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Military Health System

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Disability Evaluation System

Service members can incur a wound, illness and/or injury at any time, whether serving in combat operations, during training evolutions, or at any other time on the job or even after hours. With the aid of medical care and adequate time to heal, many Service members can recover and return to full and unrestricted duty. Unfortunately, some Service members may suffer a long-lasting or permanent disability from a wound, illness, or injury that may affect their ability to return to full military duties. In this case, their treating physician will refer them into the Disability Evaluation System. The DES is the Department of Defense’s mechanism for determining whether a Service member will return to duty, medically separate, or medically retire due to disability.

Last Updated: May 04, 2023
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