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Are young men with disabilities required to
register for the selective service (military draft)?

Who would be called first?
A lottery starts with 19 year olds and moves through the age groups until age 26. When enough individuals have been drafted, they’re called for evaluations to determine eligibility.

Does registering or not registering for the draft affect my son’s eligibility for programs and benefits?
By registering, your son remains eligible to take advantage of certain programs and benefits that Congress has linked to a man’s Selective Service registration, such as student financial aid, federal employment, and job training under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (formerly known as the Workforce Investment Act).

What disabilities qualify a man for an exemption?
For a full list of physical, mental, learning, and behavior disorders, and the conditions that must be met in order for them to be disqualifying, please see the Department of Defense Instruction 6130.03 (Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Military Services). For any of these conditions, verifying documentation would need to be provided. But remember, this would only be in the case of a draft AND if the man’s number was called in the lottery.

What if my son wants to serve?
A young adult with a diagnosis of a disability (for instance Autism) can certainly volunteer; however, a verified diagnosis will probably mean he or she would be turned down.

Still have questions? Visit https://www.sss.gov/ or call 1-847-688-6888