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M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart II, Chapter 3, Section C


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M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart ii, Chapter 3, Section C

Section C. Filing and Removal of Material

Overview




In this Section

This section contains the following topics:




Topic

Topic Name

See Page

7

Handling Original Records

3-C-2

8

Filing Material in Folders

3-C-4

9

Removing Material From Folders

3-C-8



7. Handling Original Records




Introduction

This topic contains information about handling original records, including


  • the definition of an original record

  • guidelines for preparing original records for return, and

  • prohibited reproduction of documents.



Change Date

September 30, 2010



a. Definition: Original Record

Do not strictly construe the term original record.
Treat as an original record any non-original document that, because of age, issuance by a foreign government, or other factor


  • has a high sentimental value

  • is irreplaceable, or

  • is replaceable only at considerable expense or effort.



b. Guidelines for Preparing Original Records for Return

Before returning an original record to a claimant, make and file a true, certified copy. The certified copy must contain the


  • date the copy was made

  • name of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) office that received the original, and

  • signature and title of the person authorized to certify authenticity.

Continued on next page

7. Handling Original Records, Continued


c. Prohibited Reproduction of Documents

The law prohibits reproduction of the following documents:


  • U.S. Certificates of Citizenship or Naturalization

  • U.S. Passports, and

  • U.S. Immigration papers.

Follow the steps in the table below to handle these documents after they have served their purpose.





Step

Action

1

Prepare a memorandum that identifies the


  • record

  • date of receipt of the original record, and

  • pertinent contents.

2

  • Sign the memorandum, or

  • ask an authorizer to sign the memorandum.

3

File the memorandum.

4

Return the document to the claimant.



8. Filing Material in Folders




Introduction

This topic contains information about filing material in folders, including


  • general policy information on filing materials in claims folders

  • material containing a change of address

  • filing material in Veterans folders

  • filing VA Form 10-3384, Exchange of Beneficiary Information and Request for Eligibility Data CHAMPVA

  • filing of folder flashes, and

  • limitation of filing excessive material in a claims folder.



Change Date

September 30, 2010



a. General Policy on Filing Materials in Claims Folders

File only essential material in a claims folder.
Do not make material of non-record value a part of official records.
Reference: For more information on examples of non-record value material, see M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart ii, 3.C.9.a.



b. Material Containing a Change of Address

Follow the steps in the table below upon receipt of material that contains a change of address.




Step

Action

1

Enter the change of address in the master record.

2

File on the left-hand side of the claims folder and do not dispose of any


  • are for a nursing home, penal institution, or fiduciary payee, or

  • cannot be entered and retrieved from a Hines master record.


Exception: Dispose of any remaining material in accordance with RCS VB-1, Part I, Item No. 13-051.000.

Continued on next page

8. Filing Material in Folders, Continued

c. Filing Material in Veterans Folders

The fasteners of some older claims folders were located on the side rather than the top, as they currently are. If a folder is pulled for any purpose


  • ensure the appropriate filing of documents, and

  • convert side filing folders to top filing folders.

Use the table below to file material in newly created folders and existing non-segregated folders.


Reference: For information on segregated folders, see M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart ii, 4.F.21.



Type of Material

Folder Location

Filing Order

  • Award prints

  • overpayment material

  • all documents relating to

  • payments

  • allowances, and

  • denials, and

  • Benefits Delivery Network (BDN) prints of name changes

Left flap

Top

  • Birth certificates

  • marriage certificates

  • divorce decrees

  • legal documents, and

  • any permanent type of adjudicative material, including Compensation and Pension (C&P) applications in support of the claim

Center

Chronological

Educational material

Right flap

Top

Continued on next page

8. Filing Material in Folders, Continued



c. Filing Material in Veterans Folders (continued)




Type of Material

Folder Location

Filing Order

  • VA Form 26-1833, Advice Regarding Indebtedness of Obligors on Guaranteed or Insured Loans

  • VA Form 26-6822, Advice of Termination and Indebtedness on Portfolio Loans, and

  • VA Form 20-6560, Notice of Benefit Payment Transaction, with message code 628, STATUS OF RECOUPMENT BALANCE AT TERMINATION

Left flap

Reverse
Rationale: This filing order keeps the material on top of all subsequent documents filed.

  • VA Form 21-22, Appointment of Veterans Service Organization as Claimant’s Representative

  • VA Form 21-22a, Appointment of Individual as Claimant’s Representative, and

  • DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, the military separation document or its equivalent

Right flap

Reverse file in the order shown at left (e.g. 21-22 on top and DD Form 214 underneath).
Rationale: This filing order keeps these forms above the training material at all times.
Note: If necessary, add a standard two-prong fastener to the right flap to accommodate reverse filing.

Continued on next page

8. Filing Material in Folders, Continued


d. Filing VA Form 10-3884

File VA Form 10-3884, Exchange of Beneficiary Information and Request for Eligibility Data CHAMPVA


  • in the center portion of the folder, and

  • in reverse filing order or back-flashed, so the document may be folded back on top of all other documents on the center flap.



e. Filing of Folder Flashes

Use the table below to file flashes in reverse filing order to allow the flash to be folded back and remain on top of all subsequent material.





Flash

Location

VA Form 22-6564, Claims Folder Flash – Vocational Rehabilitation Trainee

Left flap of the claims folder

VA Form 20-6879, Overpayment Flash

Left flap of the claims or deceased Veterans claims folder



f. Limitation of Filing Excessive Material in a Claims Folder

Do not continue to file material in a single claims folder if the folder becomes bulky and unmanageable. Generally, a claims folder volume should be limited to two or three inches in thickness.
Reference: For information on creating additional volumes of claims folders, see M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart ii, 3.B.4.b.


9. Removing Material From Folders




Introduction

This topic contains information about removing material from folders, including




Change Date

September 30, 2010



a. Types of Material Requiring Removal From Folders

Remove the following types of material from the claims folder if it has served its initial purpose and has no legal, administrative, or historical value:


  • diary forms

  • reference and routing slips

  • control records

  • incoming transmittal or cover letters with no evidentiary value

  • envelopes and returned VA original letters with no evidentiary value

  • requests for civil service preference certificates

  • VA form and form letter requests for evidence (returned originals or file copies)

  • rating activity worksheets

  • flashes, and

  • BDN prints not specifically required by directives.



b. Removal of Material From Folders

Follow the steps in the table below to remove material from the folder.




Step

Action

1

Remove material contained in claims folders that is redundant or of non-record value.

Continued on next page

9. Removing Material From Folders, Continued



b. Removal of Material From Folders (continued)




Step

Action

2

To remove material submitted by the claimant


  • date stamp the material, and

  • return it with a cover letter.


Reference: For information on handling duplicate evidence submitted by the claimant, see M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart ii, 2.E.21.b.

3

Dispose of the remaining removed material under RCS VB-1, Part I, Item number 13-052.200.




3-C-


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