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Veterans Affairs records concerning ulations upon which the denial is himself or herself nor may a claimant based. inspect records concerning himself or
[24 FR 8174, Oct. 8, 1959, as amended at 32 FR herself. Disclosure of information from
10848, July 25, 1967; 38 FR 15601, June 14, 1973] Department of Veterans Affairs records to a claimant or his or her duly author- $1.501 Release of information by the ized agent or representative may be Secretary. made, however, under the provisions of The Secretary of Veterans Affairs or $81.501 through 1.526.
the Deputy Secretary may release in(c) Each administration, staff office, formation, statistics, or reports to inand field facility head will designate an dividuals or organizations when in the employee(s) who will be responsible for Secretary's or Deputy Secretary's initial action on (granting or denying) judgment such release would serve a requests to inspect or obtain informa useful purpose. tion from or copies of records under
[32 FR 10848, July 25, 1967, as amended at 54 their jurisdiction and within the pur- FR 34980, Aug. 23, 1989] view of $$ 1.501 through 1.526 unless the regulations in this part currently con
$ 1.502 Disclosure of the amount of tain such designations. The request monetary benefits. should be made to the office concerned The monthly rate of pension, com(having jurisdiction of the record de pensation, dependency and indemnity sired) or, if not known, to the Director compensation, retirement pay, subsistor Veterans Assistance Officer in the ence allowance, or educational assistnearest VA regional office, or to the ance allowance of any beneficiary shall VA Central Office, 810 Vermont Avenue be made known to any person who apNW., Washington, DC 20420. Personal plies for such information. contacts should normally be made dur
(32 FR 10848, July 25, 1967) ing the regular duty hours of the office concerned, which are 8 a.m. to 4:30 $ 1.503 Disclosure of information to a p.m., Monday through Friday, for VA veteran or his or her duly author. Central Office and most field facilities. ized representative as to matters Any legal question arising in a field fa
concerning the veteran alone. cility concerning the release of infor Information may be disclosed to a mation will be referred to the appro veteran or his or her duly authorized priate Regional Counsel for disposition representative as to matters conas contemplated by $13.401 of this chap cerning himself or herself alone when ter. In central office such legal ques such disclosure would not be injurious tions will be referred to the General to the physical or mental health of the Counsel. Any administrative question veteran. If the veteran be deceased, will be referred through administrative matters concerning him or her may be channels to the appropriate adminis disclosed to his widow, children, or tration or staff office head.
next of kin if such disclosure will not (d) Upon denial of a request under be injurious to the physical or mental paragraph (c) of this section, the re
health of the person in whose behalf insponsible Department of Veterans Af
formation is sought or cause repugfairs official or designated employee
nance or resentment toward the decewill inform the requester in writing of dent. the denial and advise him or her that (13 FR 6999, Nov. 27, 1948) he or she may appeal the denial. The requester will also be furnished the $1.504 Disclosure of information to a title and address of the Department of widow, child, or other claimant. Veterans Affairs official to whom the Information may be disclosed to a appeal should be addressed. (See widow, widower, child, or other depend$1.527.) In each instance of denial of a ent parent or other claimant, or request, the denial will be made a mat duly authorized representative of any ter of record and the record will con- of these persons as to matters contain a citation to the specific provision cerning such person alone when such of Department of Veterans Affairs reg- disclosure will not be injurious to the
of aiding in the settlement of a particular insurance case. [33 FR 2994, Feb. 15, 1968]
physical or mental health of the person to whom the inquiry relates. If the person concerning whom the information is sought is deceased, matters concerning such person may be disclosed to the next of kin if the disclosures will not be injurious to the physical or mental health of the person in whose behalf the information is sought or cause repugnance or resentment toward the decedent. [13 FR 6999, Nov. 27, 1948, as amended at 54 FR 34980, Aug. 23, 1989)
$ 1.505 Genealogy.
