Navy Cyberspace Surface Ship Website Header

Medical Conditions Normally Not Waiverable

Medical Issues Not Normally Waivered

Updated: October 15, 2017

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 1130.8J);

  • 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.

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.



7,021 Responses to “Medical Issues Not Normally Waivered”


  1. Conner says:

    Thank you very much for the information! I don’t mean to ask a lot of questions I just am nervous I moved and need to find a new Recruiter and my old one said it doesn’t matter all they have to do is put your name in there system and they won’t be able to help you

  2. Nikolas says:

    I was diagnosed with mood bipolar disorder in 2012, the medications never really did anything for me and eventually, I saw a social therapist who said I didn’t have that and my actions (was just a problematic kid) werent due to any mental illness but instead due to my family’s situation(divorce).My recruiter said I have no chance,id like a second opinion on this matter.

  3. Navydoc says:

    Nikolas, your recruiter is correct. No waivers for any history of a bipolar diagnosis.

  4. Navydoc says:

    Conner,
    Even though we “permanently” DQ conditions such as pionidal, hernia and pregnancy, we know these conditions can be fixed. Once you no longer have the medical condition, MEPS will review the paperwork and remove the DQ if warranted.

  5. Jack says:

    I had a saddle pulmonary embolism when I was 19 (almost 10 years ago). Since then I have gone through extensive testing and have been taken off all medications except for my acid reflux medication by a hematologist/oncologist. I have even joined a local sheriffs office which put me through testing of their own and eventually allowed me to go through a 2 week military style boot camp ( run by former marines) and defensive tactics instruction with no restrictions.
    How do I navigate this in order to join the navy?

  6. Constantino says:

    Thanks for the information. My old Marine recruiter said he had a denial letter from Bumed will that be a problem when I try to continue to process or should I be able to tell a new Recruiter I don’t need a waiver

  7. CJL says:

    My problem is that my sophomore year in high school I was nervous about testing in school and so my doctor immediately assumed I needed medication. I am now a Freshmen in college and been off the medication for a long time and never had an issue. I even switched doctors and he said that he sees no signs of any type of anxiety or any reason for me to have been put on medication. I was just wondering if this ruined my chances of joining the Navy? What’s my likelyhood of getting a waiver? Thank you!

  8. navydoc says:

    Constantino,
    No clue what your problem is. If you are Conner, do what I told you to do.

  9. Navydoc says:

    Jack,
    An unprovoked PE is unlikely to be waived. If you had some insult (I jury, surgery, in dwelling pic line) that resulted in an endothelial injury, waiver might be considered.

  10. Navydoc says:

    CJL,
    You will need to submit your records for review.

  11. Jack says:

    I have most of my records already. It has been attributed to my being grossly overweight and an excess of estrogen in my system ( but never specified as the cause). I played football but never had a serious injury.

  12. kitchenmagnet says:

    Hello,

    So I asked a question about disclosing eczema/dermatitis a few days ago. I have another question I would like to ask.

    1) If I get an amendment made to my medical history, do I have to report the issue that was amended? Just an example (not my example): If a doctor diagnosed me as having a broken toe, and I get that diagnosis amended, do I have to report the original diagnosis?

    Thank you again!

  13. navydoc says:

    ketchenmagnet,
    Yes.

  14. Caleb. says:

    I have a bicuspid aortic valve disorder but I know its not disqualifying for that but I have a little bit of aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation and you can barely see them and cardiologist says that I am perfectly fine to do anything I want. I weight lift almost every day I go for runs and I am in sports like football wrestling and track. I’m just wondering would I be medical discharged because of those things or could I get a medical waiver to stay and go into the military.

  15. Caleb says:

    I have a bicuspid aortic valve disorder but I know its not disqualifying for that but I have a little bit of aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation and you can barely see them and cardiologist says that I am perfectly fine to do anything I want. I weight lift almost every day I go for runs and I am in sports like football wrestling and track. I’m just wondering would I be medical discharged because of those things or could I get a medical waiver to stay and go into the military.

  16. Dakota says:

    Hey doc, I was in a car accident in August 2015. I received a pneumothorax that went away overnight on its own and a concussion. I tried to enlist for the Army around April of 2016. I was DQed. I just recently went to a recruiter again got everything filled out and awaiting answers. He said its hopeful because its been over two years since the accident. He said last time I was DQed because I did not wait a year due to the pneumothorax. Are my chances of enlisting good?

