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AFI 36-3212 PHYSICAL EVALUATION FOR RETENTION, RETIREMENT, AND SEPARATION 2 February 2006 (Incorporating Change 1, 4 DEC 2020)

AFI 36-3212 PHYSICAL EVALUATION FOR RETENTION, RETIREMENT, AND SEPARATION 2 February 2006 (Incorporating Change 1, 4 DEC 2020) (1.4 MB)

Comments: To view or download the complete regulation, click on the link to it in the box above these comments.

Chapter 1
1.3. Eligibility for Disability Evaluation. HQ AFPC/DPPD determines eligibility for disability processing. The mere presence of a physical defect or condition does not qualify a member for disability retirement or discharge. The physical defect or conditions must render the member unfit for duty. Disability evaluation begins only when examination, treatment, hospitalization, or substandard performance result in referral to a Medical Evaluation Board (MEB). ...

Comments: "HQ AFPC/DPPD" is USAF Physical Disability Division.


2.2. Role of the Medical Officers in the MEB Process.

2.2.1. The attending physician at the medical treatment facility (MTF) will: Conduct the examination. Prepare the documents required to identify medical defects or conditions that may disqualify the member for continued active duty (AD). Refer the case to a MEB.

2.2.2. Medical officers on the MEB will: Evaluate the documentation. Recommend the disposition of the MEB case and refer it to the approving authority as outlined in AFI 48-123.

2.3. Role of the Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer (PEBLO). The PEBLO will:

2.3.1. Ensure disability cases referred to the PEB are complete, accurate, and fully documented.

2.3.2. Counsel evaluees concerning their rights in the disability process (see Attachment 2).

2.3.3. Maintain coordination with the member, medical facility, MPF, and HQ AFPC/DPPD.

2.4. Role of Commander and Supervisor. Except in situations of critical illness or injury in which return to duty is not expected, a written statement from the member's immediate commanding officer or supervisor describing the impact of the members medical condition on normal military duties and ability to deploy or mobilize, as applicable, will be submitted with the documentation required by AFI 48-123.
Chapter 3

3.1. Purpose of PEBs. A PEB is a fact-finding body that investigates the nature, origin, degree of impairment, and probable permanence of the physical or mental defect or condition of any member whose case it evaluates. The disability system provides for two PEBs: an Informal PEB and a Formal PEB. If either board finds a member unfit, it recommends appropriate disposition based on the degree of impairment caused by the disabling condition, the date incurred, and the member's line of duty status. A PEB is not a statutory board, and there is no statute of limitations in considering evidence.
Chapter 8

Section 8A- General Guidelines

8.1. Purpose. This chapter provides the guidelines for processing through the disability system certain ARC members who meet eligibility requirements in paragraph 8.2. Paragraph 8.3. gives an ineligibility guideline.
8.2. Eligibility for Disability Processing. The following ARC members who have impairments which were incurred or aggravated in the line of duty are eligible for disability processing:

8.2.1. On active duty for 31 days or more while the member was entitled to basic pay.

8.2.2. After 23 Sep 96, on active duty for 31 days or more but not entitled to basic pay under 37 U.S.C. 502(B) due to authorized absence to participate in an educational program, or for an emergency purpose, as determined by the SAF or designated representative.

Comments: "SAF" is Secretary of the Air Force.

8.2.3. On active duty for 30 days or less or on call to Inactive Duty Training (IDT).

Comments: Inactive Duty Training is a drill. While traveling directly to or from the place at which such duty is performed; and/or After September 23, l996, any injury, illness, or disease incurred or aggravated while remaining overnight, between successive periods of IDT, at or in the vicinity of the site of the inactive duty training, if the site is outside reasonable commuting distance of the member's residence. Additionally, members of the Ready Reserve with nonduty-related impairments pending separation for failure to meet physical standards. (See eligibility criteria in Section 8E).

8.3. Ineligibility for Disability Processing. ARC members are ineligible for disability processing if the member is pending an approved, unsuspended, punitive discharge or dismissal.



Comments: To view or download the complete regulation, click on the link to it in the box above these comments.

Chapter 4

Section 4A--Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, and Induction.

