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M21-1, Part III, Subpart vi, Chapter 7 – Certifications for Special Purposes

Overview


In This Chapter

This chapter contains the following topics:
Topic
Topic Name
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

 

1.  Disclosure of Information Outside of VA


Change Date

May 10, 2007

III.vi.7.1.a.  When to Make a Disclosure of Information Outside of the VA

Disclosure of information outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may be made only as permitted by 38 U.S.C. 5701 and Public Law (PL) 93-579, Privacy Act of 1974.  Disclosure of information to other Federal agencies is governed by 38 CFR 1.500-1.584.

2.  Civil Service Veterans’ Preference Letter


Introduction

This topic contains information on civil service Veterans’ preference letters, including

Change Date

February 19, 2019

III.vi.7.2.a.  Definition: Civil Service Veterans’ Preference

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers entitlement to Veterans’ preference in employment under 5 U.S.C.  Veterans can receive 5 or 10 extra points on their civil service passing examination scores or ratings if they meet certain eligibility requirements.
In addition, 10 points may be added to the passing examination scores of Veterans’ spouses, surviving spouses, and mothers under certain circumstances.  This type of preference is called “derived preference,” because it is based on service of a Veteran who is not able to use the preference.
References:  For information on

III.vi.7.2.b.  Five-Point Civil Service Preference Based on Military Service

Five points are added to the civil service examination score or rating of a Veteran who served
  • during a period of war, as declared by Congress
  • during the period of April 28, 1952, through July 1, 1955
  • for 181 or more consecutive days, any part of which occurred during the period of February 1, 1955, through October 14, 1976
  • during the period of August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992
  • for 181 or more consecutive days, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law as the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, or
  • in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized.
Notes:
  • Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference.
  • Unless specified elsewhere, individuals who enlisted after September 7, 1980, must have served for 24 or more months or for the period called to active duty to receive preference.
  • Veterans that have no service-connected (SC) disabilities, or have a combined SC disability evaluation of less than 10 percent, qualify for civil service preference only if they meet the above service requirements.
Example:  For an example of a civil service preference letter for Veterans that qualify for a civil service preference letter based on service only, see M27-1, Part I, 5.6.d.

III.vi.7.2.c.  Ten-Point Civil Service Preference Based on Disability

Ten points are added to the civil service examination score or rating of a Veteran who served on active duty at any time and
  • has an SC evaluation of 10 percent or greater
  • is entitled to
    • a 10-percent evaluation under 38 CFR 3.324 for multiple non-compensable evaluations, or
    • special monthly compensation (SMC)
  • has a non-compensable SC evaluation for disease or injury which exhibits some impairment
  • is receiving non-service-connected (NSC) pension, or
  • received a Purple Heart.
Important:  Separate civil service preference letters exist for Veterans that have an SC evaluation of
  • 10 percent but less than 30 percent, and
  • 30 percent or greater.
Example:  For an example of a civil service preference letter for Veterans that qualify for a civil service preference letter based on disability, see M27-1, Part I, 5.6.d.

III.vi.7.2.d.  Active Duty Requirements for Civil Service Veterans’ Preference

To receive Veterans’ preference, a Veteran must have separated from active duty in the Armed Forces with an honorable or general discharge.
Important:
  • Active duty for training or inactive duty by a National Guard or Reserve member qualifies as “active duty” for civil service 10-point preference for Veterans with SC disabilities.
  • Active duty for training or inactive duty by a National Guard or Reserve member does not qualify as “active duty” for civil service 5-point preference for Veterans without SC disabilities.

III.vi.7.2.e.  Definition of “War” for Civil Service Veterans’ Preference

For Veterans’ preference, “war” refers only to those armed conflicts declared by Congress to be wars.  Another difference between 38 U.S.C. and OPM regulations is that for 5 U.S.C. Veterans’ preference purposes, World War II covers the period from December 7, 1941, through April 27, 1952.
38 U.S.C. defines “period of war” and includes many non-declared wars, such as the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam Era.  Service purely during a period of war listed in 38 CFR 3.2 may not necessarily qualify a Veteran for civil service preference.
Reference:  For more information on armed conflicts declared to be wars by Congress, see 50 U.S.C., Appendix.

