All veterans & surviving spouses of veterans should make sure all documents associated with military service are in a secure location and accessible to family members when the need arises. Do not keep the family in the dark about where these forms are located.
The veteran’s discharge papers, DD214 or NGD22, are critical for any benefits for which a veteran or their family may be eligible. It is wise to request a copy of your discharge/separation papers NOW, rather than wait as this may hold up the process for receiving benefits.
The VA requires either the original discharge paperwork or a “certified true copy” of the original. It is not recommended that the original be sent. You can visit your local courthouse with the original paperwork and a clean copy. The court clerk is authorized to certify the copy or you can visit a local VA office. You can also follow the procedure below to obtain a copy directly from the National Archives in St. Louis.
If you don’t have a copy of your separation papers, you can request copies by:
1. Completing Form SF 180 and mailing the form to the VA.
2. Click here to request a copy online.
3. You can also check to see if the documents are registered at the County Recorder’s office where you live.
Take the time now to organize your papers and documents so they will be easily accessible in the event you need to take advantage of VA benefits you may be entitled to.
Have the information on the this list handy to make it is easy for your loved ones to assist you with filing for VA Benefits if the need arises.