Text: H.R.1291 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 107-103 (12/27/2001)

 
[107th Congress Public Law 103]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


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[DOCID: f:publ103.107]


[[Page 975]]

          VETERANS EDUCATION AND BENEFITS EXPANSION ACT OF 2001

[[Page 115 STAT. 976]]

Public Law 107-103
107th Congress

                                 An Act


 
To amend title 38, United States Code, to modify and improve authorities 
   relating to education benefits, compensation and pension benefits, 
    housing benefits, burial benefits, and vocational rehabilitation 
  benefits for veterans, to modify certain authorities relating to the 
   United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and for other 
            purposes. <<NOTE: Dec. 27, 2001 -  [H.R. 1291]>> 


    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Veterans 
Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001.>> 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) <<NOTE: 38 USC 101 note.>> Short Title.--This Act may be cited 
as the ``Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001''.

    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. References to title 38, United States Code.

               TITLE I--EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROVISIONS

Sec. 101. Increase in rates of basic educational assistance under 
           Montgomery GI Bill.
Sec. 102. Increase in rates of survivors' and dependents' educational 
           assistance.
Sec. 103. Restoration of certain education benefits of individuals being 
           ordered to active duty.
Sec. 104. Accelerated payments of educational assistance under 
           Montgomery GI Bill for education leading to employment in 
           high technology industry.
Sec. 105. Eligibility for Montgomery GI Bill benefits of certain 
           additional Vietnam era veterans.
Sec. 106. Increase in maximum allowable annual Senior ROTC educational 
           assistance for eligibility for benefits under the Montgomery 
           GI Bill.
Sec. 107. Expansion of work-study opportunities.
Sec. 108. Eligibility for survivors' and dependents' educational 
           assistance of spouses and surviving spouses of veterans with 
           total service-connected disabilities.
Sec. 109. Expansion of special restorative training benefit to certain 
           disabled spouses or surviving spouses.
Sec. 110. Inclusion of certain private technology entities in definition 
           of educational institution.
Sec. 111. Distance education.

              TITLE II--COMPENSATION AND PENSION PROVISIONS

Sec. 201. Modification and extension of authorities on presumption of 
           service-connection for herbicide-related disabilities of 
           Vietnam veterans.
Sec. 202. Payment of compensation for Persian Gulf War veterans with 
           certain chronic disabilities.
Sec. 203. Preservation of service connection for undiagnosed illnesses 
           to provide for participation in research projects by Persian 
           Gulf War veterans.
Sec. 204. Repeal of limitation on payments of benefits to incompetent 
           institutionalized veterans.
Sec. 205. Extension of round-down requirement for compensation cost-of-
           living adjustments.
Sec. 206. Expansion of presumptions of permanent and total disability 
           for veterans applying for nonservice-connected pension.

[[Page 115 STAT. 977]]

Sec. 207. Eligibility of veterans 65 years of age or older for veterans' 
           pension benefits.

              TITLE III--TRANSITION AND OUTREACH PROVISIONS

Sec. 301. Authority to establish overseas veterans assistance offices to 
           expand transition assistance.
Sec. 302. Timing of preseparation counseling.
Sec. 303. Improvement in education and training outreach services for 
           separating servicemembers and veterans.
Sec. 304. Improvement of veterans outreach programs.

                        TITLE IV--HOUSING MATTERS

Sec. 401. Increase in home loan guaranty amount for construction and 
           purchase of homes.
Sec. 402. Native American veteran housing loan pilot program.
Sec. 403. Modification of loan assumption notice requirement.
Sec. 404. Increase in assistance amount for specially adapted housing.
Sec. 405. Extension of other housing authorities.
Sec. 406. Clarifying amendment relating to eligibility of members of the 
           Selected Reserve for housing loans.

                         TITLE V--OTHER MATTERS

Sec. 501. Increase in burial benefits.
Sec. 502. Government markers for marked graves at private cemeteries.
Sec. 503. Increase in amount of assistance for automobile and adaptive 
           equipment for certain disabled veterans.
Sec. 504. Extension of limitation on pension for certain recipients of 
           medicaid-covered nursing home care.
Sec. 505. Prohibition on provision of certain benefits with respect to 
           persons who are fugitive felons.
Sec. 506. Limitation on payment of compensation for veterans remaining 
           incarcerated since October 7, 1980.
Sec. 507. Elimination of requirement for providing a copy of notice of 
           appeal to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 508. Increase in fiscal year limitation on number of veterans in 
           programs of independent living services and assistance.
Sec. 509. Technical and clerical amendments.

      TITLE VI--UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS

Sec. 601. Facilitation of staggered terms of judges through temporary 
           expansion of the Court.
Sec. 602. Repeal of requirement for written notice regarding acceptance 
           of reappointment as condition to retirement from the Court.
Sec. 603. Termination of notice of disagreement as jurisdictional 
           requirement for the Court.
Sec. 604. Registration fees.
Sec. 605. Administrative authorities.

SEC. 2. REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.

    Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an 
amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal 
of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to 
be made to a section or other provision of title 38, United States Code.

               TITLE I--EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROVISIONS

SEC. 101. INCREASE IN RATES OF BASIC EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE UNDER 
            MONTGOMERY GI BILL.

