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Maintain Copies Of Your Medical Records

Medical Conditions Normally Waiverable

Updated: October 15, 2017

Part two of the what will and what won’t keep you out of the United States Navy medically (provided in the cases listed a waiver is granted). Part one discussed conditions that normally would not qualify for a waiver – this installment discusses the conditions in which a waiver may be granted.

If you appear to be, in all other respects, qualified for enlistment but reveal a history of one or more of the following common conditions you must be advised that the treatment records or a written summary from your private or attending physician will be of value to the examining Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) physician during the pre-enlistment physical examination and may reduce the possibility of temporary medical disqualification.

If you are considering a future in the armed forces there is no time like the present to start gathering the records of your medical past. The medical records will be sent to the MEPS in advance for a medical review so having them ready will save you a ton of time. Having the records may also preclude you from having to attend outsourced consultations which could ultimately delay even further your enlistment.

Please keep in mind this list is not all-inclusive.

Medical conditions which are normally considered waiverable (information consolidated from MEPCOM and COMNAVCRUITCOM Instructions);

  • History of Ophthalmologic Disorders such as excessive refractive error: +/- 8.00 diopters sphere, +/- 4.00 diopters cylinder. LASIK and PRK surgery to include preoperative refractive measurements. Note: PRK, LASEK, and LASIK are disqualifying if:
    • pre-surgery refractive error was greater than +-8 diopters
    • less than 6 months have passed since surgery
    • you still need medications or treatment stemming from the surgery
    • your eyes have not stabilized
    • you have not had an eye exam measuring refraction at least 3 months after the surgery
    • you have keratitis
    • you have corneal vascularization or opacification that puts your vision below enlistment standards
    • you have uveitis or iridocyclitis
  • Airway hyper responsiveness including asthma, reactive airway disease, exercise-induced bronchospasm or asthmatic bronchitis, reliably diagnosed and symptomatic after the 13th birthday is disqualifying unless within the past 3 years you meet ALL of the following criteria:
    1. No use of controller or rescue medications (including, but not limited to inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene receptor antagonists, or short-acting beta agonists).
    2. No exacerbations requiring acute medical treatment.
    3. No use of oral steroids.
    4. A current normal spirometry (within the past 90 days), performed in accordance with American Thoracic Society (ATS) guidelines and as defined by current National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) standards. (If approved for further processing, the MEPS will schedule and pay for any required testing/consults)
  • History of Orthopedic surgery or injury (ORIF, retained hardware, ACL or Arthroscopic, Bankhart repair, bunionectomy).
  • History of Gynecological disorders such as Endometriosis, Cervical Dysplasia, or abnormal PAP smear.
  • History of Cardiovascular disorders such as repaired congenital heart malformation or conductive disorder (WPW) treatment.
  • History of Abdominal/Gastrointestinal disorders such as Hernia repair (must be 60 days postoperative with release from care statement), GERD, hemorrhoids.
  • History of Neurological disorders such as back pain, surgery or asymptomatic mild Scoliosis, sleepwalking, childhood epilepsy, concussion.
  • History of Urinary disorders such as kidney stones, proteinuria, or childhood enuresis.
  • History of Psychiatric disorders such as mood, personality, conduct, or behavior disorder.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is disqualifying UNLESS the following criteria are met:
    1. The applicant has not required an Individualized Education Program or work accommodations since the age of 14.
    2. There is no history of comorbid mental disorders.
    3. The applicant has never taken more than a single daily dosage of medication or has not been prescribed medication for this condition for more than 24 cumulative months after the age of 14.
    4. During periods off of medication after the age of 14, the applicant has been able to maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average without accommodations.
    5. Documentation from the applicant’s prescribing provider that continued medication is not required for acceptable occupational or work performance.
    6. Applicant is required to enter service and pass Service-specific training periods with no prescribed medication for ADHD.
  • History of Dermatological disorders such as mild skin disorders (i.e., acne, pilonidal cyst, contact dermatitis, urticaria, and warts).
  • Hearing. Pure tone hearing loss at 500, 1000, 2000 Hz of not more than 30 db on average with no individual level greater than 35 db at these frequencies in either ear. Pure tone hearing loss at 3000 Hz of not more than 45 db and 4000 Hz not more than 55 db in either 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. If your recruiter thinks otherwise, point him or her to the following Operational Notice:

