Download our FREE Guide to Obtaining a Medical Military Discharge below.
Each year thousands of service members are injured or become ill while on duty. Some of them suffer from injuries or illnesses that may jeopardize their continued service.
If you are a member of the U.S. armed forces and a military doctor determines that you are unfit for service, you may be given a medical discharge. This process protects both you and other service members while continuing to honor your dedication and sacrifice.
The armed forces make it a priority to ensure that service members receive proper medical attention. Despite treatment, though, service members may be unable to return to military service following an injury or illness.
Service members are unfit for military service when they have one or more conditions that significantly interfere with their ability to perform the duties of their office, grade, or rank. These conditions could be either physical or mental.
All branches of the military use the Disability Evaluation System (DES) for medical discharges. When a service member has a permanent condition that makes it impossible for them return to full duty within a reasonable time period, the treating physician notifies the nearest Military Treatment Facility (MTF).
The Commanding Officer of the MTF then assigns a Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer (PEBLO) to assist the service member in obtaining a medical discharge through the DES. This referral to an MTF is important since service members cannot refer themselves to the DES.
Although each service branch uses the DES, when it comes to making fitness determinations through a Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) and appealing findings, there are somewhat different procedures for Army medical discharges, Navy medical discharges, Air Force medical discharges, and Marine Corps medical discharges.
If you disagree with a PEB finding, you may want to appeal the decision in a formal hearing. While you can be assigned a military lawyer to assist you, you may instead seek the help of an outside law firm to help you in preparing evidence, documents, and statements to support your case.
Our team of attorneys – many of whom served in the armed forces, including as JAG attorneys – can help you appeal your PEB decision. We can also make sure that your rights are protected while you receive the treatment and dignity you deserve.
For more information, please see Tully Rinckey’s Guide to Obtaining a Medical Discharge from the United States Armed Forces.