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M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, Chapter 2, Section H – Record Exchanges Between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Service Departments

Overview


In This Section

This section contains the following topics:

1.  Exchange of Records Between VA, DARBA, and ADRB


Introduction

This topic contains information on the exchange of records between VA, DARBA, and ADRB, including


Change Date

June 15, 2015

III.iii.2.H.1.a.  MOU Between VA, DARBA, and ADRB

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) exists between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of the Army regarding the exchange of service records between VA and the
  • Department of the Army Review Boards Agency (DARBA), and
  • Army Discharge Review Board (ADRB).
Note:  The provisions of this MOU are designed to prevent lengthy delays in the handling of claims by both departments.

III.iii.2.H.1.b.  Procedures for Obtaining Records From DARBA or ADRB

The Records Management Center (RMC) has a VA liaison office (VALO) collocated with the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC).  This office is solely responsible for requesting service records from DARBA and the ADRB.
The table below describes the procedures for obtaining records from DARBA or the ADRB through the VALO.
Step Action

1

A regional office (RO) submits a request for records to NPRC (address code 13) via the Personnel Information Exchange System (PIES).

2

The VALO confirms the records are not located at

  • NPRC, or
  • the U.S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC).

3

If the records are not located at NPRC or the HRC, the VALO determines whether the records are located at

  • DARBA, or
  • the ADRB.

4

Use the table below to determine where the VALO sends requests once it determines the records are located at DARBA.
If DARBA … Then …
  • still has possession of the records, and
  • the records request is associated with an emergent claim
the VALO will contact DARBA to

  • send the entire record to the VALO electronically for upload into the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS), and
  • update PIES.
still has possession of the records and the records

  • request is not associated with an emergent claim, and
  • are returned prior to 10 months from charge-out
NPRC will immediately forward records to the VALO upon receipt.
still has possession of the records and the records

  • request is not associated with an emergent claim, and
  • have not been returned after 10 months from charge-out
  • the VALO will make contact with DARBA
  • DARBA will notify the VALO when the records are being returned to NPRC, and
  • NPRC will immediately forward records to the VALO upon receipt for
    • scan processing
    • upload into VBMS, and
    • PIES update.
is not in possession of the records
  • a negative reply is provided to the VALO, and
  • the VALO will update PIES.
Important:  The VALO requests for records to DARBA utilize the current e-mail and phone contact information provided by DARBA to the VALO.
Note:  The VALO must wait 10 months from the records’ charge-out date to contact DARBA, unless the records request is associated with a priority processing claim or a claim that has been pending for more than one year.

III.iii.2.H.1.c.  DARBA Requests for Records in VA Custody

The table below describes how DARBA obtains records in VA custody.
Stage Description

1

DARBA submits its request for records to RMC.

2

RMC determines the location of the records.
If the records are located … Then RMC …
  • at RMC, or
  • are available in VBMS
  • makes photocopies of the records, and
  • sends the photocopies to DARBA.
at an RO sends OF 41Routing and Transmittal Slip, to the RO having custody of the claims folder, asking the RO to respond directly to DARBA.
Note:  If the request is received by RMC in Centralized Mail (CM) and RMC determines the location of the records is an RO, RMC will re-route the e-mail to the appropriate RO’s mail portal.
Reference:  For additional information on the CM process, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart ii, 1.E.

3

If the RO

  • locates the requested records, it
    • makes photocopies of them, and
    • sends the photocopies to DARBA, or
  • is unable to locate the requested records, it must send a negative response to DARBA.

Important:  VA has an obligation to respond to requests from DARBA within 15 days. If VA cannot meet this requirement because records are temporarily unavailable, it must send a statement to DARBA explaining the reason for the delay.

Example:  Records may be temporarily unavailable because they are in a claims folder located

  • at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA), or
  • with General Counsel in connection with an appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC).

