7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 22, 2022 12:12 PM by Rachael Salyer

    Seeking status of stepfather's DD-214 request

    Rick Lockhart Wayfarer

      I have been trying to obtain my stepfather's DD-214 for almost one year. I have sent in a SF-180 form twice and was told his records may have been destroyed in a fire. I have a statement from SS that was sent to my mother when he passed. It has the dates he was enlisted so there must be some kind of record somewhere. My mother remarried in 2002 after my father passed in 1999. I have all of my fathers' records buy I was told once she remarried that I can no longer use him to obtain survivor benefits. She has dementia and is now in a nursing home. My father was blind, and my stepfather had Alzheimer's. Neither ever received assistance from the VA as my mother took care of both of them. It is the only piece of information I need to apply for aid and attendance benefits for her. Thanks for any advice you may have.

        • Re: Seeking status of stepfather's DD-214 request
          Elliot Schneider Guide

          Rick,

           

          I know that this is hard to understand and can be very frustrating. But unfortunately, the VA law was written that if a spouse legally remarries she cannot assume any of the federal benefits. Here it is written in the CFRs "Under 38 CFR 3.50, in order to qualify as a surviving spouse for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) purposes, a person must be unmarried. Therefore, a surviving spouse who remarries is no longer eligible to receive VA benefits".

           

          Here is some additional information pertaining to children, it seems as though depending on your age you can obtain VA benefits for your father. But if you are over the age of 23 that is the cutoff. Here is some supporting documents for that.

           

          VA Benefits for Children of Veterans

          For a child to qualify for benefits as a dependent child or surviving child of the veteran, there are also two requirements.

           

           

          VA Benefits for Children of Veterans

          For a child to qualify for benefits as a dependent child or surviving child of the veteran, there are also two requirements.

           

           

          The child must be either:

          A biological child,

          an adopted child, or

          a stepchild of the veteran.

          The child must be either:

          of qualifying age: under 18, or between 18 and 23 if pursuing education, OR

          a helpless child: permanently incapable of self-support before the age of 18.

           

          To prove a child is the biological child of the veteran, the VA usually only requires a written statement with the child’s age, date of birth, and social security number. It is rare that the VA requires additional proof, but if they do it will likely be in the form of: a copy of public record of birth; a copy of baptism record; an official report from the service department that the birth occurred while the veteran was in service; an affidavit or certified statement from a physician (or midwife) attendant at birth; a copy of a family record properly certified by a notary public; or an affidavit or certified statement of a disinterested person who can attest to personal knowledge of the child’s biological relationship to the parents.

           

           

          If the veteran was married when the child was born and the veteran is the child’s biological parent, no additional proof of the relationship (other than those documents) is required. If the veteran is the child’s biological mother and the child was born outside of a marriage, the same rule applies. But if the veteran is the child’s biological father and the child was born outside of a marriage, the VA will look at each individual case to determine the evidence to establish the relationship. Evidence that may be submitted includes:

           

           

          A signed statement from the veteran acknowledging the relationship,

          Evidence that the veteran has been identified as the child’s father by judicial decree,

          Birth certificate listing the veteran as the child’s father, or

          Any other evidence naming the veteran as the child’s father and that the veteran knew of the relationship.

          A child can also be the veteran’s adopted child, as shown by evidence that the veteran legally adopted the child before they turned 18.

           

           

          What if the veteran’s child is adopted?

          A child can also be the veteran’s adopted child, as shown by evidence that the veteran legally adopted the child before they turned 18. Proof of this would be a copy of the adoption decree or of the adoptive placement agreement. A child that is the biological child of the veteran’s spouse, former spouse, or surviving spouse may qualify for benefits as the veteran’s stepchild.

           

           

          The marital and biological relationship would have to be established, and the veteran must show that the child currently resides in the veteran’s household. If it is for DIC benefits, the surviving spouse must show that the child resided in the veteran’s household at the time of the veteran’s death.

          1 person found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking status of stepfather's DD-214 request
              Rick Lockhart Wayfarer

              Thank you for the reply. I guess my question is if my mother married twice and both husbands were Korean War veterans, then why is she excluded. My mother was married to my father for 43 years until he passed in 1999. She remarried in 2003 to a second husband until he passed in 2014. I could understand if her second husband (my stepfather) was not a veteran but that is not the case. My mother is in her mid 80's so this doesn't involve children. Just trying to make sure I don't leave any stone unturned. Thanks again. 

                • Re: Seeking status of stepfather's DD-214 request
                  Elliot Schneider Guide

                  Rick,

                   

                  If your Stepfather was a veteran then yes you may apply for aid and attendance as long as your mother. I'm sorry I did not understand your original question. But your original questioned pertained to your biological father. In that case she re-married and would not be able to claim any VA benefits because she re-married.

                   

                  Now  because your mother re-married and in this case of your stepfather if he was a Korean War veteran then she can apply for aid and attendance. Can you provide your stepfathers name it may provide helpful when helping you to locate any records.

              • Re: Seeking status of stepfather's DD-214 request
                Rachael Salyer Ranger

                Dear Mr. Lockhart,

                 

                Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

                 

                You may Check the Status of a Request for Military Service Records on the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) website. Information about contacting customer service is also available there.

                 

                In general, Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs) and individual medical reports for those who served in the U.S. Air Force who were separated from the service after 1946 and before 1960 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued.

                 

                Please note that military personnel records are completely opened to the public 62 years after the veteran leaves the military. If less than 62 years have passed since the veteran’s discharge date (to include any reserve time), certain information in the records is not available to the general public without the written consent of the veteran or his next of kin. For more information see Request Military Service Records and Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Holdings.

                 

                Finally, some veterans registered with veterans organizations in their state, county or municipality, so certain records may be available there. We suggest that you contact your state or county veterans agency for more information.

                 

                We hope this is helpful.