Can you enlist with a mental disorder?

If you don’t have a mental health diagnosis (or if you do, but it’s not the main reason you want to enlist in the military), then it might be challenging to find a place to serve in the military.

But there are ways to enlist with a mental health diagnosis.

Let’s explore:

Can I enlist with a mental disorder?

If you have a mental health diagnosis, you can enlist in the military, but you may not be automatically enrolled in the service.

If you have a mental health diagnosis, you must apply for the military. This applies whether or not you have a physical or mental health diagnosis.

If you do have a mental health diagnosis, you can apply for service in the following ways:

  • You can apply for a medical waiver, which permits you to join the military with a medical waiver.
  • You can apply for a medical certificate, which permits you to join the military with a medical certificate.
  • You can apply under the “Military Service Member with a Disability” category, which permits you to join the military for an approved period of time.

To apply:

  • You must apply for service in the military service branch where you have a mental health disorder or mental illness.
  • You must complete an application.
  • You must be an active-duty service member, or an active-duty reserve component member who is not an immediate family member of a service member.
  • You must be diagnosed by a physician.

You cannot apply for service in a different branch of the military if you have a mental health diagnosis.

You can be diagnosed with a mental health disorder or mental illness, but not both.

If you have a mental health condition, you cannot be diagnosed with both a mental health disorder and a mental health condition.

How long do I have to wait before I can join?

You may be able to enlist in the military immediately after you receive a diagnosis of a mental health disorder.

However, you will be considered under a special category called a medical waiver, which means you will need to wait a certain amount of time to serve in the military.

You receive a medical waiver if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are a current active-duty service member.
  • You are an active-duty service member who is not an immediate family member of a service member.
  • You are diagnosed with a mental health disorder, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or anxiety disorder, and you are in active-duty status.

You’ll have to wait at least six months after you receive a medical waiver before you can enlist in the military.

You can receive a medical waiver for up to 36 months, and then you can apply for a medical certificate.

You’ll also have to wait at least six months from the date you receive a medical waiver before you can apply for medical discharge.

You can receive a medical certificate for up to 36 months, and then you can apply for an enlistment contract.

How long will it take to receive my medical certificate?

You’ll have to wait at least six months after you receive a medical waiver before you can begin the process of getting your medical certificate.

To get the medical certificate, you must pay the $200 fee for the certificate.

You’ll then have to undergo another six-month wait.

How long will it take to receive my medical discharge?

You’ll have to wait at least six months after you receive a medical certificate to begin the process of getting your medical discharge.

To get your medical discharge, you must complete a medical discharge request form.

You’ll have to present this form along with the $200 fee when you apply for the medical certificate.

How long will it take to receive my enlistment contract?

You’ll have a six-month waiting period to apply for your enlistment contract.

You’ll need to pay the $200 fee for the enlistment contract.

How long do I have to serve before I can be discharged?

If you are granted a medical discharge, you will be required to serve a maximum of 36 months before you can be discharged.

You must serve at least six months with a medical discharge, and you may be required to serve an additional six months in the military.

If you are granted a medical certificate, you must serve a maximum of 36 months before you can be released from active duty.

You may be required to serve an additional three months in the military.

How can I qualify for a medical discharge?

You can qualify for a medical discharge by:

  • Receiving the medical waiver.
  • Receiving a medical certificate.

What is the difference between a medical waiver and a medical certificate?

Medical waiver: You must use a medical waiver to qualify for a medical discharge.

Medical waiver: You must provide the military with information about your mental health condition.

Medical certificate: You must provide the military with a certificate stating that you have a mental health condition.

What are the benefits of getting a medical discharge?

If you get a medical discharge, you will be eligible to receive a disability rating of zero percent.

If you are granted a medical certificate, you will be eligible to receive a disability rating of 10 percent.

If you are released from active duty, you can receive an active-duty pay rate.

Also, if you are released from active duty, you can receive an Armed Forces Reserve (AFRES) pay rate.

What are the costs of getting a medical discharge?

If you qualify for a medical waiver, you will have to pay the $200 fee for the waiver.

If you qualify for a medical certificate, you will have to pay the $200 fee.

How much does it cost to get a medical discharge?

If you qualify for a medical waiver, you will have to pay the $200 fee.

Epilogue

A medical waiver is not a guarantee that you can’t be discharged.

You will still have to serve a maximum of 36 months before you can be released from active duty.

The same is true of a medical certificate.

If you qualify, you will have to pay the $200 for the certificate.

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