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Military & Veteran Lawyer > Blog > Military Disability Information > Information on TDRL from the US Army Human Resources Command (HRC)

Information on TDRL from the US Army Human Resources Command (HRC)


What is TDRL?

The TDRL is a list of Army members found to be unfit for performance of military duties by reason of physical disability which may be permanent, but which has not sufficiently stabilized to permit an accurate assessment of a permanent degree of disability. The Secretary of the Army is required by law to maintain the TDRL, and has delegated this responsibility to Headquarters, United States Army Physical Disability Agency (USAPDA).  See AR 635-40, Chapter 2, para 2-3d; DoD Directive 1332.18; Chapter 61 10 USC 1210.

What will happen when my medical condition has stabilized?

Depending on the PEB’s recommendation after your medical exam is received, you will either be (a) permanently retired if your combined disability is rated at 30 percent or more or you have 20 years of active duty (b) you may be separated with severance pay if your combined disability is rated less than 30 percent and you have less than 20 years of service or (c) found physically fit for return to active duty (unless you have a newly obtained, non-service related disability which prevents your return).

How will the final determination be made in my case?

The same procedure used when you were placed on the TDRL will be followed. A medical re-evaluation is completed and, after being reviewed by you, is forwarded to a PEB. If you have a current VA Rating and Compensation and Pension (C&P) Examination for your unstable condition(s) identified on your original DA 199 that occurred within 16 months of being placed on the TDRL, USAPDA may consider your information to be sufficient and will forward it to the PEB for adjudication. If there were any conditions determined to be stable at the time of your original placement on the TDRL, they will be carried forward on your new DA 199 along with the unstable conditions that will be reviewed by the PEB. The PEB has the final say on whether the information is sufficient and if they are able to adjudicate your case based on current VA Ratings. A PEBLO/VELO will be assigned to counsel you regarding the findings. The determination by the PEB is not final and may be reviewed by Headquarters, USAPDA. All medical evidence will be carefully evaluated to ensure that a just and accurate determination is made. To ensure that your interests are protected, you will be afforded the opportunity to appeal the PEB’s findings along with legal representation (if desired) before your case is finalized.

What happens if I am found physically fit?

  1. Regular Army Officers and warrant officers will, subject to their consent, be called to active duty and reappointed to the active list in the regular grade held when placed on TDRL or the next higher grade, as determined appropriate.  If the officer or warrant officer does not consent to be called to active duty, TDRL status and disability pay will cease as soon as possible.  See AR 635-40, para 7-11a (3) (a); 10 USC 1211.  

  2. Regular Army enlisted members will, subject to their consent, be reenlisted in the grade held on the day preceding the date placed on TDRL, or in the next highest grade, as deemed appropriate.  If the member does not consent to reenlistment, TDRL status and disability pay will cease as soon as possible.  See AR 635-40, Para 7-11A (3) (b); 10 USC 1211.  

  3. Members of the Army Reserve or National Guard will, subject to their consent, be reappointed or reenlisted in the Army Reserve or National Guard in the grade held on the day preceding the date placed on TDRL, or in the next higher grade, as determined appropriate.  This does not necessarily entail recall to active duty.  See AR 635-40, para 7-11a (3) c & d; 10 USC 1211.

Can my percentage of disability change while I am on TDRL?

Your percentage of disability will remain the same as long as you are on the TDRL.  Changes in the degree of severity of your disability will not affect your retired pay while you are on the TDRL.  When your condition has stabilized, the final determination in your case may result in removal from the TDRL as discussed in Question# 2.  See AR 635-40, para 7-20b.

I am currently a TDRL member and will be permanently retired, will I receive a new DD Form 214?

No. The DD Form 214 is a record of release from active duty service and is only issued at time of separation from active duty. If you are a current TDRL member and were on active duty at the time of retirement, you should have received a DD Form 214. Once your required TDRL re-examination is completed and the PEB recommends a permanent retirement, you will receive orders removing you from the TDRL and placing you in a permanent retirement status. You will not receive a new DD Form 214.  See AR 635-5, para 2-1.

Am I entitled to an Army Identification Card while on the TDRL?

Yes. Your spouse and dependent children are also entitled to an ID card. The cards are valid for the three or five-year period the law allows you to be carried on the TDRL unless you are removed earlier. You may apply for this card at the nearest military ID card office. You should bring a copy of your retirement orders and DD Form 214 with you when you apply.

What if I change my mailing address or place of residence while I am on the TDRL?

