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Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) for Veterans

The Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) was legislated by Congress and implemented by the Department of Defense (DoD) to ensure the accuracy and fairness of combined disability ratings of 20% or less assigned to service members who were discharged between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2009.

The PDBR uses medical information provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the military department. Once a review is complete, the PDBR forwards a recommendation to the secretary of the respective branch of the armed services. It is up to the individual service branch to make the final determination on whether to change the original disability determination.

In almost 25% of the cases reviewed by the PDBR (as of March 2014), the applicant’s Military Service Department has found the applicant eligible for a disability retirement and has awarded this to the applicant. What does this mean for you and your family if your application to the PDBR is successful?

1. You will get monthly disability retirement pay from your military service.

  • Retroactive to the day of your original disability separation.
  • By law, all previously awarded disability severance pay may be subject to recoupment from these new retirement payments before you can actually begin receiving your entire disability retired pay. For information, please see the Retired and Annuity Pay Section and Wounded Warrier Pay Support or contact DFAS at
    800-321-1080.

2. You are now eligible for TRICARE.

  • Retroactive to the day of your original disability separation.
  • Coverage is also extended to your eligible dependents.
  • You may request to have TRICARE retroactively reimburse your previous medical expenditures.

3. You are eligible to buy the Survivor’s Benefit Plan insurance for your dependents.

  • You would be responsible to pay insurance preimiums retroactively to bring your coverage up to date.

4. You (and your eligible dependants) will have all rights and privileges of a retired armed
4. service Veteran.

  • This includes, commissaries, exchanges, space available recreation and travel, and other benefits available via state and private sector organizations.