Select Page

M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, Chapter 5, Section C – Coordinating Military Retired Pay (MRP) Cases With Retired Pay Centers and Service Departments

Overview


In This Section

This section contains the following topics:

1.  MRP Coordinator


Introduction

This topic contains information on the MRP coordinator, including information on

Change Date

March 12, 2018

III.v.5.C.1.a.  Appointing an MRP Coordinator

Regional offices (ROs) should appoint someone to act as Military Retired Pay (MRP) Coordinator and serve as the authorization activity’s single point of contact (POC) for telephone inquiries to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).
Notes:
  • DFAS handles most MRP accounts.
  • The same employee that serves as an RO’s Military Records Specialist may also serve as the RO’s MRP Coordinator.
Reference:  For more information on retired pay centers (RPCs), see M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.C.2.f.

III.v.5.C.1.b.  MRP Coordinator Responsibilities

MRP Coordinators are responsible for handling MRP inquiries for which a satisfactory response cannot be obtained through normal development procedures with a single phone call.

2.  Obtaining MRP Information from DFAS


Introduction

This topic contains information on obtaining retired pay information from DFAS, including

Change Date

April 28, 2017

III.v.5.C.2.a.Using VIS as a Source for MRP Information

Use the Veterans Information Solution (VIS) to obtain information about a Veteran’s MRP.  This information is located in the RETIRED PAY INFORMATION section on the DFAS PAYMENTS tab in VIS.
Document the information obtained from VIS by
  • downloading the document titled Veteran DFAS Payments, which is accessible on the REPORTS tab in VIS, and
  • uploading the same document into the Veteran’s electronic claims folder.
Reference:  For more information about accessing and using VIS, see the VIP VIS – Veterans Information Portal (VIP) VIS Access Procedure and User Guide.

III.v.5.C.2.b.  Contacting DFAS

The phone number for contacting DFAS for questions regarding the military annuity of any claimant, whether living or deceased, is 1-800-321-1080.
Notes:
  • Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.
  • This line is busiest on Mondays and the first days of the month.
  • Callers will hear a 45-second recorded message explaining menu options.

III.v.5.C.2.c.  Documenting Contact With DFAS

For each attempt made to secure information from DFAS by telephone, RO personnel must prepare a VA Form 27-0820, Report of General Information, listing the
  • date
  • time
  • contact person, and
  • results of the call.
Note:  For security purposes, in order to confirm the identity of the caller, DFAS personnel may, at times, choose to return a call rather than answer questions directly.

III.v.5.C.2.d.  Contacting DFAS About Non-Routine and SBP Cases

Upon receipt of an inquiry from an RO regarding a non-routine case, such as a break in Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) entitlement due to remarriage, the DFAS call center forwards the inquiry to its Operations Department, which should respond to the RO within three working days.
Important:  Be prepared to provide DFAS with the following information when inquiring about an SBP case:
  • the name and Social Security number (SSN) of the
    • deceased Veteran, and
    • widow/widower, and
  • the award period(s) and rate(s).

III.v.5.C.2.e.  POC  for SBP Entitlement Problems

RO personnel should contact their local finance activity’s SBP Issues POC if they encounter unresolvable SBP entitlement issues.
Reference:  For a list of SBP Issues POCs by RO, see the VBA Field Station Points of Contact webpage.

III.v.5.C.2.f.  RPCs by Service Department

Use the table below to determine which RPC handles the MRP accounts for each service department.
Service Department
RPC
  • Army
  • Navy
  • Air Force, and
  • Marine Corps
Defense Finance and Accounting Service
U.S. Military Retired Pay
8899 E 56th St
Indianapolis IN  46249-1200
Telephone number: (800) 321-1080
  • Coast Guard
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and
  • Public Health Service (PHS) (awards processed after January 1, 2014)
Commanding Officer (RAS)
U. S. Coast Guard
Personnel Service Center
444 SE Quincy St
Topeka KS 66683-3591
Telephone number: (800) 772-8724
Fax number: (785) 339-3770
PHS (awards processed prior to January 1, 2014)
Public Health Service Retired Pay Center
Telephone number: (800) 638-8744
Fax number: (301) 427-3431

3.  Exchange of Information Between VA and the RPCs


Introduction

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

Change Date

March 12, 2018

III.v.5.C.3.a.  Automatic Transmission of VA Award-Adjustment Data to RPCs

Whenever an RO adjusts an award, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) computer systems automatically transmit data regarding the award adjustment to the appropriate RPC, regardless of the number of prior periods on the award.
Reference:  For more information on identifying an award requiring a waiver of MRP, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.B.1.a.

