The who, what, when, where, why, and how of your DD214. Look here for common problems and solutions involving the DD-214 and VA health care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions involving your DD214 and VA health care
Do I need a DD214 to start the VA claims process?

For many veterans, the VA claims process begins as a part of the final out processing system. You should be given the opportunity to get a briefing about making VA claims for service-connected injuries or disabilities. Don't pass up the opportunity to do this while you are still on duty. Since this is technically the start of the VA claims process, you don't need a DD214 to begin.

Do I need a DD214 to receive compensation for a health care claim from the Department of Veterans Affairs?

According to the Department of VA, you will need to provide a copy of your DD Form 214 if you are not currently getting benefits from the VA. You may provide alternative forms of proof such as military service records that show you earned a Purple Heart or that you got hostile fire or imminent danger pay if your records show you were in combat after November 11 1998.

Is my DD214 considered "evidence" for a VA claim?

In some cases your DD Form 214 may be used to verify claims for healthcare benefits. Since your DD214 lists your military service in detail, it can help to verify claims of service in combat zones and other areas where special pay, allowances, or consideration was given or could be given in relation to health care claims or other issues.

Do I need a DD Form 214 to apply for VA health care?

Yes. When you apply for VA health care benefits after you have left military service, the VA requires you to submit proof of service as part of the application.

What if I have lost my DD214?

You should request a replacement copy as soon as possible with the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, which is part of the National Archives:

How long will it take to get a replacement copy of my DD214?

When your request arrives at the NPRC there is a ten day processing period in most cases. If you are a recent retiree or have recently separated from the military, there may be a delay--your records may be en route to the NPRC and not yet entered into their system when your request arrives.