The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was established to make it easier for veterans and military families to access and apply for health care assistance and other key benefits. Now, a new page within the website will make it even easier for them to get the information they need.

Helpful for newly discharged veterans as well as older veterans who may have only recently started looking into what benefits they are eligible for, the new Get Started page provides two "easy-to-read" reference manuals. A 20-page "welcome kit" briefly covers veteran benefits in general, as well as eligibility requirements and the disability rating system, while a longer, 70-page booklet explains in detail many of the most popular benefits and provides essential phone numbers and websites.

Veterans and their loved ones can easily download both resources to help them understand the sometimes confusing world of veteran benefits to ensure they don't miss any important opportunities.

Be sure to read the "Important Documents" section carefully.

At the beginning of the longer Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors booklet, there is a section titled Important Documents, which states:

"In order to expedite benefits delivery, Veterans seeking a VA benefit for the first time must submit a copy of their service discharge form (DD-214, DD-215, or for World War II Veterans, a WD form), which documents service dates and type of discharge, or provides full name, military service number, and branch and dates of service. The Veteran’s service discharge form should be kept in a safe location accessible to the Veteran and next of kin or representative."

It also mentions that marriage, birth, and/or death certificates will be required to process claims for deceased veterans.

What is a DD Form 214 and where would I get one?

The DD Form 214, officially known as a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, is the form most often requested to show proof of service and honorable discharge—especially when it comes to determining your eligibility for veteran benefits.

You should have received your DD214 upon separation or discharge from active duty (including retirement); however, we often hear from veterans whose discharge paperwork has been lost, damaged, or even stolen. In cases like this, is the fastest, easiest way to get a copy of your DD214 so you can move forward with requesting your hard-earned benefits.

Veteran-owned DD214Direct helps you get the documents you need, when you need them.

Our cutting-edge technology platform and keen knowledge of government protocol and procedure allow us to deliver your documents faster than you could get them on your own. First, we digitize both your request and the returned documents, using electronic signatures to avoid extra time with the postal service. We also integrate email and fax throughout our entire process, while many agencies do not. 

To further expedite the process, our team ensures your initial request is filled out properly the first time and includes the necessary supporting documentation so that it doesn't bounce back. In addition, we break up multiple requests (DD214, OMPF, etc.) so that each piece is handled separately and one does not delay the other. 

Once your request is processed, DD214Direct becomes your personal advocate, working directly with the agency that holds your records (currently there are about 75 independent agencies) and immediately responding to any agency issues on your behalf. In many cases, DD214Direct is able to advance your request to a higher-priority workflow. Finally, we have team members at many locations to drop off and pick up documents. 

Much like paying a small fee to have your taxes done by a professional, DD214Direct provides the service and convenience you’ve been hoping for, plus we make it a lot easier. Once we locate your DD214, we can email you a copy immediately—a service not offered by the government. And tracking your request through us is simple, so you never have to worry about long hold times and inconclusive answers.

Ready to get started? Click here to begin the order process.