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M21-1, Part X, Chapter 12 – Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Match


In This Chapter

This chapter contains the following topics:
Topic Name

1.  BOP Match Worksheets


This topic contains information on the BOP Match worksheets, including

Change Date

July 1, 2016

X.12.1.a.  BOP Agreement with VA

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a computer matching agreement with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Department of Justice, under which the BOP provides VA with information on Federal prisoners whose VA benefits may be subject to reduction or discontinuance.
References:  For more information on
  • compensation for incarcerated Veterans, see 38 CFR 3.665
  • the payment of pension during confinement in penal institutions, see
  • the payment of compensation and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) to persons convicted of a felony, see 38 U.S.C. 5313.

X.12.1.b.  Outcome of VA/BOP Computer Matches

VA compensation and pension files are matched with BOP’s inmate database on a monthly basis.  When a match between Social Security numbers (SSNs) arises, VA computer systems
  • generate a worksheet titled VA AND BUREAU OF PRISONS MATCH
  • upload a copy of the worksheet into the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS), and
  • establish an 800 series work item to notify regional offices (ROs) of the outcome of the match.
  • If automatic upload of the worksheet does not occur, claims processors must manually upload a copy of the worksheet into the claims folder.
  • Worksheets containing personally identifiable information (PII) for multiple claimants must be redacted appropriately prior to upload.
Reference:  For information on redacting documents containing PII, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart ii, 4.G.3.d.

X.12.1.c.  Individuals That Computer Matching Identifies

The computer matching referenced in M21-1, Part X, 12.1.a identifies Veterans, dependents, and survivors that have been incarcerated, as shown in the table below:
When a Veteran’s SSN and the SSN in the BOP database are …
And the case is a …
Then the match is on …
the same
the Veteran’s SSN.
not the same
live case
a dependent’s SSN.
Note:  Assume the incarcerated person is the Veteran’s dependent.
death case
a survivor’s SSN.
Important:  38 CFR 3.666 requires the removal of an incarcerated dependent from a beneficiary’s award if the beneficiary receives pension.  There is no such requirement, however, if the beneficiary is a
  • Veteran receiving disability compensation, or
  • surviving spouse receiving DIC.
Reference:  For information about handling notice of a Veteran’s, dependent’s, or survivor’s incarceration, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 8.

X.12.1.d.  BOP Match Point of Contact

Send an email to VAVBAWAS/CO/212A if
  • no worksheets are received for a particular month, or
  • questions about the BOP match arise.

2.  Review of Worksheets


This topic contains information on the review of worksheets, including

Change Date

November 23, 2016

X.12.2.a.  Initial Screening of BOP Worksheets  

Since the computer match referenced in M21-1, Part X, 12.1.a only looks at SSNs, worksheets might be generated for some beneficiaries/dependents that are not actually incarcerated.  This might happen because of an erroneous SSN in either BOP or VA records.
In order to avoid an unnecessary award adjustment, when neither a VA beneficiary nor a dependent were incarcerated, compare the name in the prisoner’s name field on the worksheet with the beneficiary’s or dependent’s name in the corporate record.  If the names are not close, check the birthdate next to the prisoner’s namefield on the worksheet against the date of birth in the corporate record.
Use the table below to determine the action to take after reviewing the evidence of record.
If the evidence of record …
Then …
clearly indicates that the person identified by the match is not the VA beneficiary
  • undertake development to obtain the VA beneficiary’s correct SSN under 38 CFR 3.652(if the VA beneficiary appears to be the one with the erroneous SSN), and
  • annotate the worksheeterroneous match.
is questionable
undertake development to determine if the VA beneficiary and the incarcerated person are the same individual.

X.12.2.b.  Determining Whether a Conviction Was for a Felony or Misdemeanor

Determining the type of conviction (felony or misdemeanor) is part of the procedure described in M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 8.A.3.a for adjusting a beneficiary’s award due to incarceration of the beneficiary or a dependent.
If a worksheet or listing shows a felony status of unknown for a prisoner in receipt of compensation, undertake development to obtain the type of conviction from one of the official sources identified in M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 8.A.3.b.  Such development could include sending VA Form 21-4193Notice to Department of Veterans Affairs of Veteran or Beneficiary Incarcerated in Penal Institution to the facility where the prisoner is housed.
Exception:  If the inmate locator on the BOP website shows an actual or projected release date one year or more from the computation date,
  • generally assume the prisoner was convicted of a felony, and
  • do not undertake the development described in the preceding paragraph.

