Summary: H.R.5087 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (09/25/1992)

Veterans' Readjustment Benefits Improvement Act of 1992 - Title I: Educational Assistance Programs - Amends the Montgomery GI Bill educational assistance program (MGIB program) to increase by $100 the monthly educational benefits paid to active-duty members of the armed forces pursuing a full-time educational program, and by $75 the benefits paid to active-duty members obligated for two years of active duty. Increases by $50 monthly the educational benefits paid to reserve members pursuing a full-time educational program, with proportionately reduced increases for part-time educational programs for such reserve personnel. Directs (currently authorizes) the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to continue to pay such rates for fiscal year 1993, and requires (currently authorizes) the Secretary to provide a percentage increase in such rates for FY 1993 that is equal to the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index.

Makes eligible for participation in the MGIB program individuals who, after September 30, 1992, are commissioned as officers upon graduation from a military service academy or upon completion of a senior reserve officer training program. (Currently, all such officers commissioned after December 31, 1976, are ineligible for such assistance.)

Provides that individuals who are discharged or released after 12 months or less of continuous active duty and who later reenlist or reenter on active duty are eligible to resume participation in the MGIB program as if they had served a continuous period of active duty.

Provides that a period during which an MGIB participant is assigned full-time by the armed forces to a civilian institution for a course of education shall not be considered a break in continuous active duty of such individual for purposes of MGIB eligibility.

Provides that an individual who, during an initial period of active duty, commences pursuit of education at a service academy or a school in preparation for a service academy, fails to complete such education, and reenters active duty shall be deemed to have served a continuous period of active duty which includes the period of such education, for purposes of MGIB program eligibility. Makes such provision effective as if enacted on June 30, 1985, and applied to educational assistance pursued on or after FY 1993.

Provides that an individual who initially serves a continuous period of active duty of at least three years, even though his or her initial obligation was for less than three years, is eligible for the same amount of educational assistance provided to an individual whose initial period of obligated active duty was for three years or more.

Allows individuals who first entered onto active duty in the armed forces between July 1, 1985, and June 30, 1988, who served on active duty continuously during such service, and who, between December 1, 1988, and June 30, 1989, chose not to participate in the MGIB program, the opportunity to withdraw the election not to participate when separated due to a physical or mental condition that interferes with the individual's performance of duty.

Makes the rate of educational benefits paid to active-duty members pursuing programs of education on a less-than-half-time basis identical to the rate paid to veterans.

Repeals a Federal provision prohibiting the advance payment of educational assistance to a veteran or person intending to pursue a program of education on less than a half-time basis.

Authorizes the use of MGIB program assistance for tuition and fees charged for, or attributable to, solo flying hours for active-duty members and reserve members and under the post-Vietnam Era veterans' educational assistance program. Limits, in each instance, the number of solo flying hours for which a person may be paid such assistance to the minimum number of solo flying hours required by the Federal Aviation Administration for the flight rating or certification goal.

Limits the advance payment of the work-study allowance to the first 50 hours of each work-study contract.

Excludes elementary and secondary schools from a Federal provision requiring an educational institution to furnish a copy of its catalog when applying for approval of an accredited course by a State approving agency (SAA). Requires schools that have and enforce standards of attendance to submit such standards to the SAA for approval.

Authorizes a State to approve (for veterans' educational assistance purposes) the courses offered by an educational institution when such courses are approved by the State as meeting the requirements of regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under specified provisions of the Social Security Act relating to the approval of nurse aide courses.

Prohibits the approval of a course of education which has not been approved by a SAA if such course is to be pursued in whole or in part by independent study. Prohibits approval of enrollment of a veteran in an independent study program except an accredited program leading to a standard college degree. Prohibits such approval also for survivors and dependents enrolling in a nonaccredited independent study program. Provides a savings provision for persons currently enrolled in such programs.

Waives the right of recovery of an advance payment made to a veteran for the receipt of educational assistance if the failure to enroll in or pursue a course of education under the program is due to the death of the veteran.

Bars the payment of veterans' educational assistance for a course paid for under the Government Employees Training Act. (Currently, such payment is barred only if the person's full salary is being paid to him or her during such training education.)

Revises the measurement of courses, for purposes of payment of educational assistance benefits, for institutional trade or technical courses not leading to a standard college degree. Excludes programs of education beyond the baccalaureate level from the measurement of courses for an institutional undergraduate course offered by a college or university on a standard quarter- or semester-hour basis. Removes the in-residence requirement for the measurement of such courses. Prohibits an institutional course not leading to a standard college degree offered by an institution on such basis from being measured as full-time if such course requires less than the minimum weekly hours of attendance required for institutional trade or technical courses offered on a clock-hour basis.

