The discharge you receive from your branch of service is more than a characterization of your service and more than words on your DD-214. Your discharge can impact your ability to access a slew of veterans benefits and may impact your ability to obtain post-service employment in some sectors.

A discharge upgrade or correction may be the avenue for you to clear up your record and make sure you can access the benefits you earned through your service. Like any other process involving the VA, though, your time to do so is limited. Cincinnati veterans looking to upgrade their discharge to a more favorable characterization should begin the process sooner rather than later.

va discharge upgrade

Discharge Upgrades and Corrections Explained

Although a discharge upgrade and a discharge correction result in the same outcome, the two similar processes address different scenarios:

You would pursue a discharge upgrade if the discharge you received from the military was technically correct, but there are extenuating circumstances that might explain why you received the discharge you got. The VA identifies some common situations that would support a request for a discharge upgrade:

  • You were diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental health condition following your separation
  • You were diagnosed as having a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, during your time of service that was not previously known
  • You were disciplined or separated due to your sexual orientation
  • You were the victim of a sexual assault or sexual harassment during your time of service

A discharge correction, by contrast, alleges that the discharge you received was not correct at the time you received it. Either the military used false or erroneous information to characterize your service or made a clerical error on your military records.

No Matter Which Amendment You Seek, Time Is Limited

No matter if you are pursuing a discharge upgrade or a correction of your records, you generally have 15 years from the date of separation to seek a discharge upgrade. This is only a general rule, though. Like statutes of limitations in civil lawsuits, there are a number of exceptions to this general deadline.

For example, if you have already applied to a Discharge Review Board and are now seeking a review of your situation by one of the Boards for Correction, you generally have three years from the date you discover the error to request a modification. 

Getting an Upgrade Can Be Confusing, So Get Help

If you are a veteran in Cincinnati and think your DD-214 might not accurately reflect your service to this country, Veterans Law Attorneys wants to talk with you. Although the time limitation to apply is generous, you do not want to waste any time doing so. Your ability to access certain VA benefits may be restricted or denied until your discharge is upgraded.

Our Ohio veterans law firm is experienced in helping put together compelling cases for the Discharge Review Boards and Boards for Correction to consider. Let us help you make your case for a discharge upgrade or correction. Call Veterans Law Attorneys at 833-753-5168 for more information, or contact us online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation. 

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