You are required to keep USAPDA advised of changes in your address and other contact information (phone, email). It is important that you do so in order for contact to be made promptly when being scheduled for your periodic physical examination and for timely notification of your final Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) determination. You will receive a notification letter and other pertinent information three (3) months prior to each scheduled examination as annotated in Section 2 of the DA Form 199 (PEB Proceedings). You should promptly notify us by letter, email, or telephone whenever there is a change to your mailing address. Failure to keep the Physical Disability Agency informed of any address changes could jeopardize your entitlement to disability retirement benefits. Send change of address information to U.S. Army Physical Agency, ATTN:  TDRL Branch, 2530 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22202. You may contact us by phone at 1-855-863-0426 (toll free) or email at: usarmy.pentagon.hrc.mbx.usapda-tdrl@mail.mil.

How often will I have to undergo a physical examination, and how will I be scheduled for it?

You are required by law to undergo physical examinations at least once every 18 months. However, examinations may be scheduled as early as six (6) months after initial placement on the TDRL if deemed necessary by appropriate medical/disability authorities. Your re-examination month will be reflected in Section 2 of your DA Form 199. The USAPDA will forward a letter to you and the designated Military Treatment Facility (MTF) three (3) months in advance requesting that a physical examination be conducted. After an appointment has been made for you, a representative for the MTF Commander will send you additional correspondence advising you of the exact date and time to report. See AR 635-40, paragraph 7-4; 10 USC 1210.

Must I undergo TDRL physical examinations if I have elected to receive VA compensation instead of retired pay from the Army?

Yes.  You are required by law to undergo periodic physical examinations as ordered by the Secretary of the Army.  This requirement exists even if you waive Army retired pay in favor of VA compensation or are receiving treatment at a VA Hospital.  Examinations administered by the VA to determine the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive from that agency cannot take the place of examinations required by the Army.  In other words, your responsibilities to the Army and the VA with respect to physical examinations are separate and distinct.  See AR 635-40; para 7-4 (a).

If I apply for benefits from the VA, which I may be entitled to, will these benefits be based on the percentage of disability I received from the Army?

No. If you processed through the DoD/VA Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES), you received proposed VA ratings at that time.  The disability percentage you received from the Army was based on your unfitting conditions, while the percentage from the VA was based on all conditions that are service connected.  The total ratings may be the same or may differ.  If you did not process through the IDES, you will have to apply to the VA separately and the VA ratings may differ from those you received from the Army.

I received notice that my re-examination will be done by a contractor and not by an Army Medical Treatment Facility (MTF).  Why?  When I was placed on the TDRL I was told that my re-exam would be done by an Army MTF.

The Army’s Medical Command (MEDCOM) determines who conducts TDRL re-examinations. In late 2015, the Regional Health Command-Atlantic (RHC-A) contracted the performance of some of their TDRL re-examinations to Maximus Defense Logistic Health (DLH) Solutions. This affects all TDRL members who live in the northeast, along the Atlantic coast from North Carolina northward, and many members living in the northern Midwest region. These individuals will be notified by USAPDA four (4) months in advance that their re-examinations will be performed by Maximus, and the contractor will contact them to schedule their re-examinations.  In addition Maximus is also responsible for the following MTFs REDSTONE, AL; FT BENNING, GA; FT STEWART, GA; FT JACKSON, SC, FT CAMPBELL, KY.  For those Soldiers living in the Southern and Western Regions, your cases will be assigned to an MTF.

Who can furnish advice and assistance when I report to for examination?

Each MTF has on its staff a Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer (PEBLO). The PEBLO’s job is to offer counseling and provide assistance to Veterans as appropriate. You are encouraged to take advantage of the services provided by the PEBLO. If your re-examination is conducted by Maximus, the physician’s office/medical facility will be expecting you and is prepared to assist with questions and concerns you have about the process. Your Veterans Evaluation Liaison Officer (VELO), with duties similar to a PEBLO, may also be contacted for assistance.  See AR 635-40, para 7-5.

Where will my examinations take place?

Your medical file will normally be referred to the Army Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) closest to your home.  The hospital commander will be responsible for conducting the examination at his facility or scheduling it at another federal medical facility or civilian hospital/clinic at or near your home.  If your re-examination is being done by IWA, they will schedule you at a doctor’s office or medical facility that is normally within 150 miles of your home. 

When and how will I be scheduled for examination?

The USAPDA will forward a letter to the designated hospital four (4) months in advance requesting that a physical examination be conducted.  After an appointment has been made for you, the hospital commander will send you additional correspondence advising you of the exact date and time to report.  If your re-examination is being done by IWA, you will receive correspondence notifying you of the exact date(s) and time(s) of your scheduled appointment (s). See AR 635-40, para 7-9.

I was placed on the TDRL via the Department of Defense (DOD)/VA Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) program.  Where will my examination take place?

