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Swords to Plowshares & NVLSP Comments on VA Character of Discharge Proposed Rule

WASHINGTON – Today, Swords to Plowshares and the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) called on Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to do away with its unlawful eligibility rules that fail to honor and protect those who were unjustly separated from the military with a less-than-honorable discharge. In a joint response to VA’s Proposed Rule to Update and Clarify Regulatory Bars to Benefits on Character of Discharge (COD) determinations, the organizations detail their demand for a VA benefits system that – unlike the current system – would account for racial discrimination, combat deployment, military sexual trauma, and arbitrary distinctions like branch and era of service – all factors which significantly increase a service member’s chance of receiving a less-than-honorable discharge. VA’s proposed regulations are in direct response to Swords and NVLSP’s petition for rulemaking submitted in December 2015. Nearly five years later, the VA responded with its new proposed regulation which, if implemented, would continue to exclude veterans most in need of treatment and support. The comments were filed with the pro bono assistance of Latham & Watkins LLP and the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. [more]

Released 9/8/20 | Tags: Discharge Upgrades

New Report Documents Wrongful VA Denial of Benefits to Vets with Bad Paper Discharges

125,000 Veterans Who Served Since 2001 Excluded from Basic Veteran Services

Approximately 125,000 post-9/11 veterans with bad paper discharges are being wrongfully excluded from basic veteran services by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), says a new white paper issued today by Swords to Plowshares and the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP). The culprit is VA’s own regulations, which do not match eligibility standards set up by Congress in 1944 in the original GI Bill of Rights. [more]

Released 3/30/16 | Tags: Discharge Upgrades, Veteran's Benefits

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