M21-1MR, Part I, Chapter 3, Section B



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M21-1MR, Part I, Chapter 3, Section B

Section B. Handling Power of Attorney (POA) Appointments

Overview




In this Section

This section contains the following topics:




Topic

Topic Name

See Page

9

Handling Representative Appointment Forms

3-B-2

10

Handling Appointment Forms/Letters for Special Cases

3-B-8

11

Updating the Benefits Delivery Network (BDN)/Share

3-B-12

12

Veterans Service Organization (VSO) Review of New Rating Decisions

3-B-17

13

Exhibit 1: POA Codes

3-B-19



9. Handling Representative Appointment Forms




Introduction

This topic contains information on handling representative appointment forms including
when to process appointment forms

endorsing an appointment form as limited

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

policies pertaining to VA Form 21-22

handling an outdated VA Form 21-22

handling an incomplete VA Form 21-22

processing copies of VA Form 21-22

processing VA Form 21-22a, Appointment of Individual as Claimant's Representative, and appointment letters

filing or sending additional copies of appointment forms or letters, and

unclear declaration





Change Date

March 26, 2013


a. When to Process Appointment Forms

Process representative appointment forms as soon as they are received from the claimant.

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9. Handling Representative Appointment Forms, Continued

b. Endorsing an Appointment Form as Limited

If a claimant other than the Veteran appoints a representative, clearly endorse the appointment form as Limited to avoid erroneous referral of the Veteran’s claims folder to the claimant’s representative.



c. Reviewing a Submitted VA Form 21-22

When reviewing a VA Form 21-22, Appointment of Veterans Service Organization as Claimant’s Representative:

check that the version of the form is current

check that the form is complete

process each copy of the properly completed and current form, and

update electronic systems to reflect the appointment
References: For more information on

policies pertaining to VA Form 21-22, see M21-1MR, Part I, 3.B.9.d

handling an outdated VA Form 21-22, see M21-1MR, Part I, 3.B.9.e

handling an incomplete VA Form 21-22, seeM21-1MR, Part I, 3.B.9.f

processing each copy of the VA Form 21-22, seeM21-1MR, Part I, 3.B.9.g, and

updating the Benefits Delivery Network (BDN)/Share, see M21-1MR, Part I, 3.B.11




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9. Handling Representative Appointment Forms, Continued

d. Policies pertaining to VA Form 21-22

The following policies, specific to the VA Form 21-22, apply:
Do not update any VA electronic system to show appointment of a veterans service organization (VSO) unless/until you receive a complete and current VA Form 21-22.

Accept only the current version of VA Form 21-22.

Prior versions of the form are considered outdated and are not acceptable for new or changed appointments.

Accept only a complete VA Form 21-22.

For the form to be considered complete, each applicable item of information requested by the VA Form 21-22 must be provided and both the representative and the claimant must sign and date the form.

Where an item on the form states that information – such as an email address for the claimant – is optional, absence of that information does not render the form incomplete.

Where an item on the form requests information only conditionally, the information is only required where the condition is met. For example, the claimant’s name is required only if the claimant is not the Veteran named in item 1.

Failure to complete optional authorizations or limitations does not render the VA Form 21-22 incomplete






e. Handling an Outdated VA Form 21-22

Refer to the table below for the procedure to follow when a claimant submits an outdated version of VA Form 21-22.






If ...

Then ...

a claimant submits an outdated version of the VA Form 21-22

send a development letter requesting completion of the current version of the VA Form 21-22

provide the current version of the form for completion, and

return the outdated version of the form.


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9. Handling Representative Appointment Forms, Continued

f. Handling an Incomplete VA Form 21-22

Use the procedure below if the VA Form 21-22 is incomplete.




If the VSO is ...

Then ...

located in the same building as the regional office (RO)

forward the form to the VSO for completion and

check all necessary incomplete items on the form.



not located in the same building as the RO, and

there is an end product (EP) pending



return the form to the claimant with a letter using the Modern Awards Processing and Development (MAP-D) paragraph “Form incomplete - Items checked in red needed,” and

check all necessary incomplete items on the form in red ink.



not located in the same building as the RO, and there is no EP pending.

establish an EP 400

return the form to the claimant with a letter using the MAP-D paragraph “Form incomplete - Items checked in red needed,” and

check all necessary incomplete items on the form in red ink.

clear the EP 400






Note: The MAP-D paragraph “Form incomplete - Items checked in red needed,” can be found under the category “General Development Type.”
Reference: For more information about MAP-D, see the MAP-D User’s Guide.

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9. Handling Representative Appointment Forms, Continued

g. Processing Copies of VA Form 21-22

Follow the instructions contained in the table below to process the three copies of VA Form 21-22.




Copy/Name

Action

1 – Claims Folder

In the Acknowledged block enter

the current date, and

your initials

As applicable, complete the block Copy of VA Form 21-22 Sent to, and

reverse file on the right flap of the claims folder.


2 – Service Organization

Send to the VSO.

3 – Other

First, use the Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator System (BIRLS) Folder Location screen to determine if any other folders exist.
Then either

file copy in any other relevant folders, such as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E), Education, Insurance, or Loan Guaranty, or

dispose of copy, in accordance with the Records Control Schedule VBA, Part I, 13-052.300.





Reference: For more information on the relevant folders and third parties that should receive copy 3 of VA Form 21-22, see M21-1MR, Part I, 3.B.9.i.


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9. Handling Representative Appointment Forms, Continued

h. Processing VA Form 21-22a and Appointment Letters

Use the table below to process VA Form 21- 22a, Appointment of Individual as Claimant's Representative, in order to acknowledge the appointment of an agent, attorney, or a non-licensed individual.
Notes:

An accredited agent or attorney may only establish representation by using a VA Form 21-22a.

Non-licensed individuals may establish representation by using the VA Form 21-22a or appointment letter.





Copy of Form/Letter

Action to Process

Original

Annotate with

the current date, and



Acknowledged, and

reverse file on the right flap of the claims folder.



Photocopy 1

Send to the agent or non-licensed individual representative to acknowledge VA’s receipt of VA Form 21- 22a or appointment letter.

Additional Photocopies

File in any relevant folders or send to any relevant third parties to note the existence of the agent or non-licensed individual as a representative.
Reference: For more information on the relevant folders and third parties that should receive a copy of VA Form 21-22a, see M21-1MR, Part I, 3.B.9.i.

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9. Handling Representative Appointment Forms, Continued

i. Filing or Sending Additional Copies of Appointment Forms or Letters

Use the table below to determine circumstances that require additional filing or sending of
copy 3 of VA Form 21-22, or

additional photocopies of VA Form 21-22a or the appointment letter.






If …

Then …

there is a Counseling, Evaluation and Rehabilitation (CER) folder
Exception: CER folders retired to a Federal Records Center (FRC).

file copy 3 or an additional photocopy in the CER folder.

the appointment was filed for loan guaranty purposes and the loan guaranty records involve waiver of indebtedness or denial of basic eligibility

file copy 3 or an additional photocopy in the loan guaranty folder.

the claim involves disability insurance benefits

send copy 3 or an additional photocopy to the insurance office of jurisdiction.

a Chapter 30 file exists on the BIRLS LOC screen

annotate the copy 3 or an additional photocopy with the phrase for CH 30 purposes, and

send copy 3 or the additional photocopy to the RO with jurisdiction over the Chapter 30 file.





j. Unclear Declaration

If a private attorney’s declaration of representation is unclear whether it is limited or unlimited, write to the attorney and ask for clarification. Back-file any such clarification in the claims file.

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