Integrated Disability Evaluation System

Monday February 14, 2011

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.


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Websites of interest:

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"This is an extraordinarily difficult time to lead and serve. What our country has asked us to do and, by virtue of that, what we have asked our families to do, is a tremendous sacrifice. I owe a debt of gratitude to each one of you and your families. This is the greatest military … We have moved far beyond the U.S. being able to do it all alone. The interconnectivity of the world has changed how we must adapt and operate. We must fully leverage what the last 10 years of fighting wars has taught us. We are now truly a joint and international force. We need to make sure we don't lose those skills."

- Adm. Mike Mullen, the 17th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, while speaking to the Army War College student body as part of the Commandant's Lecture Series, which this year is focused on officership and the profession, emphasized the for the last 10 years the military has been faced with a rapidly changing environment that places an emphasis on international, interagency and joint operations.

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"I've turned down a lot of fairly high paying jobs over the years. I just love being a Soldier. It's not about the money. It's about the Soldiers, pure and simple."

- Command Sgt. Maj. Jeff Mellinger, the 13th command sergeant major for the Army Materiel Command, who during his nearly 40 years of service has not looked for a reason to leave the Army.

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