III.vi.7.2.f.  When Evidence Does Not Establish Eligibility for Civil Service Preference

If evidence in the claims folder does not establish eligibility under one of the criteria shown in M21-1, Part III, Subpart vi, 7.2.b, do not undertake additional development to certify duty during a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized.
Note:  If the Veteran alleges such service, refer him/her to the proper service department for assistance.

III.vi.7.2.g.  Requests for Civil Service Disability Preference Letters

Follow the procedures in the table below when a Veteran requests a civil service disability preference letter.
If the Veteran …
Then …
  • has an SC evaluation of 10 percent or greater
  • is entitled to compensation under 38 CFR 3.324 or SMC, or
  • receives NSC disability pension
complete the appropriate preference letter.
Note:  Do not refer the case to the rating activity.
  • has a zero-percent SC evaluation, and
  • receives no disability benefits
refer the claim to the rating activity under end product 290 to determine whether the Veteran is eligible for civil service disability preference because the SC disability causes actual impairment.
  • has never filed a disability claim, but
  • his/her DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty,shows award of a Purple Heart
complete the appropriate preference letter.
Note:  Do not refer the case to the rating activity.
  • has never filed a disability claim, and
  • his/her DD Form 214 does notshow award of a Purple Heart
Reference:  For more information on rating determinations for Veteran’s civil service disability preference, see M21-1, Part IX, Subpart ii, 2.7.

III.vi.7.2.h.  Derived Civil Service Preference Requirements

Use the table below to determine whether a Veteran’s service and/or disability may serve as the basis of civil service derived preference for the Veteran’s
  • spouse
  • surviving spouse, or
  • mother.
Relationship to Veteran
Veteran’s Service/Disability/Death Requirements
Spouse
The Veteran must be disqualified for a Federal position because of an SC disability.
Note:  Disqualification may be presumed when the Veteran is unemployed and
  • is rated 100-percent disabled and/or unemployable due to an SC disability
  • has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position due to an SC disability, or
  • has attempted to obtain a civil service position and has failed to qualify because of an SC disability.
Note:  The claimant requesting civil service preference must certify and document the Veteran’s inability to work because of an SC disability by completing questions 1-7 on page two of Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Preference.
Important:  Because provisions of the Privacy Act (PA) cover the release of this information, the Veteran must provide written consent before a preference letter may be sent to a third person. However, the letter may be released directly to the Veteran.
Surviving spouse
The Veteran must have
  • served
    • during a period of war, as declared by Congress
    • during the period of April 28, 1952, through July 1, 1955
    • in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized, or
  • died under honorable conditions while on active duty that included service described immediately above.
Mother of deceased Veteran
The Veteran must have died under honorable conditions while on active duty
  • during a period of war, as declared by Congress
  • during the period of April 28, 1952, through July 1, 1955, or
  • in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized.
Mother of disabled Veteran
The Veteran must
  • have received an honorable or general discharge from active duty, including training service in the Reserves or National Guard, performed at any time, and
  • be permanently and totally disabled from an SC injury or illness.
Important:  Because provisions of the PA cover the release of this information, the Veteran mustprovide a written consent before a preference letter may be sent to a third person. However, the letter may be released directly to the Veteran.
Notes:
  • Entitlement to civil service derived preference is subject to additional relationship requirements administered by OPM.
  • Both a mother and a spouse, including a surviving spouse, may be entitled to preference on the basis of the same Veteran’s service.
  • Neither the Veteran’s mother nor spouse may receive preference if the Veteran is living and is qualified for Federal employment.
Examples:  For examples of derived civil service preference letters, see M27-1, Part I, 5.6.d.

III.vi.7.2.i.  Who May Issue Civil Service Preference Letters

A Veterans Service Center Manager (VSCM), Pension Management Center Manager (PMCM), or a designee may issue the letter.

III.vi.7.2.j.  Filing Instructions for Civil Service Veterans’ Preference Requests and Letters

Do not add to the claims folder the request for, or a copy of, the Veterans’ preference letter, as neither pertains to a claim for VA benefits.

