Medical and Physical Evaluation Boards (MEB/PEB)

If a Soldier’s physician finds it apparent that a Soldier’s condition may permanently interfere with his/her ability to serve on active duty, the treating physician will recommend the Soldier to the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) and the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB), which is governed by the U.S. Army Physical Disability Evaluation System (PDES).

The MEB determines whether or not a Soldier’s medical condition enables him/her to continue to meet medical retention standards in accordance with Army regulations, such as AR 40-501: Standards of Medical Fitness. It also provides an opportunity for military physicians to clearly document the Soldier’s medical condition and any duty limitations. If the MEB findings and recommendations stipulate that the Soldier does not meet retention standards or should return to duty in a different military occupational specialty (MOS), the Soldier is referred to the PEB, who formally determines if the Soldier is fit for continued military service and his/her subsequent eligibility for disability compensation.

Medical Evaluation Board (MEB)

The MEB is an informal board comprised of at least two physicians who evaluate the Soldier’s medical history, condition, and extent of injury or illness, and recommends whether or not the Soldier’s medical condition will impede his/her ability to continue serving in full duty capacity in his/her office, grade or rank. The MEB does not drive any personnel actions; however, the findings of the MEB are referred to the PEB, which reviews all MEB documentation to formally determine if the Soldier is fit for continued military service and eligible for disability compensation. The MEB process is usually complete within 90-100 days of initial packet submission and evaluation outcome; however, each case is unique and may take more or less time to complete.

Note: The informal PEB reviews the MEB evidence of record to determine a Soldier’s ability to perform military duties. The formal PEB is a formal hearing that can be requested if a Soldier does not concur with the informal PEB’s findings. For additional information on formal PEB procedures, visit the U.S. Army Human Resources Command Physical Disability Agency.

Physical Evaluation Board (PEB)

If the MEB finds the Soldier unfit to return to duty in his/her MOS, the Soldier is referred to the PEB. The informal PEB evaluates the Soldier’s medical information, MOS, and other factors to determine the Soldier’s:

  • Fitness to continue military service
  • Eligibility for disability compensation
  • Disability codes and percentage rating (ranging from zero to 100 percent)
  • Case disposition
  • Whether or not the injury or illness is combat-related

Disability Ratings

Soldiers who receive a disability rating of 30 percent or greater are either placed on the Temporary Disability Retirement List (TDRL) or the Permanent Disability Retired List (PDRL). Soldiers receiving a rating of 20 percent or less will receive disability severance pay.

Note: The Army only rates medical conditions that result in the Soldier being determined unfit for continued military service. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rates a Soldier for all conditions incurred in or aggravated by military service. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a former Soldier to receive a higher combined disability rating from the VA than the PEB combined disability rating.


Understanding the Soldier’s Role in the MEB/PEB Process

Note: Throughout the IDES process, Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officers (PEBLOs) and VA Military Service Coordinators (MCSs) help guide and counsel Soldiers to ensure they are aware of their options and required decisions. The VA MCS can also help Soldiers file their VA benefits claim before they leave the service so they can get their benefits as soon as possible after they separate from service.

MEB/PEB decisions can affect the Soldier and Family, so it is necessary for all to understand the entire board process. Having all the documents and necessary medical information completed before the board meets is vital to achieving the right outcome. The Military Treatment Facility (MTF) where the Soldier is receiving care will help assemble medical board documents such as:

  • Medical evaluation, medical records, and physician assessments
  • Commanding Officer’s assessment on Soldier’s medical condition and impact on ability to perform assigned job duties
  • Soldier’s rebuttal, if Soldier disagrees with medical board information

Additional Resources

For additional information on the MEB/PEB process, please contact your PEBLO and refer to the following resources:

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be automatically discharged from the Army if I enter the MEB process?
Is the MEB process considered a military occupational specialty (MOS) reclassification board?
What is MAR2?
Can I appeal the MEB/PEB decision?
Can I take leave while I am being evaluated?

Will I be automatically discharged from the Army if I enter the MEB process?

No. Entering into the MEB process does not mean the Soldier will be automatically discharged from military service.

Is the MEB process considered a military occupational specialty (MOS) reclassification board?

No. Reclassification is considered by the MOS Administrative Retention Review (MAR2) for Soldiers with a permanent level 3 profile (P3) who meet retention standards.

What is MAR2?

MOS Administrative Retention Review (MAR2) is for wounded, ill and injured Soldiers who meet retention standards but cannot fulfill the requirements of their current job or Military Occupation Specialty (MOS). During the MAR2 process, the Army identifies new MOS possibilities for a Soldier and re-assigns them. Once the Soldier heals and transitions out of the WTU, they will typically move directly into a training program for the next MOS before moving onto their new duty station to ensure they have the necessary skills for their new work.

Can I appeal the MEB/PEB decision?

If the Soldier disagrees with the formal PEB findings, he or she may submit a rebuttal that will be reviewed by the formal PEB. The formal PEB will either affirm their initial findings or may issue revised findings (called a formal reconsideration).  If the formal PEB issues revised findings, you will again be allowed to respond to those findings by submitting another rebuttal to the formal PEB.  You may also request VA reconsideration of any condition you were found unfit for as long as you did not previously request VA reconsideration for the same condition. The PEB will forward your request to the VA D-RAS and will issue new findings if the VA changes the rating.

Can I take leave while I am being evaluated?

Yes; however, it requires a review by your PEBLO to ensure your leave does not conflict with any scheduled MEB or VA exams.

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