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M21-1, Part III, Subpart ii, Chapter 8, Section B – System Information for Veteran Notice of Death (NOD) and Month of Death (MOD) Processing

Overview


In This Section

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

1.  Commands for Veteran NOD Processing


Introduction

This topic contains information on commands for Veteran NOD processing, including


Change Date

August 16, 2018

III.ii.8.B.1.a.  Command Options for Veteran FNOD Processing

Process a Veteran’s first notice of death (NOD) under the FIRST NOTICE OF DEATH (FNOD) in Share using either the
  • FIRST NOTICE OF DEATH (FNOD) command, or
  • if a survivor’s claim is received, the CLAIMS ESTABLISHMENT (CEST) command can be used to update the Veteran’s record and establish the appropriate end product (EP).
Important:  The CEST command option should only be used by pension management centers (PMCs) as they are responsible for processing survivor claims.  All other users should use the FNOD command exclusively.
References:  For more information on processing a NOD for a

III.ii.8.B.1.b.  Similarities and Differences of Commands for Veteran NOD Processing

Both the FNOD command and the CEST command require the same basic entries to complete a NOD.
The main difference between the commands is that CEST establishes a pending EP while the FNOD command clears any pending EPs.
Reference:  For more information on the CEST command, see the Share User’s Guide.

III.ii.8.B.1.c.  Determining Which Command to Use for Veteran FNOD Processing

In general, use the FNOD command for Veteran FNOD processing.
Exception:  PMCs should use the table below to determine which command to use for NOD processing.
If …
Then use the …
the NOD is one of the following items:
CEST command.
the report of death of the Veteran is not received in connection with one of the types of claims listed above
FNOD command.

 2.  Existing BIRLS Records and Veteran NOD Processing


Introduction

This topic contains information on working with existing BIRLS records and Veteran NOD processing, including

Change Date

August 16, 2018

III.ii.8.B.2.a.  Veteran NOD ProcessingSteps to Include Working With the MOD and Presidential Memorial Certificate Screens

From the READY screen, select the applicable command (CEST or FNOD) and enter the Veteran’s
  • file number
  • name, and
  • service information if sufficient evidence accompanies the NOD.
If you do not know the Veteran’s file number, enter
  • the Veteran’s Social Security number (SSN) or service number, and
  • as much additional identifying information as possible to avoid creating duplicate Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) records.
When the system locates an existing BIRLS record for a Veteran, follow the steps in the table below to process a Veteran FNOD.
Step Action
1 Review the system to determine if the Veteran has a running award.

