Streamlined Disability Claims Program Expands

Since 2007, more than more than 5,431 servicemembers have taken part in a pilot program that cuts red tape and takes some of the sting out of filing disability claims.

The program, called the Disability Evaluation System, or DES, was launched by the Defense Department and the Veterans Administration to streamline the process down to one medical examination and a single-sourced disability rating.  Favorable reviews from participants at 21 sites around the U.S. led to the decision to expand it.

Between January and March, 2010, the DES will launch at six more installations.  The new locations include: Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Riley, Kan.; and Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, Va.

Depending on the results from the next phase of the program, the DES could be implemented worldwide.

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