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M21-1, Part IX, Subpart ii, Chapter 1, Section D – Authorization and Notification for the Special Allowance Under 38 U.S.C. 1312(a)

Overview


In This Section

This section contains the following topics:
Topic
Topic Name
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1.  Award Information for the Special Allowance Under 39 U.S.C. 1312(a)


Introduction

This topic contains award information for the special allowance under 38 U.S.C. 1312(a), including

Change Date

July 19, 2015

IX.ii.1.D.1.a.  General Award Information for the Special Allowance Award Under 38 U.S.C. 1312(a)

Refer to the table below for general award information for the special allowance payable under 38 U.S.C. 1312(a).
Award Data
Description
Payee Number
Use payee number 70 to establish an initial for award under 38 U.S.C. 1312(a). Use payee numbers 71-78 for subsequent payees.
Veteran’s Social Security number (SSN)
Ensure that the Veteran’s SSN shown in Beneficiary Identification and Records Location Subsystem (BIRLS) is the same as that shown on
  • SSA Form 101, Determination of Award
  • SSA Form 101C, Determination of Award, or
  • SSA Form 101U3, Determination of Award.
If the number is incorrect, enter the correct number in BIRLS.
Monthy Rate
Pay the amount certified by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
If the amount certified is not a whole-dollar amount, round down to the nearest dollar.
Effective Date
The commencement date of an award is always the first day of the month in which the individual is eligible to receive benefits as certified by the SSA.
Example:  When SSA Form 101SSA Form 101C, orSSA Form 101U3 shows “4/02” as the commencing date, use 04/01/2002 as the effective date.
Ending Date – Child Involved
Do not provide an ending date on awards to a surviving spouse, parent, or helpless child (when he/she is the only child on the award, unless certified by the SSA.)
Ending Date – Child or Children Involved
Provide an ending date on all awards to, or on behalf of, a child or children other than helpless children.

IX.ii.1.D.1.b.  Determining Ending Dates for Awards Involving a Child or Children

Use the table below to determine the ending dates for awards involving a child or children.
If the award is on the behalf of …
Then …
a child or children
terminate the benefits effective the first day of the month in which the youngest child on the award reaches age 18, perM21-1, Part IX, Subpart ii, 1.D.
a helpless child
do not show a termination date if he/she is the only child on the award.
 
Notes:
  • A child attains the age of 18 years the day preceding the anniversary date of his/her birth.  Therefore, a child born on July 1 is considered to have attained the age of 18 years on June 30, and the last date of entitlement for the child is May 31, requiring an ending date of June 1.
  • Use an earlier date in those cases in which an earlier termination date is certified by the SSA for reasons such as death or marriage.

IX.ii.1.D.1.c.  New Awards Under 38 U.S.C. 1312(a)

All running awards for the special allowance under 38 U.S.C. 1312(a) have been converted from the Benefits Delivery Network (BDN) to the Veterans Service Network (VETSNET).
New awards under 38 U.S.C. 1312(a) are rare.  For additional information on starting a new award under 38 U.S.C. 1312(a) in VETSNET, contact Pension & Fiduciary (P&F) Service by e-mail at VAVBAWAS/CO/PENSION POL & PROC.

IX.ii.1.D.1.d.  Entering Award Data for a Running Award Under 38 U.S.C. 1312(a)

Use the table below to enter award data in VETSNET for running awards of the special allowance payable under 38 U.S.C. 1312(a)
Step
Action
1
In the RECORD DECISIONS screen, select BUILD AWARD.
2
Select ADD or EDIT to amend the award, and enter the following information:
  • award effective date
  • award reason
  • service period
  • gross rate, and
  • number of children.
3
Select ACCEPT, OK, and then GENERATE AWARD.
 
Reference:  For more on VETSNET awards, see the VETSNET Awards User Guide.

2.  Sending Notification of the Original 38 U.S.C. 1312(a) Award


Introduction

This topic contains information on sending notification of the original 38 U.S.C. 1312(a) award, including information on

Change Date

July 19, 2015

IX.ii.1.D.2.a.  Notifying Claimants of Award Approval

Notify the claimant when an original award is approved using a locally-generated letter containing both the claim number and SSN.  Use the copy of the award notice letter furnished by the SSA as a pattern.

IX.ii.1.D.2.b.  Information to Include in the Award Letter

In the award letter
  • identify the SSA district office as shown on the SSA Form 101SSA Form 101C, or SSA Form 101U3, and
  • include any enclosures the SSA furnished with SSA Form 101SSA Form 101C, or SSA Form 101U3 if it is indicated that these would have been sent to the claimant if he/she have been in an insured status under old-age and survivor’s insurance.

