Legacy Disability Evaluation System (LDES)

The LDES allows Military Departments to direct or Service members to request, on a case-by-case basis, disability evaluation through a DoD-only process.  Service members requesting disability evaluation through the LDES are briefed or must acknowledge in writing that they were briefed by legal counsel on the differences between the IDES and LDES processes.  The LDES process is similar to the IDES except it doesn’t involve the VA; DoD conducts medical examinations for all conditions causing referral into the DES, makes MEB and PEB determinations, and develops disability ratings for the condition(s) that cause or contribute to a Service member’s unfitness for continued service.  Service members in the LDES have the same appeal options as in the IDES.  Service members, if separated or retired through the LDES, may voluntarily apply for VA disability benefits through VA’s pre-discharge program prior to separation or after leaving the Service and attaining veteran status.

For more information on the DES, please visit the Disability Evaluation section of our website.