Chapter Determining Veteran Status and Eligibility for Benefits


Forms of Evidence for Verification of Service and Character of Discharge



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6. Forms of Evidence for Verification of Service and Character of Discharge




Introduction

This topic contains information about the forms of evidence used to verify service and character of discharge, including


  • acceptable forms of evidence of qualifying service

  • verification of service using the VID tab in Share

  • acceptable alternative evidence for verification of service

  • specific procedures for handling carbon copies of the July 1, 1979, or later editions of DD Form 214,Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, and

  • unacceptable alternative forms of evidence.



Change Date

September 30, 2010



a. Acceptable Forms of Evidence of Qualifying Service

Consider only the documentary evidence of qualifying service listed below as adequate evidence of service for eligibility determinations. This evidence is submitted after separation from service.

Note: If the original document is received, photocopy it, authenticate it as a copy of the original document, and return the original to the claimant. For more information on returning original documents, see M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart ii, 3.C.7.


  • The original (copy 1) of

  • DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, if the form was printed prior to July 1, 1979. (Copy 1 of forms printed on or after July 1, 1979, do not contain character of discharge information.)

  • PHS Form 1867, Statement of Service – Verification of Status of Commissioned Officers of the U.S. Public Health Service, which is furnished by the Public Health Service (PHS)

  • NOAA Form 56-16, Report of Transfer or Discharge, which is furnished by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • report of separation documents issued prior to the implementation of DD Form 214 that include name, rank, service number, dates, character of service and the Veteran’s signature, and

  • AHRC Form 1569, Transcript of Military Record, which was furnished by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

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6. Forms of Evidence for Verification of Service and Character of Discharge, Continued



a. Acceptable Forms of Evidence of Qualifying Service (continued)

  • Any carbon copy (copy 2 through 8) of the original DD Form 214 (any edition) or other report of separation document. (For procedures that apply to copies of July 1, 1979, or later editions of the DD Form 214, see M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart ii, 6.6.b.)

  • A digitally signed DD Form 214, or DD Form 215, Correction to DD Form 214, issued by the Department of Defense (DoD), a military service branch, or a State Adjutant General. A digitally signed form is unique in that there is no signature of the certifying official, but there is a 10-digit number following the certifying official’s name. Accept these documents if

  • the form appears genuine and unaltered, and

  • the Veteran was discharged on or after August 1, 2008, under other than dishonorable conditions.

  • A copy or abstract of the DD Form 214 or equivalent certified by a local or State government official whose office recorded the original service document. (A copy or abstract of the original (copy 1) of DD Form 214 dated July 1, 1979, or later is not acceptable.)


Reference: For information about accepting copies of DD Form 214 from RMC as verified service, see M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart i, 1.2.b.




b. Verification of Service Using the VID Tab in Share

The Veterans Identification Data (VID) tab in Share can be used as proof of service if sufficient information is provided on the screen.
Proof of service exists if the service verification field contains a


  • Y” or “D” in the VADS field, or

  • Y” in the VER field.




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6. Forms of Evidence for Verification of Service and Character of Discharge, Continued



b. Verification of Service Using the VID Tab in Share (continued)

Also, the VID tab shows


  • the character of service is

  • Honorable (HON), or

  • Under Honorable Conditions (UHC)

  • The branch of service code is not

  • ARNG, or

  • ANG, and

  • The separation reason is

  • Satisfactory (SAT).


Note: The entry “D” is added from Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) processing.




c. Acceptable Alternative Evidence for Verification of Service

If one of the documents listed in M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart ii, 6.6.a is not received in support of a claim, verify military service using the VID tab in Share to determine character of discharge and separation reason.
Virtual VA permits a link via Veterans Information Solution (VIS) to access a Veteran’s military history information from VA/DoD Identity Repository (VADIR). The information obtained from VADIR is considered an electronic DD Form 214, and is acceptable for verification of service.
Note: If there are discrepancies between the information displayed in VIS and evidence provided by the service member pertaining to the dates of service or character of discharge, you should develop for the DD Form 214.
References:

  • For more information about Veterans’ identification data available in Share, see the Share User Guide.

  • For more information about using VIS, see the VIS User Guide.




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6. Forms of Evidence for Verification of Service and Character of Discharge, Continued


d. Specific Procedures for Handling Carbon Copies of July 1, 1979, or Later Editions of the DD Form 214

Use the information in the table below to handle various copies of the July 1, 1979, or later editions of DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.




If the copy of DD Form 214 received with the claim is ...

Then ...

Copy 3

    VA Data Processing Center

    VADS (391A)

    1615 East Woodward Street

    Austin, Texas 78772, and



  • annotate the photocopy with “Copy 3 sent to DPC (date).”

Copy 4


  • photocopy the document

  • authenticate the photocopy, and

  • return Copy 4 to the claimant.

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6. Forms of Evidence for Verification of Service and Character of Discharge, Continued



d. Specific Procedures for Handling Carbon Copies of July 1, 1979, or Later Editions of the DD Form 214 (continued)




If the copy of DD Form 214 received with the claim is ...

Then ...

Copy 5

  • photocopy the document

  • authenticate the photocopy

  • send the carbon copy to the

    U.S. Department of Labor

    Federal Claims Control Center (FCCC)

    PO Box 785070

    Orlando, FL 32878-5070, and



  • annotate the copy with “Copy 5 sent to DOL (date).”

Copy 6, 7, or 8

retain the copy in the claims folder unless the claimant has requested that it be returned.
Note: If the claimant requested the return of the document

  • photocopy the document

  • authenticate the photocopy, and

  • return the original to the claimant.




Notes:

  • Authorized employees of the Veterans Service Center (VSC) can authenticate photocopies of DD Form 214.

  • The appropriate service department retains Copy 2 of DD Form 214 as the permanent record of the Veteran’s service.

  • If the Remarks section of the DD Form 214 contains the entry “Continuous active military service: XX-XX-XX [Date],” service is verified from that date, regardless of any later date shown in the Enter(ed) on Duty (EOD) section of the form. A DD Form 214 with such an entry is acceptable proof of EOD and Released from Active Duty (RAD) dates. Enter these dates in BIRLS and the Master Record.

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6. Forms of Evidence for Verification of Service and Character of Discharge, Continued


e. Unacceptable Alternative Forms of Evidence

If a claimant has submitted an alternate form of evidence of service which cannot be accepted and his/her military service cannot be verified


  • send a denial letter which

  • explains the attempts to verify service, and

  • describes the acceptable forms of evidence, and

  • furnish notice of procedural and appeal rights.






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