2.  Exchange of Records Between VA and AFDRB


Introduction

This topic contains information on the exchange of records between VA and AFDRB, including


Change Date

June 15, 2015

III.iii.2.H.2.a.  MOU Between VA and AFDRB

An MOU exists between VA and the Air Force Discharge Review Board (AFDRB) for the purpose of ensuring the efficient and timely exchange of records between the two entities.

III.iii.2.H.2.b.  Procedure for Obtaining Records Located at AFDRB

The VALO collocated with NPRC is solely responsible for requesting service records from the AFDRB.
The table below describes the procedures for obtaining records from the AFDRB through the VALO.
Step Action

1

An RO submits a request for records via PIES to NPRC (address code 13).

2

The VALO confirms the records are not located at

  • NPRC, or
  • the U.S. Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC) in Denver, CO.

3

The VALO forwards the request to the AFDRB or Board of Corrections Section at Randolph Air Force Base by utilizing current e-mail and phone contact information provided by AFDRB or Board of Corrections to the VALO.

4

Use the table below to determine the appropriate action to take based on the location of the records.
If the records are … Then …
  • located at the
    • AFDRB, or
    • Board of Corrections, and
  • the records request is associated with an emergent claim
the VALO will

  • contact the board possessing the records
  • request a copy of the records for
    • scanning, and
    • upload into VBMS, and
  • update PIES.
  • located at the
    • AFDRB, or
    • Board of Corrections, and
  • the records request isnot associated with an emergent claim
the VALO must wait 10 months from the records’ charge-out date to contact the board possessing the records.

If records are returned more than 10 months from the charge-out date or after the VALO makes contact with the board

  • the board will notify the VALO when the records are being returned to NPRC, and
  • NPRC will immediately forward records to the VALO upon receipt for
    • scanning, and
    • updating PIES.
not located at the

  • AFDRB, or
  • Board of Corrections
the board that received the request sends a negative reply to the VALO.

Important:  The VALO will update PIES after receiving the negative reply from the board.

Important:  The VALO must wait 10 months from the records’ charge-out date to contact AFDRB or Board of Corrections unless the records request is associated with a priority processing claim or a claim that has been pending for more than one year.

III.iii.2.H.2.c.  AFDRB Requests for Records in VA Custody

The table below describes how the AFDRB obtains records in VA custody.
Stage Description

1

The AFDRB submits its request for records to RMC.

2

RMC determines the location of the records.
If the records are located … Then RMC …
  • at RMC, or
  • in VBMS
  • makes photocopies of the records, and
  • sends the photocopies to the AFDRB.
at an RO sends an OF 41 to the RO having custody of the claims folder, asking the RO to respond directly to the AFDRB.
Note:  If RMC receives the request in CM and determines the records are located at an RO, then RMC will re-route the mail to the appropriate RO’s mail portal.
Reference:  For more information on CM, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart ii, 1.E.

3

If the RO

  • locates the requested records, it
    • makes a photocopy of them, and
    • sends the photocopy to the AFDRB, or
  • is unable to locate the requested records, it must send a negative response to the AFDRB.
Important:  VA has an obligation to respond to requests from the AFDRB within 15 days. If VA cannot meet this requirement because records are temporarily unavailable, it must send a statement to the AFDRB explaining the reason for the delay.
Example:  Records may be temporarily unavailable because they are in a claims folder located
  • at BVA, or
  • with General Counsel in connection with an appeal to the CAVC.

3.  Exchange of Records Between VA, NDRB, and BCNR


Introduction

This topic contains information on the exchange of records between VA, NDRB, and BCNR, including


Change Date

June 15, 2015

III.iii.2.H.3.a.  MOU Between VA, NDRB, and BCNR

An MOU exists between VA and the

  • Navy Discharge Review Board (NDRB), and
  • Board of Correction of Naval Records (BCNR).

The purpose of the MOU is to ensure the timely exchange of records between the three entities.


