Summary: H.R.3674 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (07/16/1996)


Title I: Veterans' Education Programs

Title II: Veterans' Benefits Programs

Veterans' Education and Compensation Benefits Amendments of 1996 - Title I: Veterans' Education Programs - Makes a veteran eligible for training and rehabilitation services and assistance due to an employment handicap caused by a service-connected disability whether or not such person is in receipt of retired pay. Excludes from the scope of such services and assistance job-readiness skills development and counseling under the Veterans' Job Training Act. Repeals a provision allowing a program of independent living services and assistance to include services and assistance as described in title VII of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Secretary) to determine whether a veteran is capable of participating in a program of independent living services and assistance when the Secretary determines that a veteran has a serious employment handicap for which the achievement of a vocational goal currently is not reasonably feasible.

Authorizes the provision of a subsistence allowance to a veteran while satisfactorily pursuing a program of employment services provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs. (Currently, such allowance is only permitted after the conclusion of such program.)

Provides employment assistance through the Department for certain veterans with a service-connected disability rating of ten percent or more (currently, with any disability).

(Sec. 102) Increases the monthly rates of veterans' basic educational assistance under the Montgomery GI Bill, effective on October 1, 1996.

(Sec. 103) Directs the Secretary of Defense to allow certain individuals currently enrolled in the Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance program to instead enroll in the Montgomery GI Bill program of veterans' educational assistance. Provides for deductions from pay for program participants, while allowing refunds to such individuals for any amount paid into the former program but unused in educational benefits.

(Sec. 104) Makes eligible for assistance under the Montgomery GI Bill program members of the Army and Air National Guard who performed certain duty after June 30, 1985 (currently November 29, 1989). Reduces the pay of such individuals for such participation.

(Sec. 105) Makes permanent (currently terminates September 30, 1996) the authority for such assistance to include alternative teacher certification programs.

Title II: Veterans' Benefits Programs - Revises the effective date for the discontinuance of certain veterans' benefits by reason of death of the recipient. Provides the effective date of an award for dependency and indemnity compensation for which application is received within one year from the date of death of the veteran.

(Sec. 202) Increases: (1) from one to two years the authorized period for the payment of certain accrued benefits upon the death of a beneficiary; and (2) from $5,500 to $6,500 the allowance for automobiles and adaptive equipment for certain disabled veterans.

(Sec. 204) Directs the Court of Veterans Appeals to provide funds to legal assistance entities to be used to provide legal assistance to financially needy veterans in proceedings before such Court. Directs the Court to seek to provide such funds through a selected nonprofit organization. Outlines types of assistance, services, and activities to be provided using such funds. Directs the Secretary to transfer funds appropriated to the Department for FY 1997 through 2003 for funding the legal assistance program. Directs the Court to report annually to the Congress on the use of such funds.