III.v.5.C.3.b.  How RPCs Notify ROs of Necessary Award Adjustments

RPCs use letters and forms to advise ROs of any necessary award adjustments.

 

4.  Handling Legislative Increases in Compensation


Introduction

This topic contains information on handling legislative increases in compensation, including

Change Date

February 27, 2019

III.v.5.C.4.a.  Service Department Responsibility With Regard to a Legislative Increase in Compensation

Service departments
  • are on notice as to legislative increases in compensation rates, and
  • have no authority to pay a Veteran an amount that exceeds the amount of his/her MRP minus the new amount of compensation payable to the Veteran based on the legislative increase.
Note:  This restriction applies to traditional payments of MRP.  Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP) and Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) are paid under separate laws.
References:  For additional information about

III.v.5.C.4.b.  How RPCs Are Notified of Award Adjustments Necessitated by a Legislative Increase in Compensation

Most award adjustments that are necessitated by a legislative increase in VA benefits occur automatically.  When such adjustments occur, VA’s computer systems transmit data concerning the adjustment to the appropriate RPC.
Upon receipt of the data, RPCs update their records and make any adjustments to MRP that are necessitated by the increase in VA benefits.

III.v.5.C.4.c.  Determining Who Has Responsibility for Recouping an Overpayment Resulting From a Legislative Increase

To avoid overpayments by either a service department or VA, ROs must make every effort to process work item 850A, Legislative Adjustment Required, when it appears in their inventory.
Use the table below to determine who is responsible for recouping an overpayment resulting from a legislative increase.
If VA notifies the RPC of the rate change …
Then the responsibility for recouping any overpayment falls on …
within 90 days or less of the date the legislation is signed
the RPC.
more than 90 days after the date the legislation is signed
VA.
Note:  An Office of General Counsel (OGC) memorandum for file, dated September 18, 1972, determined that 38 U.S.C. 3104(a) (now 38 U.S.C. 5304(a)), prohibiting concurrent payment of VA benefits and MRP, does not preclude the application of 38 U.S.C. 3012(b)(10) (now 38 U.S.C. 5112(b)(10)), which permits a reduction of VA benefits effective the first of the month following the month for which VA last paid the Veteran if the previous payment was solely VA error.  That OGC memorandum was found to be consistent with the decision in VAOPGCPREC 2-1990.

III.v.5.C.4.d.  Handling Cases that Appear on the NRPS VA Legislative Increase Nonreceipt Report

