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Medical Conditions Normally Not Waiverable

Medical Issues Not Normally Waivered

Updated: May 5, 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.



6,732 Responses to “Medical Issues Not Normally Waivered”


  1. Aaron says:

    Navydoc,
    I had a congenital cataract and had it removed with an intraocular lens implant. My vision with both eyes open is 20/15. Due to the fact it was an IOL surgery, it is impossible for the cataract to come back. Would I have a chance of getting a waiver?

  2. Navydoc says:

    Aaron,
    The navy will not waive IOL. Try the army

  3. Terry [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Just had a normal physical and my blood came back low in platelets the past two times getting my blood drawn. Is this an automatic DQ? Waiting a month to get my blood drawn again. I have intentions of becoming an air traffic controller in the navy. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  4. Crystal says:

    I had a biopsy done on what was thought to be a fibroadenoma and was found out to be PASH. Will this disqualify me without surgical removal?

  5. Jennifer says:

    Hi, I was hoping to join the navy after graduation from college. I had a pulmonary embolism from birth control pills and haven’t had any issues in the last 5 years. I have been off blood thinners for over 4 1/2 years. Would I be able to get a waiver for this?

    Thanks
    Jen

  6. Navydoc says:

    Jennifer,
    Waiver is unlikely.

  7. Navydoc says:

    Crystal,
    Submit your records for review.

  8. Navydoc says:

    Terry,
    Your doctor needs to investigate why your platelets are low.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Hi,

    Thank you for your response. Is the same stardards apply if I went to medical school and then submitted my application to be a doctor.

    Thanks,
    Jen

  10. Hector says:

    Oh thank you so much I really wanted to do this that’s why

  11. John says:

    I have very minor eczema diagnosed by a dermatologist as “minor eczema shows improvement.” She is of the opinion it will not limit me in anyway. My symptoms are simply the backs of my hands get red in the winter (in Utah, a very dry state) and at worst crack the tiniest bit. It’s easily controlled by normal lotion and I rarely ever actually use lotion anyway. My hands don’t stop me from doing anything at all, from flying to drumming in the cold, they aren’t limiting. If I could have an opinion of my ability to attain a waiver that would be much appreciated. As well as an opinion of my being allowed to attain a flight contract with this condition.
    Thanks,
    John

  12. Robert says:

    Diagnosis of PTSD 5 years ago, haven’t had any issues since, is this waiverable?

  13. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Robert,

    NavyDoc has addressed PTSD before with, “History of PTSD is DQ for all services, but they will consider it for waiver.”

  14. NCCM(Ret) says:

    John,

    NavyDoc has discussed eczema numerous times; there is like eight pages of results when you use the search function.

    “Eczema past the 12 birthday is DQ. Waivers are not common.”

    Submit your medical records to MEPS via your recruiter.

  15. cyst says:

    Hello navydoc, I asked earlier about a tunical cyst. I was wondering if there is a wait time after it is treated?

  16. Blake says:

    Hello, I have a question regarding peroneal tendonitis. I am seeing a physical therapist about this and he said that if the pain continues I could possibly have a subluxation of the tendon. I was wondering if getting this surgery could possibly PDQ for joing the navy. Thank you for any info regarding this.

  17. moe says:

    Hey, I’m going to meps soon and I’m very worried because I used to have this bacteria in my stomach called h pylori, I took medicine for it and cured it and now I’m back to normal, I Also have a tag something you get from Having hemorrhoids is this gonna disqualify me from joining???

  18. Connor says:

    Thank you of response NavyDoc,
    I have submitted all the paperwork to my recruiter for chorioretinopathy. He doesn’t know how it will affect my shipping date. Just a quick question how likely is chorioretinopathy to receive a waiver and will my history of hyphema come into consideration?
    Again thank you

  19. Connor says:

    P.S. I was selected for Surface Warfare Officer, if that matters.

  20. Colin says:

    A couple days ago I was disqualified by the Marines for slight acid reflux that my doctor diagnosed me with a few years ago. I had an upper GI series done in march that showed everything was normal, and specifically states there is no hiatal hernia and no sign of gastroesophageal reflux, and I have the paperwork for it. Plus, I am not on medication. Could I receive a waiver, or should I try a different branch?

    Thank you.

  21. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Colin,

    Why did you need an upper GI series done in March? Did you have similar tests previously? What were the findings in those previous tests? Have you ever been medicated for it? How long have you been off medication? Based on the minimum information you wrote, I am not sure why you would have been DQ.

  22. Michael says:

    Doc, Hi, I’m prior service Navy ET2,1994-2001;(6 active/13 resv.) Im currently 43 and still eligible to re-enlist, but I’m am having little luck getting MEPS med exam due to prior service med record. While on active duty, i was eligible to reenlist under same conditions I’m noting on the 2807 paperwork and now I’m being told I’m DQ and eligible to get 100% VA disability. Only other medical stuff noted was 2 carpal tunnel surgeries back in 2004.I have full use of my hands and letter from surgeon clearing me. Should I be able to get a waiver? Also from prior service the a Dr from Portsmouth prescribe d Zoloft that I only took for less than a month in 1998. Could that be waived since from prior service?

