Mitigating Circumstances for Veterans


Mitigating circumstances are documented, unanticipated and unavoidable events that interfere with the pursuit of a course and result in your receipt of a non-punitive grade. Mitigating circumstances may be claimed by submitting documented evidence when you withdraw or otherwise incur an overpayment. Claims may be submitted on a VA Form 21-4138 with an explanation of the circumstances. The VA decides whether to accept mitigating circumstance. The following are some general categories of mitigating circumstances:

  • Serious illness of the veteran or dependent
  • Serious illness or death in the eligible veteran's or dependent's immediate family
  • Immediate family or financial obligations that require a change in terms, hours or place of employment that precludes pursuit of course
  • Discontinuance of a course by the college
  • Unanticipated active duty military service, including active duty for training
  • Unanticipated difficulties with child-care arrangements

Examples of unacceptable mitigating circumstances include - but are not limited to - withdrawal to avoid a failing grade, disliking an instructor, too many courses attempted or a call to active duty that was anticipated before the term began.