  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no, proceed to Step 6.
2
Review the system to see if there is a living spouse of record.
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no, proceed to Step 6.
3
Perform an SSA INQUIRY to confirm whether the spouse is still living.
  • If yes, proceed to Step 6.
  • If no, proceed to the next step.
4
Insert the SSA INQUIRY showing the spouse’s date of death in the electronic claims folder (eFolder).
5
Enter the spouse’s date of death into Participant Profile or using the DEPENDENTS command in Share.
6
Select the FNOD command and enter the Veteran’s file number or SSN, first name and last name, and click SUBMIT.
Verify that the information on the VETERAN IDENTIFICATION DATA (VID) screen for the Veteran is complete and accurate (if not, modify), and enter the following:
  • the date of death for the Veteran
  • the applicable cause of death in the CAUSE OF DEATH field:
    • UNKNOWN
    • NATURAL
    • COMBAT, or
    • OTHER, and
  • Y in the Death in Service field if the evidence shows the Veteran died in service.
Note:  The Philadelphia Veterans Service Center (VSC) has jurisdiction over all initial in-service death claims per M21-1, Part III, Subpart ii, 5.B.1.d.  The PMC of jurisdiction processes all reopened and supplemental in-service death claims.
7
Select the UPDATE button on the VID screen. The MONTH OF DEATH screen will automatically appear.
8
Verify that the Veteran’s and spouse’s information on the MONTH OF DEATH screen is complete and accurate. If not accurate, modify the information.
Verify whether the Veteran was buried in a State or national cemetery. If so, leave the VET BURIED IN STATE OR NATIONAL CEMETERY box checked.  If the Veteran was not buried in a State or national cemetery, uncheck the VET BURIED IN STATE OR NATIONAL CEMETERY box.
Note:  If it is determined that an FNOD command is being completed under the incorrect Veteran’s record, then:
  • select the ABORT MOD ONLY button (this will stop any payment and letters being issued), and
  • refer the case to adjudication.
9
Select the applicable notice in the TYPE OF NOTICE drop-down menu.
  • The following notices will not send contemporaneous notice to the Veteran:
    • DEATH CERTIFICATE/DEATH NOTICE
    • DEATH BENEFIT CLAIM
    • BURIAL BENEFIT/HEADSTONE/MARKER CLAIM
    • FLAG APPLICATION
    • INTERMENT RECORD
    • NOTICE OF DEATH MESSAGE, or
    • VA INSURANCE CLAIM.
  • The following notices will send contemporaneous notice to the Veteran:
    • TELEPHONE FNOD
    • PERSONAL INTERVIEW FNOD
    • INSURANCE PCR FNOD, or
    • DEATH MATCH.
10
If the Veteran had no spouse or the spouse’s information is discrepant or incomplete, then check the SEND NEXT OF KIN LETTER box.
Note If a dependent spouse is not on the Veteran’s award, the MONTH OF DEATH screen will default to SEND NEXT OF KIN LETTER to the Veteran’s last known mailing address.  If the evidence shows that a surviving spouse exists, and it is determined that he or she is entitled to the Month of Death (MOD) payment, add the surviving spouse on the MONTH OF DEATH screen by selecting ADD NEW SPOUSE check box.  Then complete the surviving spouse’s information, including his or her date of birth and SSN. Once complete, select UPDATE.
11
Select the UPDATE button on the MONTH OF DEATH screen.  Confirmation that the MOD has been successfully submitted will appear and select OK.  The PRESIDENTIAL MEMORIAL CERTIFICATE screen will automatically appear.  If the requirements for the Presidential Memorial Certificate have not been met, do not create the Presidential Memorial Certificate.
Note:  In order to release the MOD payment from the MONTH OF DEATH screen, it is required that the SSN is available at the time the FNOD command is completed.  If the spouse has no SSN, or the SSN is not available while performing the FNOD command, the MOD payment cannot be processed and the SEND NEXT OF KIN LETTER is the only option the user can select.
12
If there is a spouse of record in the system, this information will be pre-populated on the PRESIDENTIAL MEMORIAL CERTIFICATE screen. Verify that the information is complete and accurate. If not, modify the information.
13
Select the CREATE CERTIFICATE button on the PRESIDENTIAL MEMORIAL CERTIFICATE screen.
14
Scan the NOD mail into the Veteran’s eFolder.
Note:  If a survivor claim was submitted with the NOD mail, then forward the survivor claim to the appropriate PMC.
Note:  If the surviving spouse was receiving an apportionment, do not pay the MOD payment until the claims folder is reviewed to ensure there is no pending action to remove the spouse.
References:  For more information on

III.ii.8.B.2.b.  Modifying Existing Dependent Spouse of Record on theMONTH OF DEATH Screen

Follow the steps in the table below when a dependent spouse’s record should be modified.
Step
Action
1
On the MONTH OF DEATH screen, select MODIFY EXISTING SPOUSE.
Note:  Check the ALL RELATIONSHIPS tab under the PERSON button for any existing spouse.  If there is a Y in the AWARD IND, the spouse is currently included in the Veteran’s award.  The Y indicator is also on the AWARD INFORMATION screen.
2
Complete the field under UPDATE SPOUSE INFORMATION and select UPDATE.
Note:  If the MONTH OF DEATH NOT PROCESSED, REASON IS: SSN OR FILE_NBR ALREADY EXISTS – REFER MOD TO ADJUDICATION message appears, send the claim to adjudication for review.
3
Select the UPDATE button on the MONTH OF DEATH screen.  Confirmation that the MOD has been successfully submitted will appear and select OK.  The PRESIDENTIAL MEMORIAL CERTIFICATE screen will automatically appear.  If the requirements for the Presidential Memorial Certificate have not been met, do not create the Presidential Memorial Certificate.

