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Veterans Benefits AdministrationM21-1, Part III - page 9 / 71





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February 25, 2005M21-1, Part III

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service department.  BIRLS indicates the existence of a VADS record with a "Y" in the VADS field on the VID screen.  See part II, paragraph 6.05e, on use of the BIRLS VID screen as evidence of service.

b.  Return of Military Personnel and Medical Records on Loan to VA.  Generally, military records will be retained in the veteran's claims folder in the absence of a request for return of the records to the service department.  If a request by telephone or in writing for return of the records is received, photocopy the records and promptly return the originals to the requesting military element.  Annotate the folder to show where the original service records were sent and the date on which they were sent and keep a copy of the request document from the military if one was received.  Photocopies of SMRs are acceptable for the Air Force (SAF/MIBR) at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas in lieu of original SMRs if the folder is being held because it is eligible for Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims review.  See also paragraph 4.14 and Subchapter VII.

c.  Veterans Information Solution (VIS) provides access to Electronic Service Member Discharge Data.  The Veterans Information Solution (VIS) is a web-based application that provides VA with access to information from the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Registration System (DEERS).  It enables designated employees at regional offices and medical centers to have electronic access to and obtain verification of veterans’ discharge data and disability information.  These employees can use the application for the following:  

(1)To obtain verification of military service, especially to process Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) claims when the paper copy of the discharge document (DD Form 214) is not readily available.

(2)  To obtain eligibility information on Compensation and Pension data such as service-connected disabilities, diagnostic codes, verification of dependents and awards.  

Note:  If the information obtained from the VIS application indicates a discrepancy in the information reported by the service member, then proper development is required for verification of service.  


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