medical retirement from the army

Army Medical Retirement Benefits

Last updated November 24, 2022

When a soldier is placed on the temporary disability retirement list (TDRL) or Permanent Disability Retirement List (PDRL), they are given the same benefits as if they 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).


Pay is based on the High 3 method or the new BRS method (depending on when they entered retirement).

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 a 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 would 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, remember that his final active duty paycheck will likely be delayed to double-check for any inaccuracies before paying him.

Health Insurance

Retired soldiers and their families are still entitled to TRICARE benefits, including dental insurance.

If the soldier chooses TRICARE Select, there are no monthly or annual premiums, but you are subject to co-pays and deductibles.

If the soldier chooses TRICARE Prime, an annual enrollment fee can be paid annually, quarterly, or monthly. This fee can also be set up as an allotment from retirement pay. If you are in Group B, it is just over $70/month for family coverage in 2023.

Those in Group A pay a smaller deductible. It is also possible to be grandfathered into a lower rate if you are a survivor or medically retired.

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.

ID Cards

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 a younger age. My ID looks almost identical to my ID when he was on active duty ID.

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.

Military Discounts

Many businesses only offer discounts to active duty personnel and their dependents.

However, many businesses also do not recognize the difference between 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 a discount. I have not asked for one since my husband retired.

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

Similar Posts


  1. My understanding is once you have a 100% or unemployable then your entitled to the 100% disabled ID card it’s the same one they give Medal of Honor recipients (I’d form #) instead of the da 2 the blue I’d so your entitled to all benifits commissary Px mwr lodging and space a flights anywhere in the world

    1. That’s almost all true. Except the space a part. Once you give up the DD Form 2 (Blue) and go to the 100% disabled and receive the 2765 (Tan), you will retain all benefits EXCEPT Space A.

  2. I am currently undergoing an MEB, and I’ve already gotten my rates. Also, I was given a medical retirement at 9 years. What all benefits for my self and my family are included in that?

    1. Hi, with the medical retirement, you’re entitled to the same benefits as if you had retired for time-in-service after 20 years. We still have our ID cards, have PX/commissary privileges, Tricare, etc. Was there a specific benefit you were curious about?

  3. My Friend is drawing 30% Disability Retirement Pay from the Navy based upon disability and not number of years. He has all the benefits of a regular retiree who had 20 or more of military service. The question is does he lose his ID Card, Health Benefits, and Commissary Privileges if he starting drawing a Disability pension from the VA. My understanding is could keep the the Privilages but, couldn’t draw a duel pension from both

    1. Unless you fall under certain rules, you can’t draw both. However, your retirement pay will be offset by your VA pay. If your VA pay is $700 and your Navy pay is $1,000, you’ll get $700 from VA and $300 from the Navy (assuming you don’t meet eligibility to double dip). You want as much as possible to come from the VA, as it’s not taxable. Even if all of your retirement pay is offset by VA pay, you still maintain your other benefits (Tricare, ID card, etc). My husband’s retirement pay is almost entirely offset by the VA and he still has all of his privileges for retirement.

  4. I am about to go thru a medical board after 18 years of Active duty service. My case is pretty cut and dry, I have Multiple Sclerosis so I Must get out. My concern is…will I get paid from the Army as well as the VA.

  5. My husband is deployed right now, just got the call hes going to have to have surgery while gone. When he gets back he is going to try for medical retirement he’s only has 2 years left till he has 20 years he’s in the guards. How much red tape and hoops are we going to have to go through and is there any thing I can start now, or just like everything else just hurry up and wait on the military.

    1. It’s basically a hurry up and wait. The only thing I would do to start trying to prepare is to gather any medical records that you can and start keeping notes/records of everything going forward with the surgery. Good luck!

  6. Hi I am contemplating going to a MEB with 14 years of service and 4 deployments. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, a TBI, and need knee surgery. What are the odds that I could be medically retired with over 50%?

  7. My husband was medically retired after 18 years. he is 100% disable but won’t collect his pension because he (wasn’t allowed to) complete 20.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.