January 27, 2006, Newsletter Issue #1: Locating Service Records for a Deceased Family Member

Tip of the Week

Family members need the service records of a deceased veteran for a variety of reasons, but the most important is to obtain service records is to continue or start government benefits related to the deceased's military service. The most important of these is the discharge record, called a DD214, which is neccesary to start all death benefits, claims and other VA related processess.

Many people can't find or don't have the deceased veteran's DD214, but you don't need a military people finder to get one--simply request a Standard Form 180 from your local Veterans Administration office. Once you have the Standard Form 180 filled out, including the all-important social security number of the veteran, send your request to: The National Personnel Records Center 9700 Page Avenue St. Louis, Missouri 63132

Be sure to include the reason for your request, any important deadlines, and list your contact information including full name, address, phone number and email addresses. It's a very good idea to work with your local VA office on this paperwork and keep them informed of your progress. Sometimes your local VA representative can help you make progress you couldn't get on your own--calls to people in specific departments of the Records Center, electronic inquiries as to the status of your request, etc. It's always better to have the help of an experienced VA rep, especially where death benefits are concerned.

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