3.  State or Municipal Disability Preference Certificate


Introduction

This topic contains information on state or municipal disability preference certificates, including when

Change Date

February 3, 2011

III.vi.7.3.a.  When to Issue a State or Municipal Disability Preference Certificate

On request, furnish a disability preference certificate to the civil service authorities of a State or municipality if the following requirements are met
  • the requisite SC disability has been established based on a claim for benefits, and
  • prior ratings are in the claims folder or the determination is being made concurrently.

III.vi.7.3.b.  When Not to Take Adjudicative Action

Do not take adjudicative action solely for the purpose of issuing a disability preference certificate.  If no rating decision of record exists, explain to the Veteran the requirements of a claim for SC benefits.

4.  Certificate for Preference for Public Housing


Introduction

This topic contains information on certificates for preference for public housing, including

Change Date

February 19, 2019

III.vi.7.4.a.  Establishment of Criteria for Preference in Admissions to Public Housing

Local public housing authorities establish the criteria for preference in admissions to public housing.

III.vi.7.4.b.  When Certification May Be Required for Preference for Public Housing

A public housing authority may require VA certification if the established criteria allow preference to Veterans or their dependents because of SC disability or death.

III.vi.7.4.c.  When to Issue a Certificate for Preference for Public Housing

Use the table below to determine when to issue a certificate for preference for public housing.
If …
Then …
service connection (SC) for the disability or cause of death has been established
issue a certificate at the request of the
  • public housing authority
  • person seeking preference, or
  • his/her representative.
Note:  If issued at the request of a representative, address and forward the certificate to the person seeking preference.
a claim for benefits
  • has not been filed, and
  • no determination of SC for disability or death has been made
furnish a statement that no
  • determination of SC for disability or death has been made, and
  • explain that in the absence of a claim, VA cannot furnish a certificate.

III.vi.7.4.d.  Filing the Request for Preference for Public Housing

Do not add the request for, or a copy of, the certificate for preference for public housing to the claims folder.

III.vi.7.4.e.  Who May Issue a Certificate for Preference for Public Housing

A VSCM, PMCM, or a designee may issue the certificate.

III.vi.7.4.f.  What the Certificate for Preference for Public Housing Must Contain

The certificate for preference for public housing must contain the
  • name of the Veteran
  • VA claims folder number, and
  • date of preparation.

III.vi.7.4.g.  Wording on the Certificate for Preference for Public Housing

Use the following wording on the certificate, unless a variation is required by local criteria:
Disability certification:
This is to certify that medical records acceptable to the Department of Veterans Affairs disclose the present existence of service-connected disability or disabilities for [name of Veteran] based on active service in the[branch of service] from [date] to [date].”
Death certification:
This is to certify that the records of the Department of Veterans Affairs disclose that the death of [name of Veteran] was due to active service in[branch of service] from [date] to [date].”

5.  Certificate for an Appointment to a Service Academy


Introduction

This topic contains information on a certificate for an appointment to a service academy, including

Change Date

February 3, 2011

III.vi.7.5.a.  Eligibility for an Appointment to a Service Academy

Appointments to the U.S. Military, Air Force, and Naval Academies may be obtained by sons or daughters of a Veteran who
  • died as the result of SC disabilities, or
  • has SC disabilities that are rated at not less than 100 percent.
VA’s determination as to SC for the cause of death or disability, as well as the degree of disability, is binding on the Secretary of Defense under 10 U.S.C. 4342,10 U.S.C. 6954, and 10 U.S.C. 9342.

III.vi.7.5.b.  Inquiries Regarding Eligibility for an Appointment to a Service Academy

Use the table below to determine what action to take when VA receives an inquiry regarding eligibility for an appointment to a service academy.
If VA receives an inquiry regarding eligibility for an appointment to a service academy, and …
Then …
  • VA has already received a claim for benefits, and
  • a rating decision of record exists
a rating decision of record allowing or denying SC for the cause of death or disability must be accepted for that purpose.
Note:  VA provides the rating decision of record to the person inquiring only if requested. Otherwise, VA sends only the certificates as shown in M21-1, Part III, Subpart vi, 7.5.e.
a claim for benefits
  • has not been filed, and
  • no determination of SC for disability or death has been made
furnish a statement to that effect, explaining that in the absence of a claim, VA cannot furnish a certificate.
a rating decision is deferred pending further development
inform the correspondent.

