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Not all former service-members have access to veterans’ benefits and services from the VA. A major obstacle to healthcare and disability compensation arises when a service-member is discharged for misconduct. In these cases, the VA has the power to decide whether the former service-member's conduct should render them ineligible for veterans' benefits.
This barrier to care affects a large number of former service-members. There are over 500,000 former service-members with potentially disqualifying discharges or "bad paper." In fact, the military is now discharging veterans with "bad paper" at a higher rate than ever before in our country's history. The effect of these discharges can be devastating: veterans with bad paper are seven times as likely to become homeless, twice as likely to commit suicide, and more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system.
VA Character of Discharge (COD) review is a powerful but underutilized avenue for restoring access to VA healthcare and benefits. Please join Rose Carmen Goldberg of Swords to Plowshares as she:
- Explains the mechanics of applying for a COD determination;
- Discusses the laws establishing eligibility;
- Provides tips for obtaining a hearing;
- Provides an overview of how COD hearings are generally conducted;
- Discusses strategies for developing compelling evidence; and
- Discusses VA errors that commonly arise in COD reviews.
Don’t miss this important presentation.