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Military Convalescent Leave

What is military convalescent leave?

Military convalescent leave is, leave granted to a soldier as a result of an injury, illness or pregnancy. In most of these situations, the leave is for a period of 30 days. The soldier’s commanding officer may have the right to approve the leave. Given below are some of the questions that are asked about convalescent leave.

What can an officer do if a physician’s assistant gives their medical records to his/her Veterans Affairs (VA) without his/her approval when he/she is on convalescent leave?

In most situations, the law may not allow an officer to sue the government when he/she is on active duty. He/she may also not be able to sue his/her Veteran Affairs (VA) under The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for obtaining his/her medical records without his/her approval. However, the officer may be able to report the violation and his/her commander under Art 138, Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

Can a military doctor grant convalescent leave to a service member?

A military doctor may not have any rights to grant convalescent leave to a service member. The doctor may only advice the service member to take the leave. The leave may only be approved by the member’s commanding officer.

Can a marine be discharged for treating themselves with marijuana when on convalescent leave?

A marine may violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) if they treat themselves with marijuana when on convalescent leave. The forces have a zero tolerance drug policy and as a result he/she may also be subjected to discharge from the forces. However, in such a situation, the marine may have the right to face a board and get legal representation.

Can an individual who is on convalescent leave request for a medical discharge if he/she does not want to join duty after the leave?

An officer on convalescent leave may not have the right to choose medical discharge if he/she does not want to join duty. However, he/she may request for a discharge. Whether to approve the discharge or not is at the discretion of the commanding officer. The only time when an individual may be able force a separation is during pregnancy.

What can an individual do if he/she is refused convalescent leave in spite of having paperwork recommending the leave?

A service member may take up the issue with their commanding officer if he/she is refused convalescent leave in spite of have paperwork recommending it. If the commanding officer does not cooperate with him/her, he/she may file an Art 138 complaint against his/her officer.

What can an individual do if he/she was falsely accused of not coming to work when he/she was on convalescent leave?

If an individual has an accurate form for convalescent leave, he/she may use it as a defense if he/she was falsely accused for not coming to work.

Returning to duty after an injury or illness can be very difficult and can sometimes have adverse effects on your health. In such situations, you need to know whether you qualify for convalescent leave. It is important for you to know how you can apply for this leave. Not knowing the proper procedures can lead to violations of military rules and regulations. You may ask an Expert if you have any questions about convalescent leave or need more information about it.
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