    (a) In General.--(1) Paragraph (1) of section 3015(a) is amended to 
read as follows:
            ``(1) for an approved program of education pursued on a 
        full-time basis, at the monthly rate of--
                    ``(A) for months beginning on or after January 1, 
                2002, $800;

[[Page 115 STAT. 978]]

                    ``(B) for months occurring during fiscal year 2003, 
                $900;
                    ``(C) for months occurring during fiscal year 2004, 
                $985; and
                    ``(D) for months occurring during a subsequent 
                fiscal year, the amount for months occurring during the 
                previous fiscal year increased under subsection (h); 
                or''.

    (2) Paragraph (1) of section 3015(b) is amended to read as follows:
            ``(1) for an approved program of education pursued on a 
        full-time basis, at the monthly rate of--
                    ``(A) for months beginning on or after January 1, 
                2002, $650;
                    ``(B) for months occurring during fiscal year 2003, 
                $732;
                    ``(C) for months occurring during fiscal year 2004, 
                $800; and
                    ``(D) for months occurring during a subsequent 
                fiscal year, the amount for months occurring during the 
                previous fiscal year increased under subsection (h); 
                or''.

    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 3015 note.>> CPI Adjustment.--No adjustment in 
rates of educational assistance shall be made under section 3015(h) of 
title 38, United States Code, for fiscal years 2003 and 2004.

SEC. 102. INCREASE IN RATES OF SURVIVORS' AND DEPENDENTS' EDUCATIONAL 
            ASSISTANCE.

    (a) Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance.--Section 3532 
is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)(1)--
                    (A) by striking ``$588'' and inserting ``$670'';
                    (B) by striking ``$441'' and inserting ``$503''; and
                    (C) by striking ``$294'' and inserting ``$335'';
            (2) in subsection (a)(2), by striking ``$588'' and inserting 
        ``$670'';
            (3) in subsection (b), by striking ``$588'' and inserting 
        ``$670''; and
            (4) in subsection (c)(2)--
                    (A) by striking ``$475'' and inserting ``$541';
                    (B) by striking ``$356'' and inserting ``$406''; and
                    (C) by striking ``$238'' and inserting ``$271''.

    (b) Correspondence Courses.--Section 3534(b) is amended by striking 
``$588'' and inserting ``$670''.
    (c) Special Restorative Training.--Section 3542(a) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``$588'' and inserting ``$670''; and
            (2) by striking ``$184'' each place it appears and inserting 
        ``$210''.

    (d) Apprenticeship Training.--Section 3687(b)(2) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``$428'' and inserting ``$488'';
            (2) by striking ``$320'' and inserting ``$365'';
            (3) by striking ``$212'' and inserting ``$242''; and
            (4) by striking ``$107'' and inserting ``$122''.

    (e) <<NOTE: 38 USC 3532 note.>> Effective Date.--The amendments made 
by this section shall take effect as of January 1, 2002, and shall apply 
with respect to educational assistance allowances payable under chapter 
35 and section 3687(b)(2) of title 38, United States Code, for months 
beginning on or after that date.

[[Page 115 STAT. 979]]

SEC. 103. RESTORATION OF CERTAIN EDUCATION BENEFITS OF INDIVIDUALS BEING 
            ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY.

    (a) In General.--Sections 3013(f)(2)(A), 3231(a)(5)(B)(i), and 
3511(a)(2)(B)(i) are each amended by striking ``, in connection with the 
Persian Gulf War, to serve on active duty under section 672 (a), (d), or 
(g), 673, 673b, or 688 of title 10;'' and inserting ``to serve on active 
duty under section 688, 12301(a), 12301(d), 12301(g), 12302, or 12304 of 
title 10;''.
    (b) Increase in Chapter 35 Delimiting Period.--Section 3512 is 
amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, if an 
eligible person, during the delimiting period otherwise applicable to 
such person under this section, serves on active duty pursuant to an 
order to active duty issued under section 688, 12301(a), 12301(d), 
12301(g), 12302, or 12304 of title 10, such person shall be granted an 
extension of such delimiting period for the length of time equal to the 
period of such active duty plus four months.''.

    (c) Application to Chapter 31.--(1) Section 3105 is amended by 
adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(e)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or 
chapter 36 of this title, any payment of a subsistence allowance and 
other assistance described in paragraph (2) shall not--
            ``(A) be charged against any entitlement of any veteran 
        under this chapter; or
            ``(B) be counted toward the aggregate period for which 
        section 3695 of this title limits an individual's receipt of 
        allowance or assistance.

    ``(2) The payment of the subsistence allowance and other assistance 
referred to in paragraph (1) is the payment of such an allowance or 
assistance for the period described in paragraph (3) to a veteran for 
participation in a vocational rehabilitation program under this chapter 
if the Secretary finds that the veteran had to suspend or discontinue 
participation in such vocational rehabilitation program as a result of 
being ordered to serve on active duty under section 688, 12301(a), 
12301(d), 12301(g), 12302, or 12304 of title 10.
    ``(3) The period for which, by reason of this subsection, a 
subsistence allowance and other assistance is not charged against 
entitlement or counted toward the applicable aggregate period under 
section 3695 of this title shall be the period of participation in the 
vocational rehabilitation program for which the veteran failed to 
receive credit or with respect to which the veteran lost training time, 
as determined by the Secretary.''.
    (2) Section 3103 is amended by adding at the end the following new 
subsection:
    ``(e) In any case in which the Secretary has determined that a 
veteran was prevented from participating in a vocational rehabilitation 
program under this chapter within the period of eligibility otherwise 
prescribed in this section as a result of being ordered to serve on 
active duty under section 688, 12301(a), 12301(d), 12301(g), 12302, or 
12304 of title 10, such period of eligibility shall not run for the 
period of such active duty service plus four months.
    (d) Conforming Amendments.--Sections 3013(f)(2)(B) and 
3231(a)(5)(B)(ii) of such title are each amended by striking ``, in 
connection with such War,''.

