The Mayer Law Blog

How Long Does a Discharge Upgrade Take?

Many people contact us to ask how long a military discharge upgrade takes. The process can take anywhere from several months to a couple of years. The amount of time can vary by service branch and whether you are doing a “record review” or a personal appearance before the board.

A lot of folks write to us thinking that you can upgrade your discharge automatically by filling out a form. The automatic discharge upgrade myth is unfortunately false. Others write to us needing their discharge upgraded quickly for various reasons such as wanting to use their GI bill for school, because they’re getting denied for jobs due to their less than honorable discharge, or because they want to get a VA home loan as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to upgrading your discharge.

As we referenced in a previous post, upgrading your discharge takes a lot more than simply filling out your DD 293. Your discharge upgrade lawyer will need to spend time building the best possible case to convince the board you deserve an upgrade. Then, a good portion of the discharge upgrade process involves waiting. You will have to wait for the board to review your case and/or for your hearing date, which might take a year or more from the time you apply for your upgrade.

It is important to take this potential time frame into account if you have been discharged for more than ten years, because you only have 15 years from the date of discharge to go before the discharge review board. If your 15 year mark is approaching, it is important to consult with a discharge upgrade attorney as quickly as possible.

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