Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) marked the 10th anniversary of the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES), a program developed by both organizations to streamline the disability evaluation process for wounded, ill and injured service members being medically discharged from military service.
VA and DoD celebrated the launch of IDES with a ceremony Nov. 28 at VA headquarters in Washington, D.C., where key officials shared a number of milestones and accomplishments of the innovative program that, to date, has helped more than 188,000 service members transition back into civilian life.
“Ten years ago, VA and DOD had two separate processes for evaluating disabilities of wounded, ill and injured service members when it came time for them to leave the service,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “On average, it took a service member more than 500 days to navigate those two programs during a critical transition period in their lives. IDES has transformed that process. Now, the average processing time has decreased by more than 40 percent.”
When IDES began in 2007, VA and DoD worked hand-in-hand to make the program a seamless, simple, faster and fair system for service members. IDES eliminated the duplicative, time-consuming and often confusing elements of the disability assessment process within the agencies. Since its inception, the IDES process has helped ensure service members’ access to VA benefits as soon as they separate from the military.
To learn more about the IDES program, visit www.warriorcare.dodlive.mil/disability-evaluation/ides/ . To view photos from the IDES anniversary ceremony, go to www.flickr.com/photos/veteransaffairs/albums/72157691087017726 .