On Nov. 26, 2017, the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) observed the 10th
anniversary of the implementation of the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES), which integrates and streamlines both Departments’ processes for evaluating and compensating service members separated or retired from the military due to disability.
DoD and VA commemorated the IDES launch with a ceremony at the VA Central Office in Washington D.C., Nov. 28, 2017. During the event, senior officials from both departments reflected on key milestones and accomplishments of the process which has, to date, evaluated more than 190,000 service members.
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On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, the 10th Anniversary of the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) was observed with a ceremony at VA Central Office in Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by VA Deputy Secretary Thomas Bowman (left) and Mr. Anthony Kurta, performing the duties of under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness (right). (VA photos by Eugene Russell)
“I want to echo Secretary Mattis in asserting that there is no higher honor than caring for our wounded warriors, those men and women who have sacrificed for our Nation,” said Mr. Anthony Kurta, performing the duties of under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness. “We must ensure that when a service member’s medical condition prevents them from continuing military service, the IDES will smoothen and simplify their transition to civilian life and ensure they receive the benefits they rightly deserve.”
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VA Deputy Secretary Thomas Bowman (left) and Mr. Anthony Kurta, performing the duties of under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness (right), sign a document commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Integrated Disability Evaluation System. (VA photos by Eugene Russell)
Compared to the previous legacy disability process, the IDES provides improved case management and increased accuracy and consistency of DoD and VA disability ratings. The IDES also improves transparency as service members are better informed of outcomes throughout the process, their own responsibilities and those of the federal government, as well as the assistance of legal counsel. Additionally, service members file a claim for VA disability benefits during the process and receive notification of their actual VA benefits within 30 days of discharge. Results from a 2017 survey indicate that 93 percent of service members completing the IDES were satisfied with their experience.
DoD and VA remain committed to continually improving the IDES, making it more flexible and streamlined to meet the needs of the departments and the service member – both today and in the future.
Concluding his remarks, Mr. Kurta said, “Congratulations to everyone for all the progress made in the past 10 years. You have all been doing the hard work of good government. We will not rest on our laurels… We can do better and I am confident that, together, we will do better.”
Learn more about IDES here and read the full VA press release regarding the 10th anniversary event here.