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M21-1, Part III, Subpart ii, Chapter 5, Section B – Jurisdiction Over Deceased Veterans’ Claims Folders

Overview


In This Section

This section contains the following topics:
Topic
Topic Name
1
2
3
4
5

1.  Regional Office Jurisdiction Over Deceased Veterans’ Claims Folders


Introduction

 
This topic contains information on jurisdiction, including

Change Date

May 3, 2019

III.ii.5.B.1.a.  General Policy on Jurisdiction of Claims Folders

 
Generally, unless specified otherwise, a claims folder should be assigned to regional office (RO) or pension management center (PMC) in the same geographical area as the location of the primary claimant.
References:  For more information on,

III.ii.5.B.1.b.  Jurisdiction of Foreign Residence Cases

 
Cases involving residence in a foreign country are those in which
  • the primary beneficiary or a claimant resides in a foreign country, or
  • any payee receives income in foreign currency that affects entitlement to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits.
The jurisdiction of foreign residence cases, survivors claims and appeals for survivors claims is
  • St. Paul PMC for
    • Mexico
    • Central and South America, and
    • the Caribbean
  • Milwaukee PMC for Philippine service-related claims, and
  • Philadelphia PMC for all other foreign countries.
Notes:
  • Residence is established upon receipt of a valid request for a change of address from the claimant or payee.
  • Before transferring any claim, a supervisor must ensure that the transfer is correct.
References:  For more information on

2.  Jurisdiction of Deceased Veterans’ Claims Folders Based on Order of Preference


Introduction

 
This topic contains information on jurisdiction based on order of preference, including

Change Date

June 15, 2015

III.ii.5.B.2.a.  Establishing Jurisdiction Over Primary Payee

 
Jurisdiction is established with the RO or PMC in the area where the primary payee or claimant resides.
Reference:  For more information about geographical alignment of offices, seeMM21-1, Part V, Subpart iv,1.2.

III.ii.5.B.2.b.  Order of Preference for Jurisdiction

 
The table below describes the order of preference for establishing jurisdiction.
Order
Case
Description
1
Payee of
  • Survivors Pension
  • Death Compensation, or
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
If there is more than one payee of Survivors Pension, Death Compensation, or DIC, the order of preference is
  • surviving spouse
  • youngest child
  • mother, and
  • father.
Reference:  For more information, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart ii, 5.B.3.a.
2
Payee of insurance
  • The RO having jurisdiction over the address of the insurance payee retains the file when
    • there is no claim for Survivors Pension, Death Compensation, or DIC, or
    • the claim was denied, and
  • if there is more than one payee, the order of preference is
    • surviving spouse
    • youngest child
    • mother
    • father
    • oldest sister
    • oldest brother, and
    • remarried spouse.
3
Inactive cases
  • The office of initial jurisdiction retains
    • cases in which no claim for Survivors Pension, Death Compensation, or DIC has been filed, or
    • denied cases in which no appellate action is pending
  • if an office retires an inactive case to a Federal records center (FRC) or the Records Management Center (RMC), jurisdiction remains with that office, and
  • transfer jurisdiction when another RO states it has received a claim for survivors benefits from a person residing within its jurisdiction.

3.  Exclusive Jurisdiction of Survivor Cases Involving Special Issues


Introduction

 
This topic contains information on cases involving special issues under exclusive jurisdiction of certain offices or centers, including

Change Date

June 15, 2015

III.ii.5.B.3.a.  Permanent Jurisdiction of Survivor Cases Involving Special Issues

 
The following table identifies special issues that fall under the jurisdiction of specific offices or centers.
Note:  In any cases involving these issues, permanently transfer the deceased Veteran’s claims folder and any related records to the designated office or center of jurisdiction.
If the issue involved Is…
Then jurisdiction resides with…
Philadelphia PMC.
material classified as “Confidential-Security Information”
Roanoke RO.

