The MEB Process
When a service member develops a medical condition that may make him Unfit for Duty, he enters the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES), which combines the DoD Disability Process with the VA Disability Process. The first half of the IDES is known as the MEB Process.
The MEB Process
The MEB process begins when the service member’s physician refers him to the IDES because of a medical condition that is not expected to improve enough for him to return to full duty within one year.
After the referral is submitted, the service member is assigned a PEBLO who helps counsel and guide him throughout the IDES process. It is the PEBLO’s job to ensure that the MEB Process proceeds smoothly.
Once the C&P Exams are complete, the results are sent back to the PEBLO, and the service member’s physician submits a medical report (called a “Narrative Summary” or “NARSUM”) to the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB). The purpose of the NARSUM is to simply describe the history and severity of the service member’s medical conditions and their impact on his ability to perform his job duties. The physician also offers an opinion on whether the conditions are Service-Connected and EPTS.
In addition to the NARSUM, a statement is also submitted by the service member’s commander that notes how his medical conditions interfere with his ability to do his job. The service member can also submit a personal statement concerning his conditions, if he’d like.
The MEB Process continues with the MEB reviewing these reports and any other relevant medical and administrative records. After their review, the MEB determines the medical acceptability of each of the service member’s conditions. The MEB then compiles a report, called the Medical Evaluation Board Proceedings, and submits it to the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB).
Once the MEB submits their report to the PEB, the MEB Process ends and the PEB Process begins. If, however, the PEB decides that they do not have enough evidence to properly determine the case, it is sent back to the MEB, and the MEB Process is reopened until the MEB is able to compile all the necessary evidence. Once the PEB has sufficient evidence to make a ruling in the case, the MEB Process is officially over.
The MEB Process usually lasts about 100 days, but this is not set in stone. If the case is more difficult, the necessary evidence isn’t entirely submitted at the start of the MEB Process, or the PEB sends the case back, the MEB Process could take longer. On the other hand, if the case is fairly simple, and everything is properly submitted at the start, the MEB Process could take less time.
Preparing for the MEB Process
To ensure that the MEB Process goes quickly and smoothly, it is important that you are prepared for your MEB Process. While your physician and commander submit their evidence directly to the MEB, it is a good idea to be aware of their progress so that you can assist or encourage them as needed. Documentation is key! It is ultimately your responsibility to make sure that all the necessary evidence is properly submitted at the beginning of the MEB process. Without the proper documents, the entire MEB process will be delayed—a frustrating ordeal for everyone.
Find Your Conditions on our site to see what information is needed to properly rate your conditions. You should then know what information must be included in the medical evidence that is submitted at the start of the MEB Process.
After the MEB Process Begins
If additional medical evidence, such as test results, arises or there are further developments to your conditions after the MEB Process has begun, make sure to get the additional evidence to your PEBLO as soon as possible to avoid a serious delay and to ensure that the conditions are properly rated.
For example: Jenny has a wrist condition that is being reviewed by the MEB. After the MEB Process begins, she falls and injures it further. Since her condition is now worse, the MEB needs to be aware of it as soon as possible so that it can make a proper recommendation and pass on all the correct information to the PEB.