Many veterans may reasonably believe they are entitled to benefits based on an injury or disease incurred during National Guard duty but are quickly denied for not meeting the definition as a “veteran”. While veterans who serve for prolonged periods in the primary branches of the military never run into the definitional issue of who a veteran is this is quite problematic for many guard or former guard members. Though often a line of duty report may be the easiest way to get the VA to conclude that a disability occurred during qualifying national guard duty very often these reports are never prepared, and other forms of proof would likely be required. A line of duty report definitively proves one was in the line of duty though if you can otherwise show that one’s duty was federalized this would also be sufficient. This most often happens under title 10 and 32 of the US Code including federal service by the President or
training exercises. Other forms of solely state service are insufficient.
Qualifying activity includes the following:
- Full time duty in armed forces or authorized travel to and from such duty. 38 CFR 3.6(b)(6).
- Active Duty for Training (ADT)—This is full time duty performed by reserves for training, full time duty performed by members of the national guard of any state under 32 U.S.C 316, 502, 504. Also includes authorized travel.
Inactive Duty Training (IDT)—is non-full-time duty by reserve unit. Is guard duty of individual state under 32 USC.
- Training duty and travel when authorized becomes disabled while proceeding directly to or returning directly from active or inactive duty.
What type of evidence do I enlist when denied proving that I have qualifying service?
- The main ones would be DD214, NGB 22 (NG report of separation), military orders, leave and earnings statements, statement of retirement points, DA form 1380 (record of individualized performance of reserve duty).
- Line of Duty (LOD)—includes a DD261 line of duty investigation or determination, report of medical history, post deploy health assessment, service treatment records, private treatment records, lay statements.
- Defense finance accounting service (DFAS)—holds leave and earning statements, send to email@example.com, fax 317-275-3091.
- NG personnel records—state NG or NPRC or for reserve Army Human Resources Command, AF Personnel command, navy personnel command, US Marine HQ.
- STR—DOD medical facility direct, tricare/tricare reserve, health assessments self-served.