  17. navydoc says:

    Dakota,
    Traumatic PTX more than 1 year old and not requiring medical intervention are not PDQ. Concussion may or may not be PDQ, depending on the exact findings. You will need to submit your records for review.

  18. navydoc says:

    Caleb,
    Any valvular stenosis is PDQ and unlikely to be waived.

  19. Tracy says:

    Hi Navydoc, my son went to the allergist for oral allergy syndrome in 2016 for itchy mouth after eating certain fresh fruit. the dr did a skin test on him which showed trees, grass, dander but also had a positive result for almond and hazelnuts,no other nut showed positive.found out these nuts are included in the list from the oral allergy syndrome. I told the dr that he eats these nuts all the time and never had any reaction but he wanted my son to have an epipen just incase. We never went back to the dr after the initial appnt because his allergies are very mild. This year my son mentions he is thinking of joining the navy, so we start searching online and see how epipens are a dq. We decided to go back to the dr and explained again he eats nuts all the time, the dr agreed its not a true nut allergy and now he does not need epipen.The dr amended his dx from anaphalaxis to tree nuts to allergic to dust, trees, pollen. Will he still be dq because his record from 2016 has anaphalaxis to tree nut listed ? The dr also wrote a note stating patient does not have any food allergies and does not require an epipen.

  20. Joshua says:

    I was in a motor vehicle accident when I was 17, I’m 35 now. Broke my neck, I had to have a plate put in that attaches my C6 to my T1. I’ve been in corrections for going on 16 years, I’m physically fit, no issues. I’m burned out on corrections and have been seriously considering a change. I’m planning on seeing a recruiter tomorrow, I’m hoping to talk to someone that won’t just hear “plates in my neck” and point me to the door. I’ve also had Lasik. I’ve read the DQ standards and have seen that people with plates/screws have successfully joined, but since this involves my neck I’m curious if I’ve got a PDQ or a possible waiver chance. Thank you!

  21. Navydoc says:

    Joshua,
    There are no waivers for spinal fusion.

  22. Navydoc says:

    Tracy,
    Unless he has undergone immunotherapy, he will need a waiver for the history of anaphylaxis.

  23. Mac [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Hi there,

    I had a nissen fundoplycation 17 years ago for gerd. All is well now. No medication since the surgery. No complications.

    Does this disqualify me from Air Force?

    Thanks for your time.

  24. Mac [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Sorry Doc, meant to write “does this disqualify me from the Navy”! Just Weighing all my options. Thanks again, have a great day.

  25. Xavier [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Hey Doc. I’ve been trying to enter Army but was given a pdq on the grounds that my childhood anger was atrributed to anxiety in my school records, but there was no sign of it in my medical records from birth to date through medicine, though I had an IEP in which the only time permissions were exercised a teacher harassed me for following procedure and I became irate with him. No further significant incidents were provided past that 6th grade issue.
    I made the mistake of lying to a recruiter after a different recruiter told me to lie, and then i disclosed the supposed condition at MEPS. They told me there was no waiver for the condition though I read that as long as it didn’t require treatment for 12 consecutive months then a waiver was possible. Any input or resources on pdq by anxiety?

  26. rocio says:

    I got tested for a fish allergy and it came back as an anaphylaxis allergy. Would that be a DQ and can I get a waiver for it since it can be avoided?

  27. Dakota says:

    Hey Doc,
    Update my medical documents said everything we expected. So now i have just the concussion and pneumothorax. I know I should be okay for the pneumothorax because you said after a year. My concussion was moderate, disorientation at first of course but returned to play football a short 5 weeks later. Again its been over two years since the accident. So all in all I should be golden to enlist now correct? Even if need be get a waiver and another doc checkup but that should be the worst I have to do right?

  28. Bern says:

    Hi, my waiver for my leg was disapproved by the admiral because of my leg length discrepancy. I am confused because I read that I would only be disqualified if I had a limp but I don’t have one at all. My difference in leg length is 3/4 of an inch and it is asymptomatic. I already provided documents that stated that I can do full impact activities without restrictions. I even did duck walks and walking on tip toes in front of the CMO who approved my waiver to be sent to the navy. My recruiter is suggesting that I do surgery to correct it but I don’t want to do that because it can cause further complications.

  29. Patrick says:

    I am having a spinal fusion surgery for my scoliosis, is it at all possible for me to enlist in the military after it w/ a medical waiver?

