Q:

What is a medical discharge review?

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Quick Answer

A medical discharge review, known in the military as a physical disability review, refers to the process of determining a discharged member's physical disability status, according to the Military Health System. The intention of such a review is to ensure the accuracy of a veteran's disability status and that veterans receive all of their entitled benefits.

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Full Answer

The Physical Disability Board of Review exists to ensure the fairness of disability status determinations made between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2009, as the Military Health System explains. When a discharged veteran whose disability status was originally 20 percent or less files for a review, the board uses medical information from the Department of Veteran's Affairs and the veteran's specific military branch to make another status determination.

After the board finishes its review, it sends the information to the secretary of the veteran's specific military branch for a final determination, as detailed by the Military Health System. If the board grants the veteran a higher disability status, the veteran receives retroactive and future disability retirement payments, TRICARE health insurance benefits, reimbursement for previous medical expenses, and all the benefits afforded to a disabled, retired veteran. As of March 2014, nearly 25 percent of disability case reviews result in veterans receiving full disability benefits.

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