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M21-1, Part III, Subpart ii, Chapter 8, Section C – Interaction with the Records Management Center (RMC) Related to Notice of Death (NOD) Processing

Overview


In This Section

This section contains the following topics:
Topic Topic Name

1

RMC Actions Related to NOD Processing

2

Recall of Folders From RMC

3

Identification of Remains

1.  RMC Actions Related to NOD Processing


Introduction

This topic contains information on RMC actions related to NOD processing for folders located in RMC, inclding


Change Date

November 15, 2004

III.ii.8.C.1.a.  RO Processing

The table below describes the process that occurs when the regional office (RO) of jurisdiction processes a notice of death (NOD) for a claims folder located in the Records Management Center (RMC).
Stage Description

1

The RO of jurisdiction processes an NOD for a claims folder located in RMC.

2

The system sends the following message to RMC: “NOD ACTION FOR [RO OF JURISDICTION]. DELIVER TO NOD UNIT.”

III.ii.8.C.1.b.  RMC Actions at the Time of Death

The table below describes RMC actions when the claims folder is in RMC at the time of the Veteran’s death.
Stage Description

1

RMC updates the Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) Veteran Identification Data (VID) screen with verified service if the evidence is

  • in the folder, and
  • not already in BIRLS.

2

RMC updates the BIRLS Inactive Compensation and Pension Data (ICP) screen with rating data if a disability rating is of record.

3

RMC reviews the folder for

  • destruction of Group 1 folders, or
  • retirement of Group 2 folders to a Federal records center (FRC).

III.ii.8.C.1.c.  Classification of Group 1 Folders

The table below describes the classification of Group 1 folders.
Classification Description
Education Only Folders containing only education benefits or disallowances.
Dental Only Folders containing information relevant only to a dental claim
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Form 10-7131, Exchange of Beneficiary Information and Request for Administrative and Adjudication Action Folders created solely in connection with a VA Form 10-7131 request from a medical center.
Loan Guaranty Overpayment Folders created based on a loan guaranty overpayment.
No Award Folders created when a Veteran applied for education, compensation, or pension benefits and the award was never completed.
Empty Folders Folders without documents.

III.ii.8.C.1.d.  Destruction of Group 1 Folders

The table below describes the process followed by RMC for destruction of Group 1 folders.
Stage Description

1

Removes documents of evidentiary value.

2

Forwards certain documents relating to military service to the National Personnel Records Center.

3

Send the following documents to the electronic claims folder (eFolder):
  • marriage certificates
  • divorce decrees, and
  • post-service medical records.

4

Updates BIRLS.

5

Destroys (by shredding)

  • the folder, and
  • any documentation remaining in the folder.

6

Updates the BIRLS record by entering a “Y” in the FOLDER DESTROYED field on the LOC screen.

III.ii.8.C.1.e.  Classification of Group 2 Folders

The table below describes the classification of Group 2 folders.
Classification
Description
Running Awards
Cases with running compensation awards that were relocated to make more space available at ROs.
Disallowed C&P
Folders created when VA disallowed a Veteran’s claim for compensation or pension.
Terminated C&P
Folders containing terminated compensation and pension awards.
Documents of Evidentiary Value
Folders created if no NOD folder exists at an RO. These folders contain documents of evidentiary value such as
  • birth certificates
  • marriage certificates, and
  • medical records.

III.ii.8.C.1.f.  Retirement of Group 2 Folders

The table below describes the process followed by RMC for retirement of Group 2 folders to the FRC.
Stage Description

1

Files the folders in a separate NOD file bank in terminal digit order.

2

Maintains folder in the NOD file bank until retirement to the FRC.

3

Updates the BIRLS record until retirement of the folder to the FRC.
Result:  Location “376” appears in BIRLS as the claims folder location until RMC retires the folder to an FRC.

2.  Recall of Folders From RMC


Introduction

This topic contains information on RO recall of folders from RMC, including


Change Date

June 12, 2015

III.ii.8.C.2.a.  Checking for a Running Compensation or Pension Award

Before processing an NOD for a claims folder located in RMC

  • review the NOD materials, and
  • review the system to determine if the Veteran has a running compensation or pension award.

