(a) A member of an armed force may not be discharged or released from active duty because of physical disability until he—
(1) has made a claim for compensation, pension, or hospitalization, to be filed with the Department of Veterans Affairs, or has refused to make such a claim; or
(2) has signed a statement that his right to make such a claim has been explained to him, or has refused to sign such a statement.
(b) A right that a member may assert after failing or refusing to sign a claim, as provided in subsection (a), is not affected by that failure or refusal.
(c) This section does not prevent the immediate transfer of a member to a facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs for necessary hospital care.
(d)(1) The Secretary of a military department shall ensure that each member of a reserve component under the jurisdiction of the Secretary who is determined, after a mobilization and deployment to an area in which imminent danger pay is authorized under section 310 of title 37, to require evaluation for a physical or mental disability which could result in separation or retirement for disability under this chapter or placement on the temporary disability retired list or inactive status list under this chapter is retained on active duty during the disability evaluation process until such time as such member is—
(A) cleared by appropriate authorities for continuation on active duty; or
(B) separated, retired, or placed on the temporary disability retired list or inactive status list.
(2)(A) A member described in paragraph (1) may request termination of active duty under such paragraph at any time during the demobilization or disability evaluation process of such member.
(B) Upon a request under subparagraph (A), a member described in paragraph (1) shall only be released from active duty after the member receives counseling about the consequences of termination of active duty.
(C) Each release from active duty under subparagraph (B) shall be thoroughly documented.
(3) The requirements in paragraph (1) shall expire on the date that is five years after the date of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010.
(Added Pub. L. 85–56, title XXII, §2201(31)(A), June 17, 1957, 71 Stat. 160; amended Pub. L. 87–651, title I, §107(c), Sept. 7, 1962, 76 Stat. 508; Pub. L. 101–189, div. A, title XVI, §1621(a)(1), (4), Nov. 29, 1989, 103 Stat. 1602, 1603; Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title V, §511, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2280.)
Last modified: October 26, 2015