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Maintain Copies Of Your Medical Records

Medical Conditions Normally Waiverable

Updated: December 14, 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).



2,744 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.

  20. Chornsb says:

    The navy denied my request for a hearing loss waiver. My hearing at 4000hz is 60db.. the rest was under 55. Is there any possibility of joining if my hearing improves? It has in the past year improved. The doctors at meps were acting like it wasn’t a big deal so they didn’t have me go to a doctor outside.

  21. Dakota says:

    NCCM,
    I’m trying to enlist in the army. Can you tell me my chances of getting an approved waiver if need any?
    August 2015 car accident
    Pneumothorax (went away on its own overnight no additional medical attention required)
    Concussion (moderate, returned to my high school football team five weeks after accident)
    I know pneumothorax the wait is 1 year and typically concussions are two right? Seeming it’s been over two years my chances are good right?

  22. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Dakoda,

    NavyDoc has already answered your question.

  23. Mariah says:

    Navydoc,

    About 2 months ago I was diagnosed with a 3mm kidney stone (was caused by improper use of stool softeners, not on purpose, it was just my first time using them and I was unfamiliar with how they really work). During the ultrasound they also found an angiomyolipoma (less than 1 cm) that shows no symptoms or any potential at causing me any harm (they said I would have never known I had it if they didn’t do the ultrasound for my stone). Urologist said it needs to be checked on maybe once a year, if that (this is coming from an Air Force doctor, not sure if that helps any) and he is not worried about it at all.

    During my time of waiting for the stone to pass, I was admitted to the ER with a case of hydronephrosis (I have never had this before and it was caused by the stone being stuck in the UVJ) and they gave me an IV with saline solution to help nudge the stone out of it’s place and it did the trick. My ER trip took so long because we were waiting on a CT to be ordered and for radiology to open up a spot for me. My stone has since passed and I did not need any types of stents or catheters placed, nor did any infections ever form. All of my UA’s came back good and the doctors were all pretty impressed that they came back so clear for having a kidney stone. I guess I had a lucky case?

    The only reason I went to the ER was because I knew urine blockage could cause permanent damage to the kidney if left untreated for too long (I went in the same day I started showing symptoms) and I didn’t want to risk damage to my kidneys while trying to enlist. The whole time I was still producing urine and was able to urinate but not to where I could fully empty my bladder.

    Does the regulation refer to those with a more chronic condition of hydronephrosis, or does mine fit in there as well? If it does, what would be the best route to go? My recruiter wasn’t able to give me much info other than “we’ll send your records to MEPS” but I want to make sure this is even a possibility anymore. I am willing to do whatever necessary to join. I am looking into joining the Air Force but your threads are the closest I’ve ever come to finding any answers.

    Thanks.

  24. Bronson says:

    Hey, for asthma if I havent been prescribed medication for 3 years, no exacerbations, dont use oral steroids & I recieve a normal spirometry test do I still require a waiver or have to go through waiver process ?

  25. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Bronson,

    If you meet the specific qualifying guidelines as specifically listed in the DoDI, then a waiver would not be required.

  26. Bronson says:

    Ok thank you for you response i recently just talked to my primary physician and she told me that i was prescribed an emergency asthma inhaler months before my 13th birthday but i had an physical when 15 (over 3 years ago) that had mild asthma on it but i still wasnt prescribed an inhaler would that cause for a waiver ?

  27. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Bronson,

    Your complete medical history would have to be evaluated and the spirometry test would have to be submitted. Based on the limited info you have provided, unless you have any medical records after physical at age 15 that specifically addresses asthma or does not indicate breathing issues, I would think you require a waiver due to the length of time you had it. Mild asthma is still asthma and requires the same consideration. Gather up all your medical records so that a logical evaluation of your history can be made by MEPS.

  28. Brian says:

    Got okayed into the Waiver process for Navy, was DQ’d due to peanut allergy. The allergy has not been an issue, but if peanuts are ingested there is a chance of anaphalaxsis. I read the article and it said that waiver is not likely to be positive for this. Thoughts?

  29. Mariah says:

    Adding to my post a few days ago, my biggest question is, how likely is the Air Force to grant me a waiver after the mandatory 12 months for waiting is up? If a waiver is even needed (which I’d imagine since hydronephrosis was caused, it would require a waiver). I plan on getting all of my medical records and my urologist knows that I am interested in joining and he’s willing to help work with me on whatever tests I need. The Air Force is my only option since that’s the branch my husband is in and he doesn’t want me to join a different branch.

    Thanks again.

  30. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Brian,

    A waiver for a peanut allergy is unlikely to be waived because it is not easily avoidable.

  31. Brian says:

    Thanks for the response. Very frustrating since it has not been an issue.Would the same issue be considered for ROTC eligibility? or is it a deal breaker for that as well.

  32. Jack says:

    In the asthma section, are you saying that a waiver is only required if you don’t meet those 4 criteria, or that a waiver is impossible unless you neet those 4 criteria?

    Additionally, is mild eczema and a mild peanut allergy (no anaphylaxis) usually waiversble? Thanks to anyone who can provide me any relevant information. It’s probably worth mentioning that I’m trying to become a naval nuclear officer, most likely on a sub.

