MEPS Prescreens & Waivers


Jul 9, 2018
I've used the search function quite a bit and though there was a lot of threads on waivers and MEPS, I couldn't find an exact answer to my question.

My recruiter put in my prescreen to MEPS 29 days ago and said because it was over 150 pages of documentation, it would take around 30 days to get back. The reason for so many documents is because of the 3 surgeries I had (PCL reconstruction (right knee) 2014, Labrum repair (Left shoulder) 2016, Lateral release (left knee) 2017) and getting all the PT visits, post/pre operation docs and everything else required. I've looked at the AR 40-501 and I feel confident that I won't need a waiver since I can pass the flexibility tests and my shoulder/knees don't feel unstable. However, given how long this process has taken, going on my 2nd recruiter, the amount of surgeries i've had and reading through the MEPS horror stories, I'm preparing for it, just in case. Here's where I have a couple questions.

I asked my recruiter what the exact purpose of the prescreen was and if/when I needed a waiver, when would that be administered. I was told the prescreen was to identify any automatic disqualifying conditions and they'd determine whether I needed a waiver for my surgeries based off what was sent up with the prescreen. I found that a little odd that they'd determine if a waiver was needed without ever actually examining me in-person, so I called another recruiter to determine if that was accurate.

Recruiter #2 said that the prescreen was to determine if I had any disqualifying conditions (just like recruiter #1 mentioned), but that it had no affect on the waiver process. He said they basically want to make sure the surgeries in and of themselves were not disqualifying (multiple surgeries on the same thing, sawing off my leg, etc.) and that it only clears me to come up and take the physical (the waiver process would be determined by the results of the physical). So my questions are:

1. Who's right?

2. Are Medical Waivers a package deal, or based on each individual conditon? What I mean by that is, would there ever be a time when the recruiter might say something like "Hey, we got the waiver for your knee squared away, now were just waiting on your shoulder" or is a medical waiver an umbrella term for anything that you need waived (1 medical waiver for multiple surgeries)?

I apologize if this was already covered, I tried searching on here as best I could before posting.