Changing Your Discharge Status

Help After You're Out: Changing Your Discharge Status

The nature of your discharge can impact your ability to get veterans benefits or even find a job. Many veterans have successfully had their discharge corrected or changed. Each of the branches of the military, including the U.S. Coast Guard, has their own discharge review boards. These boards have the authority to change or correct any discharge or dismissal from the Service, unless it was the result of a general court martial. A discharge board has no authority to address medical discharges. 

If you feel your discharge decision was not fair or did not consider all the facts in the case, you may request a discharge review. Use an Application for Review of Discharge or Separation from the Armed Forces of the United States, Application for the Review of Discharge or Dismissal from the Armed Forces of the United States (DD Form 293).

You may obtain a copy of the application from your nearest VA office. Written applications should be submitted by the veteran, next of kin, or a legal representative. Application must be made within 15 years after discharge. 

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