  30. navydoc says:

    Bern,
    MEPS does not, and can not, approve waivers. If N3M denied your waiver, that’s it for the Nav. Waivers are for the convenience of the service, not the applicant.

  31. navydoc says:

    Dakota,
    Without reading your records, I can’t tell for sure that you are OK regarding the concussion. 5 weeks is actually a long time to be out for a concussion. 7 days is more indicative of a mild to moderate concussion. If you have any diagnosis of post-concussive syndrome, waiver would most likely be denied.

  32. navydoc says:

    rocio,
    Yes it is DQ. Waivers are at the discretion of the service. If you have any type of shellfish cross-reactivity, waiver would most likely be denied.

  33. navydoc says:

    Xavier,
    If MEPS does not recommend a waiver, it is unlikely that the waiver authority will grant one.

  34. navydoc says:

    Mac,
    Successful Nissen procedure is not DQ.

  35. Dakota says:

    Thanks doc, absolutely nothing is wrong with me and has been. Fully prepared to get a waiver and tests that need to be done. Confident with the time elapsed this time I will be fit for service.

  36. Tyler says:

    Hello Doc,

    I am currently a senior in high school and plan on joining the navy afterward, but I have a couple concerns. I had mild seasonal allergies, but I decided to get immunotherapy to help improve my life, not realizing that could require a waiver. I assure you my allergies were never severe enough that it would require immunotherapy, it was more just for an improvement of my general day to day life. The other problem is I recently was diagnosed with a very mild case of blepharitis. I read somewhere that the Army medical qualifications state that this can be disqualifying until cured. Which worries me given that most cases of blepharitis tend to be chronic. I would like to know what are my chances of these getting wavered, and would SWCC still be an open possibility for me? I have no knowledge on how the medical qualifications differ in that situation.

  37. Navydoc says:

    Patrick,
    Spinal fusion will not be waived.

  38. Mac [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Doc,

    9 years ago I was admitted into a psychiatric hospital for “depression”. Girlfriend of 12 years left me for my friend, blah blah blah. Stupid choice on my part. Anyway, spent two nights. doc said nothing was wrong. sent me home. no treatment after discharge. no meds after discharge. all is fine. will this disqualify me from entry into AF?

    thank you sir

  39. Navydoc says:

    Mac,
    Psychiatric hospitalization for any reason is PDQ. Waiver may be considered on a case by case basis.

  40. Navydoc says:

    Tyler,
    Once immunotherapy is completed, it is no longer DQ. Blepharitis does need to be completely resolved as it is unlikely to be waived v

  41. Tyler says:

    Thank you for the quick response. Just to clarify some things, if I stop immunotherapy slightly early would that count as completing the treatment? (I have only done it near two years but have no symptoms and take no medications), and with the blepharitis did you mean unlikely to be waived by SWCC or the Navy in general? Not sure how much this matters but it is also a very mild case (no symptoms as long as I clean my eyelids once a day).

  42. mary says:

    I am in the navy reserves and I was recently diagnosed with nose polyps and a deviated septum that is covering almost 70% of one side of my nose making it difficult to breathe. Will this qualify for a medical discharge or limited or light duty?

  43. navydoc says:

    mary,
    If you are a drilling reservist, you just let your command know, have your surgery and return to drilling once it is fixed.

  44. navydoc says:

    Tyler,
    Stopping immunotherapy before it is finished would PDQ you. Blepharitis is unlikely to be waived at all, and the special forces do not accept waivers at all.

  45. Josh says:

    Hello, I know heart conditions have been talked about in large amounts on here and I scrolled through most of them, but I have not seen anyone with the same condition so I am slightly worried. I had heart surgery when I was 6 years old to fix two congenital heart defects. The first was a simple ASD, though the other more serious problem was a PAPVR repair. The surgery went well and I have been fine ever since. Do you think I have a good chance for a waiver?

  46. navydoc says:

    Josh,
    You will need to send in your surgical records and a current (within the past 60 days) cardiology exam with EKG and echocardiogram for review.

Leave a Reply

Before asking a question, please read the article and comments -- your question may already be answered! Here is a site search to assist you:

A Navy recruiting blog that delves into the military enlistment process and benefits of service. This is NOT an official United States Navy or government web site. The opinions expressed are my own, and may not be in-line with any branches of the government or military.

©Navy Cyberspace. All Rights Reserved.

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

Terms of Service and Privacy Policy