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VA Fast Letter 09-05.pdf


Veterans Benefits Administration

Washington, D.C. 20420

January 27, 2009

Director (00/21)

All VA Regional Offices and Centers

Fast Letter 09-05

SUBJ: New Notice and Development Paragraphs for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Claims.


The purpose of this letter is to provide information and guidance on the use of new "What The Evidence Must Show" (WTEMS) notice and development paragraphs for DIC claims in Modern Award Processing-Development (MAP-D).

All regional offices (ROs) and centers must use both the new WTEMS notice and the development paragraphs for original and reopened DIC claims. The Office of General Counsel approved the language contained in the new notice and paragraphs. Therefore, local changes are not permitted unless authorized by the Compensation and Pension (C&P) Service.


In Hupp v. Nicholson, 21 Vet. App. 342 (2007), the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (the Court) held that when VA receives a detailed claim for DIC under 38 U.S.C. § 1310, it must provide a detailed notice to the claimant.

Specifically, the Court held that, under section 38 U.S.C. § 5103(a), the notice must include the following elements:

· A statement of the conditions, if any, for which a veteran was service connected at the time of death;

· An explanation of the evidence and information required to substantiate a DIC claim based on a previously service-connected condition; and

· An explanation of the evidence and information required to substantiate a DIC claim based on a condition not yet service connected.

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