Discharge upgrades have gotten easier

#Middlebury #VetsPost

Veterans who want to upgrade their military discharge now have help. The Department of Veterans Affairs, working with the Department of Defense, has created a new online tool.

There are any number of reasons why a veteran might end up with a less-than-honorable discharge. Events that occurred due to traumatic brain injury, assault or harassment due to sexual orientation, and mental-health conditions such post-traumatic stress disorder are on the list.

For those veterans who wonder if it’s worth the bother trying to upgrade, the answer is yes. You’ll be eligible for the benefits you earned.

Go online to www.vets.gov/discharge-upgrade-instructions to the How to Apply for a Discharge Upgrade page. Based on your answers to questions, this tool will walk you through whom you need to contact, provide the forms and give tips on appealing your discharge. To begin, click on Get Started and answer all the questions. There are a number of choices under why you want to upgrade your discharge. Undiagnosed PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury are likely to be the most common reasons.

At the end of the questions you’ll get an initial reply. If it says you need to fill out a DoD Form 149, just scroll down to download it.

If you did apply and were approved, you’ll be issued a DD215. But you’ll want a new DD214 to reflect the changes. Check the instructions for how to get one. If you never did get a DD214, apply at the Get Started link.

Even if you don’t get an upgrade, you might be able to have your record changed via a Character of Discharge review process to “honorable for VA purposes.” But be aware, it can take nearly a year. Meanwhile, you still can ask for help for service-related conditions.

(c) 2018 King Features Synd. Inc.


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