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Medical Rejection: How to Appeal? [Merged]

CFMark

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So, I passed all the tests (Force test and all), did the interview for becoming an officer yet during my medical test made the mistake of saying I hurt my knee after the Force test (incidentally, I beat out a 19 year old...I'm 45!). I DID say that I'm doing physio and everything told me was that I'd be fine in time for Fall basic training.

I got a letter rejecting my application because of my knee!! (remember, I told them my doctor/ physiotherapist said I'd be good to go). The letter is extremely vague in terms of my options for appealing and even who to address questions, clarifications, or what specifically needs to be sent over to get their...pardon my language...head out of their #@!*&!

Sorry if I'm venting....just want to get on with this.
 

da1root

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Get in touch with your recruiting centre and ask to speak with the Medical Staff; they can give you more direction on what exactly you need to do.
Since you did the FORCE test prior to BMQ/BMOQ you're applying to the PRes so you should also engage your Unit Recruiter as they could have further information for you as well.
 

Scott1867

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medicineman said:
You'll need to prove you're euthyroid and continue to remain that way...might benefit to have a letter from an endocrinologist attesting to the same, but that could take some time to get into one.

MM

Thank you for the advice.  I have been contacting the medical staff at the recruiting office periodically for about three weeks since I recieved my denial letter.  Is it normal to not hear back from them for this long regarding my appeal process?  Also, what would you recommend I do in the meantime i.e. get more periodic bloodwork done (TSH,TPO), doctors letters, meeting with an endocrinologist?  What questions/requests should I ask/make of the endo?  Any assistance would be appreciated.

Best,

Scott
 

Smith7000

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I'm going to be appealing the unfit ruling on my medical file. I'll be submitting documents in about two weeks. I was told it may take up to 6 months for a decision to be made on the appeal, yet I was told the same thing about my initial medical decision which only took 2 weeks. Do appeals always take a greater amount of time to process, even if you have made a strong case for your condition in your appeal?
 

BeyondTheNow

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Smith7000 said:
I'm going to be appealing the unfit ruling on my medical file. I'll be submitting documents in about two weeks. I was told it may take up to 6 months for a decision to be made on the appeal, yet I was told the same thing about my initial medical decision which only took 2 weeks. Do appeals always take a greater amount of time to process, even if you have made a strong case for your condition in your appeal?

Waiting time can vary simply because of the volume of files Ottawa might be dealing with at the time. Their overall load may be a bit lighter at times for various reasons, resulting in word coming down much faster than expected. When an approximate time frame is given, it's usually because that's what those providing the info have been advised is the average at the moment, or they're going off past experience. If info arrives faster, it's a plus. Sometimes it can take longer. Either way, there are many variables, so one just has to be patient.
 

Smith7000

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BeyondTheNow said:
Waiting time can vary simply because of the volume of files Ottawa might be dealing with at the time. Their overall load may be a bit lighter at times for various reasons, resulting in word coming down much faster than expected. When an approximate time frame is given, it's usually because that's what those providing the info have been advised is the average at the moment, or they're going offr past experience. If info arrives faster, it's a plus. Sometimes it can take longer. Either way, there are many variables, so one just has to be patient.

Thanks for the reply.
My understanding of the time it takes to process medicals is that if you are in good health, your file is processed at an expedited rate. I've also learned that appeals are given very low priority. If your appeal makes a strong case for your good health, is your appeal expedited as an initial medical would be?
 

BeyondTheNow

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Smith7000 said:
Thanks for the reply.
My understanding of the time it takes to process medicals is that if you are in good health, your file is processed at an expedited rate. I've also learned that appeals are given very low priority. If your appeal makes a strong case for your good health, is your appeal expedited as an initial medical would be?

You’re welcome. Unfortunately I can’t answer that question with any detail; I’m only aware of most processes at that level in fairly general terms. Hopefully someone will be along shortly who can offer more assistance.
 

medicineman

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Smith7000 said:
Thanks for the reply.
If your appeal makes a strong case for your good health, is your appeal expedited as an initial medical would be?

I would have to say no...largely from experience of being on the end generating the medical, but also because of a family member the was getting a run around through the appeal process.  There are 3 general piles of files that come from the CFRC's - "Recommend Immediate Enrollment", "Further Investigation Required" and "No Friggin Way".  Appeals end up in the middle file - which, by and large, is the largest pile to go through and they are gotten to when and as they can and are heavily scrutinized - such as is the person writing it from a Doc in the Box that was collecting their $50 fee to write what you want them to say vs someone that's known you for some time?  Or a person that was in fact in the military vs someone who hasn't the slightest knowledge of what is required of a soldier at even the most basic of levels?  I remember once I was actually the person doing that for someone - because of my previous life, my comments were taken into consideration even though I wasn't their primary care giver...I did however I actually had access to their chart, which also made things a bit more credible; that's the exception though.

