How Do I Apply For A Discharge Upgrade?

If you’re in the military and are looking to apply for a discharge upgrade, you should know that it’s not as simple as requesting one through your chain of command. If you want to apply for a discharge upgrade, you must use the proper channels. 

However, not taking proper steps to apply will make your request unconsidered. But the key to getting your discharge upgraded is knowing how to use it properly, which we explain below.

What Is An Upgraded Discharge?

A discharge upgrade is when a military member changes their discharge from one that may reduce veteran’s benefits to one with no effect on veteran’s benefits. To apply for an upgraded discharge, the member must apply eBenefits. 

Applicants would need their DD Form 214, Certificate of Release, or Discharge from Active Duty. Copy of the pages from Member 4, copy of military service record showing awards and decorations, and other supporting documents such as medical reports, photographs, and letters from the employer.

Military Discharge Upgrades may not seem like the first thing you would associate with financial help, but obtaining one has many essential benefits. Some benefits include relief from an unnecessary negative stigma and potentially qualifying for a job only available to those with honorable or general discharges. 

What Kind Of Benefits Can I Expect From an Upgraded Discharge?

An upgraded discharge may be the right option if you look for ways to improve your discharge status and receive additional benefits. Here are some of the benefits you can expect: 

  • An upgraded discharge can boost your military retirement eligibility.
  • An upgraded discharge can increase your chances of receiving veterans’ benefits.
  • An upgraded discharge can improve your job prospects.
  • An upgraded discharge can increase your chances of being accepted into college.

Am I Eligible To Apply For An Upgraded Discharge?

If you have a discharge that is less than 12 months old, there may be a chance you are eligible for an upgraded discharge. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will consider your discharge to be upgraded if it is determined that you met all of the following conditions:

  1. You served in the military on active duty for at least 90 days, including at least 30 days after you completed your service obligation.
  2. You received an honorable discharge.
  3. You received a rating of “not guilty” or better on your military criminal history record (MCVR).

If you meet all the above conditions, the VA may upgrade your discharge to an honorable one. If you do not meet all of the requirements, the VA determines that your discharge would have been elevated if you had. Your discharge will still be considered honorable.

How Do I Get Started With My Application?

You’ll need to do a few things to apply for a discharge upgrade. The process varies depending on the type of discharge you have. But most of the steps are familiar to all upgrades. 

As for the first step, you’ll need to gather all of your documents. It can include your discharge papers, military records, and other relevant documents. 

Next, you’ll need to visit your nearest military personnel office (MPO). You will be required to provide proof of your citizenship and identity there. You will also need to provide information about your discharge and upgrade request. 

Once you have completed these steps, you must send your paperwork to the MPO. It is essential to keep in mind that the MPO may require additional documentation.

If you are eligible for a discharge upgrade, it is essential to take the time to apply for it. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your application is processed smoothly and that you receive the best possible outcome.

The Paperwork You Need Before You Begin Your Application

If you are seeking an upgrade from your military discharge, there are certain required documents that you must submit. This information will help determine if you qualify for the discharge upgrade and what steps need to be taken to complete the application process.

  • First, you must submit a DD-214 (Discharge Papers) form. This document should list your military service dates and the reason for your discharge. The DD-214 form can be obtained from your military branch or by visiting their website. 
  • Next, you will need to provide documentation of good moral character. It can be obtained from a court, law enforcement agency, or government entity. 
  • Finally, you will need to provide documentation of financial responsibilities. It can be a letter of credit, proof of income, or other documents supporting your upgrade eligibility.

The Right Mindset Going Into Your Application Process

When you are ready to apply for a discharge upgrade, remember a few things. 

  • First and foremost, make sure that your application is complete and accurate. Include all relevant information, including your medical history, discharge instructions, and any medication you are taking. 
  • Next, be prepared to answer questions about your condition and why you need a discharge upgrade. 
  • Finally, be patient. The process may take some time, but getting the care you need is worth it.

What Evidence Must I Include In A Discharge Upgrade Request?

When requesting a discharge upgrade, veterans should submit evidence that they have a service-connected disability. And meet the eligibility criteria the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) set. 

This evidence can include a doctor’s statement, medical records, and other documentation verifying the disability. Veterans should also provide supporting documentation to prove that the discharge rating was based on an incorrect determination of their disability.

Can You Upgrade Your Discharge Status?

If you are an inmate in a state prison, you may be able to upgrade your discharge status. The complex process can result in a reduced sentence and a quicker release.


If you have been discharged from the military and would like to return home sooner, there are a few things you need to do to apply for a discharge upgrade. This article will outline the steps you need to take and help make your application as smooth as possible. 

Remember, it is always better to be prepared for any situation, so read this guide. And be sure that all of your paperwork is in order before you visit your nearest discharge office.