What is DD214 and Why Do You Need It?

If you are a veteran, a parent, dependent or spouse of a living or deceased veteran, you may be entitled to benefits through Veteran’s Affairs. A Report of Separation known as a DD Form 214 is a record that shows when and where a service member enlisted and when they were released from active duty. This record may also show the veteran’s home address at the time of enlistment and their location at the time of discharge, the different places they were assigned and for how long (perhaps overseas), their last duty assignment and rank, their job specialty, any education received while serving, and any medals, or awards given to the veteran.

Some governmental agencies, like the Social Security Administration, employment agencies, and Veteran’s Affairs may require this form to verify military service for benefits and employment. The DD 214 is also used to apply for VA Aid and Attendance benefits for skilled care, at home or in a facility.

The veteran or next of kin to the deceased veteran can request the DD Form 214 online at: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/get-servicerecords. html. Click on the “DD Form 214” link and you can choose to either submit your request by completing the Standard Form 180 by way of mail, facsimile, or online. The cost for this request, if any, will depend on the reason needed and how much information is found once your request is processed. You will be contacted regarding payment of the cost before the information is mailed.

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