Separation History and Physical Exam (SHPE)
When you’re separating from active duty - for retirement, transition to reserve component, or for administrative reasons, the process can be confusing. The following is the essential information to make this process both smooth and efficient. Please read through this information thoroughly.
What is a Separation and Retirement Physical?
This appointment is a review of your medical history and a physical exam to ensure you are medically cleared for separation from active duty. The appointment is not to evaluate or treat new illnesses, injuries, or conditions. If a condition is discovered during your Separation and Retirement Physical that would otherwise disqualify you from active duty, you may be referred to the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) for next steps. It is recommended you schedule a physical exam with your PCM before your Separation and Retirement Physical to ensure preventative medicine requirements are complete (cholesterol, mammogram, immunizations, etc) and all medical concerns have been evaluated and/or treated prior to your SHPE.
- The DoD separation physical is a service members last chance to get any ailment, mental or physical, documented in their medical records to be considered for service connection with the VA. If a condition or ailment is not documented in the Service Treatment Record, or civilian record during time in service, the VA will have to deny service connection to the undocumented ailment. The exception to this rule is if a veteran can be seen by a DoD provider within one year of separation to have an ailment/injury documented and get the claim filed in this timeline. This exception most notably only benefits retirees because a standard separation does not warrant return-to-base access.
NOTE: Retirement is technically classified as a form of separation from active duty, so if you hear the term “SHPE” (Separation History and Physical Exam), it is used to encompass all “Retirement Physicals” as well as physicals required for administrative separations or expiration of term of service (ETS).
Do I Need a DoD Separation and Retirement Physical?
- Retiring/separating Service Members who have been on active duty for 180 days or more of continuous service.
- Reserve component on active-duty orders for 180 days or more of continuous service who are deactivating and returning to reserve component.
- Reserve component on active-duty orders for 30 days or more in support of a contingency operation who are deactivating and returning to reserve component.
NOTE: If you are a reserve component Service Member who falls under number 2 or 3 above, DO NOT PROCEED. Please contact the Joint Medical Readiness Center (JMRC) at 571-231-REDI (7334) or visit the JMRC page to proceed with your Separation Physical.
If you are filing a disability claim with the VA, you must complete a VA Disability Exam at the VA between 180 to 90 days from separation/retirement/ETS date.
If you are NOT filing a disability claim with the VA, you may complete a DoD SHPE at the MTF where you are enrolled as a patient. A DoD SHPE may be completed no earlier than 90 days from separation/retirement and no later than 30 days from separation/retirement.
If you have a VA Disability Exam scheduled with the VA between 180 to 90 days from your ETS date, you do NOT need a DoD SHPE.
- The DoD Separation and Retirement Physical exam is meant to capture your health status, injuries, illnesses and service-related conditions in preparation for a VA disability claim. NO ONE SHOULD SKIP THE SEPARATION EXAM COMPONENT ON THEIR TRANSITION UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.
- If you are being separated or retired because of a Medical Evaluation Board (MEB), it is important to note that not all MEB’s result in a VA evaluation. A block on the evaluation form allows the Service Member to opt out of having their claim filed at the same time. Make sure you NEVER check this block as it may result in lost of benefits, resources, and compensation for injuries sustained during service.
- A Separation and Retirement Physical is NOT required if you are separating or retiring after being found unfit for duty through the disability evaluation process and completed the exams in that process, OR if you had a documented physical exam and medical review that was documented on a DD Form 2807-1 and DD Form 2808 within the last 60 days.
- If you are separating or retiring as a result of a MEB, the Disability Evaluation System examination meets the requirements for a Separation and Retirement Physical and you do not need to schedule an appointment.
Required Forms for DoD Separation and Retirement Physical
Filing a Claim with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
If you are filing a disability claim with the VA, begin preparing for the claim process by contacting your local VA representative at 877-222-8387 and ensure you START THE PROCESS EARLY! (180+ days out from ETS date) but file within the 180 day deadline.
