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

3201 Criteria For Referral To The Physical Evaluation Board

a. Active Duty Members. As a general rule, an active duty member or a reservist on extended active duty will be referred for disability evaluation only by a medical board that has found the member's fitness for continued naval service questionable by reason of physical or mental impairment. A determination of questionable fitness must be supported by objective medical data displaying the nature and degree of the impairment. In those cases where it is not practicable to have a medical board consider the case; e.g., the member being hospitalized in a non-military hospital, the case may be referred by cognizant authority to the PEB when available medical records show that the member's fitness for continued naval service is questionable. In all cases, Navy and Marine Corps members MEBs must be processed through a Navy MTF with Convening Authority for further referral to the PEB.

Comments: "MTF" is Medical Treatment Facility, "MEB" is Medical Evaluation Board, "PEB" is Physical Evaluation Board.

b. Inactive-Duty Reservists

(1) Refer per reference (g) for disability evaluation those inactive-duty reservists issued an NOE for disability benefits due to a disability that occurred while serving on active duty or performing inactive duty training.

Comments: Reference (g) is SECNAV Instruction 1770.3D; see below.  "NOE" is Notice of Eligibility.

(2) An inactive duty reservist who has not been given an NOE and who has been determined by the CHBUMED to be "Not Physically Qualified" (NPQ) for active duty or retention will be referred, at the member's request, to the Informal PEB for final determination of physical condition. If the member is then found Unfit by the Informal PEB and assigned the PEB finding of NPQ, the member has the right to demand a Formal PEB. The member will bear all associated travel, lodging, meal, and incidental costs to the Formal PEB site.

Comments: "CHBUMED" is Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.

(3) Cases of inactive duty reservists without an NOE may be processed into the DES for a FIT/ UNFIT determination by the PEB under the following circumstances:

Comments: "DES" is the Disability Evaluation System.

(a) While serving as an inactive duty reservists, the member is ordered to active duty and serves a period of active duty greater than 30 days; and

(b) The member incurs or aggravates a condition during this period of active duty and his/her medical records contain documentation as to the nature of member's conditions including the approximate date of incurrence/aggravation. A FIT/UNFIT determination will not be made if the PEB cannot determine from the member's records that his/her condition(s) was incurred/aggravated during a period of active duty. In such cases, a Physically Qualified/Not Physically Qualified determination will be made. Recourse for former inactive duty reservists who incurred or aggravated a condition during a previous period of active-duty, but do not meet the above requirements, is a petition to the Board for Correction of Naval Records.

c. Specified Physical Impairments. A list of physical impairments that are normally cause for referral to the PEB is contained in enclosure (8) to this instruction.

3202 Circumstances Not Justifying Referral To The Physical Evaluation Board

a. Lack Of Motivation. Lack of motivation alone for performance of duty does not justify referral to the PEB.

b. Request for referral to the PEB by the service member.

c. Mere Presence Of Physical Defect. The mere presence of disease or injury alone does not justify referral. Referral should take place only when, in the opinion of a medical board, the defect may materially interfere with the member's ability to perform reasonably the duties of his or her office, grade, rank, or rating/MOS on active duty. Also see enclosure (3), part 3.

d. Inability To Meet Initial Enlistment/Appointment Standards. Once enlisted or commissioned, the fact that a member may fall below initial entry or appointment standards, specified in the reference (f) (MANMED), does not require that the case be referred for disability evaluation.

Comments: "MANMED" is NAVMED P-117 (see below).

e. Physical Disqualification For Special Duties. Physical disqualification from special duties, such as flying, serving on submarines or in a medical specialty, does not necessarily imply physical unfitness. Referral is appropriate only in cases where the member's ability to reasonably perform active military service is in doubt.

f. Inability to Meet Physical Standards for Specific Assignment or Administrative Requirement. The inability to meet screening criteria for a specific assignment or administrative requirement; i.e., deployment, overseas or sea duty assignment, or participation in PRT/PFT cycle, does not justify referral. Referral is appropriate only in cases where the condition appears to be permanent in nature or of such a degree as to render the member unable to return to naval service within a reasonable period.

Comments: "PRT" is Physical Readiness Test, "PFT" is Physical Fitness Test.

g. Members Being Processed For Separation Or Retirement For Reasons Other Than Physical Disability. Do not refer a member for disability evaluation who is being processed for separation or retirement for reasons other than physical disability, unless the member previously was found Unfit but retained on active duty in a Permanent Limited Duty (PLD) status, or the member's physical condition reasonably prompts doubt that he or she is Fit to continue to perform the duties of office, grade, rank or rating/MOS.