Informal Physical Evaluation Board (PEB)
The Secretary of the Navy is charged with assuring the fitness of Navy and Marine Corps members, and separating or retiring those who become Unfit to continue naval service because of a physical disability. The Secretary's authority is derived from Title 10, U. S. Code, Chapter 61, as supplemented by DoD Directive 1332.18 of 4 November 1996, and SECNAVINST 1850.4E. The law provides benefits for eligible members whose military service is cut short due to a service-related physical disability incurred in the line of duty. The Department of the Navy's disability evaluation system is managed by the Secretary of the Navy Council of Review Boards (CORB), Physical Evaluation Board (PEB). The PEB is an administrative board that determines whether a service member's disability prevents his or her continued performance in the Navy or Marine Corps. The PEB is comprised of two levels of boards, which review medical evidence and make determination of fitness or unfitness to continue naval service. If the PEB determines that a service member is Unfit to continue naval service, and finds that the service member is eligible for disability benefits, the PEB determines the percentage of the service member's disability compensation. Depending on the severity of the illness or injury, the service member receives either medical retirement or disability severance pay.
Formal Physical Evaluation Board (PEB)
A member who is found Unfit to continue naval service by the Informal PEB, and wishes to appeal can demand a formal hearing with or without a personal appearance. Formal hearings are held before the Formal PEB at the Washington Navy Yard, DC. The Formal PEB is the member's opportunity, with the assistance of legal counsel to present evidence, testimony, and documents in support of his or her case. The service member is represented by an appointed military lawyer and may appear in person. The service member may also be represented by a National Service Officer from a National Service Organization or civilian counsel of his or her choosing provided at his or her expense. The Formal PEB's recommended findings will be reviewed for administrative and legal error. The Formal PEB's recommended findings are final after the President, Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) reviews and signs the decision. The President, PEB can either approve or amend the recommended findings. If the service member disagrees with the findings, he or she may submit a Petition for Relief (PFR) to the Director, Secretary of the Navy Council of Review Boards. The PFR is a separate and distinct appeal from the Formal PEB's decision.