and PEB is executed the same but without additional VA involvement. In this process the PEB provides the disability ratings for the unfitting conditions. If Service members wish to file a claim with the VA, it is done outside of the LDES process.
Temporary Disability Retired List (TDRL) Review
Service members placed on TDRL prior to January 1, 2017 are statutorily limited to five years in this status, after January 1, 2017 TDRL is limited to three years. If Service members do not transition from a temporary to a permanent status within the specified timeline they are removed from TDRL with retirement benefits revoked. While on TDRL Service members undergo treatment and/or Periodic Physical Exams (PPEs) for the unstable conditions. Treatment notes and/or exams are used by PEB to re-assess the stability of the originally unstable conditions. The TDRL review process is much the same as the LDES process by which the Service member has the right to an informal review, formal review, and an appeal.
Overseas IDES is an Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower & Reserve Affairs) policy where the services may leverage the PEB to assess Sailors and Marines serving in overseas locations for appropriateness of referral into DES. In these instances, fitness determinations are not made nor are the findings of the PEB binding on whether a Service member is returned from an overseas location to undergo the DES process. If a Service member is recommended for referral, the appropriate service headquarters may return the Service member to the continental United States for referral into the DES.
Medical Retention Review (MRR)
MRR is the process by which Reservists may appeal a “Not Physically Qualified” determination made by the Bureau of Medicine for an injury determined to have occurred while not in the line of duty. In these cases Service members have the same rights and process as a Legacy DES: an Informal PEB, Formal PEB, and Petition for Relief.
Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insureance (TSGLI) Appeal
TSGLI Appeal is the process by which the Physical Evaluation Board, designated as the Navy’s TSGLI Appeals Board, conducts a Service member requested appellate review of a denied TSGLI claim. In these cases the TSGLI Appeals Board conducts a record only review of the denied claim along with any new information not previously considered. The informal ruling of the appeal is final with no additional due process provided by the PEB.