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Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) for Veterans

Were you medically-separated from the U.S. military between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2009?

If you answered yes to this question, you now have the opportunity to have your disability rating reviewed by the Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) to ensure fairness and accuracy.

What is the Physical Disability Board of Review?
The Physical Disability Board of Review, or 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.
For a visual overview of how the process works, view the application process.

PDBR Outcome
You may be wondering, "What happens if I’m successful in the process of getting my case reviewed by the PDBR and finalized by my military department?"
Impact on Pay and Benefits
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. 
o    Retroactive to the day of your original disability separation
o    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. 
o    For information, please see the Retired and Annuity Pay Section and Wounded Warrior Section or contact DFAS at 1-800-321-1080.

2.    You are now eligible for TRICARE
o    Retroactive to the day of your original disability separation
o    Coverage is  also extended to your eligible dependents
o    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
o    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 Veteran from your armed service. This includes:
o    Commissaries
o    Exchanges
o    Space available recreation and travel
o    Other benefits available via State and private sector organizations

·         Congress passed the Dignified Treatment of Wounded Warriors Act in January 2008.
·         DoD issued DoD Instruction 6040.44
·         The PDBR was then introduced in 2009.

There are significant differences between the PDBR and the Board for Correction of Military (or Naval) Record (BCMR/BCNR) review. To learn more about the PDBR process, view the:
 DoD Instruction 6040.44 
Frequently Asked Questions about the PDBR


Updated: March 2016