Next of Kin Requests
Getting a DD214 for a sick or disabled Veteran
If you are the spouse or next of kin for a military member in the hospital, there's usually plenty of paperwork available to you to prove you have status to act on the military patient's behalf; marriage certificates, living wills, powers of attorney and other legal documents make it easy to prove your status.
When trying to do the same for a retired or separated military member, the process is a bit more complicated. Are you being asked to show proof of service to get VA healthcare or other military benefits for a service member who can't represent himself or herself? In most cases you will definitely need a copy of the military member's DD214 to establish proof of military service and eligibility for any benefits.
A sick or disabled military member may not be able to help you locate a copy of the DD214; in these cases you will need to request one from the National Personnel Record Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
In cases like these, only next of kin are allowed to request a replacement DD214. Third parties are not given access since most of the data found on the DD214 is protected by the Privacy Act.
That's a very important detail to understand before the time comes to place a veteran in the care of a third party such as a nursing home, private hospital or other care facility, or if the veteran is in an intensive care situation and cannot act on his or her own behalf. Anticipating these situations where appropriate is very important-do you have a copy of the veteran's DD214 if you need it? If not, can you get a copy or have the veteran sign paperwork requesting one?
If you anticipate needing to act on a separated or retired military person's behalf as next of kin, make sure you get a replacement copy of the DD214 as quickly as possible-before you actually need it. Otherwise you risk delays in getting approval for VA medical care where available or other VA benefits that could apply in your situation.
Requests for a replacement DD214 may be sent by the veteran or next of kin to:
National Personnel Record Center:
NPRC Fax Number:
National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
Before sending a request to the NPRC, read these instructions found at the NPRC official site and follow them exactly.
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