III.ii.8.B.2.c.  Identifying MODCases Paid by Batch

In order to determine if a case was paid by the batch MOD process in Share, take the actions below:

  • Select the CLAIMS/DENIALS tab.
  • Select the BENEFIT CLAIM INFORMATION tab.
  • Select the 290 MOD ENTITLEMENT REVIEW.
  • Under ACTION PERSON tab, it states BATCH MOD.

III.ii.8.B.2.d.  Amending CPD Spouse Awards Created by Automated MOD Process

Following the automated FNOD/MOD processing, a claim for death benefits is often received from the surviving spouse.  The COMPENSATION AND PENSION DEATH (CPD) SPOUSE tab will exist in Awards and the user will not need to add a new award.
Note:  The CPD SPOUSE tab will exist in either C&P Awards in the Veterans Service Network (VETSNET) or the Veterans Benefits Management System-Awards.
Step
Action
1
Select RECORD DECISIONS.
2
Select BASIC ELIGIBILITY.  This screen will show ELIGIBLE FOR VETERAN’S RATE MONTH OF DEATH in the DECISION FIELD.  Do notremove this decision unless you are denying MOD.
3
Select the appropriate death benefit eligibility decision.
4
Input EVENT DATE and EFFECTIVE DATE will automatically default to the first of the month following the event date.
5
Select ACCEPT and this will record the decision.
The screen will display both decisions.
6
Select OKAY.  This will take the user to the RECORD DECISIONS screen.
Generate the award.

III.ii.8.B.2.e.  Reviewing C&P Awards for MOD Payments

When reviewing a record in the C&P AWARDS tab, follow the steps in the table below.
Step
Action
1
Select CPD Spouse Award.
2
Review the EFFECTIVE box for award information.
Note:  If the C&P AWARDS tab shows two tabs for the same spouse, it is possible that the surviving spouse received two MOD payments for two different Veterans.  Review the records to determine whether the surviving spouse is entitled to any of those MOD payments or not.

III.ii.8.B.2.f.  Granting Entitlement to MOD Payment Only

If it is determined that no MOD was previously paid by a one-time transaction in Finance or the batch MOD process, the user can grant entitlement to the MOD payment only.
Example:  The MOD payment is rejected because the SSN was duplicated in our database.
Use the steps in the table below to grant entitlement to MOD payment only.
Step
Action
1
Establish an EP 290 – MOD – ENTITLEMENT REVIEW.
2
In C&P AWARDS, if CPD SPOUSE tab is not already created, add a CPD SPOUSE tab by selecting ADD NEW AWARD TYPE, and choosing CPD SPOUSE in the dropdown AWARD TYPE menu.
3
Select BASIC ELIGIBILITY and select ADD.  Select RECORD DECISIONS.
4
Select the BASIC ELIGIBILITY TAB and select ADD.
5
Select ELIGIBILE FOR VETERAN’S RATE MONTH OF DEATH from the BASIC ELIGIBIITY tab.
6
Input the EVENT DATE and the AWARD EFFECTIVE DATE.
Note:  The MOD effective date is the first day of the month of the Veteran’s death.
7
Input the MONTH OF DEATH AMOUNT, which is the amount the Veteran was entitled to at the time of his or her death.
8
Select the benefit from the BENEFIT drop-down menu.
9
Select SERVICE PERIOD and select ACCEPT.
The recorded decision will display, then select OK.
Generate the award.

III.ii.8.B.2.g.  When to Refer an MOD Memorandum to Adjudication

If it is determined that the NOD is being processed under the incorrect Veteran’s record, select ABORT MOD ONLY.  This will stop any payment and letters from being issued.  Report this error to adjudication using the MOD MEMORANDUM found in Exhibit 1.
Note:  A referral is required if the following error message is received:  MONTH OF DEATH NOT PROCESSED REASON IS:  SSN OR FILE_NBR ALREADY EXISTS – REFER MOD TO ADJUDICATION.