III.ii.5.B.3.b.  Permanent Transfer of Certain Survivor Cases

 
An office or center should permanently transfer cases involving special issues identified in the table found in M21-1, Part III, Subpart ii, 5.B.3.a promptly upon a report of death or upon the occurrence of the event establishing this jurisdiction.
Exception:  If a case is located in an office or center and further action is needed on a claim under the World War Adjusted Compensation Act, temporarily transfer the deceased Veterans’ claims folder to the Philadelphia PMC for that purpose.

4.  Special Cases Initially Under Exclusive Jurisdiction


Introduction

 
This topic contains information on cases under the initial jurisdiction of certain offices or centers for resolution of special issues, including

Change Date

June 15, 2015

III.ii.5.B.4.a.  Jurisdiction of Adjusted Compensation Cases

 
Philadelphia PMC retains cases involving initial settlement of adjusted compensation until a claim for survivors benefits is received.
The World War Adjusted Compensation Act allows Veterans to file settlement or redeem certificates of adjusted compensation with VA.  Adjusted Service Certificates were issued to Veterans who applied before January 3, 1940.  To qualify for the bonus, a Veteran had to have at least 60 days of service between April 15, 1917, and November 11, 1918.
Use the table below to determine how to handle a case involving adjusted compensation upon receipt of a claim for survivors benefits.
If …
Then …
all action on claims of adjusted compensation is complete
transfer the file to the office or center of jurisdiction.
Reference:  For more information on RO jurisdiction, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart ii, 5.A.2.
adjudicative action is not complete on a claim for adjusted compensation
transfer the file when final action has been taken on all pending claims.
  • a case is located in an office or center, and
  • further adjudication of adjusted compensation is necessary
temporarily transfer the deceased Veteran’s claims folder to the Philadelphia PMC.
Reference:  For more information on adjusted compensation, see

III.ii.5.B.4.b.  Jurisdiction of Forfeiture Cases

 
Roanoke RO has initial jurisdiction of forfeiture cases.
Exception:  The Roanoke RO does not have initial jurisdiction of cases under the jurisdiction of the Manila RO.
Reference:  For more information of forfeiture, see

5.  Permanent Jurisdiction of the Manila Regional Office


Introduction

This topic contains information on the permanent jurisdiction of the Manila RO, including


Change Date

May 3, 3019

III.ii.5.B.5.a.  Types of Military Service With Manila RO Jurisdiction

 
The Manila RO has exclusive and permanent jurisdiction (unless otherwise indicated) over compensation claims based on service with the
  • Commonwealth Army of the Philippines while such forces were in the Armed Forces of the United States from July 26, 1941, through June 30, 1946
  • Special Philippine Scouts, enlisted between October 6, 1945, and June 30, 1947, and
  • alleged or recognized guerilla service prior to July 1, 1946.
Note:  The Milwaukee PMC has jurisdiction of all pension claims, survivors claims and appeals based on Philippine and guerilla service.
Reference:  For more information about eligibility for benefits related to Philippine service, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart vi, 4.A.2.

III.ii.5.B.5.b.  Residence of the Primary Beneficiary in the Philippines

 
The Manila RO has permanent jurisdiction over cases in which the primary beneficiary resides in the Philippines.
Note:  The Milwaukee PMC has jurisdiction of all pension claims, survivors claims and appeals based on Philippine and guerilla service.

III.ii.5.B.5.c.  Forfeiture Cases With Manila Jurisdiction

 
The Manila RO has permanent jurisdiction over forfeiture cases in which the claims folder is under the jurisdiction of the Manila RO.
Historical_M21-1III_ii_5_SecB_6-15-15.docx May 11, 2019 56 KB
Change-June-15-2015-Transmittal-Sheet-M21-1III_ii_5_SecB_TS.docx May 11, 2019 40 KB
5-3-19_Key-Changes_M21-1III_ii_5_SecB.docx May 11, 2019 46 KB
Transmittal-Sheet-09_02_10.doc May 11, 2019 112 KB
Transmittal-Sheet-M21-1MRIII_ii_5_secB_TS.docx May 11, 2019 39 KB
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