Can you join the military with a 504 plan?

Joining hands to protect the country is often an aspiration for many students. Be it armed forces, military, navy, or air force, the responsibility can give a sense of pride to the serving individuals. To join the military, a candidate is obligated to have sound health- not only physical but also mental. There are a number of other eligibility regulations that clearly define the criteria. 

Candidates with 504 plans may be confused if they are eligible for the military. Thankfully a few resources point out the link between 504 and the military. In the following post, you will be able to traverse through all the relevant insights to determine if you can join the military with a 504 plan. 

504 Plan- Understanding important provisions

The Office of Civil Rights put forward Section 504 of the Rehabilitation act to take out the difference in children on the basis of their disabilities. Under this provision, this office provided financial assistance to public school districts, higher education academics, and other education-related agencies to ensure FAPE to eligible students. Here are some important provisions of the 504 plan we need to comprehend here:

  • It ensures modifications in the study environment to support the better performance of the student.
  • Sometimes, the style of teaching is transformed to simplify and to the way the special children can easily discern it.
  • The curriculum often stays unaffected, but the presentation is optimized for the child. 
  • When the student needs support, irrespective of their age, special provisions are provided to them. It is highlighted that even in postsecondary education, a student with a disability can avail of these provisions to meet the requisite standards for admissions and academic participation. 
  • It covers multiple conditions like ADHD, Bi-Polar Disorder, Anxiety, and various learning disabilities.

Understanding the above postulates, one can make out the status of 504 students and their efficiency in multiple fields. 

Military provisions relevant to the 504 plan

Special students with the assistance of the 504 plan may often doubt their ability in military positions. To get a clear idea about the same here we need to comprehend a few insights derived from the 2018 report on medical standards for military service. 

This report clearly mentions who is eligible or not eligible for the military career. Here are some important inferences worth comprehending:

  • It is highlighted that a person with ADHD having an IEP or 504 plan after the age of 14th birthday is not eligible. Apart from this, the candidate may not be eligible if they have been on medication for the past 24 months or have a history of comorbid mental disorders.
  • A person is not eligible if they have any learning disorder (like Dyslexia and Dyscalculia) if they have accommodations of IEP or 504 plan even after their 14th birthday or have a history of comorbid mental disorder. 

These conditions clearly denote whether a person with a 504 plan can aspire for the military with conditions clearly given out.  If an aspirant fits into any of the above postulates, they may not be eligible for a military career. 

Can you join the military with a 504 plan?

No, you cannot join the military with an active 504 plan in hand. If an aspirant has a running 504 or IEP plan, they are not eligible to join the defense. If a child aspires to join the national armed forces, they must wind up their assistive plans within the age of 14. This way, they can be eligible. Also, having a comorbid mental disorder can also hamper a student with 504 histories from entering the military. 

If a student continues to have a 504 plan after their 14th birthday, they can prefer to choose other apt fields where they can fit into irrespective of their inabilities. 

Before we wind up….

NO, an individual holding a 504 plan is not eligible for joining the military. Continuing to have planned even in secondary and college life, students should look into career options that can be fruitful for them, as well as ease out their life. Say, the learning disabled can check out creative fields where they can excel effortlessly. 

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