Step-by-Step Guide: How To Apply for a Discharge Upgrade

Discharge Upgrade Basics

Did you know there is a way to change your military discharge status? If you received a discharge that was not Honorable, a discharge upgrade can help you access important VA benefits, services, and care. Or you may feel that your discharge was not fair and you want to correct it.

Any veteran who has a discharge below Honorable can apply for an upgrade. You do not need an attorney to apply for a discharge upgrade.
There are many different reasons why a veteran may want to apply for a discharge upgrade. This classroom is focused on helping veterans with mental health conditions. Many of the topics discussed will be helpful for other veterans who want to apply for a discharge upgrade. If you know that mental health issues like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) did not affect your discharge, you may want to consult other resources as well. The VA online discharge upgrade tool may be a useful starting point, as it incorporates other kinds of issues that may have affected your discharge such as sexual orientation or sexual assault.
The VA recently made it easier for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to get an upgrade. If you were discharged for disciplinary reasons, it may be worth going to a doctor, psychologist, or therapist to see if either PTSD or TBI contributed to your discharge. If you previously applied for a discharge upgrade and were denied, you can be reconsidered under the new, easier standards. You can still apply for a discharge upgrade if you do not have PTSD or TBI.

How to Use this Classroom

This classroom will help guide you through applying for a discharge upgrade. If you are a veteran and think you may qualify for an upgrade, you should read this guide. Hopefully, this will make it easier to understand what may seem like a tough, long process.

Here are the steps to apply for a discharge upgrade:

Refer to this classroom while you work on your application. A successful discharge upgrade application can take time to get right but you can do it!

You may also want to refer to this online VA discharge upgrade tool for more help figuring out which Board is right for you