III.iii.2.H.3.b.  Procedures for Obtaining Records Located at NDRB and BCNR

The VALO collocated with NPRC is solely responsible for requesting service records from
  • NDRB, and
  • BCNR.
The table below describes the procedures for obtaining records from NDRB and BCNR through the VALO.
Step Action

1

An RO submits a request for records via PIES to NPRC (address code 13).

2

The VALO confirms the records are not located at NPRC.

3

The VALO forwards the request to NDRB and BCNR by utilizing current e-mail and phone contact information provided by NDRB and BCNR to the VALO.

4

Use the table below to determine the appropriate action to take based on the location of the records.
If the records are … Then …
  • located at
    • NDRB, or
    • BCNR, and
  • the records request is associated with an emergent claim
  • contact the board possessing the records
  • request a copy of the records for
    • scanning, and
    • upload into VBMS, and
  • update PIES.
  • located at
    • NDRB, or
    • BCNR, and
  • the records request isnot associated with an emergent claim
the VALO must wait 10 months from the records’ charge-out date to contact the board possessing the records.

If records are returned more than 10 months from the charge-out date or after the VALO makes contact with the board

  • the board will notify the VALO when the records are being returned to NPRC, and
  • NPRC will immediately forward records to the VALO upon receipt for
    • scanning, and
    • updating PIES.
not located at

  • NDRB, or
  • BCNR
the board that received the request sends a negative reply to the VALO.

Important:  The VALO will update PIES after receiving the negative reply from the board.

Important:  The VALO must wait 10 months from the records’ charge-out date to contact the NDRB or BCNR unless the records request is associated with a priority processing claim or a claim that has been pending for more than one year.

III.iii.2.H.3.c.  NDRB Requests for Records in VA Custody

The table below describes how NDRB obtains records in VA custody.
Stage Description

1

NDRB submits its request for records to RMC.

2

RMC determines the location of the records.
If the records are located … Then RMC …
  • at RMC, or
  • in VBMS
  • makes photocopies of the records, and
  • sends the photocopies to NDRB.
at an RO sends an OF 41 to the RO having custody of the claims folder, asking the RO to respond directly to NDRB.
Note:  If RMC receives the request in CM and determines the records are located at an RO, then RMC will re-route the mail to the appropriate RO’s mail portal.
Reference:  For more information on CM, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart ii, 1.E.

3

If the RO

  • locates the requested records, it
    • makes a photocopy of them, and
    • sends the photocopy to the NDRB, or
  • is unable to locate the requested records, it must send a negative response to the NDRB.
Important:  VA has an obligation to respond to requests from the NDRB within 15 days. If VA cannot meet this requirement because records are temporarily unavailable, it must send a statement to the NDRB explaining the reason for the delay.
Example:  Records may be temporarily unavailable because they are in a claims folder located
  • at BVA, or
  • with General Counsel in connection with an appeal to the CAVC.

4.  Exchange of Records Between VA and Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy Reserve Recruiting Services


Introduction

This topic contains information on the exchange of records with the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy Reserve Recruiting Services, including


Change Date

August 13, 2009

III.iii.2.H.4.a.  Exchange Agreement Between VA and the Reserve Recruiting Services

VA’s RMC has entered into an agreement with the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy Reserve Recruiting Services under which

  • each of the service branches has assigned a Recruiting Support non-commissioned officer (NCO) to RMC, and
  • Recruiting Support NCOs may request records from claims folders located at RMC or at an RO.

III.iii.2.H.4.b.  Reserve Recruiting Services Need for Records From Claims Folders

Reserve recruiting services need records from claims folders when a Veteran is being assigned to a reserve unit.

III.iii.2.H.4.c.  NCO Requests for Records Located at ROs

The table below describes how Recruiting Support NCOs request records that are located at ROs.
Stage Description

1

Recruiting Support NCOs request records from ROs via VA’s e-mail system.

2

The ROs furnish the requested records via fax or other medium specified by the Recruiting Support NCO.
Note:  If it is not practical to fax the documents, or if the records are not available, the RO notifies the Recruiting Support NCO by e-mail.
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