How DD214 Documents can HELP soldiers!

How DD214 Docs can HELP Soldiers!
A special guest blog by Sophie Garrod of dd214direct.com

If you are a soldier returning from duty, you will have probably asked yourself how do I get my DD214?

What you will have probably found out though is that the documentation can be quite difficult to get your hands on.

Typically, DD214 documents are stored at The National Personnel Records Center, which is the largest resource for retrieving these military forms. The center contains military records for nearly 100 million veterans.

However, the tricky part is that your personal file could actually be held at one of over 100 different depositories.

Luckily, there is a now a faster and quicker way to obtain the DD214 form so if you’re interested, you should definitely keep reading.

Using DD214 Direct to obtain the documentation

We at DD214 Direct have easy and fast method that deals directly with the government. We physically stand in line, so you don’t have to.

By working with an expeditor like us, your request is hand-submitted at the counter instead of the government’s large call center. Our clients want to avoid the headache of long hold times and unpredictable turnarounds.is

Firstly, you aren’t required to download, print, sign, and fax your request. You can submit your order directly through our website with the ease of e-signature technology from a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.

Instead of your request trickling through the government’s large call center, we physically stand in line at the records repository and manually coordinate your order. Tracking your request through us is easy, whereas tracking your request through the government is difficult and frustrating; expect long hold times and inconclusive answers.

We process your request the same day in our office and submit it to the government the next business day. See the table below. Requests for funeral or burial reasons can typically be delivered within 3 business days.

Here are some of the main situations where your DD214 becomes useful and necessary to have:

Mortgages

From the GI Bill to VA mortgage loans, from disability compensation to home improvement grants, the VA requires a DD-214 to prove military service and apply for benefits.

VA home loans can be used to purchase a home, townhouse or condominium; repair or adapt a home for personal occupancy; or build a new home. You do not have to be a first-time home buyer, and the benefit is reusable.

VA loans are also assumable, meaning another buyer can take over your mortgage loan and keep the existing interest rate and terms. This is not the case with the majority of conventional loans.

VA home loans are great because:

1.       No down payment. This is very appealing to veterans considering many have had little to no chance to set aside any considerable savings or build up their credit history.

2.       Competitive interest rates. Interest rates for VA home loans are about 0.5% to 1% lower than those associated with conventional home loans—which can add up to significant savings over time.

3.       More flexibility and leniency. With VA loans, lenders are more likely to overlook lower credit scores as well as past foreclosures or bankruptcies.

4.       No private mortgage insurance (PMI). Most conventional home loans require monthly PMI payments unless the buyer can come up with at least 20% down at the time of sale. This is not the case with VA loans.

5.       Cap on closing costs. Also, a great benefit for veterans, the VA caps what lenders can charge and allows sellers to pay the closing costs in full. This is not required, so the buyer still may be responsible for some of the closing costs (as well as the earnest payment), but the amount needed is often considerably less.

Before you can obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for your VA Home Loan, you must first provide a DD-214 to the VA.

Background checks for employment

Finding employment is one of the biggest challenges veterans face when returning home from active duty. Although the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an overall decline in the veteran  unemployment rate for 2017, returning veterans still face a number of challenges when it comes to finding jobs.

In 2013, just two years after the Joining Forces initiative was launched to help military families overcome obstacles to success—especially concerning veteran employment—Fortune.com posted a blog titled, “ 3 Reasons Why Companies Don’t Hire Veterans“.

One of the reasons is because businesses believe that veterans do not have the appropriate sills or training. This has led to veterans enrolling in courses to develop the necessary skills they need.

However, every single course available has one thing in common: they all require your DD214.

DD214 is commonly requested by employers to prove military service and confirm discharge status, and routinely required for jobs requiring security clearance.

Burials

This may be the first time many families realize the need for their veteran’s discharge papers, since any veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable is eligible for a military honors funeral, which includes the folding and presentation of the flag and the playing of Taps.

Not only that, but the VA will pay up to $300.00 toward burial and funeral expenses ($762.00 if hospitalized by the VA at time of death) and a $762.00 plot-interment allowance, if the deceased won’t be buried at a national cemetery.

The VA also offers $300.00 toward burial plots for the cremated remains of eligible veterans, as well as an additional $300.00 for those who died in a VA facility ($2000.00 more for those who died of a service-related injury or during active duty).

The National Cemetery Administration through the Department of Veterans Affairs offers an array of burial benefits. A DD-214 is required to determine eligibility.

The US Navy offers sea burial for veterans, active duty members, and some family and civilians. A copy of DD Form 214 is required in the Burial at Sea Request package.

Typically, funeral homes, cremation centers and cemeteries will take care of most of the details when provided with a veteran’s DD-214.

 

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