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Veterans Benefits AdministrationM21-1, Part III - page 2 / 71

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M21-1, Part IIIFebruary 25, 2005

Change 131

Pages 4-O-1:  Remove this page and substitute page 4-O-1 attached.

Addendum O is revised to reflect editorial changes.

Pages 5-i and 5-ii and 5-I-1 and 5-I-2:  Remove these pages and substitute pages 5-i and 5-ii and 5-I-1 and 5-I-2 attached.

Paragraph 5.03c is revised to state that a request for Social Security Administration medical records must also include a request for any disability decisions in connection with the veteran’s claim.

Pages 5-II-1 through 5-II-2 and pages 5-II-9 through 5-II-22:  Remove these pages and substitute pages 5-II-1 through 5-II-2 and pages 5-II-9 through 5-II-22 attached.

Paragraph 5.10c(1) note is revised to show that Code O43 will be used for Navy only when submitting a PIES request for verification of Vietnam service, and that all other branches will require a dictated letter.

Paragraph 5.14b(1) is revised to show consistency within the manual and the CURR Stressor Verification Guide on the correct wording for Combat Infantry Badge.  This is a miscellaneous editorial correction to the chapter.

Paragraph c(2)(a) is revised to delete the word “As” and replace it with “At.”  This is a miscellaneous editorial change to the subchapter.

Paragraph 5.14c(3) is amended to show that when requesting confirmation of in-service stressor(s), codes O40, O41 and O42 are to be used, unless the stressor occurred during Marine Corps service, and the information that must be included when submitting a PIES request.  All Marine Corps unit records for the Vietnam Era are currently viewable and searchable through Virtual VA.  Instructions for handling denials of service connection for PTSD, based solely on the absence of a verifiable stressor during Marine Corps service, are currently pending.  Regional offices should postpone denying service connection in these cases until further notice.  

Paragraph 5.14c(3) note is revised to show that only after additional development has occurred, and if the information is still insufficient to resubmit to CURR, can a station render a final decision.  The word “affect” is deleted and replaced with “effect.”  This is a miscellaneous editorial correction to the chapter.

Paragraph 5.14c(3)(a) is updated to show the current mailing address for the U.S Armed Services Center for Unit Records Research (CURR), the VA’s liaison officer telephone number, and when requesting verification of in-service stressors, codes O40, O41 and O42 are to be used.

Paragraph 5.14c(3)(b) is revised to state that the new codes in PIES will allow an end user to submit up to three requests for verification of in-service stressors for each veteran.

Paragraph 5.14c(4) is amended to include a cross reference to subparagraph 5.14c(3), and to state that a denial is improper, unless the veteran has been informed of the basic information that is needed for a CURR request, and the claims folder has been properly documented.

Paragraph 5.14 c(5) is changed to show a reference to the CURR Stressor Verification Guide.

Subparagraphs 1 through 7 are added to show the procedures for properly documenting the claims folder and the responsibilities of the CURR coordinator.  In subparagraph 6, the reference to Exhibit B-11, is a memorandum that must be completed to document the findings, and to show that all efforts have been exhausted in obtaining verification of in-service stressor(s).

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