Other Than Honorable Discharge VA Benefits

The kind of discharge you received will impact your eligibility for VA benefits. Generally speaking, if you did not receive an honorable discharge, you will be ineligible for VA disability compensation benefits, but there are a few exceptions.

You are eligible for both disability compensation and VA health care if you received an Honorable Discharge, Medical Discharge, General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions or General Discharge.

What is Honorable Discharge?

In military service, one who received a good or excellent rating for their service time by exceeding standards for performance and personal conduct, they will be discharged from the military honorably.

If you received a Bad Conduct Discharge from a Special Court Martial, an Other Than Honorable Discharge, or an Undesirable Discharge, the VA will make a ruling to decide if you are eligible for benefits. These kinds of cases are handled on a case by case basis.

What is Bad Conduct Discharge (BCD)?

Military Members face Bad Conduct Discharge due to punishment for bad conduct.

What is Other Than Honorable Discharge?

The hardest type of military administrative discharge is the other than honorable conditions. Some cases that lead to Other than honorable discharge are:

  • Security violations,
  • Use of Violence,
  • Punishment by a civilian court with a decision including prison time.
  • Or being found guilty of adultery in a divorce hearing.

When this happens it is commonly referred to as a “character of service” decision. The VA will look at the circumstances regarding your discharge before they make their decision. If the VA decides that your character of service does not qualify you for benefits, there’s still hope for you.

Regardless of the service of character decision, if you received a Bad Conduct Discharge from a Special Court Martial, an Other Than Honorable Discharge, or an Undesirable Discharge you are still eligible for limited VA healthcare benefits.

This exception only applies to service-connected disabilities or disabilities that were made worse by service.

Veterans who received a Dishonorable Discharge or Bad Conduct issued by a General Court Martial, are not eligible for disability compensation or health care benefits.

Discharge Upgrade

If you are denied by the character of service decision you can apply for a discharge upgrade. To get a discharge upgrade you can apply through either the Discharge Review Board (DRB) or the Board of Correction for Military Records (BCMR).

Regardless of your kind of discharge, you served your country. If you have a question about your discharge and your ability to obtain disability benefits call Jan Dils Attorneys at Law.

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