U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) introduced a bill to clear a key bureaucratic hurdle for veterans across the country by ensuring access to electronic DD-214s at Vet Centers.
DD-214s are comprehensive records of military service provided to all veterans. The DD-214s are the fastest way to determine eligibility for Vet Center services and ensure accurate information is provided to Center employees. Currently, veterans who have lost their DD-214s have no way to access them online, which leads to delayed access or no access at all to Vet Center services. It can take more than six weeks to request a copy of a lost DD-214 from the National Archives.
Rep. Denham’s bill, H.R. 498, directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Defense to jointly ensure that the Vet Centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs have access to two electronic records programs storing DD-214s – the Defense Personnel Records Image Retrieval System (DPRIS) and the VA/DoD Identity Repository (VADIR). Use of these programs for instant verification will mean faster access to the highest quality of service.
“This is a simple fix,” said Rep. Denham. “It’s one way to make sure our veterans can easily access their records and in turn, their benefits. After the unacceptable delays in care we saw last year at VA locations across the country, we know that we must do everything we can to speed up the process of getting all of our veterans the services they have earned.”
Vet Centers offer a range of benefits that provide for veterans and their families, including individual and group counseling, family counseling for military related issues, military sexual trauma counseling and referral, employment assessment and referral and other services.