By Michael Golembesky
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Every service member will eventually separate from the military, and with the change in modern technology, the process of obtaining and accessing the DD Form 214 will also change Dec. 1.
To minimize costs and use existing technology, the hard copy DD Form 214 (copies 1 and 4) will no longer be mailed out. According to the Air Force Personnel Center, since October 2010, separating or retiring individuals could electronically access and print their DD Form 214s. Eliminating the need of mailing paper copies reduces money spent on a redundant process.
“When a member separates, we don’t give them any documents to leave with. They have to set up their eBenefit account online and that is how they obtain their documents,” said Senior Master Sgt. Kristi Wilson, 21st Force Support Squadron military personnel section.
“My eBenefits” is a web portal managed jointly by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense to provide service members, veterans and eligible family members the ability to manage their Veterans Administration and Department of Defense benefits, claims and military documents online.
“The change is better because now the members can go online and print out the DD-214 instead of having to wait to receive it in the mail. A member cannot access their DD-214 online until the day after their separation date,” Wilson said.
The eBenefits portal offers two main services, a customizable workspace that provides personalized and secure VA and DOD information, and more than 45 self-service tools and a catalog of links to military and veteran benefits on other websites. There is also a mobile eBenefits version that is accessible via mobile device or tablet.
“It is imperative that the members review their DD 214 worksheet as instructed prior to out processing. The final DD 214 will only be as accurate as the member makes it,” said Wilson. “Additionally, our retirements and separations personnel will brief the members to make sure they have setup their eBenefit account online and that they understand how to use it.”
All other processes regarding the DD 214 including updating awards received after separation and filing for a correction have remained the same.
To learn more about all of the resources available through the eBenefits website, go to https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal.