Frequently Asked Questions

     How do I obtain a copy of my discharge from the Armed Forces? 


     Veterans or next-of-kin of deceased veterans can use the online order form at vetrecs.archives.gov

     (or use the SF-180).    PDFStandard Form 180

     How do I enroll in the VA healthcare system? 

 

     Call  the nearest VA Medical Center (VAMC) and follow the prompts for “recently discharged combat   
     veterans” to connect with the Iraq and Gulf War Coordinator.  The coordinator will ask you to fill out a 
     form  and provide you DD214 in order to enroll for VA healthcare.  Once you are enrolled in the VA system
     you can obtain care at VA facilities nationwide.  In addition, women veterans can call and ask to speak to
     the Women Veteran Program Manager at the VAMC.
   
      How do I know if I am eligible?
 
 
 
    
  
To be eligible for veterans' benefits, one must be a "veteran" or a dependent of a "veteran" under M.G.L. c. 4, sec. 7, cl. 43rd as amended by the Acts of 2005, ch. 130. See below for service requirements and exceptions.

 

 Era of Service

 Dates

 Requirement for Veteran Status
WWI

6-Apr-1917
11-Nov-1918

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.
PEACETIME

12-Nov-1918
15-Sep-1940

180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.
WWII
(Merchant Marine:
7-Dec-1941 through 31-Dec-1946)

16-Sep-1940
25-Jul-1947

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.
PEACETIME

26-Jul-1947
24-Jun-1950

180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.
KOREA

25-Jun-1950
31-Jan-1955

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.
Korean Defense Service Medal

28-Jul-1954
(to be determined later)

90 days of active duty service, last discharge under honorable conditions and the Korean Defense Service Medal.
VIETNAM I

1-Feb-1955
4-Aug-1964

180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.
VIETNAM II

5-Aug-1964
7-May-1975

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.
PEACETIME

8-May-1975
1-Aug-1990

180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.
Lebanon Campaign*

25-Aug-1982
(to be determined later)

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.
Grenada Campaign*

25-Oct-1983
15-Dec-1983

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.
Panama Campaign*

20-Dec-1989
31-Jan-1990

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.
PERSIAN GULF

2-Aug-1990
(to be determined later)

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.

*Naval and Marine DD214 must indicate Expeditionary Medal. All DD214's must specify campaign: Lebanon, Granada, or Panama.

 

  • For GUARD MEMBERS to qualify they must have 180 days and have been activated under Title 10 of the U.S. Code -OR- Members who were activated under Title 10 or Title 32 of the U.S. Code or Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 33, sections 38, 40, and 41 must have 90 days, at least one of which was during wartime, per the above chart.
  • For RESERVISTS to qualify, they must have been called to regular active duty, at which point their eligibility can be determined by the above chart.

Training Duty Exception: Active duty service in the armed forces shall not include active duty for training in the Army or Air National Guard or active duty for training as a Reservist in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Minimum Service Exception (for Death or Disability)
It is not necessary that an applicant have completed the minimum service for wartime or peacetime campaign if he/she served some time in the campaign and was awarded the Purple Heart, or suffered a service-connected disability per the Discharge Certificate, or died in the service under honorable conditions.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
For more information visit www.va.gov or www.va.gov/rcs
 
 
      Bedford VAMC (781)-687-2000, Boston VAMC (617)-232-9500 (covers West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain and
      Brockton campuses), Northampton VAMC (413) 584-4040