# 2013-110 - Medical Employment Limitation (MEL), Release - Medical

Medical Employment Limitation (MEL), Release - Medical

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2014–03–26

Following a heart attack, the grievor was assigned permanent medical employment limitations (MELs), including one deemed to be a “high risk” chronic medical condition. The Director Military Careers Administration (DMCA) determined that the MELs were not compliant with the Universality of Service (U of S) principle and, ultimately, that the grievor was to be released medically.

The grievor contended that the MELs were not supported by his medical documents or his physician, and that it was unclear what the Director Medical Policy (D Med Pol) meant by a “high risk” chronic medical condition. Although he eventually requested an expedited release to accept a civilian job, the grievor insisted that his medical release was unlawful and that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) released him because he was an “injured” soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder. As remedy, the grievor requested that his MELs be amended and that he receive financial compensation.

There was no Initial Authority (IA) decision because the grievor denied an IA request for an extension to complete the review of the grievance.

The Committee obtained additional clarification from the D Med Pol and the DMCA, regarding the grievor's MELs and why those MELs were found to be non-compliant with the U of S principle. Based on the detailed explanation provided by the D Med Pol as the medical subject matter expert for the CAF , the Committee was satisfied that the D Med Pol conducted a thorough review of the grievor's medical file before assigning the MELs, and that, contrary to the grievor's assertion, he was considered to be in the severe disease category. Further, the MELs took into account that the grievor had failed to control certain risk factors which were within his ability to control, such as high cholesterol and continuing to smoke. The Committee was satisfied that the grievor received appropriate medical care and found that the MELs assigned by the D Med Pol were reasonable and valid.

Regarding the medical release decision, the grievor asserted that the DMCA should have reviewed his medical file as part of a full administrative review process. The Committee disagreed, finding that the D Med Pol was the proper authority to review the medical file and that the DMCA was then required to determine whether the assigned MELs were compliant with the U of S principle. The Committee agreed with the DMCA determination that two of the assigned MELs were non-compliant and found that the grievor's medical release was warranted. Finally, the Committee found that the grievor was not unfairly denied transition support services, observing that his request for an expedited release while foregoing his vocational rehabilitation benefits indicated that his transition needs were not complex.

The Committee recommended that the grievance be denied.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2014–07–29

The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievance be denied.

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