Information of a genealogical nature when its disclosure will not be detrimental to the memory of the veteran and not prejudicial, so far as may be apparent, to the interests of any living person or to the interests of the Government may be released by the Department of Veterans Affairs or in the case of inactive records may be released by the Archivist of the United States if in the Archivist's custody. [13 FR 6999, Nov. 27, 1948]
$ 1.507 Disclosures to members of Con.
gress. Members of Congress shall be furnished in their official capacity in any case such information contained in the Department of Veterans Affairs files as may be requested for official use. However, in any unusual case, the request will be presented to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, or staff or administration head for personal action. When the requested information is of a type which may not be furnished a claimant, the member of Congress shall be advised that the information is furnished to him or her confidentially in his official capacity and should be so treated by him or her. (See 38 U.S.C. 5701.) Information concerning the beneficiary designation of a United States Government Life Insurance or National Service Life Insurance policy is deemed confidential and privileged and during the insured's lifetime shall not be disclosed to anyone other than the insured or his or her duly appointed fiduciary unless the insured or the fiduciary authorizes the release of such information. [32 FR 10848, July 25, 1967]
$ 1.506 Disclosure of records to Fed
eral Government departments, State unemployment compensation agencies, and the Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance. (a) All records or documents required for official purposes by any department or other agency of the U.S. Government or any state unemployment compensation agency acting in an official capacity for the Department of Veterans Affairs shall be furnished in response to an official request, written, or oral, from such department or agency. If the requesting department or agency does not indicate the purpose for which the records or documents are requested and there is doubt as to whether they are to be used for official purposes, the requesting department or agency will be asked to specify the purpose for which they are to be used.
(b) The Under Secretary for Benefits, Director of Insurance Service, or designee of either in Central Office, is authorized to release information to OSGLI (Office of Servicemembers Group Life Insurance) for the purpose
$ 1.508 Disclosure in cases where
claimants are charged with or convicted of criminal offenses. (a) Where incompetent claimants are charged with, or convicted of, offenses other than those growing out of their relationship with the Department of Veterans Affairs and in which it is desired to disclose information from the files and records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Regional Counsel. Under Secretary for Benefits, Veterans Benefits Administration, or the General Counsel if the General Counsel deems it necessary and proper, may disclose to the court having jurisdiction so much of the information from the files and records of the Department of Veterans Affairs relating to the mental condition of such beneficiaries, the same to be available as evidence, as may be necessary to show the mental condition of the accused and the time
of its onset. This provision, however, If the release of information is not audoes not alter the general procedure for thorized in writing by the claimant or handling offenses growing out of rela- his or her duly authorized representations with the Department of Veterans tive, information contained in the files Affairs.
may be furnished to such company if to (b) When desired by a U.S. district withhold same would tend to permit court, the Regional Counsel or the the accomplishment of a fraud or misGeneral Counsel may supply informa carriage of justice. However, before tion as to whether any person charged such information may be released withwith crime served in the military or out the consent of the claimant, the renaval service of the United States and quest therefor must be accompanied by whether the Department of Veterans an affidavit of the representative of the Affairs has a file on such person. If the insurance company, setting forth that file is desired either by the court or by litigation is pending, the character of the prosecution or defense, it may be the suit, and the purpose for which the produced only in accord with $$ 1.501 information desired is to be used. If through 1.526.
such information is to be used ad
versely to the claimant, the affidavit [21 FR 10375, Dec. 28, 1956, as amended at 32 FR 10848, July 25, 1967; 54 FR 34980, Aug. 23,
must set forth facts from which it may 1989)
be determined by the General Counsel
or Regional Counsel whether the fur$ 1.509 Disclosure to courts in pro nishing of the information is necessary
ceedings in the nature of an in. to prevent the perpetration of a fraud quest.
or other injustice. The averments conThe Under Secretary for Benefits, tained in such affidavit should be conVeterans Benefits Administration, Re- sidered in connection with the facts gional Counsels, and facility heads are
shown by the claimant's file, and, if authorized to make disclosures to
such consideration shows the disclocourts of competent jurisdiction of sure of the record is necessary and such files, records, reports, and other proper to prevent a fraud or other indocuments as are necessary and proper
justice, information as to the contents evidence in proceedings in the nature
thereof may be furnished to the insurof an inquest into the mental com ance company or copies of the records petency of claimants and other pro
may be furnished to the court, workceedings incident to the appointment
men's compensation, or similar board and discharge of guardians, curators,
in which the litigation is pending upon or conservators to any court having ju
receipt of a subpoena duces tecum adrisdiction of such fiduciaries in all
dressed to the Secretary of Veterans matters of appointment, discharge, or
Affairs, or the head of the office in accounting in such courts.
which the records desired are located.
