When a soldier is placed on the temporary disability retirement list (TDRL) or Permanent Disability Retirement List (PDRL), he is given the same benefits as if he had served for twenty years or more. A medical retirement or medical discharge is always honorable (unless there were other circumstances involved other than the medical).
For soldiers now, the pay is based on the High 3 method. This is the average of the three highest base pay rates received. While on TDRL, a soldier must receive a minimum of 50% of the high 3 regardless of the disability rating. If on PDRL, the pay is based on the disability rating. A disability rating of 30% would equate to retirement pay of 30% x the high 3 average whereas 60% rating would equate to retirement pay of 60% x the high 3 average and so on. If the soldier had twenty years of service, he will receive the higher of the regular retirement rate or his disability retirement rate. Retirement pay from the Army is taxable. From the time my husband was medically retired until we received his first retirement paycheck was about six weeks. Also, keep in mind that his final active duty paycheck will likely be delayed to double check for any inaccuracies before paying him.
Retired soldiers and their family are still entitled to TRICARE benefits including dental insurance. If the soldier chooses TRICARE standard, there is no monthly or annual premiums but you are subject to co-pays and deductibles. If the soldier chooses TRICARE Prime, there is an annual enrollment fee that can be paid annually, quarterly or monthly. This fee can also be set up as an allotment from retirement pay. It is less than $40/month for family coverage.
Dental insurance can be set up on an allotment as well. The amount varies based on the type of coverage but it is considerably more than active duty premiums.
The soldier and his dependents will keep their ID cards and maintain commissary, PX and other post privileges. New ID cards will have to be made to show either the TDRL or PDRL status. My husband always gets strange looks when he shows a retired military ID at the age of 29. My ID looks almost identical to my active duty ID except beside the rank, it shows TDRL as well.
Retired soldiers and their dependents are allowed to keep updated DoD decals on all of their registered vehicles.
On Post Resources
Retired soldiers and dependents maintain access to all on post resources including most travel deals. They can continue to use post lodging as well. There are some restrictions on these things but they are minimal.
Many businesses only offer discounts to active duty personnel and their dependents. However, many businesses also do not recognize the difference in active duty IDs and retired IDs. So we’ve not had a problem continuing to receive discounts. I typically use my military ID when a business asks for ID as I hate my driver’s license picture even more than my military ID picture *wink* and they’ve always offered the discount. I have not asked for one since my husband retired.