[[Page 115 STAT. 980]]

    (e) <<NOTE: 38 USC 3013 note.>> Effective Date.--The amendments made 
by this section shall take effect as of September 11, 2001.

SEC. 104. ACCELERATED PAYMENTS OF EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE UNDER 
            MONTGOMERY GI BILL FOR EDUCATION LEADING TO EMPLOYMENT IN 
            HIGH TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY.

    (a) In General.--(1) Chapter 30 is amended by inserting after 
section 3014 the following new section:

``Sec. 3014A. Accelerated payment of basic educational assistance for 
                        education leading to employment in high 
                        technology industry

    ``(a) An individual described in subsection (b) who is entitled to 
basic educational assistance under this subchapter may elect to receive 
an accelerated payment of the basic educational assistance allowance 
otherwise payable to the individual under section 3015 of this title.
    ``(b) An individual described in this subsection is an individual 
who is--
            ``(1) enrolled in an approved program of education that 
        leads to employment in a high technology industry (as determined 
        pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Secretary); and
            ``(2) charged tuition and fees for the program of education 
        that, when divided by the number of months (and fractions 
        thereof) in the enrollment period, exceeds the amount equal to 
        200 percent of the monthly rate of basic educational assistance 
        allowance otherwise payable to the individual under section 3015 
        of this title.

    ``(c)(1) The amount of the accelerated payment of basic educational 
assistance made to an individual making an election under subsection (a) 
for a program of education shall be the lesser of--
            ``(A) the amount equal to 60 percent of the established 
        charges for the program of education; or
            ``(B) the aggregate amount of basic educational assistance 
        to which the individual remains entitled under this chapter at 
        the time of the payment.

    ``(2) In this subsection, the term `established charges', in the 
case of a program of education, means the actual charges (as determined 
pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Secretary) for tuition and 
fees which similarly circumstanced nonveterans enrolled in the program 
of education would be required to pay. Established charges shall be 
determined on the following basis:
            ``(A) In the case of an individual enrolled in a program of 
        education offered on a term, quarter, or semester basis, the 
        tuition and fees charged the individual for the term, quarter, 
        or semester.
            ``(B) In the case of an individual enrolled in a program of 
        education not offered on a term, quarter, or semester basis, the 
        tuition and fees charged the individual for the entire program 
        of education.

    ``(3) The educational institution providing the program of education 
for which an accelerated payment of basic educational assistance 
allowance is elected by an individual under subsection (a) shall certify 
to the Secretary the amount of the established charges for the program 
of education.

[[Page 115 STAT. 981]]

    ``(d) An accelerated payment of basic educational assistance made to 
an individual under this section for a program of education shall be 
made not later than the last day of the month immediately following the 
month in which the Secretary receives a certification from the 
educational institution regarding--
            ``(1) the individual's enrollment in and pursuit of the 
        program of education; and
            ``(2) the amount of the established charges for the program 
        of education.

    ``(e)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), for each accelerated 
payment of basic educational assistance made to an individual under this 
section, the individual's entitlement to basic educational assistance 
under this chapter shall be charged the number of months (and any 
fraction thereof) determined by dividing the amount of the accelerated 
payment by the full-time monthly rate of basic educational assistance 
allowance otherwise payable to the individual under section 3015 of this 
title as of the beginning date of the enrollment period for the program 
of education for which the accelerated payment is made.
    ``(2) If the monthly rate of basic educational assistance allowance 
otherwise payable to an individual under section 3015 of this title 
increases during the enrollment period of a program of education for 
which an accelerated payment of basic educational assistance is made 
under this section, the charge to the individual's entitlement to basic 
educational assistance under this chapter shall be determined by 
prorating the entitlement chargeable, in the matter provided for under 
paragraph (1), for the periods covered by the initial rate and increased 
rate, respectively, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the 
Secretary.
    ``(f) The Secretary may not make an accelerated payment under this 
section for a program of education to an individual who has received an 
advance payment under section 3680(d) of this title for the same 
enrollment period.
    ``(g) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to carry out this 
section. The regulations shall include requirements, conditions, and 
methods for the request, issuance, delivery, certification of receipt 
and use, and recovery of overpayment of an accelerated payment under 
this section.''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of that chapter is 
amended by inserting after the item relating to section 3014 the 
following new item:

``3014A. Accelerated payment of basic educational assistance for 
           education leading to employment in high technology 
           industry.''.

