Rebuttal for Mood Disorder


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Apr 2, 2007
My son was DQed because of a "history of a mood disorder." He saw a psychiatrist 2 years ago for family/academic issues. USMA denied medical waiver. Psychiatrist wrote rebuttal but that was denied. Anything else we can do?

If your son did not write a personal letter when trying to rebut initially I would have him write a letter to the waiver board with a complete history of the issue, as well as what was done to rectify the issue, and how he is currently and what steps he takes currently to ensure that the issue does not reappear. This letter should be mailed to DoDMERB. DoDMERB will forward it to the waiver authority.
Thanks for the advice. My son did write a letter as did I and his Scoutmaster and his employer. We checked DODMERB today and it indicated something like "waiver submission under review." We have never received a reply from DODMERB re: the rebuttal by the psychiatrist; only the letter from USMA denying the waiver. I discussed the situation with another psychiatrist and he suggested I have my son "tested" by a psychologist to determine the existence of a mood disorder, and we have started that process as well. Will it be disadvantageous to have the information trickling in as we will not have the results of the testing until the end of this month.
Thanks for all your help.
DoDMERB is unable to remove a disqualification that has been waiver denied. Any additional information that DoDMERB receives will be forwarded straight to the waiver authority. The status change to "Pending waiver submission/review" means that the information was forwarded to the waiver authority. The is no disadvantage to having information trickle in. Any new information received will go straight to the waiver authority.
Thanks RetNavyHM.
I have another question. When the waiver was denied, the admissions rep said our "only hope" was to get the DQ removed. Now that the original rebuttal was not accepted and the original waiver was denied, is our only chance to get the waiver? In other words, if the psychological testing is sent to DODMERB, will they only pass it along to waiver authority, and not evaluate it in terms of a have the DQ removed?
Unfortunately once the waiver has been denied DoDMERB can not remove the disqualification, the waiver authority has to change the waiver decision. Once the waiver has been denied DoDMERB will just forward the information to the waiver authority since there is nothing that they can do at that point. Waiver decisions are able to be reversed.

It's been almost 4 weeks since we appealed the waiver and DoDMERB site still indicates Waiver pending review. Is this a good sign? P.S. My son underwent the psychological testing on Saturday, but results will not be available for 2 weeks. Should I get the psychologist to write DoDMERB or should my son let them know that he has undergone the testing?
Thanks for your help!
The status of pending waiver review means its still at the wavier authority. Thats not a completely bad sign. Since you have had the eval completed I would write a letter to DoDMERB, again requesting that it gets forwarded to the waiver authority stating that your son had the eval completed, but it will be another 2 weeks before the transcription is ready. This way the waiver authority will know that there is more information on its way. This letter does not need to come from the psychologist.
Thanks, RetNavyHM. I sent the letter today. My son has also been accepted for an ARMY ROTC scholarship, pending medical qualification. He has written to the commandant requesting a waiver. Any thoughts on the chances of him getting a waiver by Army ROTC vs. USMA?
They are 2 separate waiver authorities, so your guess would be about as good as mine in this case. Both the waiver authorities get all the information that you submit to DoDMERB, so the more information that they have the better it is. Make sure you forward the new info to DoDMERB as soon as you receive it.

My daughter was DQ'd for "history of anxiety disorder" and her waiver was denied by USNA. We thought that the original DQ was incorrect since it was based on a letter from a school social worker but did not start a rebuttal. When her waiver was denied we followed RetNavyHM's advice and she wrote personal letters to DoDMERB and USNA along with new evaluations by independent Doctors. We received a call last Monday from the Senior Medical Officer at DoDMERB saying that her DQ had been removed. We got a call from Our Senator's staff on Tuesday informing her that she was getting her appointment. She is now USNA class of 2011. I guess what I am trying to say is have your son write the letters as suggested by RetNavyHM. He knows the drill. Also start the rebuttal as soon as possible. Don't wait. We went through 3 tough months but it was worth it. Her B&G said that after this pleeb summer should be a piece of cake.
Congrats to you and your daughter! My son did write the letters on March 28, when he learned that USMA had denied the waiver. His psychiatrist had originally written a letter rebutting DoDMBERB and saying he didn't have a mood disorder, but basically teenage angst and adjustment issues due to family and academic issues, in mid-March, but no luck. We have had him "tested" by a psychologist, based upon advice of several other medical professionals, and the results will be in the next couple of weeks. We have sent a letter to DoDMERB telling them that as well. We are trying to remian postiive, but based upon other posts I have been both in this forum as well as college confidential and other sources, it doesn't look too promising. But we are doing all we can and he has sent his acceptance to another college. Of course, this medical DQ will impact his ability to get the ROTC scholarship, although we have already filed for a waiver with them as well. My biggest concern about this, and the warning I want to give to all parents who have children who MIGHT be interested in a service academy or the military, is the prejudicial attitude the military has towards seeking psychological help. In my opinion, their attitude has set the mental health profession back 100 years. Teenagers and other people do have occasional "issues" that they are able to overcome with help. That doesn't mean they have a disorder. But thanks for letting me know your good news. I will keep this forum updated. And RetNavy has been a wonderful source of advice, not only to me but to others.
Just keep fighting. We thought it was all over when she got the denial. She thought it was unfair and decided to fight the DQ.