III.vi.7.5.c.  Who May Sign the Certificate for an Appointment to a Service Academy

A Senior Veterans Service Representative (SVSR) or other designee may sign the certificate in the name of the VSCM or PMCM.

III.vi.7.5.d.  When to Furnish Certification of the Disability Rating of Record

On request, furnish a certification of the disability rating of record, even if it is a temporary rating.
If the 100-percent evaluation is assigned under 38 CFR 4.2838 CFR 4.29, or 38 CFR 4.30 of the rating schedule
  • include a statement that the evaluation is temporary, and
  • show the basis for the evaluation, such as hospitalization orconvalescence.

III.vi.7.5.e.  Wording on Certification of Disability Rating of Record

Use the following wording on the certificate when responding to inquiries:
Death Cases:
“The Department of Veterans Affairs has determined that for the purpose of Public Law 586, 81st Congress, as amended, the death of [name] from[cause] on [date] was (not) caused by wounds or injuries received or disease contracted or aggravated in active service.
Disability Cases:
The Department of Veterans Affairs has determined that for the purpose of Public Law 586, 81st Congress, as amended, [name] has (does not have) disability evaluated at 100 percent caused by wounds or injuries received or disease contracted or aggravated in active service.”

6.  Death Gratuity Certificates to Service Departments


Introduction

This topic contains information on death gratuity certificates sent to service departments, including

Change Date

January 05, 2016

III.vi.7.6.a.  Definition:  Imminent Death

Imminent death is a Department of Defense (DoD) term used for a service member
  • who is terminally ill
  • for whom an imminent death determination has been made, and
  • who has been considered medically retired, such as to the Temporary Disability Retired List.
The service member usually dies less than 72 hours after release from service.

III.vi.7.6.b.  Jurisdiction for Imminent Death Cases

The Cleveland Regional Office (RO) processes death gratuity claims required by a service department in certain cases to establish eligibility under 38 U.S.C. 1323.  These are handled as imminent death cases.
The Cleveland RO also invites claims, when appropriate, and adjudicates any claims for survivors’ benefits.
Important:  The law requires the DoD to pay these claims within 24 hours of the notification of the death of the service member.  ROs should contact the Cleveland RO immediately if they are contacted by a military casualty office indicating that they have a claim for such a deceased service member.

III.vi.7.6.c.  Jurisdiction for Non-Imminent Death Cases

Jurisdiction over non-imminent death cases must remain with the station of origination.  If any questions arise over jurisdiction of a claim, contact the Cleveland RO.
Reference:  For information on how to contact the Cleveland RO, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart vi, 7.6.d.

III.vi.7.6.d.  Contacting the Cleveland RO About Death Gratuity Claims

Refer all questions regarding death gratuity claims to the VSCM at the Cleveland RO at (216) 522-4950.
DoD Casualty Assistance provides the Cleveland RO with the documents required to complete a rating decision and issue a certificate to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).

III.vi.7.6.e.  Eligibility for Death Gratuity

A Veteran may be eligible for death gratuity if he/she dies under the circumstances referred to in 10 U.S.C. 1476(a) during the 120-day period after separation from
  • active duty
  • active duty for training, or
  • inactive duty for training.

III.vi.7.6.f.  Payment of Death Gratuity by Service Department

Payment of death gratuity by the service department is contingent upon VA finding that the Veteran’s
  • discharge or release from service was under conditions other than dishonorable, and
  • death resulted from
    • a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active duty or active duty for training, or
    • an injury incurred or aggravated during inactive duty for training.
Note:  The determination as to SC for the cause of death must be made under the standards and criteria applicable to 38 U.S.C. Chapter 11, except that line of duty is not a factor.

III.vi.7.6.g.  When to Issue a Certificate of Eligibility for Death Gratuity

Use the table below to determine when to issue a certificate of eligibility to service departments.
If …
Then …
  • a claim for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) has been filed
  • it is determined that the cause of death was incurred or aggravated in service, and
  • death occurred within 120 days after separation from service under conditions other than dishonorable under 38 CFR 3.806
the RO issues a certificate of eligibility to the service department.
Note:  Furnish the certification even if a rating decision has determined that the cause of death, although incurred in service, was not incurred in the line of duty and, therefore, DIC is not payable.
a request for certification is received from the service department in a case in which no claim for DIC has been filed
  • prepare a rating for this specific purpose, and
  • if the rating is favorable, furnish a certification of eligibility to the service department.