NAVY RECRUITING COMMAND N3 -OPERATIONS NOTICE #26
MEDICAL GUIDANCE FOR PROCESSING ENLISTED AND OFFICER APPLICANTS

1. Purpose. To provide policy guidance regarding medical counseling for Future Sailors/Officer applicants.
2. Discussion. Information provided by the Navy and Marine Corps Public health Center suggests some female recruits/applicants have been advised to stop taking oral contraceptive (OCPs, sometimes called birth control pills or BCPs) and/or thyroid replacement medications before departing for initial training. Additionally, some female Future Sailors/applicants have been advised to have their IUDs removed and/or their implanted contraceptives (Implanon) would be removed at initial training.
3. Action. Effective immediately, recruiting personnel shall not advise Future Sailors/applicants to discontinue use of OCPs, to have IUDs removed, or to stop thyroid replacement medications.
4. NAVCRUITCOM (N35) will incorporate these policy changes into the COMNAVCRUITCOMINST 1131.2E and 1130.8J (Officer and Enlisted Recruiting Manuals).

A note to everyone: The advice and prognostications delivered in the comments by NavyDoc are based on his years of experience as a MEPS Chief Medical Officer, and he is only able take into account the information you provide, so for a more definitive response, ensure you are thorough with the description of your issue(s).



2,719 Responses to “Medical Conditions Normally Waiverable”


  1. NCCM(Ret) says:

    PC,

    The fact that treatment ended over three years ago helps, but I will warn you that medical waivers for depression disorders that led to discharge are nearly impossible to get.

  2. PC says:

    Okay I understand, thank you.

  3. kari says:

    My son had an IEP as a child for a learning disability in written expression. At the start of his freshman year of high school the school wanted to exit him from special education. My son also wanted to exit from the program. However, as my son’s advocate I felt that he should keep the IEP in place so that he could get extra help if he ever needed it so I refused to sign the exit paperwork. I also felt that the even though my son was performing at a c average, I felt that with an IEP in place he would have goals set that would help him to excel. He was also in honors classes for science and math so he has above average intelligence. Because I refused to agree to exit him from the program and the school allowed him to retain the his IEP and use the testing he had as a child to qualify him for services. My son just completed his freshman year of college without any accommodations and did very well, maintained a 3.0 gpa. he is now in his sophomore year of college and decided to join the ROTC. This week they DQ’d him from the program based the criteria that he had an IEP in high school. He submitted for a waiver and was denied in under an hour. is there anything he can do or submit to show he is fit for military duty. I feel completely responsible for this DQ and wish I could go back and chance my decision. However, that is not possible.I was thinking of having him tested as an adult to show that his learning disability is no longer something that impedes his learning.However, I dont want to put my son through all of this if he is only going to be denied at the end of the process. Has anyone ever heard of a person recently getting a waiver if they had an IEP in place in High school?

  4. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Kari,

    For ROTC, DoDMERB is the medical authority; not the MEPS. I do not know what thresholds they would expect him to meet before reconsideration. The ROTC instructor would have better access to that answer than I would.

    I wish I could be of more help.

  5. kari says:

    Thank you so much for your reply. At this point it is my understanding that ROTC will no longer be an option for him since he was DQ’d and removed from the program this semester and will no longer have enough time to complete his ROTC requirements before obtaining his degree. However, he would still like to join the military once he completes his degree. Therefore I am trying to determine if this DQ disqualifies him from ever serving in all branches of the military since it was issued through DoDMERB. Do you know if he were to try and enlist after getting his degree, would this keep him from being able to do so?

  6. Kortni says:

    Meps had resuqested I get a Pap smear, so I did. The results came back that I tested positive for HPV, so that day I got the results I went down to do a colposcopy and the results from the came back LGSIL or CIN1. I just received a letter saying I was DQ’d due to “abnormal Pap smear with positive HPV” I am going to turn in papers for the colposcopy, after I do that should I be okay? And if not what are the options then?

  7. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Kortni,

    NavyDoc has discussed this a few times before. One of the comments appears to directly answer your question. He wrote;

    [If] you had a pap smear with HPV, you must have another pap smear in 3 months or colposcopy with biopsies that show that the condition is not worsening. HPV pap smears with ASCUS, LGSIL (CIN 1) or lower, confirmed by the above tests, are not DQ. Anything HGSIL (CIN 2) or above is DQ.

  8. CMDCM(Ret) says:

    Would a small ganglion cyst in the wrist be disqualifying? If the presence was considered disqualifying, would it be not disqualifying if it were removed/repaired?