In the event the subpoena requires the [32 FR 10848, July 25, 1967)
production of the file, as distinguished $ 1.510 Disclosure to insurance compa
from the copies of the records, no exnies cooperating with the Depart.
pense to the Department of Veterans ment of Justice in the defense of in. Affairs may be involved in complying surance suits against the United therewith, and arrangements must be States.
made with the representative of the inCopies of records from the files of the surance company causing the issuance Department of Veterans Affairs will, in
of the subpoena to insure submission of the event of litigation involving com
the file to the court without expense to mercial insurance policies issued by an
the Department of Veterans Affairs. insurance company cooperating with (32 FR 10848, July 25, 1967] the Department of Justice in defense of insurance suits against the United $1.511 Disclosure of claimant rec States, be furnished to such companies
in connection with judicial prowithout charge, provided the claimant
ceedings generally. or his or her duly authorized represent (a)(1) Where a suit (or legal proative has authorized the release of the ceeding) has been threatened or insti. information contained in such records. tuted against the Government, or a prosecution against a claimant has Regional Counsel having jurisdiction, been instituted or is being con- who will limit the disclosure of infortemplated, the request of the claimant mation to that which would be availor his or her duly authorized represent able under discovery proceedings, if the ative for information, documents, re- matter were in litigation. Any other ports, etc., shall be acted upon by the information may be disclosed only General Counsel in Central Office, or after concurrence in such disclosure is the Regional Counsel for the field facil provided by the General Counsel. ity, who shall determine the action to
(b) Disclosures in response to Federal be taken with respect thereto. Where
court process—(1) Court order. Except for the records have been sent to the De
drug and alcohol abuse, human impartment of Justice in connection with
munodeficiency virus and sickle cell any such suit (or legal proceeding), the
anemia treatment records, which are request will be referred to the Depart
protected under 38 U.S.C. 7332, where ment of Justice, Washington, DC,
the records sought are maintained in a through the office of the General Coun
VA Privacy Act system of records, and sel, for attention. Where the records
are retrieved by the name or other perhave been sent to an Assistant U.S. At
sonal identifier of a living claimant torney, the request will be referred by
who is a citizen of the United States or the appropriate Regional Counsel to
an alien lawfully admitted for permathe Assistant U.S. Attorney. In all
nent residence, a Federal court order is other cases where copies of documents
the process necessary for the disclosure or records are desired by or on behalf of parties to a suit (or legal proceeding),
of such records. Upon receipt of a Fedwhether in a Federal court or any
eral court order directing disclosure of
claimant records, such records will be other, such copies shall be disclosed as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of
disclosed. Disclosure of records pro
tected under 38 U.S.C. 7332 will be made this section where the request is ac
in accordance with provisions of paracompanied by court process, or paragraph (e) of this section where the re
graph (g) of this section. quest is not accompanied by court
(2) Subpoena. Except for drug and alprocess. A court process, such as a
cohol abuse, human immunodeficiency court order or subpoena duces tecum
virus and sickle cell anemia treatment should be addressed to either the Sec
records, which are protected under 38 retary of Veterans Affairs or to the
U.S.C. 7332, where the records sought head of the field facility at which the
are maintained in a VA Privacy Act records desired are located. The deter
system of records, and are retrieved by mination as to the action to be taken
the name or other personal identifier of upon any request for the disclosure of
a claimant, a subpoena is not sufficient claimant records received in this class
authority for the disclosure of such of cases shall be made by the compo
records and such records will not be nent having jurisdiction over the sub disclosed, unless the claimant is deject matter in Central Office, or the di
ceased, or either is not a citizen of the vision having jurisdiction over the sub United States, or is an alien not lawject matter in the field facility, except fully admitted for permanent resiin those cases in which representatives dence. Where one of these exceptions of the component or division have de applies, upon receipt of a Federal court termined that the records desired are subpoena, such records will be disto be used adversely to the claimant, in closed. Additionally, where the subwhich event the process will be referred poena is accompanied by authorization to the General Counsel in Central Of from the claimant, disclosure will be fice or to the Regional Counsel for the made. Regarding the disclosure of medfield facility for disposition.
