TN 11 (01-15)

RS 01701.025 Evidence in Claimant's Possession

A. Preferred evidence

The following documents are preferred proof of military service (MS) and are likely to be in the claimant's possession.

1. DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty

Uniformed service departments issue a DD-214 for each period of active duty service. The DD-214 contains the:

  • date of entry;

  • separation date;

  • length of service for that period; and

  • cumulative total of any prior period(s) of active service. This “total active service” entry often can be used with other MS evidence to establish continuous or multiple periods of active duty service.

2. DD-1300, Report of Casualty

Uniformed service departments issue the DD-1300 to SSA when a service member dies while on active duty or within a few months after retirement. This form gives the last date of entry on active duty, but may not show prior service dates. Accept an uncertified copy of the DD-1300 unless you doubt its validity. For instructions on handling receipt of the DD-1300, see RS 01702.370.

3. AF-1613, Statement of Service

The Air Force AF-1613 contains:

  • an ongoing record of active duty “from” and “to” dates for all periods up to the issuance date;

  • separation reason(s) and type(s) (including date of death, if applicable).

Accept an uncertified copy of the AF-1613 unless you doubt its validity.

4. DA-2339, Application for Voluntary Retirement

The DA-2339 shows all periods of active service. The commander having custody of personnel records completes the back of the form and the commander’s signature authenticates the document.

B. Other evidence

Other sources of MS proof the claimant may possess or obtain are:

1. An official document

Any official, original document or record issued by the:

  • uniformed services;

  • Department of Veterans Affairs;

  • General Services Administration; or

  • National Archives and Records Administration.

The document must contain the active duty dates and be certified properly or signed.

2. Photocopies

We accept the following when submitting photocopies:

  1. Photocopies or extracts of documents in the possession of Federal, State, county, or municipal agencies are acceptable if properly certified according to GN 00301.080.

  2. Accept an uncertified photocopy if received directly from a Federal agency or there is no reason for doubt. If provided by the claimant and insured status is an issue, at least one other substantiating document is required.

  3. Accept wallet-sized photocopies only for substantiating other evidence. Wallet-sized originals, if signed, are acceptable.

3. Employment and College Records

Employers and college admission offices may require a veteran to submit discharge papers when applying for employment or admission. These personnel or school records may contain the veteran’s dates of MS. Certification of MS from such records is acceptable if the records indicate that the employer or admissions office examined the original or certified copy of the discharge papers.

4. Prior Claim

A claimant (especially a survivor) on a subsequent claim may allege MS, but may not have evidence that is conclusive or readily available. Do not develop if the MS alleged in the current claim agrees with the MS:

  1. proven in the prior claim;

  2. coded in the MS field on the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) Account Data Line. If an MBR shows MS not used because of credit by another Federal agency, the MS is still barred even though the person who received the Federal benefit is now deceased or the Federal benefit terminated;

  3. shown on the Pre-Interview Data Report;

  4. displayed on the MCS RMKS screen; or

  5. shown on the DRAMS file. When a DRAMS query response shows “P” (proven) for a period(s) of MS, it is not necessary for the claimant to resubmit proof of MS unless the current allegation does not agree or there is an unresolved question.

Credit or deny the MS based on the prior determination. Document the file accordingly, per GN 01010.100. Credit the MS in the current claim if the prior claim was destroyed or purged of MS information and: <