III.ii.8.B.2.h.  Denying Entitlement to MOD

If it is determined that an MOD batch payment was released erroneously to the incorrect spouse and the MOD payment should be denied, follow the steps below.

Step
Action
1
CEST EP 290.
2
Select RECORD DECISIONS.
3
Select the BASIC ELIGIBILITY tab.
Note:  This screen will show ELIGIBLE FOR VETERAN’S RATE MONTH OF DEATH in the DECISION box.
4
Select EDIT.
Note:  This will enable the BASIC ELIGIBILITY DECISION fields for editing.
5
Chose one of the two MOD denial reasons:
  • DENIED-VETERAN’S MOD RATE PREVIOUSLY PAID, or
  • DENIED – NOT ENTITLED TO MOD.
This will replace the prior decision automatically inserted by the batch MOD process.
6
Generate the award.
Note:  If a user adds a second decision denying MOD entitlement under the BASIC ELIGIBILITY tab, this action will not create an overpayment on the surviving spouse’s account.

III.ii.8.B.2.i.  When the System Finds Multiple Records During NOD Processing

When the system finds multiple records during NOD processing, use the table below to determine how to
  • review a BIRLS record, or
  • return to the BIRLS SELECTION screen.
If you want to …
Then …
review a BIRLS record
double click the BIRLS record, or
select the BIRLS record and then use the INQUIRY command.
return to the BIRLS SELECTION
screen
use the SELECTION command.

III.ii.8.B.2.j.  Folder Establishment During Veteran FNOD Processing

Do not create a physical NOD folder if all claims-related material associated with that folder are scanned into the eFolder.
Use the table below to make the appropriate entry in the NO CLAIM FOLDER EST RSN field on the FOLDER LOCATION screen when
  • completing an FNOD command through the CEST command
  • no claims folder exists, and
  • you are not creating a NOD folder.
If the NOD mail is …
Then enter …
either
  • VA Form 40-4956, Record of Interment, or
  • a NOD received through a system generated work item
DMA in the NO CLAIM FOLDER EST RSN field.
an insurance claim such as
Insurance (INS) in the NO CLAIM FOLDER EST RSN field.
  • Regional Office Inquiry (ROI ) in the NO CLAIM FOLDER EST RSN field on the LOC screen, and
  • Yes (Y ) in the BURIAL FLAG ISSUED field on the ICP screen.
anything other than
ROI in the NO CLAIM FOLDER EST RSN field.

III.ii.8.B.2.k.  Disposition of Veteran NOD Data Prints

The system generates a Veteran NOD VID screen print when FNOD processing results in a
  • new BIRLS record, or
  • NOD folder in BIRLS.
These prints should be destroyed in accordance with VBA Letter 20-08-63.

III.ii.8.B.2.l.  Assigning New File Numbers During Veteran FNOD Processing

Use the table below when assigning a new file number during the Veteran NOD process.

Step
Action
1
Check to see that the following information has been entered on the READY screen:  the Veteran’s
  • first name, middle name or initial, and last name
  • service number if the Veteran served before
    • August 1969 in the Army or Air Force
    • January 1971 in the Navy or Marine Corps, or
    • October 1974 in the Coast Guard
  • Social Security account number if the Veteran served after
    • July 1969 in the Army or Air Force
    • December 1970 in the Navy or Marine Corps, or
    • September 1974 in the Coast Guard, and
  • date of birth.
2
Has the information listed in Step 1 been entered on the READY screen?
  • If yes, go to Step 3.
  • If no, terminate using the CEST or FNOD command, and enter the minimum required entries listed in Step 1.
3
Enter all other available identifying information.
Note:  It is very important to enter the Veteran’s service number and SSN when they are available.
4
If the minimum required information is in the system, but the BIRLS database search fails to locate an existing record, establish a new BIRLS record and proceed with the NOD steps in M21-1, Part III, Subpart ii, 8.B.2.

