Some medically separated Airmen can have their disability ratings reviewed

  • Published
  • By Richard Salomon
  • Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs
Airmen who were medically separated between Sept. 11, 2001 and Dec. 31, 2009, can have their disability ratings reviewed. Airmen medically separated with a combined disability rating of 20 percent or less and who received separation pay versus medical retirement may request a Physical Disability Board of Review. 

The PDBR evaluates disability cases for all the military branches and their reserve components. In 2008, the Defense Department designated the Air Force as the lead component to manage the PDBR. 

When reviewing records, board members first compare DOD and Veterans Affairs ratings and then make a recommendation to the respective service secretary. If applicable, military records are then updated with a retroactive effective date equal to the original date of separation.

“The intent is to ensure fairness and accuracy as well as consistency across the services,” said Troy McIntosh, the Headquarters Air Force PDBR president. 

Applicants may not appear before the board in person; however, they can include any statements, briefs, medical records or other supporting documents with their application. After the document review is completed and a final decision is rendered, applicants will be notified of the decision and provided applicable information regarding changes to their disability rating.  

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