Using Convalescent Leave

Rules to use convalescent leave
Convalescent leave is a nonchargeable absence from duty granted to expedite a soldier’s
return to full duty after illness, injury, or childbirth.

The hospital commander or designated representative is the approval authority for
convalescent leave for 30 days or less (42 days after normal pregnancy and childbirth). Only
hospital commanders will approve convalescent leave in excess of 42 days after childbirth when
a soldier is assigned or attached to the medical holding unit (AR 40–3, para 9–2) during one
continuous period of hospitalization. If the soldier is not hospitalized, unit commander is the
approval authority (AR 600-8-10 para 5–5).

The unit commander is the approval authority for up to 30 days convalescent leave (42 days
after normal pregnancy and childbirth) for a soldier returning to duty after illness or injury.
The approval authorities establish procedures for granting convalescent leave. Hospital
commanders are the only approval authority for requests in excess of 30 days (or in excess of
42 days for childbirth).

Rules to grant convalescent leave when soldiers return to unit after illness or injury
Unit commanders may grant up to a maximum of 30 days convalescent leave during one
continuous period to soldiers who have been returned to duty after illness or injury. This period
is extended to 42 days following pregnancy and childbirth. (Beyond 42 days, hospital
Commander is the only approval authority.)

Prior to approval—
(1) Obtain supporting recommendation from physician.
(2) Verify what, if any, convalescent leave soldier has had while assigned or attached to
hospital, only that portion is authorized which, when added to hospital-approved leave, will not
exceed 30 days or 42 days if the reason is pregnancy and childbirth.

(3) Require confirmation of attending physician’s recommendation for convalescent leave from
the hospital commander having administrative responsibility, if desirable.

Leave is authorized (ordinary, advance, excess, as applicable) for period between expiration of
convalescent leave and soldier’s return to parent organization when distance prevents
immediate return.

Soldiers are authorized 42 days after pregnancy and childbirth and—
(1) If soldier voluntarily desires to return to duty after less than 42 days leave, physician must
approve.

(2) A commander may require early return of a soldier if that soldier’s absence will clearly have
an adverse impact on readiness or operational mission of the soldier’s unit. A cognizant military
health authority must determine that such action is medically acceptable.

Soldiers granted convalescent leave for illness or injury incurred in the line of duty while eligible
to receive hostile fire and imminent danger pay under 37 USC 310 are entitled to funded travel
and transportation under 37 USC 411a. For more info See
AR 600-8-10 >
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