MEB Retirement


Registered Member
First time posting and tried reading few of the other posts but still need a bit of help. My questions is this, is a medical retirement available through the MEB process at 13 years and if not, what are the circumstances for pushing to the 15 year medical retirement.

After all my jumps and ground pounding, conditions progressively got worse after 2015 between my back, hips, etc.. I received 80% through the VA last year which is about to be upped to 100% due to back condition worsening and not being properly evaluated the first time. The MEB process has been initiated and I am due for the board in August. I want to get myself to where I can at least do the swimming test so I can finish out my 15 seeing as how the 20 I was originally going for is definitely unattainable.

My fear is that they are going to push me out with nothing when my goal was to go until I retire. My unit was working with me for a while but now with the deployment coming up, we all know how that goes for those that are non essential personnel for the mission. A swimming PT test can be an option if they allow it but if they decided that I was to messed up for any type of retention, would they just medical discharge me where I get nothing or would they medical retire me?

Any help is greatly appreciated guys. Just want to make sure I do everything correctly not just to work in my favor but because I have a wife and little girl that depend on me. So any advice on how to play their game is paramount!



PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Physical or mental health problems that are incompatible with military duty or that result in disqualification from worldwide deployment for more than 12 months precipitate a Medical Evaluation Board (MEB). Medical boards are initiated by the Medical Treatment Facility (base medical facility), not the individual or the command. The medical board consists of active duty physicians (not involved in the care of the military member) who review the clinical case file and decide whether the individual should be returned to duty, or should be separated, using the published medical standards for continued military service.

If the MEB determines that the member has a medical condition which is incompatible with continued military service, they refer the case to a Physical Evaluation Board (PEB). The PEB is a formal fitness-for-duty and disability determination that may recommend one of the following:

  • Return the member to duty (with or without assignment limitations, and or medical re-training)
  • Place the member on the temporary disabled/retired list (TDRL)
  • Separate the member from active duty, or
  • Medically retire the member

The standard used by the PEB for determining fitness is whether the medical condition precludes the member from reasonably performing the duties of his or her office, grade, rank, or rating. Per DoD Instruction 1332.38, inability to perform the duties of office, grade, rank or rating in every geographic location and under every conceivable circumstance will not be the sole basis for a finding of unfitness. Deployability, however, may be used as a consideration in determining fitness.

Four factors determine whether disposition is fit for duty, separation, permanent retirement, or temporary retirement: whether the member can perform in their MOS/AFSC/Rating (job); the rating percentage; the stability of the disabling condition; and years of Active Service (active duty days) in the case of pre-existing conditions.

  • Fit for Duty: The member is judged to be fit when he can reasonably perform the duties of his grade and military job. If the member is medically unfit to perform the duties of his/her current job, the PEB can recommend medical re-training into a job he/she will be medically qualified to perform.
  • Disability Rating Percentage: Once a determination of physical unfitness is made, the PEB is required by law to rate the disability using the Department of Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities. DoD Instruction 1332.39 modifies those provisions of the rating schedule inapplicable to the military and clarify rating guidance for specific conditions. Ratings can range from 0 to 100 percent rising in increments of 10.

  • Separation without benefits: Separation without benefits occurs if the unfitting disability existed prior to service, was not permanently aggravated by military service, and the member has less than 8 years of Active Service (active duty days); or the disability was incurred while the member was absent without leave or while engaging in an act of misconduct or willful negligence. If the member has more than 8 years of Active Service, he/she may be medically retired (if eligible) or medically separated with severance pay, even if the condition was pre-existing or hereditary.

  • Separation with severance pay: Separation with disability severance pay occurs if the member is found unfit, has less than 20 years of service and has a disability rating of less than 30%. Disability severance pay equals 2 months basic pay for each year of service not to exceed 12 years (a maximum of 24 months basic pay). The member may also be eligible to apply for monthly disability compensation from the Veterans Administration (VA) if the VA determines the disability is "service-connected."
  • Permanent disability retirement: Permanent disability retirement occurs if the member is found unfit, the disability is determined permanent and stable and rated at a minimum of 30%, or the member has 20 years of military service (For Reserve Component members, this means at least 7200 retirement points).

  • Temporary disability retirement: Temporary disability retirement occurs if the member is found unfit and entitled to permanent disability retirement except that the disability is not stable for rating purposes. "Stable for rating purposes" refers to whether the condition will change within the next five years so as to warrant a different disability rating. However, stability does not include latent impairment--what might happen in the future. When placed on the Temporary Disability Retirement List (TDRL), the law requires the member to undergo a periodic medical reexamination within 18 months at a minimum followed by PEB evaluation. The member may be retained on the TDRL, or a final determination may be made. While the law provides for a maximum tenure of 5 years on the TDRL, there is no entitlement to be retained for the entire period.
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