IX.ii.1.D.2.c.  Wording to Include in the Award Letter

Include the following wording when sending the award letter to the claimant:
This award is made by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as a result of claims development by the Social Security Administration District Office,[office name], and is in accordance with a determination made by the Social Security Administration Program Service Center, [service center].  If you have any questions about this award, you should discuss them with the Social Security Administration District Office.  The occurrence of any of the events referred to in the enclosed instructions should be reported promptly to the Social Security Administration and VA.  These enclosures contain important information and instructions which should be carefully followed.
Immediate notice should be given of the death or marriage of any beneficiary for whom benefits are being paid under this award.  If either event should occur, any checks received thereafter must not be negotiated.” 
 
“Submit a statement to the below address giving the date of death or marriage (along with the married name and address) and whereabouts of any children under age 18 who may be entitled to payments.
 
Philadelphia Pension Management Center
P.O. Box 8079
Philadelphia, PA 19101” 
 
“Return uncashed checks to Department of Treasury at the following address:
 
U.S. Department of Treasury
Fiscal Service
P.O. Box 51316
Philadelphia, PA 19115-6316”
 
“If you received payments by Direct Deposit, you may request the financial institution return the funds to VA.”
 
“The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration should also be notified immediately if you change your address.  Show both the claim number and Social Security number shown above when writing to either of these agencies.”

IX.ii.1.D.2.d.  Sending a Copy of the Award to the SSA

Send one copy of the award document print and two copies of the award letter being sent to the claimant to the SSA Program Service Center (PSC) from which the SSA Form 101SSA Form 101C, or SSA Form 101U3 was received.

 

3.  Handling Death of the Claimant Before  38 U.S.C. 1312(a) Payment Is Made


Change Date

November 16, 2004

IX.ii.1.D.3.a.  Handling Death of the Claimant

Use the table below to determine what action is needed if the claimant dies before or after certification, but before 38 U.S.C. 1312 (a) payment is made.
If there is …
Then …
a remaining eligible survivor(s)
SSA furnishes a certification to the survivor(s), adding the accrued amount payable for the deceased claimant to the certification.
no remaining eligible survivor
the finance activity transmits inquiries to the General Accounting Office to request a settlement.

 

4.  Determining Children’s Awards


Introduction

This topic contains information on determining children’s 38 U.S.C. 1312(a) awards, including

Change Date

February 3, 2011

IX.ii.1.D.4.a. Determining Monthly Rates for Children

Use the table below to determine the monthly rates for children.
If the award of the special allowance involves a child or children in the custody of a …
Then …
surviving spouse
  • combine the monthly rates payable for the child or children with the surviving spouse’s rate and show the award as a total monthly rate payable to the surviving spouse, or
  • prepare a separate award for each child, if the surviving spouse is not entitled to the benefit.
divorced spouse
  • prepare separate awards to
    • the spouse, if eligible, and
    • each eligible child in the spouse’s custody, and
  • do not combine
    • the children’s separate entitlements in a consolidated award, or
    • the award payable to an eligible divorced spouse based on his/her entitlement with the award(s) payables for each eligible child in the spouse’s custody.

IX.ii.1.D.4.b.  Payment of the Child’s Award When the Spouse’s Payments Are Discontinued

If payments to a surviving spouse are discontinued because of excessive earnings as certified by SSA, authorize payment of the share for each child, as certified by SSA on SSA Form 101SSA Form 101CSSA Form 101U3, or SSA Form 656,Information as to Continuing Eligibility Under Title 38 U.S.C., Section 412, Veterans Benefits, to a
Unless the SSA certifies otherwise, continue payments until the youngest child reaches age 18.
Reference:  For more information on continuing payments until the youngest child reaches age 18, see M21-1, Part IX, Subpart ii, 1.D.7.

IX.ii.1.D.4.c.Payment When the Surviving Spouse’s Payments Are Resumed

If the surviving spouse again becomes entitled, make a separate award to the surviving spouse even though the children are in custody.
Notify both the surviving spouse and the parent under 38 CFR. 3.850(c) or fiduciary for each child that if, at any time, a child is no longer in the custody of the surviving spouse, VA and the SSA must be informed immediately.

 

5.  Discontinuing Payments


Introduction

This topic contains information on discontinuing 38 U.S.C. 1312(a) payments, including information on

Change Date

November 16, 2004

IX.ii.1.D.5.a.  Temporary Suspension of Payments by VA

VA may temporarily suspend payments, pending a final determination by the SSA, on receipt of any of the following notices:
  • death of a beneficiary
  • marriage of a child beneficiary
  • marriage of a surviving spouse, or
  • failure of a surviving spouse under age 60 to have at least one child under age 18 or helpless in custody.
Note:  When payments to a surviving spouse are being terminated because a child under age 18 or helpless is no longer in custody, include in the letter to the payee notice of potential entitlement at age 60 upon the filing of a new application.

IX.ii.1.D.5.b.Termination of Payments by the SSA

The SSA
  • uses SSA Form 656 to request VA to stop payments, and
  • includes a letter, or draft of the letter, and attachments which the SSA would have sent to the beneficiary had insured status existed.