  23. CYoungCS says:

    Navydoc,

    I am actually trying to get into the Air Force but am asking here because you’re the best resource i have found for these types of questions.

    I have two things that concern me on my medical records and need some advice on clearing them up. The first is high blood pressure, which, although lower than the DQ of 140/80, my records state that I was prescribed linsopril. I never took the medication, or even filled out a script. I am not worried per se about the blood pressure itself, but i would like to know what i need to do to show that i am not on the medication, as i have heard MEPS wants people to be off of meds for a minimum of 6 months.

    The other thing that concerns me is i have hydronephrosis on my record. Its asymptomatic, and i have a follow up stating that it hasn’t changed in 7 years (this follow up is 2-3 years old now). Will this be an issue for meps? If so, what do i need to do to clear it up?

  24. james says:

    Three years ago, I had a posterior microdisectomy of my c5-6 disc. No fusion. Fully recovered with no symptoms. Looking to commission as a chaplain in the USAF. Chances of obtaining waiver?

  25. Scott says:

    Got word from meps regarding my spondylolysis diagnosis. I got DQ’d & lost my SO contract. I am going to see if I can get it waived & get my SO contract back. If I can’t go SO then I’ll try Marines for Recon. What will my chances look like? My diagnosis is it’s the mildest form & I’ll make a full recovery by the end of this year.

  26. Fatzz says:

    Hey navydoc,
    I was dq at meps last year due to perforated eardrums and after 2 surgeries my ear is now fully healed. 1month after the surgery I submitted my papers to meps and my recruiter said I was still disqualified. And he said i have to wait after 6mons so we can try to send a waiver. Now my 6mons is over i just found out my recruiter is no longer a recruiter and another one is going to process my papers. My question is do I still need to send in a waiver now or just my medical papers to meps?? If a waiver is required how long do I need to wait for it? I have no problem now with my ears or hearing everything is fully healed now.

  27. sal says:

    I am 18 and looking into the ROTC program. I have no physical medical issues other than one self harm incident 3 years ago. My pediatrician noticed and I went to a counselor for a few months. Never been diagnosed with anything, just a one time deal. No evidence of it can be found, just that it may be stated in doctors notes. I am hesitant on starting the process of ROTC because of this. Will is cause an issue when I am trying to get a commission?

  28. Calculus2 says:

    Hi navydoc,
    In October of 2015 I had a left knee arthroscopy/arthrotomy, “possible open reduction internal fixation vs removal loose body, possible medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction with donor cadaver tissue vs patients own tissue, meniscal repair, microfracture”. I put those in quotations because I don’t fully understand what it all means, but from what I understood I had knee surgery to take out a piece of cartilage that was loose in my knee. I fully healed and am now perfectly healthy and can use my knee just like before but I wonder if this would be reason for me to be DQ before I even start. Would this be waiver worthy? Would I be temporarily DQ if I am DQ at all? I’m thinking of going into the air force. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

  29. navydoc says:

    Calculus2
    Microfracture is an automatic DQ. Waiver may be considered.

  30. navydoc says:

    sal,
    Self-harm is considered for waiver on a case by case basis.

  31. navydoc says:

    Fatzz,
    After 6 months, you no longer need a waiver, unless you had a condition that is permanently DQ (like a choesteatoma)

  32. navydoc says:

    Scott,
    The USMC does not usually waive any orthopedic issues.

  33. navydoc says:

    james,
    Waiver depends on whether or not the AF needs your particular denomination.

  34. navydoc says:

    CYoungCS,
    History of hydronephrosis is PDQ and requires waiver. You will need to submit current renal function tests and a renal ultrasound for review.

  35. navydoc says:

    Michael,
    Re-enlistment standards are different from accessions standards, which are MUCH more stringent. Once you have been out of the military 6 months, or if you are changing services or commissioning, you must meet accessions standards. If you are 100% disabled according to the VA, you have essentially zero chances or rejoining the military, unless you are such a rare commodity that they will overlook your issues.

  36. CYoungCS says:

    Navydoc,

    Thank you. Just to clarify, my ultrasound and renal function test is a few years old now. Should i re-test and submit both sets of records (the ones that would be from 2014, and the ones that would be from 2017), or just the most recent test and ultrasound?