X.12.2.c. Actions to Take When a BOP Match Identifies a VA Beneficiary or a Dependent

If comparison of the worksheet or listing with the corporate record (and, if necessary, the claims folder) confirms the person identified by the match is a VA beneficiary or a dependent,
  • consider the worksheet or listing to be official notice the beneficiary or dependent was
    • convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, and
    • imprisoned in a Federal penal institution for more than 60 days, and
  • follow the instructions in M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 8.A.3.a.
  • Send notice of proposed adverse action to a beneficiary at his/her current address of record, regardless of whether the incarcerated individual is the beneficiary or a dependent.  Do not send notice of proposed adverse action to the address of a prison unless that address happens to be a beneficiary’s current address of record.
  • Include the beneficiary’s inmate register number after his/her name in all correspondence addressed to the beneficiary at a prison address.  The inmate register number appears on the worksheet and the listing.
References:  For more information on handling notice of imprisonment of a

X.12.2.d.  Quarterly Reporting of the Results of BOP Matches

ROs are responsible for reporting the following information on all BOP and Social Security Administration (SSA) prison matches:
  • number of overpayments created
  • total amount of overpayments
  • number of cases referred for fraud
  • cost avoidance in cases that are discontinued or reduced as a result of the matching program
  • number of times run (number of batches of matched files received per month multiplied by the number of months being reported)
  • number of agencies to report (were matches received from just one source or from both BOP and SSA)
  • total number of cases released (the total number of incarceration notices received)
  • total number of cases not adjudicated, and
  • total number of cases adjudicated.
Note:  Prepare and submit reports containing the above information on a quarterly (October 15th, January 15th, April 15th, and July 15th) basis.
Important:  Negative reports are required.

3.  Exhibit 1:  Description of Fields on BOP Match Worksheet

Change Date

July 1, 2016

X.12.3.a.  Description of Fields on BOP Match Worksheet

The table below provides a description of each field shown on the BOP Match worksheet.
Name of Field
Definition of Data
Source of Data
Date of Match
Date match occurred.
VA Claim Number
File number found in matching C&P record.
C&P master record-file number
VA Regional Office Number
The three-digit number of the RO having jurisdiction over the Veteran’s claim.
C&P master record-RO number
Name and Address of Penal Institution
The name and address of the Federal facility at which the Veteran is currently incarcerated.
BOP input-place of current confinement.
Telephone Number of Penal Institution
The telephone number of the Federal facility at which the Veteran is currently incarcerated.
BOP input-place of current confinement.
Prisoner’s Name
The name under which the prisoner was convicted.
BOP input-name, last; name, first; name, middle; name, suffix
Veteran’s Name
The stub name of the Veteran as found in the matching C&P record.
C&P master record-stub name
Prisoner’s Social Security Number
The SSN provided by the prisoner at time of incarceration.
BOP input-SSN
Veteran’s Social Security Number
The Social Security number found in matching C&P record.
C&P master record
Prisoner’s Date of Birth
The date of birth as shown in the records of the Federal facility.
BOP input-date of birth
Register Number
The identification number assigned to the prisoner by the BOP.
BOP input-Register Number
[Print as NNNNN-NNN.]
Computation Date of Current Sentence
The date used by BOP to determine a release date based on the length of current sentence, sentences for other convictions, and so on.
Important:  This date doesnot reliably represent the date of incarceration.
BOP input-date computation began
Was Conviction for Felony
Code used by BOP to indicate whether current incarceration is result of felony conviction.
BOP input-length of sentence
Date of Actual Release
This data will be furnished for the retroactive release tape and will show the date on which a period of incarceration ended.
BOP input-date of actual release
Currently Incarcerated Indicator
An indicator that shows whether a formerly incarcerated inmate is currently an inmate.
BOP input-Currently Incarcerated Indicator
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