Roughly 70,000 veterans who were given a medical separation between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2009 have the chance to have their separations reviewed and possibly upgraded to a medical retirement. This could mean thousands in added benefits for disabled veterans who were originally denied a military retirement.
The review is being conducted by the Physical Disability Board of Review, which will examine each applicant’s medical separation records and make a recommendation to the respective Service Secretary based on their findings.
Although there is no guarantee that applicants will become retirement eligible, there is no risk of veterans losing their existing benefits. Veterans who are granted a medical retirement and had originally been given a severance check will have their original payment taken from their retirement pay until the original balance is fully recouped. However, since their retirement will be back dated, they are likely not to see much of an impact.
To be clear – Veterans will not have to have to pay back the severance out of their pockets and no applicants will lose their existing benefits – regardless of the board’s findings.
To be eligible veterans must have been medically separated between the dates noted above with a combined disability rating of 20 percent or less, and originally not found eligible for retirement. There is no deadline to apply and next of kin can also apply.
According to my source at the Physical Disability Board of Review, about 50 percent of the applications they have received to date have been recommended for re-characterization.
Visit the PDBR website to learn more and begin the application process.
Please share this info with any veterans you know who may qualify for the PDBR.