How Do I Talk To Someone Right Now
If you’re a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, connect with our caring, qualified Veterans Crisis Line responders for confidential help. Many of them are Veterans themselves. This service is private, free, and available 24/7.
To connect with a Veterans Crisis Line responder anytime day or night:
- Call , then select 1.
- If you have hearing loss, call TTY: .
You can also:
- Call .
- Go to the nearest emergency room.
- Go directly to your nearest VA medical center. It doesn’t matter what your discharge status is or if you’re enrolled in VA health care.Find your nearest VA medical center
Military Discharge Status And What It Means For Your Entitlement To Va Benefits
Bad paper or less-than-honorable discharge status from the military can cause veterans shame, stigma, and ineligibility for VA benefits. Many veterans, and some VA health care professionals, assume that a less-than-honorable discharge status on a veterans discharge documents automatically disqualifies them from healthcare, disability compensation, educational assistance, and other VA benefits.
Though entitlement to benefits is unlikely if you received a less-than-honorable discharge status, there are some exceptions made by VA. There are a variety of types of less-than-honorable discharge that carry different consequences in post-military life. Additionally, VA can make a case-by-case determination of character-of-discharge that could potentially allow you to access healthcare and other benefits, if you request medical treatment or submit a disability compensation claim.
How Does The Department Of Veterans Affairs Determine If I Am In Need Of Financial Support
To receive a non-service-connected disability pension you must show a financial need. The Department of Veterans Affairs considers you to have a financial need if you do not have income greater than the maximum annual pension rate which by law is changed annually based on the Cost of Living Adjustment . For 2021 the MAPR for a single veteran with no dependents and who doesn’t qualify for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits is $13,931.00. The MAPR increases if the veteran is married, has dependents or qualifies for Housebound or Aid and Attendance Benefits.
For example, if you are a single veteran with no dependents who would not qualify for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits with countable annual income of $15,000.00 from Social Security Retirement Benefits, you would not qualify for the non-service-connected disability pension because your countable annual income is more than the MAPR of $13,931.00.
For example, if you and your spouse have $100,000.00 in assets and $40,000.00 in annual countable income, you wouldn’t qualify for the non-service-connected disability pension because your net worth of $140,000.00 would be more than the net worth limit of $130,773.00.
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Special Rules For Disability Compensation
Your eligibility for disability compensation after a conditional discharge will depend upon when your injury or illness first arose during service. If you got hurt during your “first” period of service that would have ended in good paper had you received a DD-214 , then you will be eligible for disability compensation.
However, if you got sick or injured during the second period of service that ended under other than honorable conditions, then you will not be eligible for disability compensation. You could, however, try to get a character of service determination that could allow you to get disability compensation.
Does Character Of Service Determination Change Discharge Status
While a character of service determination can make an individual eligible for VA benefits and veteran status, it does not change their actual discharge status from the military. Again, it only means that VA is going to allow their benefits claim to proceed if the character of service discharge is favorable. A character of service determination is something VA does as opposed to something your specific branch of military does, which would be the case for discharge upgrades.
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Eligibility For Disability Benefits If You Had A Bad Conduct Discharge
A bad conduct discharge will have a significant, direct impact on your eligibility for benefits. Why? Because it is a punitive discharge imposed via a court-martial. This is quite serious since a court-martial is a criminal trial conducted by the military when there are allegations of a significant violation.
What If I Have More Than One Period Of Service
If you had two or more periods of service, and one period ended and a day or two later you reenlisted, you may be eligible. If you received “good paper” for the first period of service, and “bad paper” for the second, you may be eligible for disability compensation and health care for any disabilities that occurred or were aggravated during your “good” period of service. If you were injured during the “bad” period of service, you are out of luck unless the VA issues you a good character of service determination.
There is another exception. If, before the end a period of service, the military issues a conditional discharge to allow you to reenlist, you may remain eligible for benefits. Even if you got “bad paper” when you ultimately got discharged, if your period of service preceding reenlistment would have entitled you to an honorable discharge, then you will be eligible for compensation and health care. However, you will only receive benefits for any disabilities caused or worsened during the “good” period of service. You will not get benefits for any injuries incurred after the reenlistment which ended in bad paper unless the VA issues you a positive character of service determination.
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What Are The Different Types Of Discharge
While this blog post will focus on other than honorable discharge, its important to understand the various types of discharge that service members might face. When a service member is discharged, the military assigns what is called a character of service on their DD-214. This system applies to all branches of the armed forces. This character of service may appear as the following:
When You Call Me Here’s What Will Happen:
- You get an initial free, confidential legal consultation – we’ll discuss the facts of your case, your goal and objectives.
