22 CFR 305.4 - Medical status eligibility standard.
(a)Requirements. Under the Peace Corps Act ( 22 U.S.C. 2504(e)), the Peace Corps is responsible for ensuring that Peace Corps Volunteers receive all necessary or appropriate health care during their service. To ensure that the Peace Corps will be capable of doing so, Applicants must be medically qualified for Peace Corps Volunteer service. An Applicant who is otherwise qualified must meet the following requirements:
(1) The Applicant, with or without reasonable accommodation, removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids or services, must have the physical and mental capacity required to meet the essential eligibility requirements for a Volunteer. In this context, the essential eligibility requirements for a Volunteer include, without limitation, the capability to:
(i) Live and work independently in an isolated location overseas at the same socio-economic level and in similar conditions as members of the community to which the Applicant is assigned;
(ii) Perform the job to which the Applicant is assigned; and
(iii) Complete a specified tour of service without undue disruption.
(2) The Peace Corps must be capable of providing the Applicant with such health care as the Peace Corps deems to be necessary or appropriate.
(3) The Applicant must not pose a direct threat (as defined in paragraph (c) of this section).
(b)Individualized assessment. In determining whether an Applicant is medically qualified, an individualized assessment is required regarding each of the requirements set forth in paragraph (a) of this section.
(1) A “direct threat” is a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a reasonable accommodation to policies, practices or procedures, removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids or services.
(2) In determining whether an applicant poses a direct threat, the Peace Corps will make an individualized assessment based on reasonable judgment that relies on current medical knowledge or on the best available objective evidence to ascertain:
(i) The nature, duration and severity of the risk;
(ii) The probability that the potential injury will actually occur; and
(iii) Whether reasonable accommodations, removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids or services will mitigate the risk.
(1) The term “accommodation” means modifications to the Peace Corps' policies, practices or procedures.
(2) An accommodation is not reasonable if:
(i) It would modify the essential eligibility requirements for a Volunteer;
(ii) It would modify, among other things, the Applicant's Volunteer assignment or the Peace Corps' medical program in a way that would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the service, program, or activity; or
(iii) It would impose an undue financial and administrative burden on the operations of the Peace Corps, including its medical program.
(3) In determining whether an accommodation would impose an undue financial and administrative burden on the operations of the Peace Corps, the Peace Corps may take into account, among other things:
(i) The size and composition of the Peace Corps staff at the post of assignment;
(ii) The adequacy of local medical facilities and the availability of other medical facilities;
(iii) The nature and cost of the accommodation compared to the overall number of Volunteers and the overall size of the Peace Corps budget; and
(iv) The capacities of the host country agency and of the host community to which the Applicant would be assigned.
(e)Medical status eligibility review.
(1) An Applicant who is determined by medical screening staff not to be medically qualified for Peace Corps Volunteer service may request review of that decision by submitting any relevant information to the Office of Medical Services (OMS). The information submitted by the Applicant will be reviewed by a physician, and, unless the physician determines that the Applicant is medically qualified, by a Pre-Service Review Board (PSRB) composed of medical personnel in OMS and advised by the General Counsel. Procedures for such review are subject to approval by the General Counsel.
(2) The PSRB will include as voting members at least one physician as well as other medical professionals in OMS. In any case involving review of issues involving mental health, at least one mental health professional from the Counseling and Outreach Unit will also participate as a voting member.
(3) The decision of the PSRB will be reviewed by the General Counsel for legal sufficiency. Subject to that review, it will constitute the final agency action.