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M21-1, Part III, Subpart vi, Chapter 2, Section B – Fiscal Authorization (FISA)

Overview


In This Section

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

1.  General Information on FISA


Introduction

This topic contains general information on FISA, including

Change Date

December 12, 2018

III.vi.2.B.1.a.    A/R and FISA

An accounts receivable (A/R) is created when an award adjustment that creates an overpayment in a beneficiary’s account is authorized.
Fiscal adjustment (FISA) refers to action finance activity must undertake prior to the authorization of an award that will create an A/R.
In the Benefits Delivery Network, a fiscal authorization command (also named FISA) enabled an authorizer to input collection data into the master record during award processing.
The FISA command does not exist in the Veterans Service Network or Veterans Benefits Management System-Award.  Any A/R created as a result of an award adjustment is instantaneously reflected in these systems and is readily accessible for debt management and collection purposes.  FISA is still required, however, in the following types of cases:
  • attorney fee cases
  • award adjustments based on audit error worksheets (AEWs) showing anamount previously paid by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), and
  • reversing debts in which the collection status is Due Process.
Reference:  For information on processing the types of cases referenced in the preceding paragraph (that still require FISA), see M21-1, Part III, Subpart vi, 2.B.3.

III.vi.2.B.1.b.  Who Is Responsible for the Accuracy of Award Adjustments

Senior Veterans Service Representatives (VSRs) and Certified VSRs that authorize awards are ultimately responsible for ensuring that an adjustment of benefits to a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) beneficiary is accurate.

III.vi.2.B.1.c.  Who Is Responsible for Determining Whether a Debt Exists

Claims processors are responsible for determining whether a debt exists in a beneficiary’s account every time they process an award of compensation or pension.
A/R balances are displayed on the AWARD INFORMATION tab in Share.
Reference:  For a graphic of the AWARD INFORMATION tab, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart vi, 2.B.5.

III.vi.2.B.1.d.  Determining Whether to Notify Finance Activity

After a claims processor determines a debt exists in a beneficiary’s account, he/she must review the case to determine whether finance activity should be notified.
The collection status in the Financial and Accounting System (FAS) must beCollectible prior to authorization in order to ensure an award action reduces or removes an existing debt.

2.  Reviewing an Award for Indebtedness


Introduction

This topic contains information on

Change Date

December 12, 2018

III.vi.2.B.2.a.  Reviewing Awards for Indebtedness

When an award is processed, the system automatically checks for the existence of a debt or an A/R in the beneficiary’s compensation or pension record.
Important: A/R balances are displayed on the AWARD INFORMATION tab in Share.
Reference:  For a graphic of the AWARD INFORMATION tab, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart vi, 2.B.5.

III.vi.2.B.2.b.   Debt Management

The finance activity of each regional office manages issues of indebtedness.
The Debt Management Center, located in St. Paul, Minnesota, is responsible for
  • VA’s debt collection, and
  • processing requests for waiver of an overpayment.
Note:  If Share does not show an A/R exists, and a claims processor believes there should be one, he/she must notify the finance activity.

3.  Handling Cases That Require Special Processing


Introduction

This topic describes how to handle cases that require special processing, including

Change Date

October 11, 2017

III.vi.2.B.3.a.  Partial Withholding of Retroactive Benefits

Occasionally, a partial withholding of retroactive benefits is appropriate but cannot be accomplished through input of any of the collection codes.
A two-step award action is necessary in this situation, as shown in the example inM21-1, Part III, Subpart vi, 2.B.3.b.

III.vi.2.B.3.b.  Example:  Partial Withholding of Retroactive Benefits

Situation:
  • An award adjustment that discontinued pension effective January 1, 2000,
    • was processed in June 2000, and
    • created a $2,500 overpayment.
  • An award is subsequently processed in September 2000 that reinstates benefits effective January 1, 2000, but at a lower rate.  The new award entitles the payee to a $900 retroactive payment.
  • A review of the claims folder indicates that only $300 of the retroactive payment represents benefits due the beneficiary during the period the overpayment was created (January 1, 2000, to June 2000).
  • A waiver request is pending.
Actions:
  • Process an award covering the overlapping periods (January 1, 2000, to June 2000).
  • Process a second award covering the remaining period during which benefits are owed.