  33. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Jack,

    Yes, if you meet those four criteria to the letter, requiring a waiver may be avoided; however, due to a recent court decision that requires the military to accept transgender applicants starting Jan. 1, 2018, a new DoDI 6130.03 (the guiding instruction for MEPS medical) publishing date is imminent. In the new instruction, along with the changing the rules for transgender applicants, it is expected to make the rules for asthma, anxiety, and ADHD more difficult as those and a couple of other preexisting issues have been the cause for excessive boot-camp attrition. I do not know what those new thresholds will be.

    Peanut allergy (due to the prevalence of peanut products making contact hard to avoid) and eczema (an autoimmune disease) are rarely waived.

  34. Stephanie says:

    Will using Flonase daily DQ me?

  35. Niels says:

    Hi,

    I’m still a sophomore, but looking to enlist out of high school. My eyes are quite bad, with spherical equivalent prescriptions of -9.625 in my left eye and -11.125 in my right. How likely do you think this could get waived? I haven’t heard of anyone with vision as bad as mine getting through which stresses me out. Also, are eye surgery waivers more likely to be approved than vision waivers? Thanks in advance

  36. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Stephanie,

    It is not a medication you can take to boot-camp. If the medication is prescribed, then submit the medical documents for review. You should, however, ultimately be okay.

  37. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Niels,

    When a medical waiver is considered for PRK/LASIK, the presurgical measurements are used. The Navy won’t waive anything above 10, but the Army has been known to waive up to 12 if the eyes are otherwise fully healthy.

  38. Logan says:

    Hi,

    I hope this is the right place to ask this. I am hoping to join the marine corp, and have not yet spoken to a recruiter, but I am planning to in the next two weeks. A few years ago I was diagnosed with Primary Raynauds Disease, and this is listed as a PDQ in the medical guide. However, I only have a very mild case of pigment change in my forearms to a purplish color with no associated pain/discomfort or trouble using my hands. It is also non stress related. I have been camping for days in sub freezing temperatures without trouble. With my symptoms, am I likely to get a waiver? I have a near perfect self tested PFT, and have always been a 4.0 student if that would come into play at all with waiver eligibility.

  39. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Logan,

    According to NavyDoc, Raynauds is unlikely to be waived by any service.

  40. kitchenmagnet says:

    Hi,

    So I had a question about disclosing a dermatitis diagnosis. I am already in DEP, reviewed my med records and found that I had been diagnosed with dermatitis. This dermatitis was unspecified dermatitis, there was one instance of it, I was not prescribed any medication for it.

    My first question: would this be disqualifying medically? I understand that DODI says if you have recurring dermatitis, and if it required more than OTC medications that it is disqualifying. Since my dermatitis is neither of those, is it a disqualifying condition?

    My second question: when should I go about disclosing this: at my physical on my final trip to MEPS or to the recruiter now? If I disclose it with my recruiter, they are saying I will be DEP discharged, which I will risk losing my rate and leaving at a much later time. If I disclose it at MEPS, I run the risk of not being able to ship due in case I need to get a waiver approved. Also, if I disclose at MEPS, I am worried that they may not allow me to ship due to me asking so late, and/or the fact that I may need a waiver. What would you advise me to do?

    I am about a month away from the ship date.

    Thank you for any and all help

  41. NCCM(Ret) says:

    kitchenmagnet, Newuser125, Noname187,

    You have had your question answered by NavyDoc over a month ago about the eczema/dermatitis you were diagnosed with in 2012 by your family doctor. Please do not spam my blog with the same question.

    If you are in fact in the DEP, you are in it fraudulently if medical records were not sent to MEPS. You need to correct that before you ship by submitting the medical records for review. It should be the very next action you take after reading this comment so they have time to process it and consider a waiver, or to discharge you so that someone qualified can have the seat that you currently hold.

    I wish you the very best.

  42. Delaney says:

    Good afternoon, I had a couple of questions on if you think its possible to get a waiver.
    I was “diagnosed” with ADHD in 3rd grade (I am about to turn 20), But i haven’t been on medication for ADHD since 5th grade. I was never formally diagnosed (my teacher wrote a letter saying she thought I had the condition, and my pediatrician at the time put me on medication on a trial basis). I took all honors and AP classes with NO IEP, and made all A’s and B’s. I went to a psychiatrist to be re-evaluated for ADHD just last month, and they told me that I do not have it, and never did. I have the papers with those statements and I am submitting them in my appeal.
    I have also had surgery on my knee for chondromalacia of my patella, but I have been re-evaluated for my knee from my orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist, and I have had a full evaluation from both specialists, stating that I have full strength and range of motion in my knee.
    I went to MEPS, and was completely medically cleared, other than the waivers.
    What are the chances you think I have of obtaining these waivers for the Navy?
    Thanks in advance,
    Delaney

  43. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Delaney,

    I am assuming Navy. If the waiver was forwarded to CNRC N3M for consideration, your chances are pretty good — waivers that have little chance of approval are not usually forwarded.

  44. Delaney says:

    Thank you for the reply! I’m pretty nervous about it because the Airforce disqualified me last year, and I’m trying the Navy because my grandpa was in the Navy.
    How long does it normally take for an answer when you try to obtain waivers through appealing a disqualification?

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