Vets Checklist: Planning for Civilian Life

Next Steps

Transition Assistance Program (TAP)

Get details about TAP from the:

The DoD provides:

Get a Copy of Your Service Record

The best time to make sure your service record is accurate is while you’re still on active duty. Ask for a copy of your complete service record, review it, and make sure it lists all schools, awards, and other items. Use your service record to make a chronological list of all the jobs and positions you have held in the past.

VA Education Benefits

Learn more about the:

In some cases, a veteran’s dependent or surviving spouse and children can get educational help through a GI Bill program. Learn more about education assistance for survivors or dependents.

To apply for VA education benefits, you have several options:

  • Apply online
  • Go to the VA's Detroit Regional Office and have a VA employee help you
  • Work with your school’s certifying official (usually in the school’s registrar or financial aid office)
  • Call 1-888-442-4551 (1-888-GI-BILL-1) and ask to have an application mailed to you. Fill it out and mail it to the VA Regional Processing Office nearest to the school you want to attend.

Check Your Credit

Get free copies of your credit report from the top three credit reporting agencies — Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax — by ordering them at, the only website that is part of the legally mandated free credit report program. Beware of other sites that claim to offer “free credit reports,” “free credit scores,” or “free credit monitoring”.

Finding a Job

Other Support Services

Major life changes can be stressful for you, your spouse, and your family. Fortunately, help is available:

Benefits Planning Services

If you're currently on SSI, SSDI, or DAC benefits, and you're looking for a job, a trained Benefits Planner can help you avoid problems with your job plan. If you need help or have questions about your situation, you can call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. EST.

View DB101's full list of experts who can help you understand different benefits.

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