A character of service determination is a possible avenue for veterans to pursue VA care and benefits. The VA may award eligibility to veterans for all healthcare eligibility and benefits except the G.I. Bill.
WHAT IS A CHARACTER OF SERVICE DETERMINATION?
A character of service determination does not change the veteran’s discharge but does make them honorable for VA purposes. The VA may award eligibility to veterans for all healthcare eligibility and benefits except the G.I. Bill. This happens if the VA looks at your overall service and decides that it wasn’t “under dishonorable conditions.” This is called a Character of Discharge review.
HELP DISPEL MYTHS AND GIVE THE RIGHT INFORMATION
There is a lot of misinformation about this topic. Veterans are often told from commanding officers that their discharge automatically upgrades after six months. They may have heard that their discharge automatically makes them ineligible for VA benefits; they may have been told they must get a discharge upgrade. All of this is untrue. As a provider and advocate, it is imperative that you dispel these myths and provide accurate information to veterans about their discharge and access to care. In this case, providing information on character of service determinations is important.
Recommended Reading: VA CHARACTER OF SERVICE DETERMINATIONS: AN ALTERNATIVE TO DISCHARGE REVIEW
The veteran left the military with a discharge that was less than fully Honorable. The discharge hasn’t been upgraded. They may still be able to get VA benefits—if the VA makes a favorable Character of Discharge Determination. This guide will show you how.