When a service member sustains injuries while on active duty and is judged by a physician that he or she does not meet retention standards, the injured service member is referred to the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB), thus triggering the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES). The purpose of IDES is to help injured veterans receive disability benefits more quickly by streamlining the process, allowing the DoD Disability and VA Disability programs to process simultaneously. However, the process contains multiple steps and can still be confusing.
The IDES process
If you are referred to the MEB, your next step is to get a compensation and pension (C&P) exam. The physician then completes a Narrative Summary report (NARSUM), summarizing all your medical history from the beginning of service to the present, including the C&P exam. At this point, you may also submit a Commander’s Statement and a Personal Statement. Submitting the appropriate documentation at this point is critical, so the MEB has a full and accurate picture of your condition.