IDES ToolKit

After a serious injury or illness, a wounded warrior’s fitness for duty may need to be assessed to determine if they are capable of continuing to perform military duties. The process of evaluating a Service Member’s fitness for duty is conducted through the Disability Evaluation System (DES).  For recovering service members (RSMs) there are two options including the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) or the Legacy Disability Evaluation System (LDES).  The default for RSMs is the IDES. This is collaboration between the Department of Defense (DoD) and VA resulting in both DoD and VA disability rating determinations. LDES referral, a process by which the DoD alone determines whether referred RSMs are fit for continued military service and determines appropriate disability rating for those determined unfit who are separate or retired. RSMs should be aware they will not receive a VA rating while on active duty if they choose LDES. RSMs must request LDES enrollment with 10 business days of being referred into the DES but only after commanding officers approval.

The IDES includes both the DoD and VA medical evaluations.  DoD evaluates the medical and physical condition of wounded warriors to determine fitness for military duty.  The VA evaluates and rates the extent of disabilities, if wounded warriors are found unfit, and determines the level of compensation they are entitled to receive.


IDES Timeline

The IDES is used by the DoD to determine whether RSMs are able to continue to serve. The IDES has four phases: Medical Evaluation Board (MEB), Physical Evaluation Board (PEB), Transition, and VA Disability Compensation Benefits Phase totaling 230 days. The goal of the IDES is to close the gap between separation from active duty and the receipt of VA benefits and compensation. For those who are able to serve, it is meant to quickly return them to duty. For those who cannot return to duty, the IDES process determines the disability rating they will receive from DoD and the VA.

Applications and Sample Forms




Physical Disability Board of Review

PDBR DD Form 294

VA Consent Form Accompanies the DD Form 294

VA Consent Form 3288

Board for Correction of Naval Records

BCNR DD Form 149

Medical Information Release Form

Standard Form 180

Combat Related Special Compensation

CRSC DD Form 2860

Survivor Benefit Plan

DD Form 2656

Naval Discharge Review Board

NDRB Form DD293

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Additional Resources
Veterans Affairs VR&E Resources