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05/28/2024 02:43 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=35112
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 18, 2021 01:34 PM
From: Representative Joe Webster
To: All House members
Subject: Veterans’ Records of Discharge
 

I will be introducing legislation to eliminate this problem by making DD-214s inaccessible to anyone other than a veteran or an immediate family member or authorized agent of the veteran for 85 years, rather than the current 75 years because life-expectancy has increased and some veteran records have been accessed for fraudulent purposes. Genealogists may continue to request redacted copies of DD-214s through the federal Veterans Administration, if within that timeframe.

Currently, veterans may file their DD-214s with the Recorder of Deeds in their county to access an array of benefits through county Veterans Affairs offices.  By law, these records must be sealed and only accessible by a veteran who is the subject of a record, or an immediate family member or authorized agent of the veteran.  However, after 75 years, these records are available to anyone who makes a request to review them.  This means that in their own lifetimes veterans may be subject to abuse of their personally identifying information and records.

Our veterans have served this country honorably. However, people also try to take advantage of elderly veterans and commit crimes against them like larceny and identity theft.  County Recorders of Deeds often report that caregivers attempt to receive copies of veterans’ discharge papers (DD-214s), which have an abundance of personal information on them, such as birthdates and Social Security numbers. 

Please join me in supporting the privacy of our veterans by co-sponsoring this important legislation.



Introduced as HB1055