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Medical Conditions Normally Not Waiverable

Medical Issues Not Normally Waivered

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Published: August 13, 2008
Updated: April 24, 2019

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.

Before posting a question, please take the time to read through the comments because you may already had your specific question answered via someone else’s question.

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

  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), AIDS Related Complex (ARC), HIV Antibody, or history of any of the above.
  • Single kidney – regardless of cause.
  • Loss of an arm or leg.
  • Seizure disorder with seizure and/or medication within five years.
  • History of Cancer with treatment within five years (except basal cell carcinoma).
  • Diabetes Mellitus Type I or Type II.
  • Loss of one eye.
  • History of Cataract surgery.
  • History of any Keratoconus (protrusion of the cornea).
  • History of Glaucoma.
  • History of Aphakia (lens replacement of the eye).
  • Severe Allergic reaction (Anaphylaxis) to insects or food.
  • Cirrhosis.
  • Corneal transplant history.
  • Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (Intestinal ulcers).
  • Severe deformities of the mouth, throat, or nose that interfere with speech or mastication of ordinary food.
  • Severe Scoliosis (spine curvature greater than 30 degrees) or Kyphosis and Lordosis (greater than 50 degrees) when measured by the Cobb Method.
  • History of eating disorders: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia.
  • Headaches, recurrent, severe, which require prescription medication or interfere with daily activity.
  • Hepatitis, chronic: Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C carrier.
  • Malignant Hyperthermia/Hyperpyrexia (adverse reaction to anesthesia).
  • Multiple Sclerosis (nerve disease involving muscle weakness and uncoordination) and Muscular Dystrophy (progressive atrophy/wasting of the muscles).
  • Severe orthopedic injuries that result in functional limitations secondary to residual muscle weakness, paralysis, or marked decreased range of motion.
  • Otitis Media (middle ear infection/inflammation), chronic or currently active.
  • Pes Cavus (abnormally high arches of the feet with increased extension of the toes), severe, symptomatic (other than routine orthotic use).
  • Pneumonectomy, removal of entire lung.
  • Pregnancy (except for prior service processing for affiliation).
  • Prosthetic replacement of joints.
  • Psychiatric Conditions: Schizophrenia; Major Depression, recurrent; Bipolar Disorder; Panic disorders; Sexual disorders; and Personality disorders, severe.
  • History of Retinal disease or detachment.
  • Chronic skin disorders. Atopic dermatitis, Eczema, Psoriasis.
  • Spinal Fusion, greater than two vertebral spaces, congenital or surgical involving any number of vertebrae, by any method.
  • Current drug and/or alcohol abuse or diagnosed substance dependence.
  • History of Neurofibromatosis.
  • Congenital (birth) heart defects that have not been repaired.
  • History of intestinal bypass or stomach stapling.
  • Severe head injury within the past five years.
  • Anabolic Steroid Use within the previous two months is not enlistment eligible.
  • Hearing above the following thresholds: Pure tone at 500, 1000, and 2000 cycles per second for each ear of more than 25 decibels (dB) on the average with any individual level greater than 30 dB at those frequencies. Pure tone level more than 35 dB at 3000 cycles per second or 45 dB at 4000 cycles per second for each ear.

If you have hypothyroidism that is controlled by medication, and you have two normal thyroid stimulating hormone tests within the preceding 6 months, you do not require a waiver for the condition because it is NOT disqualifying. You will be able to continue your medication for the condition during boot-camp.

A note to everyone: NavyDoc is a Chief Medical Officer for a major Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), and only takes into account the information you provide, so please be as thorough as you can with the history and description of your issue.

Update:

With the nearly 20 thousand medical related questions and answers available on this blog pertaining to the MEPS physical, it is very likely the answer to your question already exists within the Navy Cyberspace database. To that, I will be closing the ability to post a comment to this and the other medical pages. Please use the following search box to search the database for your answer.