Service Members filing a disability claim at the VA have may options. You may:
- File a claim online through the VA Disability Portal.
- File a claim by mail by downloading the VA Form 21-526EZ; Then print out, fill in, and mail the form to the following address:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444
- File a claim in person at the VA regional office nearest to the service member after completing their VA Form 21-526EZ.
- Seek assistance with filing a claim through a Veterans Service Organization.
Please submit the following supporting documents to complete your application:
Complete the VA disability exam and notify their Primary Care Physician to waive the DoD SHPE requirement to separate.
Pre-requisites before you schedule your DoD Retirement Physical
If you have determined that you require a DoD Retirement Physical, please complete the following steps:
- Enroll in MHS GENESIS Patient Portal (MHSGPP) with our clinic. Please call clinic if there are any problems with this step.
- Download and complete patient portions of the DD Form 2807-1 and DD Form 2808.
- Send completed and signed forms to your PCM through MHSGPP with the following title: “Separation Physical or Retirement Physical” to obtain further instructions. You can always drop off hard copies at our clinic.
- Ensure you have had an audiogram completed within the last 6 months, with complete audiology evaluation if threshold audiogram is abnormal. Audiograms are completed on a walk-in basis at the Audiology Clinic, Sunrise, Floor 2, Reception 3.
- HIV lab work completed within last two years, can be completed on a walk-in basis at Outpatient Blood Draw.
- Optional hepatitis C screening.
- Complete dental clearance. Go to the dental clinic where your records are located and have a provider sign off on Box 43 of DD Form 2808.
- Complete any other Individual Medical Readiness Requirements, which includes an updated PHA.
How to schedule your Separation and Retirement Physical
Once all of the above pre-requisites are complete, send a secure message to your PCM to schedule your appointment, or if you have any questions, call 571-231-1803, or visit Family Medicine (Eagle Pavilion, Reception 2) to schedule your SHPE.
Expiration - Time of Service (ETS) Timeline
- Take your ETS date and calculate the dates that fall on 90 and 180 days prior to your ETS date to use as a reference while navigating this timeline.
- Review information on this Separation and Retirement Physical site.
- Determine if you require a DoD SHPE based on your ETS date and if you are filing a claim, or if you only require the VA disability exam.
- Download and complete required paperwork (DD Form 2807-1 and DD Form 2808).
- If not already, Register for Secure Messaging.
180 Days or more to ETS Date
- If you are planning on filing a claim, contact local VA representative to register or pre-register for benefits and care.
- Ensure your PHA, audiogram, and HIV are up to date.
- Go to the dental clinic where your records are located and have a provider sign off on Box 43, 84a and 84b of DD Form 2808.
- Schedule an appointment with your PCM to ensure all preventive medicine requirements are complete (cholesterol, mammogram, immunizations, etc) and all medical concerns have been worked up and/or treated prior to your Retirement Physical.
90-180 Days to ETS Date
- Schedule your Retirement Physical once all pre-requisites are complete by sending a Secure Message with your completed forms attached to your PCM through TRICARE Online Patient Portal or by visiting the Belvoir Hospital Family Medicine (Eagle Pavilion, Reception 2). Anticipate up to a 2-4 week wait time for your Separation and Retirement Physical appointment. Your appointment will be scheduled for 90 to 30 days from your ETS date.
- If filing a claim, begin process by contacting local VA office or filing online at www.ebenefits.va.gov. You will complete the VA Disability Evaluation appointment in this timeframe which will complete the DoD Separation and Retirement Physical Requirement.
Less than 90 Days to ETS Date
- Complete your DoD Separation and Retirement Physical appointment.
- You will be provided with signed, completed copies of your DD2807-1 and DD2808 after your appointment to be added to your records to bring to the VA. A copy will also be uploaded into your health record.
- Retirement/Separation complete.
- Follow up with your local VA for further medical needs.