ical records pertaining to drug and al(2) Where a claim under the provi cohol abuse, human immunodeficiency sions of the Federal Tort Claims Act virus and sickle cell anemia treatment, has been filed, or where such a claim a subpoena is insufficient for such discan reasonably be anticipated, no in- closure. Specific provisions for the disformation, documents, reports, etc., closure of these records are set forth in will be disclosed except through the paragraph (g) of this section.
(3) A disclosure of records in response alien not lawfully admitted for permato the receipt of a Federal court proc- nent residence. Where one of these exess will be made to those individuals ceptions applies, upon receipt of a designated in the process to receive State or local court subpoena directing such records, or to the court from disclosure of claimant records, disclowhich the process issued. Where origi- sure of such records will be made in acnal records are produced, they must re- cordance with the provisions set forth main at all times in the custody of a in paragraph (c)(3), of this section. Rerepresentative of the Department of
garding the disclosure of 7332 records, a Veterans Affairs, and, if offered and re subpoena is insufficient for such discloceived in evidence, permission should sure. Specific provisions for the disclobe obtained to substitute a copy so
sure of these records are set forth in that the original may remain intact in
paragraph (g) of this section. the record. Where a court process is
(3) Where the disclosure provisions of issued by or on behalf of a party liti
paragraph (c) (1) or (2) of this section gant other than the United States,
apply, disclosure will be made as folsuch party litigant must prepay the
lows: costs of copies in accordance with fees
(i) When the process presented is acprescribed by $1.526(i) and any other
companied by authority from the costs incident to producing the records.
claimant; or, (c) Disclosures in response to state or local court processs—(1) State or local
(ii) In the absence of claimant disclo
sure authority, the Regional Counsel court order. Except for drug and alcohol abuse, human immunodeficiency virus
having jurisdiction must determine and sickle cell anemia treatment
whether the disclosure of the records is records, which are protected under 38
necessary to prevent the perpetration U.S.C. 7332, where the records sought
of fraud or other injustice in the matare maintained in a Va Privacy Act ter in question. To make such a detersystem of records, and are retrieved by
mination, the Regional Counsel may the name or other personal identifier of
require such additional documentation, a living claimant who is a citizen of
e.g., affidavit, letter of explanation, or the United States or an alien lawfully
such other documentation which would admitted for permanent residence, a
detail the need for such disclosure, set State or local court order is the proc
forth the character of the pending suit. ess necessary for disclosure of such and the purpose for which the docurecords. Upon receipt of a State or
ments or records sought are to be used local court order directing disclosure
as evidence. The claimant's record may of claimant records, disclosure of such
also be considered in the making of records will be made in accordance
such determination. Where a court with the provisions set forth in para
process is received, and the Regional graph (c)(3) of this section. Disclosure Counsel finds that additional docuof records protected under 38 U.S.C. mentation will be needed to make the 7332 will be made in accordance with foregoing determination, the Regional provisions of paragraph (g) of this sec- Counsel, or other employee having reation.
sonable knowledge of the requirements (2) State or local court subpoena. Ex of this regulation, shall contact the cept for drug and alcohol abuse, human person causing the issuance of such immunodeficiency virus and sickle cell court process, and advise that person of anemia treatment records, which are the need for additional documentation. protected under 38 U.S.C. 7332, where where a court appearance is approthe records sought are maintained in a priate, and the Regional Counsel has VA Privacy Act system of records, and found that there is an insufficient basis are retrieved by the name or other per- upon which to warrant a disclosure of sonal identifier of a claimant, a sub- the requested information, the Repoena is not sufficient authority for gional Counsel, or other employee havdisclosure of such records and such ing reasonable knowledge of the rerecords will not be disclosed unless the quirement of this regulation and havclaimant is deceased, or, either is not a ing consulted with the Regional Councitizen of the United States, or is an sel, shall appear in court and advise