Allows as a change of program for purposes of the veterans' educational assistance program: (1) a change of program after the veteran has completed the first program; (2) a second program which leads to a vocational, educational, or professional objective in the same general field as the first program; (3) a second program when the first program is a prerequisite to the second program; and (4) a change from a subsequent program to the former program when the veteran or other eligible person resumes pursuit of such program without loss of credit or standing in the former program.

Directs the Secretary to approve individualized tutorial assistance (tutoring) to any person entitled to regular educational assistance who: (1) is enrolled in and pursuing postsecondary education on a half-time or more basis; and (2) has a deficiency in a subject required for, prerequisite to, or indispensible to the program of education being pursued. Directs the Secretary of the military department concerned to pay a tutorial assistance allowance to persons receiving such tutoring at a rate not to exceed $100 per month or a maximum of $1,200. Requires the educational institution at which the person is enrolled to make certain certifications with respect to such tutoring before such allowance may be paid. Provides that a person's entitlement to basic educational assistance shall be charged for such tutorial assistance only for that amount which exceeds $600.

Title II: Vocational Rehabilitation and Pension Programs - Makes permanent after January 31, 1985 (currently only for the period beginning February 1, 1985, and ending on January 31, 1992) a program of 12-month trial work periods and vocational rehabilitation outreach for veterans who have total disability ratings based on unemployability.

Allows all veterans who have been awarded pension by the Department (currently, only pension-awarded veterans under the age of 45) to submit to the Secretary an application for vocational education and training. Revises provisions with respect to the manner in which the Secretary shall determine whether the veteran has potential for achieving employment after pursuing such vocational training. Makes permanent (currently ends three years after the end of the original program period) the three-year protection from reduction in Department health-care eligibility for veterans who lose their pension due to employment income after successful completion of vocational training.

Provides eligibility for vocational rehabilitation for veterans with a service-connected disability rated at ten percent or more and who have a serious employment handicap (as determined by the Secretary).

Increases by specified amounts (dependent upon the number of dependents) the subsistence allowance for veterans receiving vocational or rehabilitative training. Requires such amounts to be increased for fiscal years beginning on or after FY 1994 by specified percentages equal to the percentage increases in the Consumer Price Index for a specified prior period.

Provides that where a new application for veterans' pension or parents' dependency and indemnity compensation is filed within one year after the renouncement of the right to such benefit, the application shall not be considered an original application, and payment of such benefits shall be made as if the renouncement had not occurred.

Title III: Job Counseling, Training, and Placement Services for Veterans - Requires funds to be made available to a State to support the appointment of a disabled veterans' outreach program specialist for veterans who first entered on active duty after May 7, 1975. (Currently, such specialists represent only Vietnam-era veterans and disabled veterans.)

Repeals the December 31, 1994, delimiting date after which a veteran may not be considered to be a veteran of the Vietnam era for purposes of eligibility for the Vietnam veterans' disabled outreach program.

Makes eligible for veterans' readjustment appointments (a program of preference for veterans in hiring for certain Federal Government positions) any Vietnam era veteran who was discharged or released from active duty after December 31, 1979, under conditions other than dishonorable.

Increases and extends through FY 1995 the funding for a program under which the Secretary of Labor establishes and maintains a program to provide counseling, employment and job training assistance, and other transitional services to members of the armed forces (and their spouses) who are being separated from active duty.

Title IV: Cost Savings - Makes permanent (currently expires September 30, 1993) the authority of the Department of Veterans Affairs to be reimbursed by a third party for the cost of care and services provided by the Department to a veteran for a non-service-connected disability to the extent that such veteran would be eligible to receive payment from such third party for such care or services if they had not been provided by a department or agency of the United States.

Makes permanent (currently expires September 30, 1992) the authority of the Secretary to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service or the Department of Health and Human Services income information in order to verify eligibility for needs-based benefits. Makes identical changes to related provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.

Prohibits the payment of more than $90 in monthly pension for the following persons for any period that a nursing facility furnishes such persons with services covered under a Medicaid (title XIX of the Social Security Act) plan: (1) veterans having neither spouse nor child; or (2) a surviving spouse having no child. Makes such provision permanent (currently expires September 30, 1992).