4.1. References. DoDI 6130.03, Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, and Induction, establishes basic medical standards for enlistment, appointment, and induction into the Armed Forces of the United States according to the authority contained in Title 10, United States Code, Section 113. DoDI 6130.03 sets forth the medical conditions and physical defects that are causes for rejection for military service. These standards are not all inclusive and other diseases or defects can be cause for rejection based upon the medical judgment of the examining healthcare provider.
Chapter 5

Section 5B--Medical Standards for Continued Military Service (Retention Standards)

5.3. Standards. While this is not an all-inclusive list of disqualifying conditions, conditions and defects listed in Chapter 5 and the Medical Standards Directory are potentially disqualifying and/or preclude continued military service. The standards and other diseases or defects not specifically listed can be cause for rejection based upon the medical judgment of the examining physician or reviewing authority. Retention standards also require members to be fit for mobility status IAW Chapter 11...While elective surgery by itself is not necessarily disqualifying, intentional effects and unintended complications from elective surgery may render an individual unfit for WWD. For elective surgery information, refer to AFI 44-102, Medical Care Management. In addition, non-emergent elective surgeries within 6 months of separation or retirement must have additional prior approval by HQ AFPC/DPAMM, as required IAW AFI 41-210.

Comments: "IAW" means "in accordance with". These are sections of this 183-page document; to see the detailed descriptions, view or download the complete regulation by clicking on the the link to it in the box above these comments.

5.3.1. General and Miscellaneous Conditions and Defects.
The individual is precluded from a reasonable fulfillment of the purpose of his or her employment in the military service.
The individual’s health or well-being would be compromised if he or she were to remain in the military service. This includes, but is not limited to: dependence on medications or other treatments requiring frequent clinical monitoring, special handling or severe dietary restrictions.
The individual’s retention in the military service would prejudice the best interests of the government. Questionable cases are referred to AFPC/DPANM or to the appropriate ARC/SG for those ARC members who are not on EAD and are not authorized disability processing.

Comments: AFPC is the "Air Force Personnel Center". ARC is "Air Reserve Compoent". EAD is "Extended Active Duty".
The individual has an EPTS defect/condition which requires surgery, but the residuals of surgery may affect his/her retain ability. In such cases, surgery may not be done until the expected results have been evaluated via I/RILO or MEB, and the member has been returned to duty.

Comments: EPTS is "existing prior to service". RILO is "Review in Lieu of". MEB is "Medical Evaluation Board".
Individuals requiring exemption from one or more components of the fitness test for greater than one year do not require I/RILO or MEB unless the underlying condition or limitation does not meet retention or deployment standards.
The individual’s travel by military air transportation is precluded for medical reasons.
The individual has an assignment, TDY or deployment canceled due to a medical condition. Present case to the DAWG within 10 calendar days IAW AFI 41-210. The DAWG will evaluate if member meets retention medical standards or if deployment limiting condition will resolve within 365 days. If not, the DAWG must refer cases to AFPC/DPANM, AFRC/SGP or ANG/SGP. (T-1)

Comments: DAWG is "Deployment Availability Working Group".
The individual continues to have a mobility limiting condition 1 year (cumulatively) after the defect became limiting and has not yet met an I/RILO/MEB or Fitness for Duty (FFD)
The individual has been hospitalized 90 calendar days and return to duty within 3 more months is not expected. I/RILO or FFD should be sent to AFPC/DPANM or appropriate ARC/SGP as determined by the DAWG.
The individual refuses required medical, surgical, or dental treatment or diagnostic procedures and the condition renders them not qualified for retention and/or mobility.
The individual requires determination of his or her competency for pay purposes.
The individual has had a sanity determination required by the Manual for Courts-Martial and the psychiatric findings indicate the member’s fitness for continued military service is questionable.
The individual has coexisting medical defects that are thought to be the primary cause of unacceptable behavior or unsatisfactory performance.
A commander can refer a service member’s case to the DAWG through the DAWG Chair or PEBLO, if a commander feels an individual’s medical or mental health condition causes sufficient absence from duty that it interferes with mission accomplishment, poor duty performance and/or deployment concerns.

Medical Standards Directory (MSD) (19 March 2021)

Medical Standards Directory (MSD) (19 March 2021) (1.4 MB)

Comments: To view or download the complete regulation, click on the link to it in the box above these comments.

This document provides the current medical standards for retention, flight classes, and special operation duties for the USAF.