III.vi.7.6.h.  Sending Death Gratuity Certification Letter

Make certification by sending a letter addressed to the appropriate service department, Public Health Service, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  If no request has been received, an SVSR or other designee must
  • prepare and sign the letter in the name of the VSCM or PMCM, and
  • forward the letter to the particular department concerned.
Reference:  For more information on how to address the letter, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart vi, 7.6.j.

III.vi.7.6.i.  What to Include in Death Gratuity Certification Letter

The certification letter must include information stating that
  • the Veteran has died (provide the date of death)
  • VA has determined that the Veteran’s discharge or release from service was under conditions other than dishonorable, and
  • death resulted from
    • a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active duty, or
    • an injury incurred or aggravated during inactive duty training.
If VA initiates the certification without a specific request from the service department, include the
  • Veteran’s
    • rank
    • branch of service
    • Social Security number (SSN) and service number, and
  • name, address, and relationship of the person or persons who have filed a claim for DIC.

III.vi.7.6.j.  Addressing the Death Gratuity Certification Letter

Use the table below to determine how to address the certification letter.
Department
Address
Army
Commander
US Army Human Resources Command
ATTN:  PDC-C (Casualty Support)
1600 Spearhead Division Ave
Fort Knox, KY 40122
Air Force
AFPC Casualty Services Branch
550 C Street West
JBSA-Randolph, TX 78150
Note:  Send a copy to the following address, as well:
Air Force Military Personnel Center (AFPC/DPWC)
Randolph AFB, TX 78148
Navy
Navy Personnel Command
PERS-13 Navy Casualty Assistance
5720 Integrity Dr
Millington, TN 38055-6200
Marine Corps
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Casualty Section (MFPC)
2008 Elliot Road
Quantico, VA 22134-5103
U.S. Coast Guard
US Coast Guard Headquarters
ATTN: Chief of Casualty Matters, PSC-PD-FS-Casualty
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE
Washington, DC 20593-7200
Public Health Service
Public Health Service
1101 Wootton Parkway
Plaza Level, Suite 100
Rockville, MD 20852
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Commissioned Personnel Division (CPC)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
8403 Colesville Rd., Suite 500
Silver Spring, MD 20910

III.vi.7.6.k.  Noneligibility for Death Gratuity

If a claim for DIC has been filed and VA determines that death was not due to service or that the character of discharge precludes payment, do not
  • refer to death gratuity in the denial letter, or
  • notify the service department, unless a specific inquiry has been received from that department.
Use the table below to determine how to handle noneligibility for death gratuity when a specific inquiry has been received from the service department.
If the claimant for death gratuity …
Then …
is the same person who filed a denied claim for DIC
inform the service department
  • of the date on which that person was notified by VA of the determination that death was notSC, or
  • that the Veteran’s separation from service was not under conditions other than dishonorable.
has not filed a claim for DIC
  • prepare a rating denying SC for cause of death
  • notify the claimant of the VA determination, and
  • furnish a copy of the notification to the service department with a letter of transmittal.

III.vi.7.6.l.  Notifying Claimants of Noneligibility for Death Gratuity

In the decision notice of noneligibility sent to the claimant, make no reference to the denied claim for death gratuity since that is a function of the service department.
Instead, provide the claimant notice as follows:
The [service department] has requested the Department of Veterans Affairs to make certain determinations which are required in connection with your claim for death gratuity in the case of the above-named Veteran.  Accordingly, the evidence of record has been reviewed, but it has been determined (that the Veteran’s death on _____ from _______ was not due to service) (that the Veteran was separated from service under conditions other than dishonorable) [whichever is appropriate].
Note:  Furnish notice of procedural and decision review rights with this paragraph.

