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Discharges and the VA

How a Negative Military Discharge Will Affect Veteran’s (VA) Benefits.

There are many misconceptions about negative military discharges and one’s eligibility for VA benefits. These misconceptions are unfortunate as they may deter otherwise eligible veterans from even applying for benefits.

For example, many people believe if a service member receives a Bad-Conduct Discharge (BCD), he or she will be ineligible for veteran status and all the accompanying benefits. This is not true.  For example, when the BCD was NOT from a General Court-Martial and not based on certain specific misconduct, then the service member may achieve veteran status and be eligible for most VA benefits, other than G.I. Bill education benefits.

Likewise, it is a commonly held notion that receiving an Other Than Honorable Discharge (OTH) robs the service member of veteran status entirely. This also is incorrect. For example, so long as the service member did not receive the OTH for certain misconduct such as, being a conscientious objector or to avoid court-martial, then veteran status can be achieved and that service member may be eligible for all VA benefits other than G.I. Bill education benefits. Additionally, even if the service member is unable to achieve veteran status, he or she may still be eligible for service-connected healthcare benefits.

If you have negative discharge which you believe makes you ineligible for VA benefits, you should think about consulting with an experienced military attorney. Even if your negative discharge makes you ineligible currently, there may be other options such attempting to upgrade your discharge and then re-applying to the VA.

Contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation using the form below or by calling us at (808)358-7318

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