  37. Benjamin [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Hello and good evening NavyDoc,

    I have a question to ask, but first, I would like to tell you a story that I almost apply for ASVAB Exam, which unfortunately I’m not qualified due to what happen to me 7years and 5months ago. I’m already signed up for Navy and already took the pre-entrance test and i passed. To continue processing to be enlisted in the service I have to pass the ASVAB exam first. However, it took me 3 weeks after the day i took the test. During the wait for the exam, me and my friends went to a nightclub. The time we’re heading home, there’s a drunk female driver going on road-rage and hit us and end up flipping 6 times. My friends survived, but me and the girl (that is also one of my friends), lost conscious until i heard…”help, i can’t breathe”… so i gained conscious and stood up although I am bathing with blood because i have laceration, just to help the girl. 7 cars stopped to help us out to flip the car back because it is upside down and the girl is underneath. Anyways, long story short… i have neck fracture oblique. The doctor told me that I can’t continue the process for the Navy. Now, the question is, will I be able to sign up for navy again or not? The accident was on April 2, 2010 02:00 (military time), by the way.

  38. Paul says:

    Hello NavyDoc,

    Would mild hypertrophy of the Left Ventricle be PDQ with no chance for a waiver? Would a waive be granted pending degree of hypertrophy or is any degree of hypertrophy as shown by an electrocardiogram no matter how small be ineligible for a waiver and an automatic DQ? Thank you!

  39. Brian says:

    I was hit by a car in 2006 in was went to the er I had a abrasion at the front of my head n got stitches and a hemotma at the back and had staples n was release from the hospital hours later and in 2012 was in another car accident I was the driver n went to the er because the emt told me to go n tell the doctor I had a concussion so I could sue, them two stop me from joining?

  40. navydoc says:

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

  41. navydoc says:

    Paul,
    You need to be evaluated by a cardiologist, to include an echocardiogram, to see if you actually have LVH. EKG is notoriously inaccurate for that diagnosis. If you truly have LVH, waiver would not be likely.

  42. navydoc says:

    Benjamin,
    It depends on the type of fracture, how it was treated, what your function has been like since, etc. Submit your records for review.

  43. navydoc says:

    CYoungCS,
    You need to submit studies less than 6 months old, plus all the old ones.

  44. Brian says:

    Does concussion normally stop people?

  45. Navydoc says:

    Brian,
    Depends on review of records

  46. CYoungCS says:

    Navydoc, thank you.

    What documentation will I need to show that I am not under any blood pressure medication? My medical paperwork also says high BP and that I have a prescription for Linsopril. I have never taken it though, but I don’t think MEPS would take me at my word for it. How long would I need to show that I have not taken that medication? I have heard 6 months. Is this correct?

  47. jordin says:

    I have had a spinal fusion on my lumbar 4 and 5 a little over 2 years ago. Is it possible to get this waived if I get a current x-ray, and a note from my neurologist saying I’m 100%??

  48. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Jordin,

    NavyDoc has addressed spinal fusion numerous times in the past with;

    Spinal fusion is not waived for any service, enlisted or officer.

  49. navydoc says:

    CYoungCS,
    You need to show that you physician took you off BP medication because you no longer need it, not just that you were a non-compliant patient who didn’t fill the medications that were prescribed. If you are currently supposed to be on lisinopril, waiver is unlikely.

  50. Brian says:

    How long does meps take to review document and let the recruiter know

  51. CYoungCS says:

    Navydoc,

    Thank you.

  52. Chelsea says:

    Hello NCCM,
    I was discharged from the navy in March 2017 honorably, RE1 code, and am trying to come back in. I do have documented migraines in my medical record, however, was diagnosed while pregnant so I am thinking it was hormonal. I was on prescription medication for them in 2015/ early 2016 but have been symptom free since and off of medication. Any c game of getting a waiver?

  53. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Chelsea,

    NavyDoc has discussed migraines quite a few times in the past. One of the lastest replies states;

    If you have not taken medication for or missed work due to migraine for 2 years, it is not PDQ.

    Have your medical records available for submission and review by the MEPS via your recruiter when you are ready to process.

  54. Benjamin says:

    I want to become a Special Amphibious Recon Corpsman, but I have a pattelar screw. I understand that it is not possible to get a SARC contract at meps, but can I still screen for the pipeline during A school? I am still functional and my knee is A-okay. And if not, what if I get the screw removed?

  55. Cristian27. says:

    How long would I have to be cancer free in order to obtain a waiver in any branch of the military? (Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy)
    How many years would I have to be completely free from cancer and taking whatever type of medication for it if I had a history of testicular cancer? Would this be considered PDQ or would it be DQ with the possibility of getting a waiver?

  56. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Cristian27,

    NavyDoc has answered the testicular cancer question previously with;

    Generally, the waiver authority likes to see a minimum of 5 years post cancer treatment before granting a waiver.

  57. Jon says:

    NavyDoc,

    I have three dental implants. I have gone through MEPS, and I am shipping out this week. I answered no to certain dental questions at MEPS. The implants do not interfere with any part of life whatsoever, however, I was advised to answer no by my recruiter. Do you think, while at reception and during my dental exam, there will be an issue regarding me having the implants?

    Thank you!

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