7.  Certificate of Permanent and Total Disability for IRS Purposes


Introduction

This topic contains information on certificates of permanent and total disability for IRS purposes, including

Change Date

May 14, 2015

III.vi.7.7.a.  When a Certificate of Permanent and Total Disability Is Required for IRS Purposes

Claimants of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Disability Income Exclusion are required to submit a certificate attesting to permanent and total disability.
Under an agreement with the IRS, the IRS will accept a VA certification on VA Form 21-0172Certification of Permanent and Total Disability, based solely on an existing rating of permanent and total disability in place of the required private physician’s statement, if the form is completed and signed by a member of the rating activity.

III.vi.7.7.b.  Process for Certifying Permanent and Total Disability

The table below describes the stages in the process of certifying permanent and total disability.
Stage
Description
1
VA refers requests for certification of permanent and total disability for income tax purposes to the rating activity with the claims folder.
2
The rating activity determines if the Veteran was rated as having any of the following during the year for which certification is requested
  • a combined SC evaluation of 100 percent (other than rating schedule cases under 38 CFR 4.2838 CFR 4.29, or 38 CFR 4.30)
  • a total evaluation on the basis of individual unemployability (IU), or
  • a permanent and total evaluation for disability pension purposes.
Note:  A pending future examination has no significance for purposes of this certification.

III.vi.7.7.c.  How to Prepare the Certificate of Permanent and Total Disability

The table below describes how to prepare and send a certificate of permanent and total disability after VA has determined that it can issue the certificate.
Stage
Who Is Responsible
Description
1
rating activity
Completes VA Form 21-0172 to indicate the following:
  • the earliest date during the calendar year for which certification is requested and for which the rating decision establishes the total evaluation
  • the Veteran’s full name
  • the Veteran’s SSN
  • the status of the case as either a compensation or pension case (check the appropriate CFR reference)
  • whether or not the total disability was based in whole or in part on the loss or loss of use of a limb.
2
rating activity
Dates and signs the certificate.
3
authorization activity
Sends the certificate to the Veteran.
Notes:
  • A cover letter is not needed.
  • Annotate the request to show the date the certificate was mailed to the Veteran.
  • If the claims folder is an electronic claims folder (eFolder), add an annotation in the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS) in the SUBJECT field under DOCUMENT PROPERTIES of the request document.

III.vi.7.7.d.  How to Deny the Request for a Certificate of Permanent and Total Disability

The table below describes the process for denying a request for a certificate of permanent and total disability if there is no current rating establishing the existence of total disability.
Stage
Description
1
The rating activity
  • annotates the request in the following manner
    • No current rating, or
    • Total disability not shown by rating
  • initials and dates the request, and
  • refers the request to the authorization activity.
Important:  If the claims folder is an eFolder, add the annotation in VBMS in the SUBJECT field under DOCUMENT PROPERTIES of the request document.
2
The authorization activity advises the Veteran as follows:
VA may issue a certification of disability for income tax purposes only when the Veteran’s claims record establishes that he or she was rated as having a permanent, total disability for compensation or pension purposes during the year for which certification is claimed.
As you were not rated totally disabled during that year, we cannot furnish a certification.
Note:  Do not furnish notice of procedural and decision review rights with the letter advising that no certification will be issued.  Certification is contingent on evaluation of disability, an issue for which notification of decision review rights has already been furnished.

8.  Certificate of Permanent and Total Disability for the Purpose of Discontinuing SBP Participation


Introduction

This topic contains information on certification of permanent and total disability for the purpose of discontinuing SBP participation, including

Change Date

February 3, 2011

III.vi.7.8.a.  Requirements for Discontinuing Participation in the SBP

PL 96-402, enacted October 9, 1980, allows a uniformed service retiree to discontinue participation in the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) if he/she has an SC disability rated by VA as totally disabling for
  • 10 or more years, or
  • continuously for a period of not less than 5 years from the date of discharge.
Upon receipt of a retiree’s request to withdraw from SBP under PL 96-402, DFAS contacts VA for certification of total disability.
Important:  A total rating based on IU with no future examination meets the total disability requirement.

III.vi.7.8.b.  Action Taken to Notify DFAS Upon a Reduction in Disability

If the Veteran’s disability is reduced below the total disability requirement, DFAS is automatically notified.
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