10 U.S. Code § 1554a - Review of separation with disability rating of 20 percent disabled or less

(a) In General.—
(1) The Secretary of Defense shall establish within the Office of the Secretary of Defense a board of review to review the disability determinations of covered individuals by Physical Evaluation Boards. The board shall be known as the “Physical Disability Board of Review”.
(2) The Physical Disability Board of Review shall consist of not less than three members appointed by the Secretary.
(b) Covered Individuals.— For purposes of this section, covered individuals are members and former members of the armed forces who, during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on December 31, 2009—
(1) are separated from the armed forces due to unfitness for duty due to a medical condition with a disability rating of 20 percent disabled or less; and
(2) are found to be not eligible for retirement.
(c) Review.—
(1) Upon the request of a covered individual, or a surviving spouse, next of kin, or legal representative of a covered individual, the Physical Disability Board of Review shall review the findings and decisions of the Physical Evaluation Board with respect to such covered individual. Subject to paragraph (3), upon its own motion, the Physical Disability Board of Review may review the findings and decisions of the Physical Evaluation Board with respect to a covered individual.
(2) The review by the Physical Disability Board of Review under paragraph (1) shall be based on the records of the armed force concerned and such other evidence as may be presented to the Physical Disability Board of Review. A witness may present evidence to the Board by affidavit or by any other means considered acceptable by the Secretary of Defense.
(3) If the Physical Disability Board of Review proposes to review, upon its own motion, the findings and decisions of the Physical Evaluation Board with respect to a covered individual, the Physical Disability Board of Review shall notify the covered individual, or a surviving spouse, next of kin, or legal representative of the covered individual, of the proposed review and obtain the consent of the covered individual or a surviving spouse, next of kin, or legal representative of the covered individual before proceeding with the review.
(4) With respect to any review by the Physical Disability Board of Review of the findings and decisions of the Physical Evaluation Board with respect to a covered individual, whether initiated at the request of the covered individual or a surviving spouse, next of kin, or legal representative of the covered individual or initiated by the Physical Disability Board of Review, the Physical Disability Board of Review shall notify the covered individual or a surviving spouse, next of kin, or legal representative of the covered individual that, as a result of the request or consent, the covered individual or a surviving spouse, next of kin, or legal representative of the covered individual may not seek relief from the Board for Correction of Military Records operated by the Secretary concerned.
(d) Authorized Recommendations.— The Physical Disability Board of Review may, as a result of its findings under a review under subsection (c), recommend to the Secretary concerned the following (as applicable) with respect to a covered individual:
(1) No recharacterization of the separation of such individual or modification of the disability rating previously assigned such individual.
(2) The recharacterization of the separation of such individual to retirement for disability.
(3) The modification of the disability rating previously assigned such individual by the Physical Evaluation Board concerned, which modified disability rating may not be a reduction of the disability rating previously assigned such individual by that Physical Evaluation Board.
(4) The issuance of a new disability rating for such individual.
(e) Correction of Military Records.—
(1) The Secretary concerned may correct the military records of a covered individual in accordance with a recommendation made by the Physical Disability Board of Review under subsection (d). Any such correction may be made effective as of the effective date of the action taken on the report of the Physical Evaluation Board to which such recommendation relates.
(2) In the case of a member previously separated pursuant to the findings and decision of a Physical Evaluation Board together with a lump-sum or other payment of back pay and allowances at separation, the amount of pay or other monetary benefits to which such member would be entitled based on the member’s military record as corrected shall be reduced to take into account receipt of such lump-sum or other payment in such manner as the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate.
(3) If the Physical Disability Board of Review makes a recommendation not to correct the military records of a covered individual, the action taken on the report of the Physical Evaluation Board to which such recommendation relates shall be treated as final as of the date of such action.
(f) Regulations.—
(1) This section shall be carried out in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.
(2) The regulations under paragraph (1) shall specify reasonable deadlines for the performance of reviews required by this section.
(3) The regulations under paragraph (1) shall specify the effect of a determination or pending determination of a Physical Evaluation Board on considerations by boards for correction of military records under section 1552 of this title.

Source

(Added Pub. L. 110–181, div. A, title XVI, § 1643(a)(1),Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 465.)
Implementation

Pub. L. 110–181, div. A, title XVI, § 1643(b),Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 467, provided that: “The Secretary of Defense shall establish the board of review required by section 1554a of title 10, United States Code (as added by subsection (a)), and prescribe the regulations required by such section, not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 28, 2008].”

 

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