MILITARY PERSONNEL, Honorable discharge, Medically unfit
CITE AS: Krauseneck v Department of the Army, Tuscola Circuit Court, No. 03-21657-AE (February 3, 2004)
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Kyle J. Krauseneck
Employer: Department of the Army
Docket No. B2002-15115-RO1-166448W
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: When a person is honorably discharged from military service before completing 365 days or more of continuous service, and that individual was discharged for being medically unfit, he or she is eligible for benefits. But if the reason for the honorable early discharge had been failure to meet physical standards, i.e. height, weight or physical fitness, then the person would be ineligible for benefits.
FACTS: Claimant was honorably discharged from the Army after serving six months of active duty. The Army discharged claimant for failing to meet “procurement medical fitness standards.” Claimant filed for benefits.
DECISION: Claimant was discharged because of a medical disqualification pursuant to 20 CFR 614.2(2)(ii)(B).
RATIONALE: In cases involving individuals whose credit weeks are based on service in the military, the military determines who is and who is not eligible pursuant to Section 11(h). Pursuant to 20 CFR 614.2(2)(ii)(D) an honorably discharged service member is eligible for benefits for “inaptitude” if the service was continuous for 365 days or more. Pursuant to 20 CFR 614.2(2)(ii)(B), a service member discharged for completing his terms of active service because of “medical disqualification” is eligible for benefits without having to have served 365 days or more. In this case, the claimant underwent a medical examination by a physician, and the physician determined that claimant was medically unfit for further service under the Army’s medical fitness standards. This case does not involve the claimant’s failure to meet the Army’s physical fitness standards or failing to meet the physical height and weight standards. The term ‘Physical Standards’ under 5 USC 8521(a)(1)(B)(ii)(IV) refers to the “basic height, weight and fully bodied entrance requirements plus the basic physical fitness requirements as measured by the Army’s bi-annual APFT and not to the findings by Army medical personnel as to whether [a service member] is medically unfit for continued service.”