We propose to state that, after making reasonable efforts to identify the appropriate payee(s), if VA releases the full amount of retroactive payments to a payee, VA generally may not thereafter pay any portion of such benefits to any other individual, unless VA is able to recover any payment previously released.
5. Prohibition On Duplicate Payments
We propose to state, in paragraph (f)(4), that, payment of benefits pursuant to this rule shall bar a later claim by any individual for payment of all or any part of such benefits as accrued benefits under 38 U.S.C. 5121 and 38 CFR 3.1000. The district court ordered VA to release all retroactive amounts due a class member at the time of death under the Nehmer stipulation and order. This would necessarily include amounts that otherwise would be payable as accrued benefits under 38 U.S.C. 5121. Accordingly, once payment has been made pursuant to the court's order, no retroactive benefits would remain for payment to any person as accrued benefits. Inasmuch as this rule applies only to retroactive benefits payable for a covered herbicide disease pursuant to the 1991 stipulation and order, it would not preclude a survivor's right to seek accrued benefits under section 5121 in the event a deceased class member was entitled at death to benefits for conditions other than a covered herbicide disease.

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