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VA Expands Opportunities for Veterans with OTH or Special Courts-martial Convictions to Receive Benefits

The VA posted a new final rule on April 10, 2024, that amended the character of discharge determination process for veterans discharged with Other than Honorable or special court-martial convictions. This amendment is designed to expand access to VA health care and benefits process is designed to afford more opportunities for veterans who dealt with discrimination, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and mental or physical health challenges during their service. In doing so, the intent was to eliminate many of the bars to such veterans receiving care by creating a “compelling circumstances exception” for these former service members to receive access to VA benefits and health care services. Given that the VA has an eligibility determination rate of 75% granting benefits to former service members, it is well worth applying or reapplying if you have been denied in the past.

When asked about this process, VA Secretary Dennis McDonough said “We encourage former service members with other than honorable discharges to apply for VA care and benefits today. Although VA cannot change your discharge status, we want to provide you with any health care or benefits we can – and we will work with you every step of the way to do exactly that.”  For further information, please check out the final rule itself: https://tinyurl.com/4w7uepf9


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