38 CFR § 21.420 - Informing the veteran.

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§ 21.420 Informing the veteran.

(a) General. VA will inform a veteran in writing of findings affecting receipt of benefits and services under Chapter 31. This includes veterans:

(1) Requesting benefits and services; or

(2) In receipt of benefits and services.

(b) Notification: Each notification should include the following:

(1) Identification of the issues adjudicated.

(2) A summary of the evidence considered by the Secretary.

(3) A summary of the applicable laws and regulations relevant to the decision.

(4) Identification of findings favorable to the veteran.

(5) In the case of a denial of a claim, identification of elements not satisfied leading to the denial.

(6) An explanation of how to obtain or access evidence used in making the decision.

(7) A summary of the applicable review options available for the veteran to seek further review of the decision.

(c) Adverse action. An adverse action is one, other than an interim action such as a suspension of benefits pending development, which:

(1) Denies Chapter 31 benefits, when such benefits have been requested;

(2) Reduces or otherwise diminishes benefits being received by the veteran; or

(3) Terminates receipt of benefits for reasons other than scheduled interruptions which are a part of the veteran's plan.

(d) Prior notification of adverse action. VA shall give the veteran a period of at least 30 days to review, prior to its promulgation, an adverse action other than one which arises as a consequence of a change in training time or other such alteration in circumstances. During that period, the veteran shall be given the opportunity to:

(1) Meet informally with a representative of VA;

(2) Review the basis for VA decision, including any relevant written documents or material; and

(3) Submit to VA any material which he or she may have relevant to the decision.

(e) Favorable findings. Any finding favorable to the veteran is binding on all subsequent agency of original jurisdiction and Board of Veterans' Appeals adjudicators, unless rebutted by evidence that identifies a clear and unmistakable error in the favorable finding.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3102, 5104, 5104A, and 7105)
[49 FR 40814, Oct. 18, 1984, as amended at 54 FR 40872, Oct. 4, 1989; 84 FR 193, Jan. 18, 2019]