    (b) Restatement and Enhancement of Certain Administrative 
Authorities.--Subsection (g) of section 3680 is amended to read as 
follows:

         ``Determination of Enrollment, Pursuit, and Attendance

    ``(g)(1) The Secretary may, pursuant <<NOTE: Regulations.>> to 
regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, determine and define 
with respect to an eligible veteran and eligible person the following:
            ``(A) Enrollment in a course or program of education or 
        training.
            ``(B) Pursuit of a course or program of education or 
        training.
            ``(C) Attendance at a course or program of education or 
        training.

[[Page 115 STAT. 982]]

    ``(2) The Secretary may withhold payment of benefits to an eligible 
veteran or eligible person until the Secretary receives such proof as 
the Secretary may require of enrollment in and satisfactory pursuit of a 
program of education by the eligible veteran or eligible person. The 
Secretary shall adjust the payment withheld, when necessary, on the 
basis of the proof the Secretary receives.
    ``(3) In the case of an individual other than an individual 
described in paragraph (4), the Secretary may accept the individual's 
monthly certification of enrollment in and satisfactory pursuit of a 
program of education as sufficient proof of the certified matters.
    ``(4) In the case of an individual who has received an accelerated 
payment of basic educational assistance under section 3014A of this 
title during an enrollment period for a program of education, the 
Secretary may accept the individual's certification of enrollment in and 
satisfactory pursuit of the program of education as sufficient proof of 
the certified matters if the certification is submitted after the 
enrollment period has ended.''.
    (c) <<NOTE: 38 USC 3014A note.>> Effective Date.--The amendments 
made by this section shall take effect October 1, 2002, and shall apply 
with respect to enrollments in courses or programs of education or 
training beginning on or after that date.

SEC. 105. ELIGIBILITY FOR MONTGOMERY GI BILL BENEFITS OF CERTAIN 
            ADDITIONAL VIETNAM ERA VETERANS.

    (a) Active Duty Program.--Section 3011(a)(1) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``or'' at the end of subparagraph (A);
            (2) by adding ``or'' at the end of subparagraph (B); and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
                    ``(C) as of December 31, 1989, was eligible for 
                educational assistance benefits under chapter 34 of this 
                title and--
                          ``(i) was not on active duty on October 19, 
                      1984;
                          ``(ii) reenlists or reenters on a period of 
                      active duty on or after October 19, 1984; and
                          ``(iii) on or after July 1, 1985, either--
                                    ``(I) serves at least three years of 
                                continuous active duty in the Armed 
                                Forces; or
                                    ``(II) is discharged or released 
                                from active duty (aa) for a service-
                                connected disability, for a medical 
                                condition which preexisted such service 
                                on active duty and which the Secretary 
                                determines is not service connected, for 
                                hardship, or for a physical or mental 
                                condition that was not characterized as 
                                a disability, as described in 
                                subparagraph (A)(ii)(I) of this 
                                paragraph, (bb) for the convenience of 
                                the Government, if the individual 
                                completed not less than 30 months of 
                                continuous active duty after that date, 
                                or (cc) involuntarily for the 
                                convenience of the Government as a 
                                result of a reduction in force, as 
                                determined by the Secretary of the 
                                military department concerned in 
                                accordance with regulations prescribed 
                                by the Secretary of Defense or by the 
                                Secretary of Transportation with respect 
                                to the Coast Guard when it is not 
                                operating as a service in the Navy;''.

    (b) Selected Reserve Program.--Section 3012(a)(1) is amended--

[[Page 115 STAT. 983]]

            (1) by striking ``or'' at the end of subparagraph (A);
            (2) by adding ``or'' at the end of subparagraph (B); and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
                    ``(C) as of December 31, 1989, was eligible for 
                educational assistance under chapter 34 of this title 
                and--
                          ``(i) was not on active duty on October 19, 
                      1984;
                          ``(ii) reenlists or reenters on a period of 
                      active duty on or after October 19, 1984; and
                          ``(iii) on or after July 1, 1985--
                                    ``(I) serves at least two years of 
                                continuous active duty in the Armed 
                                Forces, subject to subsection (b) of 
                                this section, characterized by the 
                                Secretary concerned as honorable 
                                service; and
                                    ``(II) subject to subsection (b) of 
                                this section and beginning within one 
                                year after completion of such two years 
                                of service, serves at least four 
                                continuous years in the Selected Reserve 
                                during which the individual participates 
                                satisfactorily in training as prescribed 
                                by the Secretary concerned;''.

    (c) Time for Use of Entitlement.--Section 3031 is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) by striking ``and'' at the end of paragraph (1);
                    (B) by striking the period at the end of paragraph 
                (2) and inserting ``; and''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following new 
                paragraph:
            ``(3) in the case of an individual who becomes entitled to 
        such assistance under section 3011(a)(1)(C) or 3012(a)(1)(C) of 
        this title, on the date of the enactment of this paragraph.''; 
        and
            (2) in subsection (e)(1), by striking ``section 
        3011(a)(1)(B) or 3012(a)(1)(B)'' and inserting ``section 
        3011(a)(1)(B), 3011(a)(1)(C), 3012(a)(1)(B), or 3012(a)(1)(C)''.

SEC. 106. INCREASE IN MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE ANNUAL SENIOR ROTC EDUCATIONAL 
            ASSISTANCE FOR ELIGIBILITY FOR BENEFITS UNDER THE MONTGOMERY 
            GI BILL.

