Waivers for Asthma

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by AcademyProspect4G, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. AcademyProspect4G

    AcademyProspect4G New Member

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    I had asthma problems up until a few years ago, now though I have no issues with it. I still have a while before my DoDMERB exam will even possibly take place, so I have to ask: do I have any hope of getting a waiver or passing, or should I just give up now while I'm ahead?
     
  2. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    The medical standard for Army per AR 40-501, Standards of Medical Fitness,
    for asthma is

    d. Asthma (493), including reactive airway disease, exercise-induced
    broncho spasm or asthmatic bronchitis, reliably diagnosed and symptomatic
    after the 13th birthday, does not meet the standard. Reliable diagnostic
    criteria may include any of the following elements: substantiated history of
    cough, wheeze, chest tightness, and/or dyspnea that persists or recurs over
    a prolonged period of time, generally more than 12 months.


    My recommendation is to talk to your doctor and take medical documentation concernign your past asthma to DoDMERB exam. You have to rememeber, the DoDMERB exam is nothing but a screening in a way. In absence of any medical evidence at the time, easier for the doctor to note "history of asthams after 13, disqualified."

    DoDMERB does not issue any waiver, individual SA issues waiver. For West Point, for strong candidates West Point will request waivers and depends on your condition you might get a waiver.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The question is how badly do you want it? Throwing in the towel now, because you may get DQ and might not get a waiver, begs that question to be asked since the SAs and the military are going to push you to the limits you never knew existed.

    Remember if you are applying ROTC as plan B, this will be a factor too.

    Finally, as Member stated, it is the SA that waives the DQ. If you are applying to all SAs, it is possible 1 may waive, and another will say no.
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    First, of all, don't go to a civilian doctor just for this -- what he/she says is unlikely to have much sway with DODMERB unless DODMERB sends you to the MD. Go to your DODMERB exam, be truthful on the questionnaire, and see what they want you to do.

    PIMA is right in that, first, DODMERB is a screening organization and the individual SAs (or ROTC) decide whether to grant a waiver. And, second, that one entity may waive a condition whereas another will not.

    As a general rule, asthma after age 13 is unlikely to be waived by USNA. I can't speak for the other SAs or ROTC. However, that is a general statement and, as has been said many times on this forum, every case is unique.

    You won't know how your situation will turn out unless/until you go through the process. Other than a bit of your time, you have nothing to lose by doing so.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    To add onto usna1985 of why you shouldn't go to non-DoDMERB doc, that file follows you!

    DoDMERB docs know what are the key words, your hometown doc may think they are helping and in essence actually hurt you because of how they word it. They don't have that big DodMERB book, they look at you as an athlete, and just acknowledge you have it, but it your qualified to play sports. 2 different thing.

    Best you can do now is pull all of your medical records since birth and prepare yourself for the WHAT IF!

    The more you can submit for your defense, the more you will be able to illustrate to the doc that will do the remedial regarding why it shouldn't be a DQ,

    I think by now you realize Asthma will be an issue that you will have to battle.

    Your choice. If you truly want to serve the military as an AD officer you will fight tooth and nail, if it is about the free education, you will walk away and say I can get an education without going through this BS! Ball is in your court right now.
     
  6. AcademyProspect4G

    AcademyProspect4G New Member

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    Thank you so much everyone. I am going to fight and am determined to get a waiver if the asthma turns into a DQ.

    After reveiwing the records, I haven't had any true treatment for "asthma" since I was 11, other than a few renewed perscriptions by my mom to replace expired stuff.

    There is hope!!!!
     
  7. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I had asthma till I was around 15ish so when it came to physical time I was DQ'd. I pushed spirometer test and was eventually granted a waiver after 6 months of waiting. Its possible. but keep in mind this was 2008 when it was easier to get a scholarship in general.
     
  8. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Scholarship not, you still need to pass Dodmerb to be contracted.

    Several years ago, my kiddo needed an asthma waiver as well - let me tell you what worked for her:
    As required by Dodmerb we gathered all her medical records from birth to present and submitted them to Dodmerb.
    She was DQ'd as we expected. After the DQ she wrote a REBUTTAL to Dodmerb asking that the DQ be overturned. In that letter, she explained clearly what happened when she was *diagnosed*, her symptoms, the medicine she took, how long she took the medicine and how long she had been off the medicine. She also described her physical activities since she had not been taking medication.

    While this letter did not overturn the DQ, it was sent to all the waiver authorities.
    USMA granted her waiver but ROTC required a Spirometry which she passed with flying colors. This was ordered by Dodmerb and done in the same office where she had her physical. Dodmerb paid for the test, I requested the results be copied to her pediatrician who read them for us and told her they were fine.
    Once the results from the Spriometry were submitted, her waiver was granted.

    The bottom line here - physicians order inhalers for kids ALOT. If they even *suspect* wheezing they will order an inhaler. Asthma is an incurable chronic condition. Having a cold or bronchitis does not constitute asthma.
    To get a waiver, basically you need to demonstrate that you do NOT and never had asthma.

    My suggestion is to complete the medical history and physical. Start working on a rebuttal letter, assuming you maintain that you do not have asthma. Gather all your medical records from birth - this can take weeks or months - as you will be asked for them. Many physicians and hospitals will waive fees if the purpose is entry to the military.
    Get all testing done as ordered by Dodmerb and submitted as quickly as possible. It's really important to stay on top of everything and be proactive. Also please do not hesitate to contact Dodmerb with ANY questions you have. They are terrific folks who are patient and willing to help you.
     
  9. KaraK

    KaraK New Member

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    Waiver

    Yes, Just_A_Mom you have a point. My son had seasonal asthma as a toddler, and we always treated him then. We lived in Arizona, which seems to have a high incidence of asthma for kids. Since we moved away from there he gradually got better and better, but since he had asthma before the doctors and we as parents have been super cautious and have always made sure he had my son had an inhaler just in case, especially when he was going on a school trip where he would be away from home. He never used it though. His doctor's office requested an asthma review every year as a matter of course, and this is what has caused his medical disqualification. We usually ignored the asthma review, but I took him to the last one as I thought it would make him more likely to get a flu shot if I wanted him to have one. It was during the time when the swine flu thing was going on, which was killing mostly young adults. We are in England, and they will only give flu shots to the elderly or those with a medical condition, such as asthma. Anyhoo this is what got him the DQ. So we are waiting on a waiver.

    Our situation was unique, as we had no access to US doctors, and we could not get any tests done on our own. We did look into it here, but by the time we found out about the DQ it was only a few weeks before he was to leave to start college.

    My son wrote to DODMERB explaining that he runs several times a week and never has any shortness of breath or wheezing. Since he has been in AROTC he has been preparing for the Ranger Challenge and was one of the few that completed a 6 mile ruck run run (in full uniform carrying a full ruck sack). My questions are:
    1. Is there any way to find out whether the letter he wrote to DODMERB has gotten to the waiver review board?
    2. Would it help for my son to get letters from his AROTC instructors telling what he is capable of?
     
  10. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    It will become a part of his file an viewable to the waiver authorities. I suggest that you call Dodmerb and confirm the letter was received and in the file.

    Yes! If he can get a letter stating his physical activity without need of an inhaler - that is admissible evidence and can only help.

    Good Luck!

    PS in some parts of the country nearly 50% of all kids have had an asthma diagnosis'.
     

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