Application Processes for Restoration of State Benefits for Certain Veterans with an Other Than Honorable (OTH) Character of Discharge. For information and how to apply go to Restoration of State Veteran Benefits

Application Processes for Restoration of State Benefits for Certain Veterans with an OTH Discharge

Overview

Pursuant to Public Act 21-79, AN ACT REDEFINING “VETERAN” AND ESTABLISHING A QUALIFYING REVIEW BOARD., the CT State Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) established the Qualifying Review Board, hereinafter administratively referred to as the Eligibility Qualifying Review Board (EQRB), for the purpose of restoring eligibility for State Veterans Benefits to Veterans who have an Other-Than-Honorable (OTH) characterization of discharge due to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.  The EQRB will also review restoration of State Veterans Benefits eligibility applications for Veterans who have an OTH which was as likely as not caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting from military service or as a result of military sexual trauma (MST). However, PTSD, TBI and MST applicants may choose to utilize the Qualifying Condition Verification process established by Public Act 18-47 in lieu of filing with the EQRB.

 

Public Act 21-79 expands Connecticut General Statutes §27-103,  which was amended in 2018 by Public Act 18-47 to extend state and municipal benefits to those with an OTH discharge primarily caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) as diagnosed by an individual licensed to provide healthcare services at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facility, or to those Veterans who experienced military sexual trauma (MST) as described in 38 U.S.C. § 1720D.

 

As Public Act 21-79 expands the qualifying circumstances under which eligibility for State Veterans Benefits may be restored for Veterans with an OTH discharge, the EQRB will review applications and restore eligibility to Veterans with an OTH discharge that is determined to be primarily caused by or based on the following: 

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Expression or Gender Identity

For detailed information regarding EQRB background, procedures and instructions to submit an application for restoration of eligibility for State Veterans Benefits, please click on the relevant links located on the left of this webpage.

Applicants seeking restoration of benefits based on PTSD, TBI, or MST have the option to utilize the Qualifying Condition Verification process established by Public Act 18-47 in lieu of filing with the EQRB. In either circumstance, the qualifying conditions of PTSD and TBI must have been incurred in military service, and if the basis for the application is MST, the applicant must have experienced MST at described in 38 U.S.C. §1720D, as amended from time to time. For detailed information regarding applying through the Qualifying Condition Verification process, please click on the relevant link on the left of this webpage.

 

PTSD, TBI or MST applicants who utilize the Qualifying Condition Verification process may not apply to the EQRB for restoration of benefits and are not eligible for the reconsideration and appeal process available to EQRB applicants should the applicant be denied restoration of eligibility for State Veterans Benefits.

 

NOTE:  A Veteran with a “Bad Conduct” or “Dishonorable” discharge is NOT eligible for Veterans benefits under this new public act or existing law.