    (a) In General.--Sections 3011(c)(3)(B) and 3012(d)(3)(B) are each 
amended by striking ``$2,000'' and inserting ``$3,400''.
    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 3011 note.>> Effective Date.--The amendments made 
by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to educational assistance 
allowances paid under chapter 30 of title 38, United States Code, for 
months beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 107. EXPANSION OF WORK-STUDY OPPORTUNITIES.

    (a) Five-Year Expansion of Qualifying Work-Study Activities.--
Subsection (a) of section 3485 is amended to read as follows:
    ``(a)(1) Individuals utilized under the authority of subsection (b) 
shall be paid an additional educational assistance allowance 
(hereinafter in this section referred to as `work-study allowance'). 
Such allowance shall be paid in return for an individual's entering into 
an agreement described in paragraph (3).
    ``(2) Such work-study allowance shall be paid in an amount equal to 
the product of--
            ``(A) the applicable hourly minimum wage; and
            ``(B) the number of hours worked during the applicable 
        period.

[[Page 115 STAT. 984]]

    ``(3) An agreement described in this paragraph is an agreement of an 
individual to perform services, during or between periods of enrollment, 
aggregating not more than a number of hours equal to 25 times the number 
of weeks in the semester or other applicable enrollment period, required 
in connection with a qualifying work-study activity.
    ``(4) For the purposes of this section, the term `qualifying work-
study activity' means any of the following:
            ``(A) The outreach services program under subchapter II of 
        chapter 77 of this title as carried out under the supervision of 
        a Department employee or, during the five-year period beginning 
        on the date of the enactment of the Veterans Education and 
        Benefits Expansion Act of 2001, outreach services to 
        servicemembers and veterans furnished by employees of a State 
        approving agency.
            ``(B) The preparation and processing of necessary papers and 
        other documents at educational institutions or regional offices 
        or facilities of the Department.
            ``(C) The provision of hospital and domiciliary care and 
        medical treatment under chapter 17 of this title, including, 
        during the five-year period beginning on the date of the 
        enactment of the Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act 
        of 2001, the provision of such care to veterans in a State home 
        for which payment is made under section 1741 of this title.
            ``(D) Any other activity of the Department as the Secretary 
        determines appropriate.
            ``(E) In the case of an individual who is receiving 
        educational assistance under chapter 1606 of title 10, an 
        activity relating to the administration of that chapter at 
        Department of Defense, Coast Guard, or National Guard 
        facilities.
            ``(F) During the five-year period beginning on the date of 
        the enactment of the Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion 
        Act of 2001, an activity relating to the administration of a 
        national cemetery or a State veterans' cemetery.

    ``(5) An individual may elect, in a manner prescribed by the 
Secretary, to be paid in advance an amount equal to 40 percent of the 
total amount of the work-study allowance agreed to be paid under the 
agreement in return for the individual's agreement to perform the number 
of hours of work specified in the agreement (but not more than an amount 
equal to 50 times the applicable hourly minimum wage).
    ``(6) For the purposes of this subsection and subsection (e), the 
term `applicable hourly minimum wages' means--
            ``(A) the hourly minimum wage under section 6(a) of the Fair 
        Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206(a)); or
            ``(B) the hourly minimum wage under comparable law of the 
        State in which the services are to be performed, if such wage is 
        higher than the wage referred to in subparagraph (A) and the 
        Secretary has made a determination to pay such higher wage.''.

    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 3485 note.>> Effective Date.--The amendment made 
by this section shall apply with respect to agreements entered into 
under section 3485 of title 38, United States Code, on or after the date 
of the enactment of this Act.

[[Page 115 STAT. 985]]

SEC. 108. ELIGIBILITY FOR SURVIVORS' AND DEPENDENTS' EDUCATIONAL 
            ASSISTANCE OF SPOUSES AND SURVIVING SPOUSES OF VETERANS WITH 
            TOTAL SERVICE-CONNECTED DISABILITIES.

    (a) Designation of Eligibility.--Section 3501(a)(1)(D) is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(i)'' after ``(D)''; and
            (2) by inserting ``(ii)'' after ``or''.

    (b) Restatement and Expansion of Treatment of Use of Eligibility.--
(1) Section 3511 is amended by adding at the end the following new 
subsection:
    ``(c) Any entitlement used by an eligible person as a result of 
eligibility under section 3501(a)(1)(A)(iii), 3501(a)(1)(C), or 
3501(a)(1)(D)(i) of this title shall be deducted from any entitlement to 
which such person may subsequently be entitled under this chapter.''.
    (2) Section 3512 is amended by striking subsection (g).
    (c) Delimiting Period.--(1) Section 3511(a)(1) is amended by adding 
at the end the following new sentence: ``In no event may the aggregate 
educational assistance afforded to a spouse made eligible under both 
3501(a)(1)(D)(i) and 3501(a)(1)(D)(ii) of this title exceed 45 
months.''.
    (2) Paragraph (1) of section 3512(b) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(1)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a person made 
eligible by subparagraph (B) or (D) of section 3501(a)(1) of this title 
may be afforded educational assistance under this chapter during the 10-
year period beginning on the date (as determined by the Secretary) the 
person becomes an eligible person within the meaning of section 
3501(a)(1)(B), 3501(a)(1)(D)(i), or 3501(a)(1)(D)(ii) of this title. In 
the case of a surviving spouse made eligible by clause (ii) of section 
3501(a)(1)(D) of this title, the 10-year period may not be reduced by 
any earlier period during which the person was eligible for educational 
assistance under this chapter as a spouse made eligible by clause (i) of 
that section.
    ``(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), an eligible person referred 
to in that subparagraph may, subject to the Secretary's approval, elect 
a later beginning date for the 10-year period than would otherwise be 
applicable to the person under that subparagraph. The beginning date so 
elected may be any date between the beginning date determined for the 
person under subparagraph (A) and whichever of the following dates 
applies:
            ``(i) The date on which the Secretary notifies the veteran 
        from whom eligibility is derived that the veteran has a service-
        connected total disability permanent in nature.
            ``(ii) The date on which the Secretary determines that the 
        veteran from whom eligibility is derived died of a service-
        connected disability.''.

