Medical Conditions Normally Not Waiverable

Medical Issues Not Normally Waivered

Many people who are considering the United States Navy as an option wonder if there may be some mental or physical condition from their past which may preclude them from serving. This post is the first of a two part series which will talk about medical conditions and possibly answer your “would I make it with” questions. Today I will list the medical issues/conditions which will not be considered for a waiver.

For those issues with time conditions they are listed as such – like a severe head injury has a five year waiting period, the waiting period is in place to reduce the possibility there were no long term effects from the injury. Conditions that become aggravated while serving on active duty could in the long run be considered “service connected” which in turn could lead to future disability benefits. By restricting some known medical issues, such as the ones listed below, will ultimately save the taxpayer’s money.

Generally the Navy will not waive the following conditions (conditions listed in COMNAVCRUITCOMINST 1130.8J);

A note to everyone: The advice and prognostications I deliver in the comments and via email are based on my experiences, and only take into account the information you provide. I do not have the benefit of the “whole person.” So, please see a Recruiter, no matter what, and have your documentation sent to MEPS for a definitive review. I am not answering for the Navy!

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2,310 Responses to “Medical Issues Not Normally Waivered”

  1. Heather says:

    My son is currently in the DEP program and is scheduled to ship out to Great Lakes on Aug 19. He signed his contract in Feb and cleared MEPS with no issues. The, he hurt his knee and he found out he had a torn meniscus followed by surgery completed in March. He told his recruiter about the surgery and was not advised to fill out any paperwork or waivers. That recruiter left the Navy and was replaced by a new one. My son was cleared and released by his Ortho in May but recommended continuing rehab to make the knee stronger for his ship date. We met with the new recruiter today and he is going to file the paperwork for the medical waiver. Do you think there is any chance he would still be able to keep his August 19th Ship Date given that his surgeon has released him?

    Thank you!

  2. navydoc says:

    You son needs to submit all of his orthopedic records, including the surgical report and release to full activities with no recommendations for further rehab. Whether or not he will be able to ship will depend on the findings of the operative report and his current function. Don’t be surprised if his date is pushed back, and if he is required to see a MEPS orthopedist.

  3. Kyle says:

    Hi my name is Kyle and I am currently in the navy DEP and my ship date is 2014 Sept 22. On July 4 2014 I was forced down a set of steps while at a gathering. I hit me head several time opening up a few small lacerations 1 on my face and 2 on my head they were all closed by a doctor and healed up normally. I have submitted all paper work to my recruiter and am waiting for medical clearance. I had two ct scans done on my head an there is no severe cranial or brain trauma. My question is will something like hold me up from shipping to boot camp?

  4. navydoc says:


    The fact that you had two CT scans makes my radar go off that this was not a simple injury (normally you get one scan in the ER and are cleared.) If you had any kind of brain trauma (doesn’t matter if it was mild, moderate or severe) there are mandated waiting periods. If you had any kind of brain abnormality on the CT scan (epidural, subdural, intracranial, parenchymal bleeds, etc) there is a minimum of 12 month waiting period. If it was just a scalp laceration, that is not an issue.

  5. Rose says:

    I am interested in applying to JAG during law school however I had one instance of eczema on my elbow last year and I was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder two years ago for which I was on medication. I am no longer on medication or experiencing any symptoms. How likely is a waiver?
    Thank you!

  6. Lindsey says:

    Hi Navy Doc,
    I have a trip to MEPS next week, and Wednesday I will have my physical. I take Viviscale, a hair, nail and skin vitamim to promote healthiness. I take it twice a day as directed and it is not a prescription, and I did not think to disclose this until today as the questions only asked for medications. Will this vitamin affect my Urine and Blood tests in anyway, or will it put me at risk for a DQ? The most recent day I took it was Wednesday and only in the morning. Thank you!

  7. navydoc says:

    You will need to submit your mental health records for review. Usually, you need to be off medication for anywhere from 2-3 years.

  8. navydoc says:

    I have never heard of viviscale, so I cannot comment on it. However, most OTC supplements have no effect on drug testing.

  9. Debbie says:


    My son was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, mild, when he was 7 years old. Over time, his symptoms have decreased to the point where he has not taken medication for the past 3 years. He continues to have minor twitches and tics (non-vocal), but nothing that interferes with quality of life or that will need medication in the future. Will this past diagnosis disqualify him?


  10. navydoc says:

    History of Tourettes’ syndrome is disqualifying, and unlikely to be considered for waiver.

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