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


Handling Appointment Forms/Letters for Special Cases



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10. Handling Appointment Forms/Letters for Special Cases




Introduction

This topic contains information on handling appointment forms or letters for special cases, including
handling

VA Form 21-22 when the claims folder is permanently transferred

VA Form 21-22a or appointment letter when the claims folder is permanently transferred

appointment forms/letters when the claims folder is temporarily transferred, and

appointment forms/letters when there is no record of the claims folder, and

validating informal claims without appointment forms/letters.





Change Date

August 4, 2009


a. Handling VA Form 21-22 When Claims Folder Is Permanently Transferred

The table below describes the process for handling VA Form 21-22 when the claims folder is permanently transferred.




Stage

Who is Responsible

Description

1

Office that receives VA Form 21-22

Spells out the VSO name (Example: Spell out ALA-DVA as ALA State Department of Veterans Affairs) on VA Form 21-22, and

uses Optional Form (OF) 41, Routing and Transmittal Slip, to forward the VA Form 21-22 to the office having jurisdiction over the claims folder.


Note: For State or local VSOs, use authorized State abbreviations.

2

Office of jurisdiction

Updates the BDN/Share, and

files VA Form 21-22 in the claims folder.


Reference: For more information on updating the BDN/Share, see M21-1MR, Part I, 3.B.11.

Continued on next page

10. Handling Appointment Forms/Letters for Special Cases, Continued


b. Handling VA Form 21-22a or Appointment Letter When Claims Folder Is Permanently Transferred

If VA Form 21-22a or an appointment letter is received after the claims folder has been permanently transferred, the office that receives VA Form 21-22a or the appointment letter
forwards the form or letter to the office of jurisdiction, and

uses a locally generated letter to advise the agent, non-licensed individual, or attorney of this referral.




c. Handling Appointment Forms/Letters When Claims Folder Is Temporarily Transferred

The table below describes the process for handling VA Form 21-22, VA Form 21-22a, or an appointment letter when the claims folder is temporarily transferred to another RO.




Stage

Who is Responsible

Description

1

Office of permanent jurisdiction

Reviews the form/letter for completeness

annotates VA Form 70-3029, Transfer of Veteran’s Miscellaneous Records, to show the date and reason for the transfer of the folder

attaches the original VA Form 70-3029 to VA Form 21-22, VA Form 21-22a, or the appointment letter

sends the form/letter to the office having temporary custody of the claims folder, and

maintains a copy of VA Form 70-3029 with VA Form 70-7216a in the suspense file.
Exception: If the claims folder is temporarily transferred to a medical center, outpatient clinic, or Central Office (CO), the office of permanent jurisdiction holds VA Form 21-22, VA Form 21-22a, or the appointment letter for processing pending the return of the folder.


Continued on next page

10. Handling Appointment Forms/Letters for Special Cases, Continued



c. Handling Appointment Forms/Letters When Claims Folder Is Temporarily Transferred (continued)




Stage

Who is Responsible

Description

2

RO having temporary jurisdiction of claims folder

Acknowledges receipt of VA Form 21-22, VA Form 21-22a, or the appointment letter, and

updates BDN/Share.


References: For more information on

handling VA Form 21-22, VA Form 21-22a, or the appointment letter, see M21-1MR, Part I, 3.B.9, and

updating BDN/Share, see M21-1MR, Part I, 3.B.11.


3

RO having temporary jurisdiction of claims folder

Furnishes copy of VA Form 21-22a to the office of permanent jurisdiction for
distribution to the newly designated VSO, agent, non-licensed individual, or attorney, and

filing copies in related records.



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10. Handling Appointment Forms/Letters for Special Cases, Continued


d. Handling Appointment Forms/Letters When There Is No Record of Claims Folder

Use the table below to handle the receipt of VA Form 21-22, VA Form 21-22a, or the appointment letter when there is no record of a claims folder or a pending claim.




If …

Then …

the form/letter indicates a claim for disability insurance only

forward the form/letter to the appropriate insurance center.

there is no record of a claim for disability insurance

return the form/letter to the VSO, agent, non-licensed individual, or attorney with an explanation for the return.
Important: Before returning the document, check the BIRLS LOC screen for the existence of a Chapter 30 or Notice of Death (NOD) folder since the appointment could relate to a Chapter 30 claim or NOD claim.


e. Validating Informal Claims Without Appointment Forms/Letters

Some cases require validation of an informal claim filed by an accredited representative of a VSO, agent, non-licensed individual, or attorney before the necessary VA Form 21-22, VA Form 21-22a, or appointment letter is received.
In the absence of evidence to the contrary, presume the existence of a valid appointment in favor of the accredited representative of a VSO, agent, non-licensed individual, or attorney filing an informal claim as of the date the claim was received.






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