Hope that helps.

MM
 

Smith7000

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medicineman said:
I would have to say no...largely from experience of being on the end generating the medical, but also because of a family member the was getting a run around through the appeal process.  There are 3 general piles of files that come from the CFRC's - "Recommend Immediate Enrollment", "Further Investigation Required" and "No Friggin Way".  Appeals end up in the middle file - which, by and large, is the largest pile to go through and they are gotten to when and as they can and are heavily scrutinized - such as is the person writing it from a Doc in the Box that was collecting their $50 fee to write what you want them to say vs someone that's known you for some time?  Or a person that was in fact in the military vs someone who hasn't the slightest knowledge of what is required of a soldier at even the most basic of levels?  I remember once I was actually the person doing that for someone - because of my previous life, my comments were taken into consideration even though I wasn't their primary care giver...I did however I actually had access to their chart, which also made things a bit more credible; that's the exception though.

Hope that helps.

MM
Thanks a lot for the detailed response.
Based on what you've said I can only assume that my file would have initially made its way into the "further investigation required" pile and it was processed in 2 weeks.

I was denied based on unknown likelihood of recurrence and am seeing my doctor(the same doctor who initially made the diagnosis) in the coming weeks. If she states that my likelihood of recurrence is low then there should be no reason to deny my medical as far as I can tell and it would also seem to me that I should be put in the "recommend immediate enrolment" pile at which point.

But who knows, I could of course be denied for another reason that was not stated in my rejection letter or at the very least be put into that "further investigation required" pile for a different reason.
 

PuckChaser

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To be realistic here, you've self stated multiple treatments for depression, which seems to be why you were rejected. You're now applying for a job in a highly stressful occupation that is causing individuals to have mental health issues in some cases right from BMQ onwards. Unless your doctor is former or current service,  they'd have no idea what you're signing up to do.

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Smith7000

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PuckChaser said:
To be realistic here, you've self stated multiple treatments for depression, which seems to be why you were rejected. You're now applying for a job in a highly stressful occupation that is causing individuals to have mental health issues in some cases right from BMQ onwards. Unless your doctor is former or current service,  they'd have no idea what you're signing up to do.

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So I take it you're saying I don't have a chance at a successful appeal.
Why even allow me to appeal then? The RMO isn't even requesting that I see a psychiatrist, just that my doctor says that I am not at a high risk of recurrence.
The RMO also could have stated that I cannot appeal for a year or more, but instead said that I am eligible to appeal as of January 2020.

To give me requirements to appeal but still be ineligible if said requirements are met seems cruel.
 

Eye In The Sky

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No one is saying you have no chance.  Go back and read his post.  Then read it again.

If you can appeal, and you want to, do it.  Or don't do it.  None of us on here are going to give you the thumbs up/down.

"Cruel".  Or, fair.  An appeal is no guarantee you will succeed, or fail.  It's a chance to provide more info for consideration.  Don't go getting all upset;  you've been given the opportunity to provide something that could be considered "representation"...it's part of procedural fairness.  Not cruelty.

Roll the dice, or don't but whatever the outcome, you can't necessarily hold the CAF responsible for your history, right?  Right.

Goof luck.

 

Smith7000

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Eye In The Sky said:
No one is saying you have no chance.  Go back and read his post.  Then read it again.

If you can appeal, and you want to, do it.  Or don't do it.  None of us on here are going to give you the thumbs up/down.

"Cruel".  Or, fair.  An appeal is no guarantee you will succeed, or fail.  It's a chance to provide more info for consideration.  Don't go getting all upset;  you've been given the opportunity to provide something that could be considered "representation"...it's part of procedural fairness.  Not cruelty.

Roll the dice, or don't but whatever the outcome, you can't necessarily hold the CAF responsible for your history, right?  Right.

Goof luck.

Thank you for the response.

I am absolutely going to appeal until I am no longer able to generate any new evidence of my health.

I promise I am not upset and I understand that no one is responsible for my past but myself.

What I mean by 'cruel' is as follows:
The RMO states that my risk of recurrence is unknown and therefore cannot pass my medical. The RMO requests a letter from my doctor that states that my risk of recurrence is low. If I then provide that letter, along with as much additional evidence I can produce and am deemed to still be at risk of recurrence and must then pursue a psychiatric evaluation to deem my risk to be low...it seems cruel to give me this runaround when I could have just been told to get a psych eval initially.

RMO:please produce X, Y is not necessary at this time
Me: Produces X
6 months later
RMO: Please produce Y, as X is not enough at this time.
And then I must wait an additional 6 months minimum to produce Y.

