TN 11 (01-15)

RS 01701.005 Evidence of Military Service (MS)

A. When evidence is required

1. MS in 1957 through 1967

The Master Earnings File (MEF) cannot identify postings for 1957 through 1967 as military wages. When processing an application for benefits, complete the number holder’s military service (NHMS) screen in the Modernized Claim System (MCS) to record periods of military service (MS) for 1957 through 1967 following instructions in GN 00205.050. Obtain evidence of the dates of MS before giving credit for DMWs. For more information on crediting DMWs based on MS dates, see RS 01701.002B.

2. MS in 1968 through 2001

We automatically added DMWs to the MEF when we received a report of military wages for these years. Obtain evidence of MS and document that service only when the claimant alleges that there is a missing or incorrect MS posting(s). Verify alleged post-1967 MS when the MEF shows the remark "DMWs updated" only if there is doubt as to creditability.

B. Avoid unnecessary development

There is no need to develop for evidence when the MS:

  • is not needed for insured status;

  • will not increase the PIA;

  • is barred because of use by the Railroad Retirement Board;

  • is not material because the yearly maximum is already posted;

  • can be established by feedback or scouting (for information on the feedback and scouting procedures, see MSOM EM 016.001);

  • was determined to be either creditable or precluded in a prior claim;

  • date of entry on active duty can be established by the enlistment or induction date; or

  • requires no further development because evidence already presented is sufficient.

C. Obtaining evidence

1. Where to obtain evidence

Obtain evidence of alleged active duty service or training from MS records, the Disability, Railroad, Alien and Military Service (DRAMS) file, feedback, or scouting. For information on DRAMS, see MSOM QUERIES 005.003. For feedback and scouting guidelines, see RS 01404.205.

When needing evidence from MS records:

  1. obtain evidence from the claimant first, since this may eliminate the need to contact other sources. (For instructions on obtaining evidence from the claimant, see RS 01701.025);

  2. check the Veterans Benefits Administration Query (VBAQ). Use the VBAQ as proof of MS if it agrees with the claimant’s allegation and all other evidence. (For more information on the VBAQ, see MSOM Queries 003.020);

  3. obtain evidence from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) if the claimant’s evidence, the VBAQ, or scouting do not conclusively support the allegation. (For more information on obtaining evidence from NARA, see RS 01701.036);

  4. evaluate all documents submitted. Two or more documents, although individually weak, may support each other sufficiently to prove the veteran's allegation; and

  5. include in the file a brief written evaluation, showing the logic you used to arrive at an MS determination.

2. Evidence of Reserve and National Guard active duty training for 1957 through 1967

Reserves and the National Guard usually go on active duty training for a short period each year. Proof of such service can be difficult to obtain for these years and feedback may be necessary to identify the employer(s) before crediting DMWs.

However, if you believe that the postings are for active duty training, credit DMWs without obtaining feedback if:

  1. the veteran alleges civilian noncovered employment or was unemployed, and the 1957 through 1967 postings on the MEF agree with the allegation of the active duty for training;

  2. proof for the periods is not readily available;

  3. one or two quarters per year are posted, and the amount is relatively low; and

  4. evidence of membership in the Reserves or National Guard is presented for the years involved.


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