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New Combined VA, DoD Disability Evaluation System Announced

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Team Los Angeles service members referred for Medical Evaluation Boards recently began a new Disability Evaluation System process. This process integrates the old legacy Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs Disability Evaluation systems into a single process.

The new Integrated Disability Evaluation System, known as IDES, provides a seamless transition to veteran disability benefits with fewer hurdles, faster results and one single consistent rating used for both DoD and VA benefits. The IDES program reduces combined processing time from 18 months to 10 months, alleviating gaps between military to VA benefits. Under the previous Disability Evaluation System, service members first met several medical examinations by military physicians followed by a series of boards. A DoD assignment disability rating was utilized to calculate disability compensation only. Service members weren't allowed to apply for VA disability compensation and benefits until after receiving a discharge date from their service. Service processing took an average of ten months to complete.

After separation, the veteran was required to complete a VA application along with another set of medical exams and boards in accordance with VA standards. Usually, the member had to wait for a VA panel to provide another disability rating used to calculate the VA's veteran's disability compensation and benefits. Unfortunately, there was a gap of up to eight months before VA benefits began.

Under IDES, there is one set of medical exams performed to VA standards meeting both the service and VA requirements. When the service member completes military service, a disability claim is already filed with the VA. The veteran can receive disability compensation and benefits as early as one month after veteran status, the earliest allowable under current law.

For more information, call the 61st Medical Squadron at (310) 653-6734.