AR 635-40 Chapter 1 and 2
This regulation establishes the Army Physical Disability Evaluation System (PDES) according to the provisions of Title 10, United States Code (USC), Chapter 61, (10 USC 61) and DODD 1332.18. It sets forth policies, responsibilities, and procedures that apply in determining whether a Soldier is unfit because of physical disability to reasonably perform the duties of his or her office, grade, rank, or rating. If a Soldier is found unfit because of physical disability, this regulation provides for disposition of the Soldier according to applicable laws and regulations. The objectives of this regulation are to—
- Maintain an effective and fit military organization with maximum use of available manpower.
- Provide benefits for eligible Soldiers whose military service is terminated because of a service-connected
- Provide prompt disability processing while ensuring that the rights and interests of the Government and the Soldier are protected.
Required and related publications and prescribed and referenced forms are listed in appendix A.
1–3. Explanation of abbreviations and terms
Abbreviations and special terms used in this regulation are explained in the glossary.
Responsibilities are listed in chapter 2.
1–5. Ineligibility for processing
- Title 10, United States Code, Section 1217 (10 USC 1217) excludes cadets of service academies from eligibility
for disability benefits under 10 USC 61. However, U.S. Military Academy (USMA) cadets may be entitled to
compensation administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Title 38, United States Code, Section
101(21)(D), (38 USC 101(21)(D)) includes service as a cadet at the USMA within the definition of active duty for
purposes of entitlement to VA compensation.
- Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets are not eligible for processing under this regulation. Senior Reserve
Officers’ Training Corps cadets may be eligible for VA disability benefits under 38 USC 101(22)(D) as explained
above for USMA cadets.
Responsibilities and Functions
2–1. Secretary of the Army
The Secretary of the Army (SA) will prescribe regulations to carry out the provisions of 10 USC 61. Unless otherwise
specified in this regulation, the SA reserves all powers, functions, and duties of the Army PDES.
2–2. Deputy Chief of Staff, G–1
The Deputy Chief of Staff, G–1 (DCS, G–1) has overall Army Staff responsibility for the Army PDES. Policy
guidance will be provided by the Director of Military Personnel Management, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff,
2–3. Commander, U.S. Army Human Resources Command
The commander, U.S. Army Human Resources Command (USAHRC) will—
- Operate the Army PDES under the general staff supervision of the DCS, G–1.
- Accomplish final administrative actions in processing physical disability cases; issue needed orders or other
instructions for the SA, based on decisions of the Commanding General, U.S. Army Physical Disability Agency (CG,
USAPDA) or higher authority (see chap 4 and app D).
- Notify the VA of all individuals being separated or retired from the Army for physical disability.
- Coordinate, control, and manage all Soldiers on the temporary disability retired list (TDRL).
AR 635–40 • 8 February 2006 1
2–4. Commanding General, U.S. Army Physical Disability Agency
The Commanding General (CG), U.S. Army Physical Disability Agency (USAPDA), under the operational control of the commander, USAHRC, will operate the Army PDES, to include—
- Interpreting and implementing policies coming from higher authority.
- Developing the policies, procedures, and programs of the system.
- Coordinating with other military departments to ensure applicable laws, policies, and directives are interpreted
same benefits as a member of another Service under similar conditions.)
- Commanding and managing the subordinate elements of the USAPDA.
- Reviewing physical evaluation board (PEB) proceedings to ensure that Soldiers are given uniform and fair
consideration under applicable laws, policies, and directives.
- Making the final decision whether a Soldier is unfit because of physical disability except when such decisions are
reserved to higher authority. Included as higher authority are the Office of the Secretary of the Army (OSA) and the
Office of the Secretary of Defense.
- Determining percentage rating and disposition.
2–5. The Surgeon General
The Surgeon General will establish and interpret medical standards for retaining Soldiers on active duty (see AR
40–400 and AR 40–501).
2–6. The Judge Advocate General
The Judge Advocate General will—
- Interpret laws and regulations governing the Army PDES.
- Train and provide sufficient legal counsel to represent Soldiers appearing before a PEB.
- Train Army attorneys in disability law.
2–7. Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command
The Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command will—
- Ensure that Army medical treatment facilities (MTFs) under their control fulfill their responsibilities in connection with the Army PDES as outlined in AR 40–400 and this regulation.
- Appoint MTFs responsible for accomplishing periodic medical evaluation for TDRL Servicemembers (chap 7).
2–8. Commander, medical treatment facility
The commander, MTF will—
- Provide a thorough and prompt evaluation when a Soldier’s medical condition becomes questionable in respect to
physical ability to perform duty.
- Appoint a physical evaluation board liaison officer (PEBLO) to counsel Soldiers undergoing physical disability
- Ensure medical evaluation board (MEB) proceedings referred to the PEB are complete, accurate, and fully
documented as outlined in AR 40–400, chapter 7, and chapter 4, of this regulation.
2–9. Unit commander
The unit commander will—
- Become thoroughly familiar with the purpose of the Army PDES.
- Ensure that any physical defects impacting on a Soldier’s performance of duty are reflected in the Soldier’s
- Refer a Soldier to the servicing MTF for medical evaluation when the Soldier is believed to be unable to perform
the duties of his or her office, grade, rank, or rating.
- Upon request of the MTF commander, provide the information, statements, and records on Soldiers of their
command being processed for physical disability evaluation.
- Ensure timely compliance with AR 600–8–4 to prevent delay in the disability processing of Soldiers under their
2–10. Board elements
- The Army PDES consists of—
(1) Medical evaluation boards (a function of the Army Medical Department).
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(2) Physical evaluation boards (elements of the USAPDA).
(3) Case reviews, when applicable, by USAPDA.
- Certain Department of the Army (DA) boards, though not a part of the disability system, are closely related to
disability evaluation because of their assigned function to review disability decisions upon request of the Soldier,
former Soldier, or when otherwise required. These boards are described in paragraphs 2–11 through 2–13, below.
2–11. Army Physical Disability Appeal Board
The Army Physical Disability Appeal Board (APDAB) is a component of the Army Council of Review Boards
(ACRB). APDAB was established to review disability evaluation cases forwarded by the CG, USAPDA as provided
under the circumstances prescribed in chapter 4.
2–12. The Army Board for Correction of Military Records
The Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) is a statutory board established within the OSA under the provisions of Title 10, United States Code, Section 1552, (10 USC 1552). The ABCMR provides a means for correcting an error or removing an injustice. Within 3 years of the first knowledge of an error or injustice, a Soldier, former Soldier, or individual acting on the Soldier’s behalf may submit an application to the ABCMR according to AR
15–185 if the individual—
- Believes that their military records reflect an error or an injustice.
- Has exhausted all administrative remedies offered by existing laws and regulations.
2–13. Army Disability Rating Review Board
The Army Disability Rating Review Board (ADRRB) is a component of the ACRB. The ADRRB reviews disability
percentage ratings on request of a Soldier who was retired because of physical disability (see chap 4, sec VI). Requests for review must be made within 5 years from the date of retirement.