- I will then analyze your situation and review your documents to determine the Error and Injustice in your case.
- I will give you my honest opinion on your chance of success.
- I will make sure you have a clear understanding of the military process for your case so you can make informed decisions.
- I will advocate on your behalf with a compelling Legal Memorandum that will show the Board the Inequity or Impropriety or Error and Injustice in your case.
- I am always available to answer your questions.
I specialize as a Military Discharge Upgrade Attorney because it is my honor to work with Veterans who served their country and faced a bump in the road and now are embarrassed to show anyone their DD 214.
Learn more about Military Discharge Upgrade Process by downloading my Military Discharge Upgrade Guide. Call or email me to discuss your case.
Your military discharge characterization may have had a devastating impact on your life.
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Dont Delay Getting Help With A Veterans Disability Claim
Veterans disability benefits can have a significant impact on your future. If you think you may qualify for such benefits, or if you have questions about your eligibility for veterans disability benefits, we encourage you to contact an experienced disability lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and to make sure your rights are protected. Please call us today or reach out to us via this website for additional information.
Understanding The Character Of The Discharge
Some veterans with disabilities incurred or aggravated during active duty may qualify for medical or related benefits regardless of separation and characterization of service. Veterans separated administratively under other than honorable conditions may request that their discharge be reviewed for possible re-characterization, provided they file their appeal within 15 years of the date of separation. Questions regarding the review of a discharge should be addressed to the appropriate discharge review board at the address listed on DD Form 293.
The Veteran or, if the Veteran is deceased or incompetent, the surviving spouse, next of kin or legal representative, may apply for a review of discharge by writing to the military department concerned, using DD Form 293, “Application for the Review of Discharge from the Armed Forces of the United States.”
If more than 15 years have passed since discharge, appeals must be directed to the Board for Correction of Military/Naval Records of the respective service. The BCM/NR hears a wide array of appeals and correction requests, and can be utilized by Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, retired and discharged veterans alike. Normally, an appeal must be filed within 3 years of the occurrence of an error or injustice however, exceptions are often made.
Florida Veterans Benefits: Veterans Homes
The Florida Department of Veterans Affairs operates six skilled nursing facilities and one assisted living facility. Two additional skilled nursing facilities are under development. All facilities are licensed by Floridas Agency for Health Care Administration and inspected annually by AHCA and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The homes are supervised round the clock by registered and licensed nurses. Under the IRS tax code, monetary donations to specific state veterans homes are tax deductible. Per Florida Statutes, all such donations are to be used for the benefit of the home and its residents. You may also support the State Homes for Veterans Trust Fund by making a $1 contribution when renewing your Driver License. Let the clerk know youre a veteran.
Basic admission requirements for all state veterans homes include an honorable discharge, Florida residency, and certification of need of assisted living or skilled nursing care as determined by a VA physician. For more information, call 518-3202, Ext. 5562.
Florida Veteran Homes: Employment Opportunities
I’ve Heard That If I Go Awol And Wait 30 Days Then I Can Turn Myself In And Get A Quick Discharge Is That True
It’s not easy to say what is true about going AWOL in general, because each case depends on a number of factors and the situation keeps changing, but the majority of rumors we have heard are either not true or they only apply to people in a special category. To find out what might be true in your case call the GI Rights Hotline . Our counselors keep up with the latest information about the consequences of going AWOL .
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Does The Type And Character Of My Discharge From The Military Matter
Yes. To be eligible for most veterans benefits and programs you must have been discharged or released from military service under conditions other than dishonorable. You will always be eligible for veterans benefits and programs when the character of your military service is Honorable.
You may still be eligible for service-connected disability compensation if the character of your military service is listed as a Discharge Under Honorable Conditions or a General Discharge.
If your character of military service is listed as Discharge Under Other Than Honorable Conditions, Undesirable Discharge, Bad Conduct Discharge or Dishonorable Discharge, in most cases you will be barred from receiving benefits.
Request Assistance With Discharge Upgrades For Veterans From All Eras
National Veterans Legal Services Program has started a new program to provide free legal representation to veterans who were involuntarily separated from the military and received a less than honorable discharge.
1. What is the nature of this problem?
Due to the nature of their military service, many service members are afflicted with mental conditions that contribute to misconduct resulting in a discharge with a less than honorable characterization of service. Nearly 900,000 veterans have received a discharge under Other Than Honorable Conditions since the World War II era.
