Physical Evaluation Boards (PEB)

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What We Do

Craft a Holistic Case Strategy: The goal for every case is to craft a strategy and action plan that makes sense for that specific client. Service members suffering from similar issues, in the same MOS or rate, at the same rank, in the same Service will require vastly different strategies. No two cases are the same, so we don’t pretend they are. We ensure we understand your case and the unique attributes that will drive our arguments. We analyze the evidence, matching each piece to specific arguments we will use to support your claims. These insights allows JPL to appreciate the surfaces and gaps that must be addressed to ensure we succeed. Knowing a case’s weakest and strongest parts is the first step to shaping an action plan that leads to tangible results. We want our clients to not only understand their case and what’s going on, but also be a part of the process that will have such a huge impact on their lives. JPL is happy to shoulder the burden and stress of the IDES, but we don’t want to keep our clients in the dark, feeling like they have no control.

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Aggressive Respresentation: The PEB is not the forum in which to be shy. There’s a lot of truth in the saying: the risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision. This is what many Service members forget when they are tricked into indecision by all the people who tell them to “trust the system.” JPL’s founder has seen the IDES as an IPEB cousel at Camp Lejeune, as an FPEB attorney in Washington, DC, as a federal employee, and now as a private military disability attorney. The one constant is this: Service members are the only ones looking out for themselves in the IDES. This is why Joel Pettit founded JPL. We believe in agressively advocating for our clients. We draft pre-hearing briefs to set the stage for both the IPEB and FPEB. We advocate for pre-hearing negotiations to resolve claims quickly, efficiently, and cheaply. The last thing we do is “trust the system.” 

White Glove Service: Being intimately familiar with every level of the IDES, we know that nothing should be taken for granted when preparing for a Formal Physical Evaluation Board (FPEB) hearing. Although documentary evidence is important, poorly delivered testimonial evidence can squander everything you’ve worked for. JPL offers our clients hearing prep services that ensure you feel calm, exude confidence, and speak accurately about your claim. Moreover, we pair these prep services with technology enabled evidence presentation methods that make is easy for the PEB to say ‘yes.’

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PEB Overview

Physical Evaluation Board (peb) Flowchart

About

Joel Pettit Law proudly and skillfully represents Service members of the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard in every phase of the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES), focusing on physical evaluation boards and hearings. From Limited Duty (LIMDU) and Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) referral to Informal & Formal Physical Evaluation Board (IPEB & FPEB) hearings and post-FPEB appeals, we have the experience, knowledge, and insight to fashion solutions to overcome any obstacle. At Joel Pettit Law, we understand that every case is unique, requiring fresh analysis and dynamic thinking. PEB cases are difficult, we don’t pretend to make them easier by shortchanging our clients.

We refuse to use templates or cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all products to falsely streamline our practice.

          All military departments must institute an Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES), as directed in Department of Defense Instruction 1332.18. Among the myriad of process under the IDES, the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) is the most well-known. Chapter 61 of Title 10 U.S.C. mandates that the PEB’s determine the fitness of Service members with medical conditions that are, either singularly, collectively, or through combined effect, potentially unfitting and, for members determined unfit, determine their eligibility for compensation.

         The Informal PEB (IPEB) reviews case files to make initial findings and recommendations without the Service member present. Service members may accept the findings, rebut the findings, request a Formal PEB (FPEB) if found fit, or, if found unfit, demand an FPEB in accordance with Section 1214 of Title 10. U.S.C. The IPEB will be composed of at least two members, at field grade or civilian equivalent or higher. In cases of a split opinion, a third voting member that meets the same qualification requirements will be assigned to break the tie.

         Section 1214 of Title 10. U.S.C. mandates that Service members are entitled to a full and fair hearing, upon request, before the Service member may be separated or retired for physical disability. Note, Service members found fit do not have a right to an FPEB, although most military departments grant fit hearings as a matter of course. The FPEB must be comprised of at least three members, at least one of whom will be a military officer. Should a Service member demand, FPEB members cannot have participated in the adjudication process of the same case at the IPEB.

          At the FPEB, the Service member can address issues pertaining to their fitness, disability percentage, degree or stability of disability, administrative determinations, whether their injury or disease was non-duty related, or that their injury or disease was combat-related or took place in a combat-zone.

Service Members’ Rights During the FPEB:

  • Have their case considered by FPEB members, who were not voting members of their IPEB, if requested.
  • Appear themselves, through a personal representative, or by videoconference.
  • Be represented by government-appointed counsel provided by the Military Department concerned. Service members may choose their own civilian counsel at no expense to the U.S. Government.
  • Make a sworn or an unsworn statement.
  • Remain silent. When the Service member exercises the right to remain silent, the member may not selectively respond, but must remain silent throughout the hearing.
  • Request witnesses and introduce depositions, documents, or other evidence, and to question all witnesses who testify at the hearing.
  • Access all records and evidence the PEB receives before, during, and after the formal hearing, unless such records are exempt from disclosure by law, which were relied upon by the FPEB in making their recommendation.

If you’re facing either an IPEB or an FPEB, contact us to discuss your case. JPL will be there to guide you through the complicated twists and turns, always looking out for your best interests.