    (3) Section 3512(b) is further amended by striking paragraph (3).
    (4) <<NOTE: Applicability. 38 USC 3511 note.>> The amendments made 
by this subsection shall apply with respect to any determination 
(whether administrative or judicial) of the eligibility of a spouse or 
surviving spouse for educational assistance under chapter 35 of title 
38, United States Code, made on or after the date of the enactment of 
this Act, whether pursuant to an original claim for such assistance or 
pursuant to a reapplication or attempt to reopen or readjudicate a claim 
for such assistance.

[[Page 115 STAT. 986]]

SEC. 109. EXPANSION OF SPECIAL RESTORATIVE TRAINING BENEFIT TO CERTAIN 
            DISABLED SPOUSES OR SURVIVING SPOUSES.

    (a) In General.--Section 3540 is amended by striking ``section 
3501(a)(1)(A) of this title'' and inserting ``subparagraphs (A), (B), 
and (D) of section 3501(a)(1) of this title''.
    (b) Conforming Amendments.--(1) Section 3541(a) is amended in the 
matter preceding paragraph (1) by striking ``of the parent or 
guardian''.
    (2) Section 3542(a) is amended--
            (A) by striking ``the parent or guardian shall be entitled 
        to receive on behalf of such person'' and inserting ``the 
        eligible person shall be entitled to receive''; and
            (B) by striking ``upon election by the parent or guardian of 
        the eligible person'' and inserting ``upon election by the 
        eligible person''.

    (3) The second sentence of section 3543(a) is amended by striking 
``the parent or guardian for the training provided to an eligible 
person'' and inserting ``for the training provided to the eligible 
person''.
    (4) Section 3543 is amended by adding at the end the following new 
subsection:
    ``(c) In a case in which the Secretary authorizes training under 
section 3541(a) of this title on behalf of an eligible person, the 
parent or guardian shall be entitled--
            ``(1) to receive on behalf of the eligible person the 
        special training allowance provided for under section 3542(a) of 
        this title;
            ``(2) to elect an increase in the basic monthly allowance 
        provided for under such section; and
            ``(3) to agree with the Secretary on the fair and reasonable 
        amounts which may be charged under subsection (a).''.

SEC. 110. INCLUSION OF CERTAIN PRIVATE TECHNOLOGY ENTITIES IN DEFINITION 
            OF EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION.

    (a) In General.--Sections 3452(c) and 3501(a)(6) are each amended by 
adding at the end the following new sentence: ``Such term also includes 
any private entity (that meets such requirements as the Secretary may 
establish) that offers, either directly or under an agreement with 
another entity (that meets such requirements), a course or courses to 
fulfill requirements for the attainment of a license or certificate 
generally recognized as necessary to obtain, maintain, or advance in 
employment in a profession or vocation in a high technology occupation 
(as determined by the Secretary).''.
    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 3452 note.>> Effective Date.--The amendments made 
by subsection (a) shall apply to enrollments in courses beginning on or 
after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 111. DISTANCE EDUCATION.

    (a) In General.--Subsection (a)(4) of section 3680A is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(A)'' after ``leading''; and
            (2) by inserting before the period the following: ``, or (B) 
        to a certificate that reflects educational attainment offered by 
        an institution of higher learning''.

[[Page 115 STAT. 987]]

    (b) Effective <<NOTE: 38 USC 3680A note.>> Date.--The amendments 
made by subsection (a) shall apply to enrollments in independent study 
courses beginning on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

              TITLE II--COMPENSATION AND PENSION PROVISIONS

SEC. 201. MODIFICATION AND EXTENSION OF AUTHORITIES ON PRESUMPTION OF 
            SERVICE-CONNECTION FOR HERBICIDE-RELATED DISABILITIES OF 
            VIETNAM VETERANS.

    (a) Presumptive Period for Respiratory Cancers.--(1)(A) Subparagraph 
(F) of subsection (a)(2) of section 1116 is amended by striking ``within 
30 years'' and all that follows through ``May 7, 1975''.
    (B) <<NOTE: Effective date. 38 USC 1116 
note. Contracts. Deadline. 38 USC 1116 note.>> The amendment made by 
subparagraph (A) shall take effect January 1, 2002.

