Here's what you need to know about military discharge upgrades and character of service determinations.
How to Get a Military Discharge Upgrade
Some veterans want their discharge changed even if they remain eligible for many VA benefits, because they feel it dishonors the service they provided to their country.
Eligibility for VA Benefits Depending on Type of Military Discharge
Whether you are eligible for veterans benefits and VA health care benefits depends on the type of discharge you received when you left the military.
Eligibility for VA Benefits for Vets With Good Paper and Bad Paper
If you received a discharge under conditions "other than honorable," you ordinarily are not eligible for most VA benefits.
Getting a VA Character of Service Determination
If you are a veteran with bad paper, consider asking for a Character of Service Determination rather than a discharge upgrade or record correction.
Requesting Corrections to Veterans Military Records From the BCMR or DRB
You may want to request a correction in your military record or a change in the character of your military discharge.
Discharge Upgrades for Military Prisoners
You can’t apply for a discharge upgrade until you leave prison, but in the meantime you can gather the records you need.
Military Disability Rating Upgrades From the Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR)
If you are a veteran with a military rating lower than your VA disability rating, you can request an upgrade from PDBR.
How to Obtain Your VA Records
You have the right to your claims file, medical records, personnel records, incident reports, and toxic exposure reports. Here's how to get them.
Steps to Protect Your Rights to Veterans Benefits Before You Leave the Military
When you are still in the military and preparing to be discharged, you may not be thinking about applying for VA benefits or upgrading your discharge.
Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions: Get the Most out of Your Retirement & Medical Benefits
Nolo's book covers Medicaid rules for seniors and persons with disabilities.