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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs


VA/DOD Commence Single Disability Examination Pilot for Wounded Warriors

November 29, 2007

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Evaluation to Provide Smoother Transition to Disability Benefits and Compensation

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) this week began a pilot program to test a new single disability evaluation system for wounded warriors at the three major military medical facilities in the Washington D.C. area.

This initiative is designed to eliminate the duplicative and often confusing elements of the current disability processes of the two departments.  Key features of the disability evaluation system (DES) pilot include one medical examination and a single-sourced disability rating.

The single disability examination pilot is another improvement as a result of the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors (Dole/Shalala) and is aimed to simplify health care and rehabilitation for injured service members and veterans.

This pilot program will seek to ease the transition of wounded service members through the disability evaluation system to reentry into the civilian community with more efficient delivery of disability compensation at the time they leave military service.

VA is providing the medical professionals performing the examinations.  The pilot is being conducted for service members at the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and the Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and will run for one year.  Throughout the pilot, VA and DoD officials will monitor progress to determine potential expansion into other locations.

The pilot includes all non-clinical care and administrative activities, such as case management and counseling requirements associated with disability case processing from the service member’s initial referral to a Military Department Medical Evaluation Board to VA’s compensation and benefits program.

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