Important:  Use extreme care not to add a new BIRLS record until allsearches for a current BIRLS record to include name variations have been completed.

5
If the minimum required information is not available and the BIRLS database search fails to locate an existing record
  • terminate CEST or FNOD processing, and
  • write to the claimant or next of kin for additional identifying information.
Note:  If the NOD is a claim form, advise the claimant to respond within 30 days or VA cannot take action.  If you receive a response but the claimant or next of kin cannot provide the Veteran’s service number or SSN, sendVA Form 21-3101, Request for Information to the appropriate service department.  Do not use the Personnel Information Exchange System to send VA Form 3101 since there is no assigned file number

3.  Processing MOD Payments with Other Death Benefits


Introduction

This topic contains information on processing MOD payments along with other death benefits, including

Change Date

August 16, 2018

III.ii.8.B.3.a.  Spouse Receiving an Apportionment at the Time the FNOD Command is Performed

If a surviving spouse is receiving an apportionment at the time the FNOD comman is performed, the corporate record will reflect both award types for payee 10 (primary and apportionee).

After the MOD payment is released, the CPD Spouse award will reflect the payment released to the surviving spouse and the debt created on his or her apportionment account.

To view the transactions in Finance and Accounting System (FAS), follow the steps below.

Step
Action
1
In FAS, select the spouse’s name (SELECT PARTICIPANT), instead of CPD spouse.
2
Review the BENEFICIARIES field to see CPL PAYEE 10 AWARD, as well as CPD PAYEE 10 AWARD.

III.ii.8.B.3.b.  Entitlement to DIC and MOD with No Running Award

When there is entitlement to DIC and MOD and there is no running award, complete the steps in the table below to process the award.

Step
Action
1
In C&P AWARDS, select ADD SPOUSE tab (if CPD SPOUSE tab is not already created).
2
Select RECORD DECISIONS.
3
Select RATING.
4
Select DEATH DECISIONS.
5
Under BASIC ELIGIBILITY, select ADD.
6
Select RECORD DECISIONS.
7
Select BASIC ELIGIBILITY TAB and select ADD.
8
Select the appropriate DIC eligibility reason.
9
Input EVENT DATE.
Note:  The EFFECTIVE DATE field will automatically default to the first day of the month following the event date.
10
Select ACCEPT. This will record the DIC decision.
11
Select ADD to record the MOD decision.
12
Select ELIGIBLE FOR VETERAN’S RATE MONTH OF DEATH from the BASIC ELIGIBILITY drop-down menu.
13
Input EVENT DATE and AWARD EFFECTIVE DATE.
Note:  The MOD effective date is the first day of the month of the Veteran’s death.
14
Select the benefit from the BENEFIT drop-down menu.
15
Select SERVICE PERIOD.
16
Click ACCEPT. The screen will display both decisions.
17
Select OK. This will take the user to the RECORD DECISIONS screen.
18
Generate the award.

III.ii.8.B.3.c.  Entitlement to MOD with DIC or Survivors Pension Already Running

If the user is granting MOD entitlement to a surviving spouse that already has a DIC or Survivors Pension award running, leave the DIC or Survivors Pension decision under the BASIC ELIGIBILITY tab and add the new MOD decision.
 
Step
Action
1
In C&P AWARDS, select ELIGIBLE FOR VETERAN’S RATE MONTH OF DEATH from the BASIC ELIGIBILITY drop-down menu.
2
Input EVENT DATE and AWARD EFFECTIVE DATE.
Note:  The MOD effective date is the first day of the month of the Veteran’s death.
3
Input MONTH OF DEATH AMOUNT.
Note:  This is the amount the Veteran was entitled to at the time of his or her death.
4
Select the benefit from the BENEFIT drop-down menu.
5
Select SERVICE PERIOD.
6
Click ACCEPT.  The screen will display both decisions.
7
 Select OK.

