What Can I do if I’ve Received an Other Than Honorable Discharge?

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You have worked hard to find yourself in a branch of the United States military. You have been willing to fight and even die for your country. You likely have sacrificed a lot in the process. When you have received an “Other Than Honorable” or “OTH” discharge from the military, it causes significant loss of benefits and may hinder your civilian life including employment and medical benefits going forward. So what are your options; what can you do?

Receiving VA Benefits After You Have Been Discharged

Generally speaking, in order to receive VA benefits and other services, a veteran must have been discharged under honorable conditions. Individuals, who have been discharged with OTH, Bad Conduct, or Dishonor, may not receive any of these benefits and may be banned from any future military enlistment. In recent years however, the rules have become slightly less severe, with individuals with an OTH discharge to be eligible for medical treatment, this is rare.

Changing the Characterization of Your Discharge

One of your best options is to have the characterization of your discharge changed. Each branch of the military provides remedies for this including punitive discharges and administrative discharges that have resulted from a court-martial. Each branch also offers the chance to apply for a medical retirement.

Unfortunately, the process of changing the characterization of a discharge can be extremely complex and confusing. Numerous administrative boards, with various authorities, time limits, and jurisdictional limitations to correct specific information, are involved. These boards also adhere to various legal standards and restrictions, making a difficult situation more difficult.

A Limited Number of Appeals

As with civilian court, service members have a limited number of appeals, so it is extremely important to present everything the right way from the beginning. That is why it is so beneficial to consult with an experienced court martial/military attorney, who has deep knowledge of the different nuances concerning administrative law. Furthermore, if you were not discharged honorably and you fail to apply for a change in the characterization of your discharge, you lose the your rights to the benefits ordinarily offered for veterans. Contrary to popular belief, your OTH discharge will not automatically upgrade after you have separated from the military.

The Attorneys at the Court Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC Assist Military Members Who Have Received an OTH Discharge

If you have been discharged in a manner other than honorably and believe that this was either unfair or incorrect, you deserve an attorney who will advocate for you and your rights. At the Court Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC, we have great experience with the correction of military records and are proud and grateful to serve our U.S. military members. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, visit us online or call us at 719-247-3111 today!

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