What Is Evidence of Service and Character of Discharge?
Submitting a photocopy of your original discharge document has the potential to delay your claim because then VA must request verification from your former branch of service.
The VA will accept a DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or an original Certificate of Discharge, without verification from the appropriate service department if the evidence meets the following conditions:
- The evidence is a document issued by the service department. A copy of an original document is acceptable if the copy was issued by the service department or if the copy was issued by a public custodian of records who certifies that it is a true and exact copy of the document in the custodian’s custody or, if the copy was submitted by an accredited agent, attorney or service organization representative who has successfully completed VA-prescribed training on military records, and who certifies that it is a true and exact copy of either an original document or of a copy issued by the service department or a public custodian of records; and,
- The document contains needed information as to length, time and character of service; this means “long form”; and,
- In the opinion of the Department of Veterans Affairs the document is genuine and the information contained in it is accurate.