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M21-1, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 1 – General Information on the Rating Activity


In This Chapter

This chapter contains the topic “Rating Activity Organization.”

1.  Rating Activity Organization


This topic contains information on rating activity organization, including

Change Date

September 28, 2018

III.iv.1.1.a.  Definition:  Rating Activity

The rating activity is a group of specially qualified employees vested with the authority to make formal decisions, called “rating decisions,” and take other actions on claims that require a rating decision.
References:  For more information about

III.iv.1.1.b. Specific Issues Requiring a Rating Decision

The rating activity is responsible for decisions on the following major issues relating to entitlement:
  • service connection of diseases and injuries
  • evaluation of disabilities
  • relationship of service-connected (SC) diseases or injuries to causes of death, including suicide
  • competency or incompetency
  • whether or not a Veteran was insane at the time of the commission of offenses resulting in an other-than-honorable, undesirable, bad conduct or dishonorable discharge
  • whether a potential beneficiary was insane at the time of a murder, in cases involving a homicide
  • permanent incapacity of a child for self-support
  • incurrence of additional disability or death under 38 U.S.C. 1151 due to
    • hospital, medical or surgical treatment, or
    • vocational rehabilitation or examination
  • if required by the need for retroactive determination for a period prior to July 1, 1973, whether or not a disability incurred or aggravated in peacetime was a direct result of the Veteran being engaged in
    • armed conflict, or
    • extra-hazardous service
  • if the Veteran served fewer than 90 days, whether release was due to an SC disability or if, at the time of discharge, the Veteran had an SC disability which would have justified discharge for disability under 38 CFR 3.3
  • permanent and total disability in claims for pension, as well as entitlement to housebound or aid and attendance (A&A) benefits under 38 CFR 3.3and 38 CFR 3.351, and
  • entitlement to allowance for
    • A&A if claimed by a surviving spouse or surviving parent, and
    • housebound for surviving spouses in receipt of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation or Survivors Pension in accordance with M21-1, Part IV, Subpart iii, 2.B.2.
 References:  For more information on

III.iv.1.1.c.  Rating Activity Leadership

Each regional office contains a rating activity that operates under the direction of
  • the Veterans Service Center Manager (VSCM) and/or the Pension Management Center Manager (PMCM)
  • a designated individual with responsibilities similar to the VSCM or PMCM but having a different title, or
  • the VSCM’s or PMCM’s appointee.

III.iv.1.1.d.  Responsibilities of the VSCM/PMCM Relating to the Rating Activity

  • determines which employees will serve as part of the rating activity (to include on temporary detail) to the extent consistent with personnel requirements.
  • monitors the quality of rating decisions
  • determines which members of the rating activity are eligible or ineligible for single-signature authority.
  • determines which rating issues require a second signature by reason of being special or complex
  • signs rating decisions himself/herself as necessary, and
  • establishes suitable controls to ensure that the rating workload is distributed efficiently and equitably.

References:  For more information on

Historical_M21-1_III_iv_1_4-7-17.doc May 15, 2019 75 KB
Historical_M21-1_III_iv_1_5-6-15.doc May 15, 2019 71 KB
9-28-18_Key-Changes_M21-1_III_iv_1.docx May 15, 2019 39 KB
transmittal-sheet.doc May 15, 2019 62 KB
transmittal-sheet.doc May 12, 2019 77 KB
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