Many Servicemembers serving in the United States military anticipate their separation with a lot of enthusiasm and excitement. As they begin to get ready for their leaving the service, they are faced with a large amount of VA and Military separation paperwork. It can seem to be a little overwhelming, and it can seem confusing and stressful. There are a lot of different types of military benefits, and VA benefits that are available, and it is important to be able to access many of the benefits that you qualify for.
While there is a lot of different things to do, its is important that you take a deep breath, and Relax. There is effective and excellent help out there that is available for Servicemembers that want assistance. Some of the different areas that need to be covered are able to be covered one step at a time, so the most important thing is to not be stressed. One of the things that you can do to avoid a lot of stress is to build and keep a copy of your own service record, while in the Military. It sounds like a time consuming thing to do, and it can be a little bit labor intense, but in the long run it certainly is worth it. As a Veteran, many of the claims for VA compensation or benefits are for injuries or service related issues. Having a copy of your service record makes this whole process really easy, so it’s a great idea to consider having available. There are a many different written documents that you should have available, the ones you should have on hand or at least available includes:
-A copy of your leave and earnings statements from any active duty, and reserve service.
-Any Commendations Received or Written Documentations of Medals.
-Medical Records for any issue or disability that you intent to file or claim for.
-The Social Security number, or VA claims number for the Servicemember receiving service.
-A copy of all Marriage and Divorce Degrees (if any).
-A copy of all Adoption orders (if applicable).
-A copy of your DD Form 214, or discharge certificate or release form.
-A copy of the birth certificates for each family member, Servicemember, Spouse, and Children.
New programs and options are available, so it is worth your while to look around and see what applies to you. The Web site for the VA is simple: http://www.va.gov . There is a lot of links and helpful things to be found available both online and by visiting your local VA office. You can contact the health Center at the VA or call 1-877-222-VETS (8387), their hours are from 8am to 8pm, M-F. (Eastern Time Zone)