III.ii.8.B.3.d.  Amending a Running Spouse Award After MOD Has Been Paid by Finance Action, Interim MOD Process, or Retro Batch MOD 

A running award or a converted record will likely have had the MOD paid via an old method.  These cases will not have an MOD decision in the VETSNET Awards record, unless it was paid on the award itself.
Effective August 2010, all DIC and Survivors Pension cases require an MOD decision.  Otherwise the error message SURVIVING SPOUSE AWARD REQUIRES A MONTH OF DEATH DECISION will appear.
Complete the following steps to amend a running surviving spouse award after MOD has been paid by finance action, interim MOD process, or retro batch MOD.
Step
Action
1
If applicable, verify the rating data under the DEATH DECISIONS tab.
2
If the surviving spouse is entitled to a death benefit, the appropriate BASIC ELIGIBILITY DECISION will display.
3
Select BASIC ELIGIBLITY DECISION from the drop-down menu.
4
Click ACCEPT.
The screen will display DIC entitlement and an MOD denial because the MOD payment was already paid.
5
Select OK.
This will take the user to the RECORD DECISIONS screen.
Note:  If it is a converted case, the user must input a date on the ONLY GENERATE NEW AWARD LINES FROM field.
6
Generate the award.
Note:  The AWARD INFORMATION tab will now contain the previous award information (i.e. Original Award) and “Entitled to MOD Benefit”.

4.  MOD FAS Transactions

 


Change Date

August 16, 2018

III.ii.8.B.4.a.  MOD FAS Transactions

When reviewing MOD FAS transactions, complete the steps in the table below.
Step
Action
1
In FAS, select VIEW DETAILS.
This will allow the user to see the PAYMENT ADDRESS box and the RETURN REASON field.
The return reasons can be one of the following:
  • BENEFICIARIES
  • PAYMENT TYPE: RETROACTIVE – C&P
  • PAYMENT AMOUNT
  • PAYMENT DATE
  • SCHEDULED DATE
  • PAYMENT NUMBER
  • RETURN PAYMENT DATE – (DATE CHECK WAS RETURNED)
  • PROCESSING STATION (IT COULD BE DIFFERENT FROM SOJ)
  • STATION OF JURISDICTION
  • AWARD TYPE: CPD SPOUSE
  • COST: MOD COMPENSATION (MONTH OF DEATH)
  • FILE NUMBER
  • PAYEE – (ALWAYS PAYEE 10 FOR MOD)
  • SSN – IT SHOWS SURVIVING SPOUSE’S SSN
  • TIN AND BENEFICIARY TYPE
2
Review payment transaction history.
The user will see the MOD payment and the period the payment covers.
3
Review the AUTHORIZED BENEFITS column for the finance transaction creating proceeds.
4
Review the RECEIVABLES column for any receivables created by an award action.
5
Review the PAYMENT column for the transaction applying proceeds towards the receivable amount (A21 transaction shows payment amount).

5.  Exhibit 1:  MOD Memorandum


Change Date

January 20, 2016

III.ii.8.B.5.a.  MOD Memorandum

An example of a MOD Memorandum sent to adjudication is below.

Memorandum

 

MOD Failure Referred to _____________  Date ____________

 

While performing the Veteran’s FNOD, the following error appeared; therefore, we are referring the case to your Regional Office.

File Number
Veteran’s SSN
Veteran’s Name
Date of Death
Source of Notification
MOD UPDATE:  Month of Death not processed, reason is: (error number)
Reason
Selection
01
Invalid Transaction
02
Update of spouse information failed
03
Invalid Transaction
04
Failed to create or updated MOD control record
05
Death Date is Null. FNOD needs to be performed
06
MOD transaction is already pending
07
SSN or File_nbr Already Exists
08
Cannot Change SSN when SSN = Filenbr
09
Cannot Delete or Change Verified SSN
Aborted
First Notice of Death (FNOD) process under incorrect Veteran
8-16-18_Key-Changes_M21-1III_ii_8_SecB.docx May 11, 2019 69 KB
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1-20-16_Key-Changes_M21-1III_ii_8_B.docx May 11, 2019 94 KB
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