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Strategic Preparations: Navigating the Army Medical Evaluation Board Process Before You’re Referred

What actions should I take while I am waiting to be referred?

Bottom Line Upfront

The Army Medical Evaluation Board process is a medical obstacle course that you must prepare for. However, the prerequisite that must be met prior to being referred to the MEB, is meeting the Military Retention Determination Point. The military retention determination point usually follows a 12-month timeline, as stated in DA PAM 40-502 4-4. During this time, get evaluated for all your conditions and start preparing for the medical board, as it’s not a straightforward process. The Army MEB Process is a financial, medical, legal, and mental health experience, that deserves careful preparation. Remember, taking preparation steps now will ease your transition into the Medical Evaluation Board with a decreased level of stress. If you would like to know the most common MEB Mistakes, sign up for access to your free MEB Masterclass course here.

What is the Military Retention Determination Point?

The Medical Retention Determination Point, MRDP, is when a Soldier with a medical condition, injury, or defect meets the definition of a disqualifying medical condition and receives a P3 or P4 profile. According to AR 40-502, the “Military Retention Determination Point is reached if a medical condition which has been temporarily profiled has stabilized or cannot be stabilized in a reasonable period of time for up to 12 months and impacts successful performance of duty.”

Hurry up & Wait!

Navigating through the MRDP phase is a crucial Pre-MEB step. During the MRDP phase, it’s essential to understand that seeking evaluation, treatment, and documentation for all, I say again all, of your health conditions is vital. Even if you feel like an invincible force and nothing can stop you, it is critically important that the extent of your condition(s) are well-documented in your medical record. Sometimes, you might be referred to the MEB for just one or two conditions. But maybe, there are other conditions that you are experiencing and could be an additional referred condition. Without proper medical record documentation, it will be challenging to prove your condition is also disqualifying.

Medical Record Documentation, Time Now!

It is imperative to emphasize the significance of pursuing medical treatment for persistent symptoms. Firstly, seeking treatment ensures that your healthcare providers meticulously record their examination findings in your medical record. This document holds pivotal importance, especially if you are referred to the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB), as it becomes a central reference in evaluating your fitness for duty. The critical reason behind this importance lies in the fact that the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) assesses all your medical conditions, making comprehensive documentation now all the more essential for your future evaluations. Secondly, by proactively taking these steps and maintaining a thorough record of your medical history, you are better equipped to navigate the subsequent MEB process, ultimately enhancing your readiness and prospects for a favorable outcome.

Action Steps to Consider

  • Write down every symptom that you are experiencing
  • Seek treatment
    • Continue to speak with your physicians about your conditions until there is a resolution
  • Around the 6 month mark of being on profile, start becoming familiar with AR 40-501
  • On or before the 12-month mark:
    • Start to review your medical records to see what your physician documented about your condition.
  • Visit Open Ranks Nurse Consulting for more tips and answers to FAQ.
  • Take the free MEB Masterclass course to understand the Common MEB Mistakes to watch out for.
  • Dont Stress! The Army Medical Evaluation Board process is just another obstacle you can and will overcome!