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M21-1, Part IV, Subpart iii, Chapter 3, Section I – Prohibition Against Duplication of Benefits

In This Section
This section contains general information on prohibition against duplication of benefits, including

Change Date

July 12, 2015

IV.iii.3.I.a.  Identifying When DIC Must Be Recouped
DIC must be recouped in an amount equal to the money, and/or fair market value of the property received, if a claimant receives money or property of value based on any cause of action for damages for the death of the veteran as a result of a
  • judicial or administrative proceeding
  • settlement
  • compromise, or
  • Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) settlement payment.
Important:  Attorney’s fees, court costs, and other expenses incident to the civil claim are not deductible from the total amount awarded or accepted.
  • Take award action even if the claimant has made a positive statement that a claim has been, or will be, made through court action or administrative channels.
  • The requirement for recoupment exists even if the award or settlement was made prior to the passage of Public Law (PL) 95-479.

IV.iii.3.I.b.  Determining the Offset Effective Date

Do not make the offset required in the event of a judgment, compromise, or administrative award effective prior to the first day of the month following the month that such a judgment, compromise, or administrative award is granted.
The offset effective date should be the first day of the month after the month in which the judgment was made.
Example:  If the judgment was issued March 17, 2003, then the effective date of the offset would be April 1, 2003.
Note:  Explain the offset requirements of the law in the award letter.

IV.iii.3.I.c.  Requesting Updated Claimant Information

Upon initiation of recoupment, inform the claimant that, although no payment of DIC may be made until the amount received is recouped, the claimant must keep VA informed of his/her current address, marital status, and dependency changes so that there will be no delay in resuming benefits.

IV.iii.3.I.d.  Preparing Awards That Include an Offset
Prepare awards that include an offset in the regular format as shown in M21-1, Part V.6 and
  • show no withholding code or amounts on the award, since this allows the payment to be made automatically when the full amount to be offset has been recouped
  • show the amount of offset on the award form with the statement“Subject to offset of $ [amount] under 38 U.S.C. 1318,” and
  • route the claims folder, with Optional Form 41, Routing and Transmittal Slip attached, to the finance activity, requesting establishment of a 30B accounts receivable for the amount to be recouped, with a deduction for the full amount of the award.
Change-July-12-2015-Transmittal-Sheet-M21-1MRIV_iii_3_NewSecI_TS.doc May 21, 2019 57 KB
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