M21-1, Part IIIFebruary 25, 2005
(1) If the separated serviceperson enters a reserve unit, and remains eligible for medical care as a dependent, the active duty medical record will go to the RMC, and two "new" medical records will exist, one with the reserve unit and the other as a dependent of the active duty member. In this case development may be required through these separate sources.
(2) If the separated person is a retiree, he/she has independent eligibility to medical care. Consequently, there will be a retiree record created by the service department and the active duty SMRs are sent to the RMC.
4.26 REQUESTS FOR SERVICE RECORDS FROM MEDICAL CENTERS
a. General. It is VA policy that only regional offices request service records. VA medical facilities will request RO assistance if they need service verification, clinical records or other evidence from the military.
b. Request from Medical Center Received
(1) If service records are required by a VA medical center, it should request the records through the regional office on VA Form 10-7131, “Exchange of Beneficiary Information and Request for Administrative and Adjudicative Action.”
(2) If only verification of service is requested and no claims file exists, create a BIRLS record using the BADD command. Request verification of service via PIES request code S01. When verification is received, update BIRLS and notify the originating medical facility.
Note: The Veterans Information Solution (VIS) application allows designated employees at VA medical centers to have access to and view electronic data such as verification of a veteran’s service, disabilities, diagnostic codes, dependents and awards. Before initiating verification of service via PIES, check the VIS application to determine if the requested information is available.
(3) If a request for service medical/dental records or character of discharge determination is received from a VA medical center and no claims file exists, establish a claims file. When the service records are received, process any needed adjudication determinations and file the documents in the claims folder. Notify the medical facility of the determination. If the medical facility requests to review the records, temporarily transfer the entire file to the medical center. Annotate the COVERS transmittal: “File temporarily transferred per 10-7131 dated [MM/DD/YYYY]. Return entire file when your action is complete."