Forty-five days after automatic award adjustments to reflect a legislative increase in VA benefits should have taken place, RPCs generate an NRPS VA Legislative Increase Nonreceipt Report.
  • The report identifies Veterans on an RPC’s retirement pay rolls for whom the RPC received no notice (through the data exchange described inM21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.C.4.b or through other means) of an award adjustment based on a legislative increase in benefits.
  • RPCs route the reports to the station of origination (SOO) through Compensation Service (212).
Upon receipt of an NRPS VA Legislative Increase Nonreceipt Report,
  • compare the data it contains against the corporate record and claims folder, if necessary, to determine whether
    • a proper award adjustment (automatic or otherwise) was made to reflect the legislative increase in benefits, and
    • a waiver of MRP is of record, and
  • follow the instructions in the table below.
If …
Then …
no waiver of MRP is of record
follow the instructions in M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.C.4.e.
  • a waiver of MRP is of record
  • the retired pay indicator has notbeen activated in the corporate record, and
  • an award adjustment to reflect the legislative increase in benefits
    • has already been made, or
    • is not necessary.
Note:  An award adjustment to reflect a legislative increase in benefits is notnecessary if, for example, the only benefits a Veteran is receiving are benefits under a static, statutory “q” award for arrested tuberculosis.
  • follow the instructions in M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.B.1.cfor activating the retired pay indicator, and
  • process an award that repeats existing award lines for the purpose of electronically notifying the Veteran’s RPC of the award adjustment.
  • a waiver of MRP is of record
  • the retired pay indicator has notbeen activated in the corporate record, and
  • a legislative increase in benefits is in order but no corresponding award adjustment has been made
  • follow the instructions in M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.B.1.cfor activating the retired pay indicator, and
  • adjust the Veteran’s award to reflect the legislative increase in benefits.
Note:  The generation of work item 850A, Legislative Adjustment Required, should have already alerted the SOO that automatic adjustment of the Veteran’s award had failed.
Reference:  Follow the instructions inM21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.C.4.f for determining the proper effective date for the increase in benefits.
  • the retired pay indicator has been activated in the corporate record, and
  • a legislative increase in benefits is in order but no corresponding award adjustment has been made
adjust the Veteran’s award to reflect the legislative increase in benefits.
Note:  The generation of work item 850A, Legislative Adjustment Required, should have already alerted the SOO that automatic adjustment of the Veteran’s award had failed.
Reference:  Follow the instructions inM21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.C.4.f for determining the proper effective date for the increase in benefits.
  • the retired pay indicator has been activated in the corporate record, and
  • an adjustment to effect the legislative increase was authorized before the retired pay cutoff date/time of the second month following the month of the legislative increase
Example:  An award authorized before the February 1st cutoff date/time for a preceding December 1st legislative increase.
  • prepare another award repeating existing award lines for the purpose of electronically notifying the Veteran’s RPC of the award adjustment, and
  • check to make sure the Veteran’s SSN, as recorded in the corporate record, is correct.
the Veteran’s award has been discontinued
  • notify the Veteran’s RPC of the discontinuance and the reason for it, and
  • furnish the Veteran’s SSN with the notification.
Note:  If the Veteran’s award was discontinued due to the Veteran’s death, and a copy of the corresponding death certificate is of record, send a copy to the Veteran’s RPC.

III.v.5.C.4.e.Actions to Take When VA Has Awarded Compensation Without Obtaining a Waiver

Occasionally, review of the NRPS VA Legislative Increase Nonreceipt Reportreferenced in M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.C.4.d, will reveal a case in which VA awarded compensation to a Veteran without first obtaining a waiver from him/her.  When this occurs,
  • send the Veteran a notice of proposed adverse action that contains the elements set forth in M21-1, Part I, 2.B.2
  • attach VA Form 21-651 to the notice, and
  • ask the Veteran to complete and return the form to VA.
Upon receipt of the signed VA Form 21-651 or expiration of the 65-day response period,
  • adjust or discontinue the Veteran’s award, as appropriate, and
  • notify the RPC of the action taken.

Important:


III.v.5.C.4.f.  Determining the Effective Date for an Award Adjustment That Is Necessitated by a Legislative Increase in Compensation

Use the table below to determine the effective date for an award adjustment that is necessitated by a legislative increase in benefits.
If the adjusted award is authorized …
Then the effective date of the adjustment is …
before the retired pay cutoff date/time of the second month after the month of the legislative increase
Example:  An award that is authorized before the February retired pay cutoff date/time for a preceding December 1stlegislative increase.
the date of the legislative increase.
Note:  There would be no need to establish a withholding for MRP in this situation.
after the retired pay cutoff date/time of the second month after the month of the legislative increase
Example:  An award authorized after the February retired pay cutoff date/time for a preceding December 1st legislative increase.
determined under the provisions of M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.B.2.
Examples:  The retired pay cutoff date for February 2014, as shown onCompensation Service’s online calendar, was February 12, 2014.  (Compensation Service added cutoff times to the calendar starting March 2016.)
  • If an award promulgating the December 1, 2013, legislative increase is authorized on February 8, 2014, the proper effective date for the increase would be December 1, 2013.
  • If an award promulgating the December 1, 2013, legislative increase is authorized February 19, 2014, the proper effective date of the increase would be March 1, 2014.  (It would also be necessary, in this case, to establish a withholding for MRP for the period December 1, 2013, to March 1, 2014.)
Reference:  M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.B.2.b contains instructions for determining the cutoff date/time for authorizing awards affected by a Veteran’s receipt of MRP.

