Training leads to better service for disabled service members

24 Jul 2013 | Lance Cpl. Donovan Lee

With the decade long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are an increasing number of service members injured in the line of duty. A new system has been developed to alleviate some of the stress associated with processing disability claims.

Members from the Department of Navy Marine Corps Physical Evaluation Board, the Wounded Warrior Regiment and Integrated Disability Evaluation System conducted training on the IDES at the Base Education Center aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, recently.

The system combines the disability rating processes of the Department Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense, to ensure service members referred to the system have an understanding of their Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs disability benefits, said Paul Williamson, the Command Advisor to the Wounded Warrior Regiment.

“This seminar is designed to reorient participants and teach the purpose and process of the Integrated Disability Evaluation System,” said Robert Powers, the President of the Department of the Navy Marine Corps Physical Evaluation Board.

IDES was devised to make the transition from service member to veteran as easily as possible, said Lt. Col. Kurt Larson, an Integrated Disability Evaluation system attorney.

Before the IDES was in effect, service members were medically screened through the DoD and the VA.

“The Department of Defense screening included a medical examination, adjudication of a case, a decision on that case and then separation from service,” said Williamson. “Once crossed into veteran status, the same process started again with the Veterans Administration.”

Using the IDES, service members complete one medical screening making the process shorter and more efficient, said Williamson.

The training taught employees where their job falls in the system and how the service member can better prepare for the next step in the process, which leads to better service for the Marine or sailor.

There are approximately 2,500 Marines and 20,000 service members processed through this system annually, said Williamson.

“I hope to gather some new information and helpful hints I can pass on to my clients, as well as confirmation I am giving the correct information,” said Samantha Keck, a Naval disability attorney within the Integrated Disability Evaluation System.

For more information about the Integrated Disability Evaluation System, visit the Wounded Warrior Regiment Website at and click on the IDES tab.