2. How can a less than honorable discharge affect me?
A less than honorable discharge may prevent you from receiving VA benefits and health care, hurt your employment opportunities, and damage your reputation and self-esteem.
3. How does NVLSPs Lawyers Serving Warriors® program assist veterans with discharge upgrades?
Our pro bono program will provide eligible veterans free representation before military Discharge Review Boards and Boards for Correction of Military Records. Our expert assistance includes the drafting of a brief in support of an application to either a DRB or BCMR and/or appearing before the board to present the case at live hearing.
4. Who is eligible for assistance with a BCMR application through NVLSPs Lawyers Serving Warriors® program?
5. How do I request legal assistance from NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® program?
6. How do I obtain a copy of my DD Form 214?
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Statutory Bars To Benefits
- Sentence of a general court-martial
- Being a conscientious objector who refused to perform military duty, wear the uniform, or otherwise comply with lawful orders of competent military authority
- Resignation by an officer for the good of the service
- Absence without official leave for a continuous period of 180 days or more, without compelling circumstances to warrant such prolonged unauthorized absence
- Requesting release from service as an alien during a period of hostilities
The exact language for this rule is found in 38 USC § 5303. However, it is important to note that when considering the discharge status of an individual who went AWOL, there is another subset of adjudication that needs to happen. Specifically, VA must look at the totality of circumstances to see if the individual had a good reason for being AWOL for more than 180 days. After looking at the reasons and comparing it to the quality of service, VA can make a more appropriate determination.
What Type Of Discharge Do I Need To Qualify For Veterans Benefits
The militarys has 5 main classifications of discharge:
- Honorable discharge
- Discharge under honorable conditions or a general discharge
- Discharge under other than honorable conditions or undesirable discharge
- Bad conduct discharge
- Dishonorable discharge or dismissal
In order to be eligible to receive benefits from the VA, your discharge must be other than dishonorable. If you have an honorable discharge, a discharge under honorable conditions or a general discharge then you will most likely qualify. If you have any other type of discharge it is unlikely, but not impossible that you will qualify. The only discharge that fully bars you from getting benefits is a dishonorable discharge. Many Veterans file an application to have their discharge upgraded prior to filing for VA benefits. Although our office does not handle military discharge upgrade cases, contact us and we will be happy to provide you with a referral to a firm that may be able to assist you.
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Dishonorable Discharges May Be Appealed
A dishonorable discharge is only handed down to those who have been court-martialed for a serious offense, such as desertion or assault. It is possible to appeal your dishonorable discharge and perhaps get it downgraded to a different type of administrative dischargeeven a few years after your military service ends. If you believe that your dishonorable discharge is incorrect, you should take action to protect your rights and any veterans benefits that may be rightfully available to you.
What Are The Minimum Property Requirements For A Va Loan
These come from the VA, not the lender. Theyre a comprehensive set of rules designed to make sure the home you buy is safe, sanitary, and structurally sound. And, they require it to be marketable, meaning there will be other buyers wholl want it when you come to sell.
Read more: VA Minimum Property Requirements
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Florida Disabled Veteran Benefits: Pension & Insurance
Florida Veterans Benefits: Pension, Aid & Attendance
Pension is a needs-based benefit paid to wartime veterans who meet certain age or non-service connected disability requirements. Aid and Attendance is an increased monthly pension amount paid to a veteran. You may be eligible if you require the aid of another person in order to perform activities of daily living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, toileting or adjusting prosthetic devices.
For eligibility requirements, contact an FDVA Veterans Claims Examiner or County Veteran Service Officer. You may also visit benefits.va.gov/ benefits/factsheets.asp or call toll free 827-1000.
Florida Veterans Benefits: Insurance
Veterans Group Life Insurance is a program that allows you to continue life insurance coverage after you separate from service. Servicemembers Group Life Insurance may be converted to VGLI within one year and 120 days of discharge. For more information, call toll free 419-1473 or visit www.insurance.va.gov.
Other Insurance for Florida Disabled Veterans
What Is The Disability Property Tax Exemption
Disability property tax exemptions can offer tax relief for disabled veterans and homeowners. Here are the ones that might be available in your state.
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Many states offer property tax exemptions for disabled homeowners, which can reduce the homeowner’s annual tax burden significantly.
Disabled veterans generally qualify for some sort of exemption at the state level. If you’re not a veteran but qualify for Social Security disability payments, you may also qualify for an exemption in some states.
If you’re a disabled or partially disabled home or property owner, use this guide to determine whether your state has property tax exemptions you may be able to take advantage of.
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