By MEDCOM for STAND-TO!February 12, 2011
Integrated Disability Evaluation System
What it is'
The Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) is a seamless, transparent disability evaluation system administered jointly by the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) to make disability evaluations for wounded, ill or injured servicemembers and veterans, simple, seamless, fast and fair. The IDES integrates evaluation processes DoD and VA each performed separately, to help DoD determine whether a wounded, ill or injured servicemember is able to continue to serve and quickly returns those to duty status who are. For servicemembers unable to continue service, the IDES determines the disability rating the member will receive through the VA.
What the Army has done'
In November 2007, the Army collaborated with DoD and VA to implement the IDES (formally called the Disability Evaluation System Pilot) program in the National Capital Region (Malcolm Grow, Walter Reed and the National Naval Medical Centers). The pilot helped Army and DoD simplify the disability evaluation process by eliminating duplicate disability exams and ratings, and placed VA counselors at Army MTFs to help ensure a smooth transition for Soldiers to veteran status. As of March 2010, the Army had 15 installations participating in the IDES. By the end of March 2011, the Army will have 22 facilities participating in the IDES.
What does the Army have planned for the future'
Based on the success of the pilot and on-going collaboration with the VA to streamline and reform the Army's current PDES evaluation and disability process, the IDES in the future will expand to all remaining Army installations. The transformation from two separate evaluation and disability systems to the streamlined IDES, will help all current and future Soldiers and servicemembers by delivering-
(1) Enhanced Case Management
(2) A Single Comprehensive Disability Examination
(3) A Single-Sourced Disability Rating
(4) Increased Transparency
(5) Faster Disability Processing.
Why is this important to the Army'
The new streamlined IDES system improves the delivery of disability services and benefits for all U.S. Soldiers, servicemembers, veterans and their families. Under IDES, they will receive one single disability medical examination conducted by a VA-certified physician, and one single-source disability rating to determine their fitness for duty and eligibility for DoD and VA disability compensation and benefits.
The Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy
DoD and VA Begin Pilot Disability Evaluation System