This “Medical Brief” column will run bi-monthly to discuss the most current information on topics and issues from the 452nd Aerospace Medical Squadron (AMDS), also known as the clinic. In an attempt to provide this information to the widest audience, each article will run twice during the month.
Line of Duty determinations (LODs) – Any member who sustains an injury or illness while on military duty status will have his or her case evaluated at the 452 AMDS to determine eligibility for entitlements and benefits authorized by the Air Force. The 452 AMDS’s portion of the LOD process begins only after the member has received medical care at a treatment facility for the injury or illness.
The member who sustained the injury or illness is solely responsible for contacting his or her supervisor, commander, and the 452 AMDS as soon as physically able. All events must be reported within 24 hours after seeing a medical provider. Failure to report such injuries may negatively affect the claim.
The 452 AMDS staff will assist and guide the member in gathering medical information from the treating physician or from the member’s civilian physician, and will document accordingly on the member’s military medical record for processing. The LOD will be accomplished on the AF Form 348 which will be forwarded for further processing as necessary.
LOD frequently asked questions
What is an LOD?
Line of Duty (LOD) determination is an administrative tool for determining a member’s duty status at the time of injury, illness, disability, or death. Eligibility to determine entitlements and benefits authorized by the Air Force will be determined by LOD determination. The LOD determination is based on the onset of the condition and not the existence of symptoms.
When is an LOD determination required?
The LOD process will be initiated when a member, regardless of medical disposition (emergency room, urgent care or non-urgent care; hospital admission), sustains an injury or contracts an illness or disease that results in any of the following:
• Inability to perform military duties for more than 24 hours
• Likelihood of permanent disability
• Medical treatment, regardless of the member’s ability to perform military duties
• Likelihood that member will apply for incapacitation pay
What are my responsibilities if I will require a LOD determination?
SEEK TREATMENT FIRST! When a member sustains an injury or contracts an illness while in a military duty status, he or she needs to seek medical treatment at a treatment facility before anything else. In the event of a medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency care, contact the immediate supervisor, unit commander, and 452 AMDS. A member involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) will need to obtain a copy of the police report and submit it to 452 AMDS.
Will the Air Force cover all medical expenses related to my injury or illness?
All emergency or urgent medical care, regardless of type of treatment facility where care was provided, are covered. All follow-up appointments, visits, or prescriptions, must be coordinated with the AMDS LOD manager PRIOR TO obtaining further, TRICARE-covered care.
How soon after an injury or illness should I begin the process for an LOD determination?
All injuries or illness sustained while on military status must be reported within 24 hours after seeing a medical provider for treatment. For non-emergency care, members must report a condition incurred or aggravated while on military duty status within 180 days after release from active duty (AD) or inactive duty for training (IDT), and provide relevant supporting documentation within five working days.
What are the possible findings for an LOD determination?
Currently, there are three possible findings:
• In Line of Duty: presumed unless disease, death, illness, or injury occurred while member was absent without authority (AWOA) or as a result of member’s misconduct
• Not In Line of Duty, Due to Own Misconduct: formal investigation determined that the member’s illness, injury, disease, or death was proximately caused by the member’s own misconduct (regardless of whether member was absent without authority)
• Not In Line of Duty, Not Due to Own Misconduct: formal investigation determined that the member’s illness, injury, disease, or death occurred while the member was absent from duty
Are LOD determinations final?
Members may initiate a “one-time” appeal within 30 days of being notified of the LOD determination.