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Discharge Status and Eligibility for VA Benefits

A military discharge is a service member’s release from their obligation to continue service in the armed forces. Based on the type of discharge you receive will determine your eligibility for VA benefits.

To begin, if you received an honorable discharge you are eligible for all VA benefits. If you received a General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions you are eligible for all VA benefits but ineligible for GI Bill Education Benefits. If you received an Other Than Honorable or OTH discharge then, depending on the severity of your discharge you may be eligible for VA benefits.VA will review the incidents that led to the discharge to make the final determination. If you received a bad conduct discharge by a special court-martial, rather than a general court-martial, VA may make a case-by cases determination of whether you are eligible for benefits. Lastly, if you received a dishonorable discharge you are immediately ineligible for all VA benefits. However, there is one exception to this. If the person was determined to be insane at the time of the committed offense, they would be deemed eligible for VA benefits. It is important to note that children of qualifying Vietnam, Thailand veterans diagnosed with spina bifida are not affected by their parent’s discharge status.