How to Prevent a FAA Medical Denial?

  • ON Nov 14, 2020
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  • BY Anthony Ison
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  • IN Pilot Law

How to prevent a FAA medical denial is a question frequently asked of The Ison Law Firm by airmen. What is the most critical step to preventing a FAA medical denial? Preparation. Time and time again, airmen will complete their Form 8500-8, get examined by their Aviation Medical Examiner (“AME”), pay their fee to the AME, and then learn that their medical history requires “deferral” to and evaluation by the FAA’s Office of Aerospace Medicine in Oklahoma City. Then ensues the FAA’s evaluation of the airman’s eligibility for medical certification, including requests for records and, at times, a requirement to undergo testing, evaluation, monitoring, or even a requirement for the airman to provide a written statement. After months and months of waiting for a decision from the FAA, the airman is unfortunately denied medical certification. Was there a way to prevent the denial?

Airmen have a better (albeit not guaranteed) chance of avoiding FAA medical denial, if they are carefully prepared before their shadow darkens the AME’s door. Doing so puts the airman in the driver’s seat, or rather (hopefully), the left seat of an airplane. How so? Well, evaluation of the medical history and understanding what the FAA’s concerns are likely to be, can allow the airman to prepare necessary documentation ahead of time (rather than working on the FAA’s timetable and supposed needs) – including preparing appropriate statements from your doctors and, to an appropriate extent, developing an argument as to your eligibility for the FAA early in the process.

By doing so, the airman can then provide a compelling argument to the FAA for eligibility at the same time as the Form 8500-8/application is submitted. Instead of the FAA telling the airman what medical records they want to review, the airman can potentially make the argument for medical eligibility before the FAA feels the need to ask for anything. This way will cutdown on unnecessary “back and forth” with the FAA and potentially reduce the time it takes to get through the process (sometimes it takes the FAA up to two months before an airman even receives a letter after a deferred application). Learn more about the FAA’s deferral process, here: https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/aam/ame/guide/app_process/app_review/item62/

Ultimately, if an airman is prepared with a compelling argument as to eligibility at the time of application, the airman stands a much better chance of preventing a FAA medical denial. The airman’s ability to control the argument, rather than trying to keep up with the FAA’s requests can make the difference between being certified or not.

If you are wondering how to prevent a FAA medical denial, call an aviation attorney at The Ison Law Firm before you schedule an appointment with your AME. Through carefully preparing your case with an attorney, you may very well have a good shot at preventing a FAA medical denial. Look for more information from The Ison Law Firm, here: https://thepilotlawyer.com/faa-medical/