Temporary Disability Retired List (TDRL)

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What We Do

TDRL DBQ Records Management

Medical Record Retention and Planning: Retaining old and strategically producing new medical records is key to ensuring success at the TDRL IPEB phase. We find that having a medical record rention strategy leads to massive gains for our clients. In as much as the DoD places an exceedingly high premium on medical documentation, accurate and complete medical records are far and away the most valuable thing a client can present to the PEB.

TDRL Medical Reevaluation Prep: Service members will be required to submit to periodic medical reevaluations as part of the TDRL process; the timing of these reevaluations depends on administrative factors and regulatory requirements attached to the unfitting condition(s) for which the Service member was found unfit. 

TDRL Exam Prep
PEB Hearing Preparation

TDRL IPEB Prep: Creating a legal strategy and corresponding evidence gathering plan, ensuring that the claims, issues, and evidence is submitted to the TDRL IPEB in a way that puts the Service member in the best possible position to succeed without the need for a TDRL FPEB hearing. 

TDRL FPEB Hearings: The form of these hearings is identical to the original FPEB hearings, except the issues involved include not only potentially additional unfitting conditions, but also arguing the specific VA disability code and corresponding rating for each unfitting condition. 

PEB Hearing Room

TDRL Post-FPEB Appeals: These can take the form of written appellate briefs or hearings, challenging legal errors the FPEB made during your hearing. 

TDRL Overview

Temporary Disability Retirement List (tdrl) Flowchart


     Joel Pettit Law was founded by one of only three Formal PEB lawyers hired for the Navy’s elite TDRL Unit. We haven’t simply memorized the TDRL process, we understand the nuances of every step, evaluation, communication, and sub-process that’s involved.

There is no “autopilot” mode at Joel Pettit Law. We actively swing for the fences for every client.

    We appreciate that our approach to TDRL cases must be different from the approach we take to initial PEB cases; our clients are no longer in the military, their professional and personal lives are more varied, and their medical care is almost never centralized.

     The Temporary Disability Retirement Lists (TDRL), as described in DoDI 1332.18, is a process into which any Service member going through the Integrated or Legacy Disability Evaluation System (IDES and LDES, respectively) can be placed. The reason a Service member is placed on the TDRL in the first place is that his or her “disability is not determined to be of a permanent nature and stable.” 10 U.S.C. § 1202. Simply put, the purpose of the TDRL is to further observe unfit members whose disability has not stabilized and for whom the PEB cannot accurately assess the degree of severity, percent of disability, or final disposition. AFI 36-3212, ¶ 8.2.

     Effectively, the TDRL serves as a safeguard for the Service member and the military by delaying permanent disposition for Service members whose conditions could improve or get worse, or where the ultimate disposition could change within a reasonable period. A Service member on the TDRL must be given a physical examination at least once every 18 months “to determine whether there has been a change in the disability for which he was temporarily retired.” 10 U.S.C. § 1210(a). For Service members diagnosed with behavior disorders because of traumatic stress (PTSD), reexamination will be scheduled within 6 months from the date of placement on the TDRL but completed no earlier than 90 days after TDRL placement. DoDI 1332.18, § 9.2.

     Although the process is somewhat clear, the records produced during this process and the documents provided by clients during TDRL reexamination can have enormous effects on the final stage of the TDRL process, be it the TDRL IPEB, FPEB, or post-FPEB appeal. For instance: despite their names, TDRL IPEBs, FPEBs, and post-FPEB appeals are vastly different from their counterparts that Service members experience during active duty: evidence is more complex, case analysis is more intense, and arguments must be better crafted and presented.

     Whether you’ve just accepted TDRL findings, recently entered the TDRL, are facing an upcoming TDRL examination, or have questions about your updated TDRL findings, please contact JLP to discuss your case. With JPL you have the Navy’s most senior TDRL Unit attorney on your side.