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Hair Loss During Military Duty Merits Compensation

   If a solider incurs illness causing hair loss during mandatory military service, should the nation compensate him or not? A court ruled the government should recognize him as a man of merit so that he can be entitled to some benefits provided by the government. A 26-year-old man, Kwon, who joined the army in […]

Written by haircentre

Posted on: February 28, 2008

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If a solider incurs illness causing hair loss during mandatory military service, should the nation compensate him or not? A court ruled the government should recognize him as a man of merit so that he can be entitled to some benefits provided by the government.

A 26-year-old man, Kwon, who joined the army in December 2002, had three patches of circular balding in July, 2004, while he was training in hot weather. But he could not take immediate treatments as he was on a 10-day exercise. He received treatment after training but had lost about 80 percent of his hair.

After his condition showed no improvement, Kwon was hospitalized for better treatment, from November that year through January 2005 when he was discharged from military service.

The hair loss has expanded to his whole body since, including his eyebrows.

After the discharge, Kwon filed an application to the regional office of the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs to be recognized as a national meritorious man, saying he got the depilatory disease due to stress from the military service, including having to wear helmets in sultry weather.

But the office rejected his application in April 2006, saying the disorder was unrelated to military duty.

Kwon filed a suit with a district court in Suwon, and the local court ruled in his favor. “The hair loss seems to have occurred due to stress from his duties, considering symptoms appeared 21 months after entering the army and he did not have any diseases which may have caused the balding,” the court said in the ruling.

Similar suits are expected to follow, as Kwon said two of his peers had circular hair loss as well during training.

Once recognized as a person of national merit, one is eligible to a national pension and various other government benefits.

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