IX.ii.1.D.5.c.  Action Initiated by VA to Suspend Payments
Follow the steps in the table below to suspend payments on receipt of the notices described in M21-1, Part IX, Subpart ii, 1.D.5.a.
Step
Action
1
Suspend payments and enter the reason for suspension in the REMARKS field.
2
Send a locally-generated letter to the claimant
  • giving the reason for the suspension, and
  • advising that further information will be furnished when a final determination has been made by the SSA.
3
Send a copy of the award print and the original or a copy of the evidence upon which the action was based to the servicing SSA PSC.
Note:  If the original evidence is sent, make a copy for the deceased Veterans claims folder.
4
Take action to discontinue the award or to resume payment only upon authorization by the SSA.

IX.ii.1.D.5.d.  Action Taken by VA to Notify the Payee of Termination of Payments

Follow the steps in the table below to notify the payee of termination of payments upon authorization by the SSA.
Step
Action
1
Notify the payee of the action taken and the reason for the termination by locally-generated letter
  • using the letter furnished by the SSA as a pattern, and
  • enclosing the SSA attachments with the letter.
2
Send a copy of the letter to the claimant to the servicing SSA PSC.

 

6.  Reinstating 38 U.S.C. 1312(a) Benefits


Change Date

November 16, 2004

IX.ii.1.D.6.a.  Process to Reinstate Benefits

The table below describes the process to reinstate 38 U.S.C. 1312(a) benefits.
Stage
Who Is Responsible
Description
1
SSA PSC
Authorizes the reinstatement of benefits onSSA Form 656.
2
VA
  • Informs the payee of the reason for the reinstatement of benefits by locally-generated letter using the letter furnished by the SSA as a pattern, and
  • sends the servicing SSA PSC a copy of the
    • letter addressed to the beneficiary, and
    • award.

 

7.  Terminating 38 U.S.C. 1312(a) Payments for Children Reaching Age 18 


Introduction

This topic contains information on terminating 38 U.S.C. 1312(a) payments for children reaching age 18, including information on

Change Date

November 16, 2004

IX.ii.1.D.7.a.  Hines ITC Message Six Months Prior to the Child’s 18thBirthday

Six months prior to the child’s 18th birthday, the Hines Information Technology Center (ITC) furnishes Msg. Code 688, Child Reaching Age 18 Special Allowance SEC 1312(A).

IX.ii.1.D.7.b.  VA Notice to the SSA on the Child’s Approaching 18th Birthday

Six months in advance of the 18th birthday of each child for whom payments are being made under 38 U.S.C. 1312(a), VA
  • notifies the SSA PSC by letter of the approaching 18th birthday, and
  • includes the following information in the letter:
    • the SSN
    • the name of the child
    • the date of birth of the child, and
    • the name and address of the person to whom payments are being made for the child.

IX.ii.1.D.7.c.  Action Taken by the SSA Upon Receipt of VA Notice of a Child’s Approaching 18th Birthday

Upon receipt of the notice sent by VA, SSA furnishes VA with the following:
  • a copy of a letter concerning termination of benefits that would be sent to the beneficiary if he/she were being paid by the SSA
  • an amended certification, if required, for the remaining beneficiaries, and
  • a copy of the letter that SSA would send the remaining beneficiaries, if they were being paid by that agency, together with enclosures.

IX.ii.1.D.7.d.  Action Taken by VA on Receipt of the Certification from the SSA

Follow the steps in the table below when the SSA furnishes the appropriate letter and the amended certification.
Step
Action
1
  • Send a locally-generated letter concerning the termination of benefits to the payee for the child who is attaining age 18 years using the copy of the letter furnished by SSA as a pattern, and
  • send a copy of the letter to the servicing SSA PSC.
2
  • Take any necessary award action that may be required by the receipt of an amended certification, and
  • send a copy of any letter written to the payee to the servicing SSA PSC.

 

8.  Handling Appeals

 


Change Date

April 19, 2005

IX.ii.1.D.8.a.  Following Appeal Procedures

Follow the usual appeal procedures if a notice of disagreement (NOD) with a determination made by VA is received.
Refer any protests regarding determinations made by the SSA to the servicing SSA PSC and inform the claimant of the referral.
References:  For more information on
Historical_M21-1IX_ii_1_SecD_7-19-15.doc May 19, 2019 136 KB
5-3-19_Key-Changes_M21-1IX_ii_1_SecD.docx May 19, 2019 54 KB
Change-July-19-2015-Transmittal-Sheet-M21-1IX_ii_1_SecD_TS.docx May 19, 2019 40 KB
Transmittal-04_19_05.doc May 19, 2019 34 KB
Transmittal-11_16_04.doc May 19, 2019 24 KB
Transmittal-pt09_sp02_TS_02-08-11.doc May 19, 2019 49 KB
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