Help Available for Veterans Wanting to Upgrade a Less-than-Honorable Discharge

The VA and DoD have announced the development of a new online tool to assist veterans who need to upgrade their military discharge. The DOD estimates that there are tens of thousands of other-than-honorably (OTH) discharged veterans who received their designation unjustly, such as those whose discharges were related to circumstances like TBI, PTSD, sexual orientation, or sexual harassment.
In the past, these kinds of circumstances were not satisfactorily recognized, leading to many unjust OTH discharges. The VA and DoD are now trying to help these veterans get the benefits they should be entitled to by making it easier to correct an unjust OTH discharge.
According to the new online tool, veterans have a strong chance for an upgrade if they can connect their discharge to any of the following:
  • PTSD or other mental health disorders
  • TBI
  • sexual assault or harassment while in the military
  • sexual orientation, even under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy
Veterans who are successful in upgrading their discharge are then eligible to apply for disability and other benefits available to veterans through the VA.
With just a few short questions to answer, this new tool provides veterans with information and guidance geared specifically to their individual case, such as what forms to fill out, which armed services’ board to contact, how and where to submit the appeals application, and other tips designed to help them navigate the process.
By launching this tool, the VA and the DoD hope to enable veterans wanting to change or upgrade their discharge by giving them the information and resources they need all in one place, which could result in some of these veterans finally receiving the much needed benefits that they are currently denied.


  • I was discharged 1984 UTH PTSD 2007. flashbacks from Turkey however no information can be obtained of cause. I was on the border with Russia and isolated from all other military Det.98 the "ROCK".

  • I'm not sure what your question is. You were diagnosed with PTSD, but not able to tie it back to your military service? To be diagnosed with PTSD, there must be a triggering event or events. If these events are military-related, then that should be enough to qualify.

  • I am an OIF vet honorably discharged,in 2010 the Army started paperwork to get me medically discharged but the Battalion SGM stopped it.Can something be done about that?At the time I didnt know what it meant or that I would receive compensation from the Army.

  • That is a tricky situation. If you had a medical condition that made you unfit for duty (not able to perform your job requirements), then you should have been medically separated. If you can show proof that your conditions made you unfit at that time and that they SGM incorrectly stopped the process, then you could try to appeal. Without significant proof that an error was clearly made, the appeal may not be successful, but it is worth a shot. Any evidence that the med board process had been started and then stopped and why will help.

    If you have enough evidence, here is a link to the appeals process:

  • Dr. Johnson I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis 10% bilateral. I have heel spurs but not sure about compensation for them. Also, I got diagnosed with pes planus. The VA doc wrote it up as functional pes planus. I have custom orthotics but I get no relief from wearing them. Is there any way i can get compensated for the heel spurs and the functional pes planus?

  • The VA will only give a single rating for the overall condition of the foot because of the pyramiding principle.

    If you can show proof that your pes planus and heel spurs are service-connected, you can definitely submit a claim for them. The VA will then look at all of your foot conditions and choose the code that best covers your main symptoms and allows for the highest rating.

    Pes planus is can only be rated more than 10% if it causes clear deformity.

    Heel spurs would be rated the on the same code as plantar fasciitis.

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