What is military disability retirement?

What is Military Disability Retirement in Honea Path, SC

Some military members leave active service and go into disability retirement. Not everyone knows what this is or if it’s an option for them, so the team here at the offices of J. Robert Surface, Attorney at Law, is here to explain the important details of military disability retirement. Plus, we’re going to cover the process you have to go through in order to be approved for disability retirement. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Military Disability Retirement?

This type of disability retirement is provided when the military determines that your disability would prevent you from effectively serving any longer. Don’t mix this up with VA disability. Military disability retirement is distributed by the Department of Defense, not the Veterans Administration. Also, VA disability is based only on injuries and medical conditions, whereas military disability is based on whether or not you can complete your service duties. Keep in mind that the military needs to rate your disability at least 30% in order to be approved for these benefits if you have less than 20 years of active service.

How Do I Receive Military Disability Retirement?

Unfortunately, you can’t apply for disability retirement — a doctor needs to examine you and determine if you may qualify. Then, that doctor can refer you to the Medical Examination Board (MEB) or the Physical Examination Board (PEB) and they will officially decide whether or not you are eligible for benefits. If they think your condition is severe enough, they will approve you and you’ll be added to the Permanent Disability Retired List (PDRL). However, if they think your symptoms could improve, you’ll be put on the Temporary Disability Retired List (TDRL).

Which List Would I Get Added To?

Less extreme conditions such as migraines, asthma or mental disorders would typically put you in the TDRL category. The more severe the condition, the more likely you’ll be added to the PDRL. The TDRL provides you with retirement benefits, monthly stipends and medical coverage for you and your dependents only up until your condition becomes stable. Every 18 months you will have to go through physical examinations to check in on your symptoms. Keep in mind that you can’t stay on the TDRL for more than five years. 

If you’re placed on the PDRL, you’ll be able to receive the same benefits a typical military retiree would usually get. You’ll get a monthly retirement check just like those on the TDRL, except you won’t have to undergo frequent medical check-ins. 

No matter which list you’re placed in, you’ll receive retirement payments as if you’ve served a full 20 years. The pay is set depending on when you entered the service as well as what you qualify for. Not sure how this is calculated? For more information on determining your pay rate, visit the DOD page on military retirement.

If you’re still unsure of what benefits you’re entitled to, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

If you have questions, we are available 24/7 at (864) 235-0886. We’ll help you get a better understanding of military disability retirement benefits. The office of J. Robert Surface, Attorney at Law, is located at 513 E Greer St, Honea Path, SC 29654. He proudly serves clients from Greenville, Clemson and Spartanburg.

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