III.vi.2.B.3.c.   Attorney Fee Withholding

All awards involving the payment of attorney fees must be processed in accordance with the instructions outlined in
Do not authorize an award involving attorney fees until after
  • FISA is completed, and
  • finance activity confirms that the withholding for attorney fees has been successfully coded.

III.vi.2.B.3.d.  AEWs Involving DFAS Payment

An AEW showing an amount previously paid by DFAS is generated for cases involving Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC)/Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP).
Referral to finance activity for FISA is required on these AEWs to avoid overpayment.  Provide the finance activity the following information:
  • Veteran’s name and claim number
  • amount previously paid by DFAS, and
  • name of authorizer to inform once the receivable amount is established in the system.
Finance activity establishes the amount previously paid by DFAS as a collectible receivable in FAS.  This action ensures automatic deduction of the receivable from the generated retroactive payment amount.
Important:  The authorizer must authorize the award within one to two days of the date finance activity established the collectible receivable.
Reference:  For more information about

III.vi.2.B.3.e.
Eliminating an Overpayment Resulting From Correction of an Administrative Error

If correction of an administrative error will create an overpayment, follow the instructions in the table below to eliminate the overpayment following completion and approval of the administrative decision referenced in M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 1.I.3.
Step
Action
1
Select the VA beneficiary’s account.
2
Click on the RECORD DECISIONS button.
3
Select the AWARD ADJUSTMENT tab.
4
Select the OTHER ADJUSTMENTS tab, then click on the ADD button.
5
Find the ADJUSTMENT REASON section on the bottom, left-hand side of the screen.
6
Select Add to Gross Rate from the drop-down menu.
7
Complete the ADJUSTMENT AMOUNT and the FROM DATE fields, then click on the ACCEPT button.
8
Click on the OK button.
9
Click on the GENERATE AWARD button.
 

4.  Exhibit 1:  Receivable Classes and Deduction Codes


Change Date

August 14, 2006

III.vi.2.B.4.a.  Receivable Classes and Deduction Codes

The table below contains a description of the receivable classes and deduction codes that appear in Share and FAS.
Deduction Code
Receivable Class
Description
21
B
Principal, Veterans’ liability account–Loan Guaranty program.
22
B
Principal, Veterans’ liability account–direct loan program.
25
B
Interest, Veterans’ liability account–Loan Guaranty program.
26
B
Interest, Veterans’ liability account–direct loan program.
29
B
Loan Guaranty program/ miscellaneous.
30
B
compensation and pension (C&P).
31
J
Attorney fees.
47
B
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31.
60
B
Trainee tools.
61
C
Offset for other than a C&P-related debt.
Note:  Funds will automatically be transferred to the Centralized Accounts Receivable System.
63
C
Offsets for debt owed to another governmental agency or non-governmental entity.
Example:  Court-ordered child support or alimony payments.
66
C
Offset to be applied to a Restored Entitlement Program for Survivors receivable.
67
C
Offset to be applied to a 38 U.S.C. Chapter 106 receivable.
68
C
Offset to be applied to an education loan receivable.

5.  Exhibit 2:  Graphic of the AWARD INFORMATION Tab in Share


Change Date

June 19, 2015

III.vi.2.B.5.a.  Graphic of the AWARD INFORMATION Tab in Share

Below is a graphic of the AWARD INFORMATION tab in Share, where information about an A/R is displayed in the RECEIVABLES BALANCE fields.

Graphic of the Share AWARD INFORMATION screen showing the RECEIVABLE BALANCE field.

Historical_M21-1III_vi_2_SecB_6-19-15.doc May 18, 2019 258 KB
10-11-17_Key-Changes_M21-1III_vi_2_SecB.docx May 18, 2019 206 KB
Historical_M21-1III_vi_2_SecB_10-11-17.docx May 18, 2019 200 KB
12-12-18_Key-Changes_M21-1III_vi_2_SecB.docx May 18, 2019 193 KB
Transmittal-08_14_06.doc May 18, 2019 35 KB
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