If unable to find your answer after using the search function, as always, feel free to email me via the “Contact Me” link in the navigation bar, but understand, if it is obvious to me that you didn’t even attempt to use the search, I will ignore the question.


I would like to express my sincerest thank you to NavyDoc. You, Sir, have been amazing in answering over the past decade. If ever we have a chance to meet in person, dinner is on me.



9,158 Responses to “Medical Issues Not Normally Waivered”


  1. Bill says:

    Hi Navydoc,
    I’m attend Citedal in the fall and I think I have eustachian dysfunction could this keep me from recieving a commission as an officer?

  2. Shawn says:

    Hi NavyDoc,

    I’m looking to process through the reserves or national guard as an officer (LCSW). I am prior service and get VA 10% for my lower back. I’m confused on this process as I know people who are serving with VA disability rating, yet I see people be told they need to drop it to serve again.

    Do you know how that process actually works? I think my recruiter is wanting me to drop it so it is easier for him, but I would have to disclose the back issue anyways since it is in my active duty / VA records. He said that waivers are different for prior service, but I don’t know. Thank you.

    V/R
    Shawn

  3. bill says:

    hello my name is Bill i have an immune deficiency disease, so i require an iv once a month. Im healthy as can be and can go 3 months with out medication, i was wondering if i can join.

  4. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Bill,

    No, joining would not be possible.

  5. KEVIN says:

    Hello,

    I went the doctors about a year ago for leg pain and some joint pain that I was concerned about. At first the doctor did not know what it was , he gave me NSAIDS which helped. After an MRI he saw slight signs of spondyloarthritis and put me on humira. At first I thought it was a bit extreme but I took it anyways which it helped. However now I feel fine and stopped the humira due to me wanting to join the navy. Is there any chance this will not get waived ? Currently I am in great physical condition, I plan to try for a SEAL contract which I have above passing numbers for the PST. Thanks!

    **I apologize if this double posted!!**

  6. Alexis says:

    Hello ,

    I am looking to join the Navy in a couple months after I graduate college, and about 4 years ago during my senior year of high school, I tore my ACL and Meniscus. I got it repaired, but a couple months later I was having a hard time recovering due to not doing the home exercises , so I went in for a revision surgery where they broke up all the scar tissue. Since then I haven’t had any problems and about a year ago I got the screws removed out. I am more than positive I have to get a waiver, however, do you believe there is any chance that the waiver will be approved?

  7. Jackson S. says:

    Hello NavyDoc,

    I have Hyperlordosis to 5 degrees from normal. I got PDQ and need a waiver, but first MEPS wanted Xrays done on my spine. The results came back that “the alignment is a atomic. There is retrolisthesis of L5 on S1. This may be secondary to hyperlordosis. It would be best evaluated with CT scan. Vertebral body height is normal without compression deformity. There is no evidence of spondylolysis. Visualized disc spaces are unremarkable.”

    Impression:
    No evidence of acute fracture or subluxation.

    Do you think I will be able to join the SEALs still? I haven’t had any back pain from this. I did my PST today and everything was optimal but my swimming technique.

    Thank you for your help, I’m just concerned, and have desired this since I was 15.

    Jackson S

  8. NCCM(Ret) says:

    To All,

    With the nearly 20 thousand medical related questions and answers available on this blog pertaining to the MEPS physical, it is very likely the answer to your question already exists within the Navy Cyberspace database. To that, I will be closing the ability to post a comment to this and the other medical pages. Please use the following search box to search the database for your answer.

    If unable to find your answer after using the search function, as always, feel free to email me via the “Contact Me” link in the navigation bar, but understand, if it is obvious to me that you didn’t even attempt to use the search, I will ignore the question.


    I would like to express my sincerest thank you to NavyDoc. You, Sir, have been amazing in answering over the past decade. If ever we have a chance to meet in person, dinner is on me.


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Unless otherwise noted, content written by Thomas Goering, NCCM USN(RET).

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