    (2) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall enter into a contract 
with the National Academy of Sciences, not later than six months after 
the date of the enactment of this Act, for the performance of a study to 
include a review of all available scientific literature on the effects 
of exposure to an herbicide agent containing dioxin on the development 
of respiratory cancers in humans and whether it is possible to identify 
a period of time after exposure to herbicides after which a presumption 
of service-connection for such exposure would not be 
warranted. <<NOTE: Reports.>> Under the contract, the National Academy 
of Sciences shall submit a report to the Secretary setting forth its 
conclusions. The report shall be submitted not later than 18 months 
after the contract is entered into.

    (3) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1116 note.>>  For a period of six months 
beginning on the date of the receipt of the report of the National 
Academy of Sciences under paragraph (2), the Secretary may, if warranted 
by clear scientific evidence presented in the National Academy of 
Sciences report, initiate a rulemaking under which the Secretary would 
specify a limit on the number of years after a claimant's departure from 
Vietnam after which respiratory cancers would not be presumed to have 
been associated with the claimant's exposure to herbicides while serving 
in Vietnam. Any such limit under such a rule may not take effect until 
120 days have passed after the publication of a final rule to impose 
such a limit.

    (4)(A) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1116 note.>>  Subject to subparagraphs (B) and 
(C), if the Secretary imposes such a limit under paragraph (3), that 
limit shall be effective only as to claims filed on or after the 
effective date of that limit.

    (B) In the case of any veteran whose disability or death due to 
respiratory cancer is found by the Secretary to be service-connected 
under section 1116(a)(2)(F) of title 38, United States Code, as amended 
by paragraph (1), such disability or death shall remain service-
connected for purposes of all provisions of law under such title 
notwithstanding the imposition, if any, of a time limit by the Secretary 
by rulemaking authorized under paragraph (3).
    (C) Subaragraph (B) does not apply in a case in which--
            (i) the original award of compensation or service connection 
        was based on fraud; or
            (ii) it is clearly shown from military records that the 
        person concerned did not have the requisite service or character 
        of discharge.

[[Page 115 STAT. 988]]

    (b) Presumption That Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2) Is Service-
Connected.--Subsection (a)(2) of section 1116 is further amended by 
adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
            ``(H) Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2).''.

    (c) Presumption of Exposure to Herbicide Agents in Vietnam During 
Vietnam Era.--(1) Section 1116 is further amended--
            (A) by transferring paragraph (3) of subsection (a) to the 
        end of the section and redesignating such paragraph, as so 
        transferred, as subsection (f);
            (B) by redesignating paragraph (4) of subsection (a) as 
        paragraph (3); and
            (C) in subsection (f), as transferred and redesignated by 
        subparagraph (A) of this paragraph--
                    (i) by striking ``For the purposes of this 
                subsection, a veteran'' and inserting ``For purposes of 
                establishing service connection for a disability or 
                death resulting from exposure to a herbicide agent, 
                including a presumption of service-connection under this 
                section, a veteran''; and
                    (ii) by striking ``and has a disease referred to in 
                paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection''.

    (2)(A) The heading of that section is amended to read as follows:

``Sec. 1116. Presumptions of service connection for diseases associated 
                        with exposure to certain herbicide agents; 
                        presumption of exposure for veterans who served 
                        in the Republic of Vietnam''.

    (B) The item relating to that section in the table of sections at 
the beginning of chapter 11 is amended to read as follows:

``1116. Presumptions of service connection for diseases associated with 
           exposure to certain herbicide agents; presumption of exposure 
           for veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam.''.

    (d) Extension of Authority To Presume Service-Connection for 
Additional Diseases.--(1) Subsection (e) of such section is amended by 
striking ``10 years'' and all that follows through ``Agent Orange Act of 
1991'' and inserting ``on September 30, 2015''.
    (2) Section 3(i) of the Agent Orange Act of 1991 (38 U.S.C. 1116 
note) is amended by striking ``10 years'' and all that follows and 
inserting ``on October 1, 2014.''.

SEC. 202. PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION FOR PERSIAN GULF WAR VETERANS WITH 
            CERTAIN CHRONIC DISABILITIES.

    (a) Illnesses That Cannot Be Clearly Defined.--(1) Subsection (a) of 
section 1117 is amended to read as follows:
    ``(a)(1) The Secretary may pay compensation under this subchapter to 
a Persian Gulf veteran with a qualifying chronic disability that became 
manifest--
            ``(A) during service on active duty in the Armed Forces in 
        the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Persian Gulf 
        War; or
            ``(B) to a degree of 10 percent or more during the 
        presumptive period prescribed under subsection (b).

    ``(2) For purposes of this subsection, the term `qualifying chronic 
disability' means a chronic disability resulting from any of the 
following (or any combination of any of the following):
            ``(A) An undiagnosed illness.

[[Page 115 STAT. 989]]

            ``(B) A medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illness 
        (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and irritable 
        bowel syndrome) that is defined by a cluster of signs or 
        symptoms.
            ``(C) Any diagnosed illness that the Secretary determines in 
        regulations prescribed under subsection (d) warrants a 
        presumption of service-connection.''.

    (2) Subsection (c)(1) of such section is amended--
            (A) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking 
        ``for an undiagnosed illness (or combination of undiagnosed 
        illnesses)''; and
            (B) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``for such illness (or 
        combination of illnesses)''.

