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VA RIN: 2900-AQ95 Publication ID: Fall 2023 
Title: Update and Clarify Regulatory Bars to Benefits Based on Character of Discharge 

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its regulations regarding character of discharge determinations. The amendments will modify the regulatory framework for discharges considered "dishonorable" for VA benefit eligibility purposes, such as discharges due to "willful and persistent misconduct," an "offense involving moral turpitude," and "homosexual acts involving aggravating circumstances or other factors affecting the performance of duty." The amendments will also extend a "compelling circumstances" exception to certain regulatory bars to benefits in order to ensure fair character of discharge determinations in light of all pertinent factors. VA’s amendments will take into consideration the public comments received on the published proposed rule (85 FR 41471), comments that VA receives from a published Request for Information (86 FR 50513) and comments received during two scheduled listening sessions, which are described in aforementioned Request for Information.

Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs(VA)  Priority: Section 3(f)(1) Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 38 CFR 3.12   
Legal Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

TBD. In accordance with Executive Order 14094, VA published a Request for Information (RFI) on September 9, 2021, 86 FR 50513 (2021) after the NPRM published. Specifically, the RFI asked questions about compelling circumstances, willful and persistent misconduct, moral turpitude, benefit eligibility and removing the regulatory bars. In addition to and subsequent of the RFI, VA held a two-day listening session in October 2021 to receive oral comments on the RFI questions.

Summary of the Legal Basis:




Anticipated Costs and Benefits:




Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  07/10/2020  85 FR 41471   
NPRM Comment Period End  09/08/2020 
Request For Information (RFI)  09/09/2021  86 FR 50513   
RFI Comment Period End  10/12/2021 
Final Action  01/00/2024 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Olumayowa Famakinwa
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20420
Phone:202 461-9700