A DD214 form is a certificate of release or discharge from active military duty. It is often referred to as the Report of Separation, and you'll need one to access your services and benefits. A DD214 form will have personnel records including the date and place of active duty, military education, home address at the time of entry and departure, last duty assignment and rank, decorations, medals, badges, full service, and type of separation (ex: honorable). 

Who Can Make a Request?

Both veterans and next-of-kin of the deceased service member have the right to obtain a DD214 form. The next-of-kin will include an un-remarried widow or widower, son, father, daughter, mother, brother, or sister. If a next-of-kin makes a request pertaining military record access, they must have proof of death. This can be a death certificate, a letter from a funeral home, or a published obituary. 

How to Request a Copy

You can request military personnel records online, and you can also request a hard copy. In order to request a copy, you'll need to provide as much information as possible. You will need to provide the following:

  • Complete name of the veteran

  • Veterans service number and/or social security number

  • Branch service

  • Dates of service

  • Date and place of birth

Third-party requesters, such as doctors or lawyers, may submit requests for information from an individual military service record with the eligible veteran's or next-of-kin's signed and dated authorization. They must state their relationship to the individual and the purpose of the request. Without the authorization from the eligible veteran or next-of-kin, only very limited information can be released to the public. 

Once you have requested a document, you will receive an email confirming your request. You will receive another email when the documents are available to view and download if you request them online. 

Can I Obtain a DD214 Belonging to a Deceased Relative?

If you are considered next-of-kin, you can obtain military discharge papers belonging to a deceased relative. To obtain one, you'll need to provide proof of death, such as a death certificate, and you'll need to be considered next-of-kin. This means you are a close relative, such as a spouse, sibling, or parent. In addition, if the veteran has been discharged for more than 62 years, the public can request their discharge papers. 

Why Would I Need a Relative's DD214 Form?

This form has the information needed to verify military service. Without it, you will not be able to receive benefits, retirement, services, and membership in veteran organizations. 

How Long Does it Take to Receive the DD214 Form?

The time it takes depends on how you request the forms. If a veteran has been recently discharged, they may be able to access these military records online immediately. If not, you may be required to request the documents online or through the mail to the national personnel records center. This could include an online application, printing documentation, signing it, and then mailing or faxing it to an office. Handwritten requests are accepted as well. Unfortunately, it's going to be a waiting game. It might take months to receive the documentation. In fact, you are discouraged from following up with your request pertaining any personnel record until three months have passed since it is highly unlikely you will receive the documentation you requested within three months. 

What Are Veteran Survivor Benefits?

If your loved one is a deceased veteran, you may be eligible for survivor benefits. These are the benefits the veteran would have received through Veterans Affairs. These benefits may be continued to their surviving next-of-kin and dependents. These benefits can include healthcare, education and training, home loan programs, financial counseling services, life insurance options, claims, and assistance, burial and memorial benefits, pension, and compensation for surviving spouses and dependents. 

Powered by Froala Editor

Powered by Froala Editor