My point is that I've been told what I need to produce, and was under the assumption that should it be produced and RMO's request be met, that should be substantial but of course this is entirely subjective as it relates to mental health. I would rather wait 6-12 months from now to have a stronger case produced by a specialist than waste the next 6 months waiting for my GP's letter to not be sufficient and then begin the waiting game for a psychiatrist.

I've learned how to manage stress and avoid depressive issues. A history of depression is not necessarily indicative of a future of depression. In fact, my past issues have allowed me to build a solid foundation and learn coping mechanisms. It's also shown me that I never want to be in a position where I need to rely on psychotropic medication because the physical and mental side effects are not worth the main effects. Especially when thrre are natural ways to overcome many mental problems.

I understand this is all done to not only protect me, but those I will hopefully be working with one day and that I am not entitled to a job with the CAF.

I regret the way I may have come off in the previous posts. I absolutely do not mean to sound whiny or entitled. I just don't want to waste he next 6 months waiting for a denial when I could be waiting to see a specialist.
 

PuckChaser

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I'm not sure, but I don't think you're going to appeal 3, 4 or 5 times. This might be your only shot, so fill it full of facts and documentation you deem relevant to give you the best case to overturn the decision. During the initial recruiting process, they're only going to ask you for certain documentation as the goal is to fast-track files with no, or easily/already remedied issues. When you're appealing, they're doing a deep-dive where all of a sudden the documentation is far more relevant as MM stated.

Yep, the process looks cruel. Welcome to the real world, and welcome to the CAF. You are just a number (or service number) and policies are designed to be uncaring to your personal feelings and rely as much as possible on facts and unbending processes. This does not change if you make it through the process and put your beret on for the first time at St. Jean. The system will test your new coping strategies more than you think.

If you're thinking you need to see a specialist to get properly cleared that your mental health concerns are truly behind you, then my personal advice is to hold off on your appeal and get that higher medical authority clearance to submit with your paperwork.
 

BDTyre

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When I was rejected for childhood asthma, I appealed it. I performed the diagnostic testing the RMO required, had a positive outcome and a note from a pulmonary specialist stating he saw no evidence of asthma. I was rejected and stated I need to carry out a different diagnostic test. I did, and was told I could go no further in the test because I reached the maximum and there was clearly no sign of asthma. I sent the results off to the RMO and was rejected again, and again was asked to carry out a third diagnostic test (note that all three were different tests). I did so, and was told - again - absolutely no signs of asthma and that the only put in doing this test further would be to measure my heart rate at varying levels of fitness, which the test was not designed for. I sent this third set of results off and was finally accept.

Now given that the RMO rejected me on the basis of childhood exercise induced asthma, could they have just skipped the first two tests and had me take the last test, the one for exercise induced asthma? Sure. But they didn't. Could they have sent me a single note telling me to complete all three tests and then send them the results all in one go? Sure. But they didn't. And they had there reasons, which I can only speculate on.

Now keep in mind this is specific to my case, so your case may be different.

1) The initial test was a pulmonary function test. By doing this test first and sending the results in before anything else, they confirmed my lungs were functioning properly and my past asthma was not a result of poor lung function.

2) The second test was a methacholine challenge. My lungs work properly, now they want to rule out environmental factors.

3) Having ruled out environmental factors, now they can say for sure that my past asthma was exercise induced and have me do the exercise test to rule it out.

Yes, all three could have be done and then the results sent in. But if I failed the first or second test, why waste my time with the third. And if they only had my exercise test, what would happen if I ended up having an asthma attack while working when I hadn't been exercising?

As well, the fact I followed what they said and didn't just call it quits because they rejected me and made me appeal again with another test shows that I was determined to follow through and was capable of understanding what I being asked to do...important things when going through BMQ.

I can't speak to your individual case but yes, you may get multiple rejection letters with new instructions on how to appeal each time. If you truly believe you can be accepted and are prepared to back it up with professional medical evidence, then follow along with what they ask of you.
 

Smith7000

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Thank you both for the information.

CanadianTire,  having the testing system set up in that way makes a lot of sense. If my current doctor were to say my risk of recurrence is high then why put a strain on a specialist's schedule that I wouldn't be seeing otherwise.

And even if my doctor says I'm low risk, having another rejection and subsequent testing required is a test of my mental health in itself.

This is positive information. I'll make an appointment with a psychiatrist for when I'm likely denied again.

I'll post on here again when I receive my second letter.
 

medicineman

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CanadianTire said:
When I was rejected for childhood asthma, I appealed it. I performed the diagnostic testing the RMO required, had a positive outcome and a note from a pulmonary specialist stating he saw no evidence of asthma. I was rejected and stated I need to carry out a different diagnostic test. I did, and was told I could go no further in the test because I reached the maximum and there was clearly no sign of asthma. I sent the results off to the RMO and was rejected again, and again was asked to carry out a third diagnostic test (note that all three were different tests). I did so, and was told - again - absolutely no signs of asthma and that the only put in doing this test further would be to measure my heart rate at varying levels of fitness, which the test was not designed for. I sent this third set of results off and was finally accept.