Under current procedures, your reevaluation will be conducted the same as for individuals placed on the TDRL via the legacy (non-IDES) system.  Procedures described above apply to all TDRL members, whether placed on TDRL via IDES or legacy processing.

What do I have to bring to my TDRL reexamination?

You must bring copies of all medical records (civilian, Department of Veterans Affairs, military records, medication/pharmacy records) documenting all treatment you have received since placement on the TDRL or since the last TDRL re-evaluation, whichever is more recent. Your records will be reviewed by the physician who examines you, and will be included in the medical documents forwarded to the PEB. Failure to follow these directions can adversely affect your case and is grounds for suspending your disability payments.

Can I expect to complete my examination in one day?

Normally yes. You will probably be examined on an outpatient basis. However, occasionally, the nature of the examination and tests required may take more than one day, so be prepared to stay overnight or attend multiple appointments. Appointments are based on availability at the hospital. In some cases the MTFs may be able to conduct tele-medicine appointments over the phone with a physician. If the MTF is able to complete your exam via tele-medicine, no travel will be required. Your PEBLO or VELO will be able to provide you the details regarding your appointments.

What if I fail to report for a scheduled examination?

The law specifies that your entitlement to receive Army retired pay will be suspended if you fail to report for a physical examination without showing just cause. Once suspended, your entitlements are not reinstated until you undergo an examination. You must promptly notify your PEBLO or VELO at the MTF or office where your appointments are scheduled if you are unable to attend. Repeated failure to report for examinations may result in suspension of retired pay or administrative removal from the TDRL on the fifth anniversary of placement without entitlement to any of the benefits resulting from disability separation or retirement.  See AR 635-40, para 7-11b; 10 USC 1210.

What if I am physically incapable of traveling to the hospital by myself?

If medically required, a relative or friend can accompany you to a re-examination as a non-medical attendant. The attendant will be issued Authorization Orders for his/her trip and can be reimbursed for authorized expenses through the Defense Travel System (DTS). Requests must be made in advance with accompanying medical documentation citing the need for a non-medical attendant, and signed by the examining physician.  See AR 635-40, para 7-10e.

How will my examination be handled if I am living outside of the Continental United States?

If you reside in an overseas area (Europe or the Far East, for example), arrangements for your examination at the closest military hospital will be made by the overseas MTF commander.  If you live in Hawaii or Alaska, you will be examined at the installation MTF in those states.

Am I required to report for reexaminations if I am attending school or have a job?

Yes. You must report for your examinations even if they interfere with your job or school enrollment.  In this situation, USAPDA will furnish a statement, upon request, explaining the legal requirement for your absence to undergo a physical examination, which you can present to your employer or school officials.

Will I be paid for my personal expenses incurred while traveling to the MTF for my examination, and what if I do not have sufficient money to make the trip?

Yes you will be reimbursed. Reimbursement is determined in accordance with the Joint Travel Regulation (JTR). All TDRL travel will be processed using the Defense Travel System (DTS). If air or ground travel is required, travel arrangements must be made through the military Commercial Travel Office (CTO) by your assigned PEBLO/VELO prior to your travel. Rental cars must also be reserved through the CTO. If your trip is greater than 12 hours in duration, you are also authorized meal reimbursement. If you do not have sufficient money to make the trip, you may request a travel advance by contacting your PEBLO/VELO for assistance. You should do so at least 10 business days prior to your travel, and you must have a bank account in order for funds to be posted. You will be required to complete and submit to your PEBLO/VELO an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) form before your travel can be approved. Your PEBLO/VELO will also assist you with completing your form for reimbursement (DD form 1351-2) of authorized expenses. You must attach receipts for any expense over $75.00. Mandatory receipts regardless of cost that must be included with your voucher are zero balance lodging receipts and rental car receipts. It is strongly encouraged that you discuss your travel arrangements with your PEBLO/VELO prior to travel to the MTF to ensure that you are clear on your entitlements. The same rules apply for travel to a formal PEB if required.

Who should I contact if I have questions about my physical examinations or other matters pertaining to my status on the TDRL?

In addition to contacting your PEBLO/VELO, you may contact the USAPDA TDRL Branch at 1-855-863-0426 or via email at usarmy.pentagon.hrc.mbx.usapda-tdrl@mail.mil.

What if I do not receive my monthly Army retired paycheck or have other problems concerning my pay?

Contact the Defense Finance & Accounting Service (DFAS), at DFAS Military Retirement Pay, P.O. Box 7130, London, KY 40742-7130 or 1-800-321-1080.

If I elect to receive disability compensation or other benefits from the VA, where can I obtain information or assistance?

You should contact your local or regional VA office or visit their website at www.va.gov.

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