Good Luck & all the best.
RetNavy HM,
Today I received a letter dated April 23 from USMA saying they are not recommending a waiver for my son. As of yesterday, the DODMERB site showed pending waiver review.

We had notified DODMERB on Tuesday that my son has had additional testing, but what do we do now? Is this the end of the line since they waiver board has twice denied him a waiver -- will they even look at the information?

AF6872 said that DoDMERB reversed their decision for her daughter, even after she was denied a waiver by the USNA. But it was my understanding from earlier postings that once my son has been denied a waiver, DoDMERB will not remove the DQ.

I guess my question is -- does it make sense to keep on fighting or is this a useless battle?

Today I received a letter dated April 23 from USMA saying they are not recommending a waiver for my son. As of yesterday, the DODMERB site showed pending waiver review.

Depending on when the last information was sent to DoDMERB it is possible that the letters crossed in the mail. The fact that your son's status is still "Pending waiver review" means that there is information out there for the waiver authorities to look at.

AF6872 said that DoDMERB reversed their decision for her daughter, even after she was denied a waiver by the USNA. But it was my understanding from earlier postings that once my son has been denied a waiver, DoDMERB will not remove the DQ.

The general rule at DoDMERB is if a waiver has been denied that DoDMERB will not remove the disqualification. I could not tell you why that particular disqualification was removed at the DoDMERB level. Every applicant's medical records are different.

I guess my question is -- does it make sense to keep on fighting or is this a useless battle?

This is not a decision I can make. Its worth fighting for if this is what your son wants. I can not tell you what the waiver authority is going to come back with, I can just tell you what steps you need to take for the waiver authorities to review the package, and give you ideas of things to do, such as having your son write a letter. Since you have already gone and had the additional testing completed, I would submit that as soon as possible and see what happens from there.

My daughter was originaly DQ'd on the information that DoDMERB had for the original evaluation. We were not able to get additional information to DoDMERB prior to the waiver denial. DoDMERB reviewed the additional information provided and determined that the original disqualifying condition did not exist. They notified USNA that the DQ was being removed and admissions office made the decision from there. During the rebuttal process we received two calls from the new Director. He didn't haave to take time to talk to us but he did. I got the impresssion that he really cares. If his attitude filters down I think people will notice a big change
Results of the psychological testing are in -- no mood disorder, no symptoms of depression. Opinion that earlier problems were just reaction to personal issues (i.e., parent's divorce). Faxed to DoDMERB this a.m. We have a follow up with the original psychiatrist on Friday for his opinion. Bottom line -- we are continuing the fight. My son wants the Army as a career and we are not giving up. Thanks for all the support and advice. We will keep you posted.
Results of follow-up meeting with psychiatrist are in and are also supportive of no mood disorder and opinion that son has developed good mechanisms (physical exercise!) for coping with stress. Faxed that report off this morning. Please Keep your fingers crossed for him.
Still no word on whether USMA will reconsider waiver denial. However, son did get word yesterday that his name has been forwarded to Cadet Command for a ROTC scholarship. When one door closes, a window opens. He is supposed to receive letter end of May, then we will go through the DoDMERB review of his appication for Army ROTC. We will most likely have to request a waiver, since DoDMERB has not removed the DQ, but we are hopeful that it will work out one way or another.