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

Overview

Qualifying Condition Verification Process for PTSD, TBI or MST.
EQRB Process for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Gender Expression.
 
Pursuant to Public Act Public Act 18-47, now codified in Conn. Gen. Stat. §27-103, the State of Connecticut extended eligibility for state and municipal based veterans benefits to those veterans with Other Than Honorable (“OTH”) discharge resulting from any one or combination of the following qualifying conditions:
 
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
 
In 2021, the State of Connecticut, pursuant to Public Act 21-79, An Act Redefining “Veteran” and Establishing a Qualifying Review Board (administratively known as the Eligibility Qualifying Review Board – “EQRB”) expanded the categories of circumstances under which a Veteran with an OTH discharge may qualify for state and municipal based Veterans benefits to include OTHs based upon:
 
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Expression or Gender Identity
 
How to Qualify to Apply for Benefits 
Veterans with an OTH discharge who have the following qualifying conditions:  
 
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
may use the Qualifying Condition Verification Form. Please see link to the left for the Qualifying Condition Verification Form and fling instructions.
Veterans with an OTH discharge that was more likely than not based on:  
 
  • Sexual Orientation,
  • Gender Identity or Gender Expression
must submit their application to the Eligibility Qualifying Review Board (EQRB).  Please see link to the left for information and instructions on the EQRB filing process. 
 
A Veteran with a “Bad Conduct” or “Dishonorable” discharge is NOT eligible to apply for Veterans benefits under any provision of Connecticut law.
 
How do I apply for State or Municipal Benefits?
All State agencies and Municipal authorities must accept a completed and signed Qualifying Condition Verification Form or a favorable EQRB decision letter as a determination that the applicant is eligible to apply for Veterans benefits as if they had received and Honorable or General Under Honorable Conditions character of Discharge.  
 
After receiving completed and signed Qualifying Condition Verification Form or a favorable EQRB decision letter a Veteran may apply for State or Municipal Veterans benefits by completing any required application, provide all required documentation including their Qualifying Condition Verification Form or favorable EQRB decision letter.  The application will be reviewed by the applicable agency as if the Veteran had received a discharge characterization of “Honorable.”  To qualify for the respective benefit the applicant must meet all eligibly requirements. 
 
If an agency states that you are not eligible for benefits because of the OTH discharge characterization, please contact the DVA at: 860-616-3685.
 
Not Applicable to Federal Veteran Benefits or Federally Funded State Benefits.

Restoration of eligibility for State and Municipal Veterans Benefits through the Qualified Condition Verification or EQRB review processes, does not alter an applicant’s official federally issued character of discharge and does not provide eligibility for federal Veterans benefits.  

 
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.