5.  Handling Errors and Discrepancies Involving the Payment of VA Benefits to Veterans That Are Eligible for MRP


Introduction

This topic contains instructions for handling errors and discrepancies involving the payment of VA benefits to Veterans that are eligible for MRP, including

Change Date

March 12, 2018

III.v.5.C.5.a.  How RPCs Handle a VA Error in the Assignment of an Effective Date

If an RPC identifies a VA award action with an effective date of payment or increase other than the date authorized under M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.B.2, the RPC
  • effects an offset from
    • the first day of the current month if the award action was authorized prior to the retired pay cut-off date/time posted on Compensation Service’s online calendar, or
    • the first day of the following month if the award action was authorized after the retired pay cut-off date/time posted on Compensation Service’s online calendar, and
  • notifies the SOO by letter.

III.v.5.C.5.b.  Actions to Take Upon Receipt of Notice From an RPC of a VA Error in the Assignment of an Effective Date

SOOs must take the actions described in the table below upon receipt of the notice from an RPC that is referenced in M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.C.5.a.
Step
Action
1
Contact the RPC to confirm the date of the offset referenced in M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.C.5.a.
2
Follow the instructions in the table below.
If the effective date of the payment or increase was …
Then …
the same date as the date of the offset of MRP (as confirmed in Step 1)
no further action is needed.
after the date of the offset of MRP
take award action to correct the effective date of the payment or increase so that it matches the date of the offset of MRP.
  • notify the Veteran that VA proposes to correct the effective date of the payment or increase so that it matches the date of the offset of MRP, and
  • unless the Veteran responds to the notice of proposed adverse action within 65 days by providing evidence showing the proposed action should not be taken, take award action to correct the effective date as proposed.
Note:  If the Veteran is eligible for CRDP (according to the criteria set forth in M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.A.6.b), the SOO may contact Compensation Service’s Military Pay Staff by e-mail (MILPAY.VBACO@VA.GOV) for a determination as to whether or not the Veteran is entitled to concurrent receipt of MRP and disability compensation, which could reduce or eliminate the overpayment resulting from correction of the effective date.
Reference:  For information about issuing notice of a proposed adverse action, see M21-1, Part I, 2.B.
contact Compensation Service’s Military Pay Staff by e-mail (MILPAY.VBACO@VA.GOV) for guidance.

III.v.5.C.5.c.  RO Action Upon Discovery of an Error in the Assignment of an Effective Date

If an RO discovers an award action with an effective date of payment or increase other than the date authorized under M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.B.2, the RO must follow the instructions in M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 5.C.5.b.
3-12-18_Key-Changes_M21-1III_v_5_SecC.docx May 16, 2019 67 KB
Historical_M21-1III_v_5_SecC_11-30-16.doc May 16, 2019 166 KB
Historical_M21-1III_v_5_SecC_11-30-16-1.doc May 16, 2019 166 KB
Historical_M21-1III_v_5_SecC_11-20-15.doc May 16, 2019 150 KB
2-27-19_Key-Changes_M21-1III_v_5_SecC.docx May 16, 2019 51 KB
Change-April-28-2015-Transmittal-Sheet-M21-1III_v_5_SecC_TS.docx May 16, 2019 44 KB
11-20-15_Key-Changes_M21-1III_v_5_SecC.docx May 16, 2019 60 KB
Transmittal-Sheet-M21-1MRIII_v_5_SecC_TS.docx May 16, 2019 39 KB
Did this article answer your question?

Leave a Reply





Pin It on Pinterest

Share This