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eBenefits Access Your VA & DoDo Benefits 24-7 www.ebenefits.va.gov
 

Veterans Benefits Administration

Applying for Benefits and Your Character of Discharge

Generally, in order to receive VA benefits and services,  the Veteran’s character of discharge or service must be under other than dishonorable conditions (e.g., honorable, under honorable conditions, general).  However, individuals receiving undesirable, bad conduct, and other types of dishonorable discharges may qualify for VA benefits depending on a determination made by VA. 
     
Read the factsheet on claims for benefits involving other-than-honorable discharges.

Correcting Military Records

Each of the military services maintain a discharge review board with authority to change,
correct or modify discharges or dismissals not issued by a sentence of a general court-martial. 

Read more about correcting or changing your service discharge.  

Specific Benefit Program Character of Discharge Requirements

Discharge Requirements for Compensation Benefits
To receive VA compensation benefits and services, the Veteran’s character of discharge or service must be under other than dishonorable conditions (e.g., honorable, under honorable conditions, general).

Discharge Requirements for Pension Benefits
To receive VA pension benefits and services, the Veteran’s character of discharge or service must be under other than dishonorable conditions (e.g., honorable, under honorable conditions, general).

Discharge Requirements for Education Benefits 
To receive VA education benefits and services, the Veteran’s character of discharge or service must be honorable.

Discharge Requirements for Home Loan Benefits 
To receive VA home loan benefits and services, the Veteran’s character of discharge or service must be under other than dishonorable conditions (e.g., honorable, under honorable conditions, general).

Discharge Requirements for Insurance Benefits 
Generally, there is no character of discharge bar to benefits to Veterans’ Group Life Insurance.  However, for Service Disabled Veterans Insurance and Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance benefits, the Veteran’s character of discharge must be other than dishonorable.