Now given that the RMO rejected me on the basis of childhood exercise induced asthma, could they have just skipped the first two tests and had me take the last test, the one for exercise induced asthma? Sure. But they didn't. Could they have sent me a single note telling me to complete all three tests and then send them the results all in one go? Sure. But they didn't. And they had there reasons, which I can only speculate on.

Now keep in mind this is specific to my case, so your case may be different.

1) The initial test was a pulmonary function test. By doing this test first and sending the results in before anything else, they confirmed my lungs were functioning properly and my past asthma was not a result of poor lung function.

2) The second test was a methacholine challenge. My lungs work properly, now they want to rule out environmental factors.

3) Having ruled out environmental factors, now they can say for sure that my past asthma was exercise induced and have me do the exercise test to rule it out.

Yes, all three could have be done and then the results sent in. But if I failed the first or second test, why waste my time with the third. And if they only had my exercise test, what would happen if I ended up having an asthma attack while working when I hadn't been exercising?

As well, the fact I followed what they said and didn't just call it quits because they rejected me and made me appeal again with another test shows that I was determined to follow through and was capable of understanding what I being asked to do...important things when going through BMQ.

I can't speak to your individual case but yes, you may get multiple rejection letters with new instructions on how to appeal each time. If you truly believe you can be accepted and are prepared to back it up with professional medical evidence, then follow along with what they ask of you.

Kind of the same crap and abuse that my eldest went through...serial negative tests but the clown at the RMO said he had asthma...so I told him to write a polite but firm letter saying that the person who was the actual consultant in respiratory medicine probably forgot more about his own job than the GDMO at the RMO knew.  I also suggested he intimate that refusing to acknowledge the specialist's notes, diagnosis and recommendation would likely result in a Ministerial Inquiry - I was hair's width from sending a letter to the CDS and the Minister regarding people that they're hiring that are giving the enrollment process and the CAF in general a really bad name.

Two weeks later, they're updating his medical and interview and was in St Jean a week after that...but this was the culmination of 7 years or so of BS in a system I'm ashamed to say I used to work in.  I have to give him credit for persevering - he's currently finishing 5th week.

MM
 

Smith7000

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I'm very surprised how quick hey are to turn down applicants for health reasons. The recruitment medical sections of the CAF seems like the biggest barrier to entry in a system that needs to keep up with a 5-10% annual attrition rate. Would it not be easier to hire or contract different specialists to conduct medical testing for the CAF? They could test applicants and know exactly what they're applying for and how it relates to their current health. They could even charge applicants for visits...
 

BDTyre

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Medicineman, I 100% get the frustration. At the time I was very unhappy with how it played out and while now I understand (I think) why it went that way, it doesn't mean I'm happy about it.

The entire process took me, I would say, almost a year. I was sworn in 1 year and 51 weeks after applying and most of those 51 weeks were spent waiting for a letter in the mail that told me what the next step was. The three appointments quite literally could have been done in the same day, even though they were split over two different hospitals. Even just being able to get an update on the phone would have sped things up, but no...everything had to be done through the mail (which I also understand).

But at the time I felt following instructions was the best course of action as I was confident I could be accepted, and it did pay off. I think had I been given a final rejection. I would have been much angrier about it.

medicineman said:
Kind of the same crap and abuse that my eldest went through...serial negative tests but the clown at the RMO said he had asthma...so I told him to write a polite but firm letter saying that the person who was the actual consultant in respiratory medicine probably forgot more about his own job than the GDMO at the RMO knew.  I also suggested he intimate that refusing to acknowledge the specialist's notes, diagnosis and recommendation would likely result in a Ministerial Inquiry - I was hair's width from sending a letter to the CDS and the Minister regarding people that they're hiring that are giving the enrollment process and the CAF in general a really bad name.

Two weeks later, they're updating his medical and interview and was in St Jean a week after that...but this was the culmination of 7 years or so of BS in a system I'm ashamed to say I used to work in.  I have to give him credit for persevering - he's currently finishing 5th week.

MM
 

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Smith7000 said:
I'm very surprised how quick hey are to turn down applicants for health reasons. The recruitment medical sections of the CAF seems like the biggest barrier to entry in a system that needs to keep up with a 5-10% annual attrition rate. Would it not be easier to hire or contract different specialists to conduct medical testing for the CAF? They could test applicants and know exactly what they're applying for and how it relates to their current health. They could even charge applicants for visits...
No, we waste enough money running fat camp for people who can't pass the easiest PT test in NATO. Do you know how much money we'd waste giving every random Canadian a specialist appt that takes normal Canadians 6 months to get?

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