  9. NCCM(Ret) says:

    CMDCM (RET),

    NavyDoc has stated that a Ganglion cyst, by itself, is not disqualifying.

    If it is considered disqualifying because of its size and location (determined it will interfere with the proper wearing of the uniform), then after it is resolved, it would no longer be DQ.

    Hope that makes sense.

  10. Sam says:

    Hello,

    So I am a senior in High school and soon want to enlist in either the Navy or the Marines. When I was seven I had heart surgery for a small septal defect that was almost small enough to heal on its own. Unfortunately I also had a TAPVR which was fixed in the same surgery. The operation went off perfectly and I was out of the hospital within four days. I was wondering if they take into account other factors such as physical condition and/or ASVAB score? I am in excellent shape and have had zero problems since the operation, but I know the surgery still looks pretty bad as far as a waiver is concerned. I would like to know your thoughts on my chances of a waiver, and also if a waiver is considered would there be limits to the jobs I am allowed to do?

  11. Sam says:

    Sorry to leave another message, but I am an idiot who did not proof read. It was actually PAPVR not TAPVR. Either way still not good, but much better than the latter.

  12. Lion says:

    I swore into DEP for the Marine Corps after being deemed medically qualified earlier this year. Recently though, have been PDQ for coming forward with history of asthma and physcial therapy for right shoulder. I was more than likely misdiagnosed with asthma as I haven’t been treated for symptoms related to it or seen/used an inhaler since age 8. I have never had trauma, tearing, or surgery in my shoulder but underwent a couple weeks of physical therapy for strengthing exercises in my right shoulder 3 years ago. I have a PFT displaying healthy lung function, current evaluation of right shoulder from physician and notes from pulmonologist I saw as a child as well as letters from my physical therapist. What is the likelihood BUMED will grant waivers for these isolated incidents? I know these are normally waiverable, but is going for 2 and from the USMC at that going to hurt my chances? I know there is no definitive answer here and I have to wait, but insight is helpful.

    also, I’ve been a top athlete all my life (varsity track/soccer/all-district XC runner) and I submitted my most recent initial strength test results showing I run a mile-and-a-half in under 8 minutes and can do 20 pull-ups.

  13. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Lion,

    I assume those are issues they somehow overlooked when you completed your physical the first time? If those were not divulged in your medical prescreening before your first physical, they need to determine that you had not withheld other medical issues — normally, based on the minimum information you described, you more than likely would not have required a BUMED waiver, but when things come to light after the fact, they tend to side with more caution. I assume they will approve your waiver, but they will do so only by fully scrutinizing your records and tests.

  14. Lion says:

    @NCCM(Ret)- In your opinion/experience, do you think BUMED will have me supply more information than MEPS has already asked for? Will they put me through any more tests? I’ve given them all medical records/prescription records from past 5 years in addition to the PFT/current shoulder eval. I know applicants for OCS usually have to take the methacholine challenge test to get waivers for asthma but I’ve not heard anyone needing one for the enlisted route.

  15. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Lion,

    I have no idea whether or not BUMED will ask for more; I do know that a pulmonary function test, like a methacholine challenge, has been ordered for enlisted applicants — matter of fact, at the same rate/percentage as those seeking a commission (by MEPS and the waiver authority). I assume MEPS disqualified you and had no desire to spend money on testing — the Marine Corps more than likely forwarded it to BUMED for consideration; I assume MEPS are waiting for BUMED to request that they do or don’t.

  16. Alex says:

    I’m supposed to ship to basic in 2 weeks. Just found out I have a hernia. Will probably be having surgery to repair. I understand that this would require at minimum a 6 month waiting period to ship if no further complications. I was also made aware of a condition called “horse shoe kidney” where the kidneys are fused together. I’ve been an athlete all my life. No issues ever. Will this condition be an automatic disqualification or is it waiverable? Is there a way MEPS could not find out about the kidneys?

  17. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Alex,

    NavyDoc has answered the question of Horseshoe kidney before with:

    Horseshoe kidney is PDQ and not usually waived.

  18. Matt says:

    I was born with a nystagmus me eyesight is 20/30 I was wondering if there is any chance of a waiver with this eye condition?

  19. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Matt,

    A current nystagmus other than physiologic “end-point nystagmus” is disqualifying. I personally have not seen the condition waived. I recommend that you submit the records describing your condition to MEPS via your recruiter for review.

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