III.ii.8.C.2.b.  Determining Whether to Recall a Folder

Recall a claims folder from RMC if

  • the issue of service connection for the cause of death is raised by
    • a claimant, or
    • evidence accompanying a claim, and
  • the system shows that the Veteran was service-connected (SC) for a disability that might relate to the cause of death.
Exception:  Do not request the claims folder if there is sufficient evidence in the system and/or eFolder to award Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).
Note:  If there is any question that the cause of death might relate to one of the SC disabilities in the system OR whether there is sufficient evidence to award benefits based on the evidence in the system and/or eFolder, consult the rating activity or a supervisor.
Reference:  For more information on the ability to award DIC without the claims folder, see M21-1, Part IV, Subpart iii, 1.B.

III.ii.8.C.2.c.  Requesting Transfer on the Day of Processing

To request the transfer of a claims folder from RMC on the same day as NOD processing, use the Control of Veterans Records System (COVERS).

III.ii.8.C.2.d.  Requesting Transfer on the Day After Processing

Follow the steps in the table below to request the transfer of a claims folder from RMC when NOD processing occurred on the previous day.
Step Action

1

For each folder requested, compose an e-mail message that

  • includes the
    • file number
    • Veteran’s name, and
    • RO and routing symbol where RMC should send the folder, and
  • clearly indicates that the request is for a folder in the NOD file bank.

2

Send the message via e-mail to VAVBASTL/RMC/RCD.

III.ii.8.C.2.e.  Receiving Claims Folders

If you receive a claims folder from RMC and find that previous NOD action resulted in creation of a lightweight folder, ensure that the

  • two folders are associated, and
  • all material is combined in the claims folder.

Note:  The system automatically consolidates the claims folder and NOD folder in BIRLS when you process an update reflecting receipt of the claims folder from RMC.


 

3.  Identification of Remains


Introduction

This topic contains information on the identification of remains, including


Change Date

June 12, 2015

III.ii.8.C.3.a.  Role of RMC in Identification of Remains

RMC plays a role in the identification of unknown and known remains as further explained below.

III.ii.8.C.3.b.Responsibility for Identifying Unknown Remains

The appropriate public authorities process the identification of unknown remains through reference to local records and the files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

III.ii.8.C.3.c.Requests for VA to Identify Unknown Remains

VA does not accept requests for identification of unknown remains from

  • public authorities
  • funeral directors, or
  • other responsible and interested persons.
Use the table below to determine how to handle requests for the identification of unknown remains.

If the request is …

Then …

made in person advise the interested party to submit the request to the FBI.
received through the mail
  • return the request by the most expeditious means to the interested party, and
  • advise that party to submit the request to the FBI.

III.ii.8.C.3.d. Role of the FBI in Identifying Unknown Remains

FBI personnel automatically notify the VA RMC (376) when it identifies remains with fingerprints in FBI military files following submissions by sources outside VA.

III.ii.8.C.3.e.Criteria for Accepting a Request to Identify Known Remains

VA accepts requests for the identification of a known deceased person, who is alleged to be a Veteran, if either

  • the name of the deceased person is established and submitted with fingerprints, or
  • the following information has been submitted to the FBI:
    • fingerprints, and
    • FD-258, Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Department of Justice Fingerprint Application Chart, indicating additional information, such as the Veteran’s name and service number.

Note:  Do not use SF 87, Fingerprint Chart, for submission to the FBI for the identification of deceased persons.


III.ii.8.C.3.f.Guidelines for Handling a Request to Identify Known Remains

Follow the steps in the table below if you receive a request for the identification of known remains, either in person or through the mail.
Step Action

1

Forward the fingerprints and all additional information to

VA Records Management Center (376)
P.O. Box 5020
St. Louis, Missouri 63115

Result:  You will receive notification about the identification of the fingerprints.

2

Do not take further action until you receive notification, unless positive identification of the Veteran is made through other means.
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