    (b) Signs or Symptoms That May Indicate Undiagnosed Illnesses.--(1) 
Such section is further amended by adding at the end the following new 
subsection:
    ``(g) For purposes of this section, signs or symptoms that may be a 
manifestation of an undiagnosed illness or a chronic multisymptom 
illness include the following:
            ``(1) Fatigue.
            ``(2) Unexplained rashes or other dermatological signs or 
        symptoms.
            ``(3) Headache.
            ``(4) Muscle pain.
            ``(5) Joint pain.
            ``(6) Neurological signs and symptoms.
            ``(7) Neuropsychological signs or symptoms.
            ``(8) Signs or symptoms involving the upper or lower 
        respiratory system.
            ``(9) Sleep disturbances.
            ``(10) Gastrointestinal signs or symptoms.
            ``(11) Cardiovascular signs or symptoms.
            ``(12) Abnormal weight loss.
            ``(13) Menstrual disorders.''.

    (2) Section 1118(a) is amended by adding at the end the following 
new paragraph:
    ``(4) For purposes of this section, signs or symptoms that may be a 
manifestation of an undiagnosed illness include the signs and symptoms 
listed in section 1117(g) of this title.''.
    (c) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1117 note.>> Effective Date.--The amendments made 
by subsections (a) and (b) shall take effect on March 1, 2002.

    (d) Clarification of Authority To Presume Service-Connection for 
Additional Diseases.--(1) Sections 1117(c)(2) and 1118(e) are each 
amended by striking ``10 years'' and all that follows through ``of 
1998'' and inserting ``on September 30, 2011''.
    (2) Section 1603(j) of the Persian Gulf War Veterans Act of 1998 (38 
U.S.C. 1117 note) is amended by striking ``10 years'' and all that 
follows and inserting ``on October 1, 2010.''.

SEC. 203. PRESERVATION OF SERVICE CONNECTION FOR UNDIAGNOSED ILLNESSES 
            TO PROVIDE FOR PARTICIPATION IN RESEARCH PROJECTS BY PERSIAN 
            GULF WAR VETERANS.

    (a) Authority for Secretary To Provide for Participation Without 
Loss of Benefits.--Section 1117 is amended by adding after subsection 
(g), as added by section 202(b), the following new subsection:

[[Page 115 STAT. 990]]

    ``(h)(1) If the Secretary determines with respect to a medical 
research project sponsored by the Department that it is necessary for 
the conduct of the project that Persian Gulf veterans in receipt of 
compensation under this section or section 1118 of this title 
participate in the project without the possibility of loss of service 
connection under either such section, the Secretary shall provide that 
service connection granted under either such section for disability of a 
veteran who participated in the research project may not be terminated. 
Except as provided in paragraph (2), nothwithstanding any other 
provision of law any grant of service-connection protected under this 
subsection shall remain service-connected for purposes of all provisions 
of law under this title.
    ``(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply in a case in which--
            ``(A) the original award of compensation or service 
        connection was based on fraud; or
            ``(B) it is clearly shown from military records that the 
        person concerned did not have the requisite service or character 
        of discharge.

    ``(3) <<NOTE: Federal Register, publication.>> The Secretary shall 
publish in the Federal Register a list of medical research projects 
sponsored by the Department for which service connection granted under 
this section or section 1118 of this title may not be terminated 
pursuant to paragraph (1).''.

    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1117 note.>> Effective Date.--The authority 
provided by subsection (h) of section 1117 of title 38, United States 
Code, as added by subsection (a), may be used by the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs with respect to any medical research project of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs, whether commenced before, on, or after 
the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 204. REPEAL OF LIMITATION ON PAYMENTS OF BENEFITS TO INCOMPETENT 
            INSTITUTIONALIZED VETERANS.

    (a) Repeal.--Section 5503 is amended--
            (1) by striking subsections (b) and (c); and
            (2) by redesignating subsections (d), (e), and (f) as 
        subsections (b), (c), and (d), respectively.

    (b) Conforming Amendments.--(1) Section 1114(r) is amended by 
striking ``section 5503(e)'' and inserting ``section 5503(c)''.
    (2) Section 5112 is amended by striking subsection (c).

SEC. 205. EXTENSION OF ROUND-DOWN REQUIREMENT FOR COMPENSATION COST-OF-
            LIVING ADJUSTMENTS.

    Sections 1104(a) and 1303(a) are amended by striking ``2002'' and 
inserting ``2011''.

SEC. 206. EXPANSION OF PRESUMPTIONS OF PERMANENT AND TOTAL DISABILITY 
            FOR VETERANS APPLYING FOR NONSERVICE-CONNECTED PENSION.

    (a) In General.--Section 1502(a) is amended by striking ``such a 
person'' and all that follows through the end of the subsection and 
inserting the following: ``such person is any of the following:
            ``(1) A patient in a nursing home for long-term care because 
        of disability.
            ``(2) Disabled, as determined by the Commissioner of Social 
        Security for purposes of any benefits administered by the 
        Commissioner.
            ``(3) Unemployable as a result of disability reasonably 
        certain to continue throughout the life of the person.
            ``(4) Suffering from--

[[Page 115 STAT. 991]]

                    ``(A) any disability which is sufficient to render 
                it impossible for the average person to follow a 
                substantially gainful occupation, but only if it is 
                reasonably certain that such disability will continue 
                throughout the life of the person; or
                    ``(B) any disease or disorder determined by the 
                Secretary to be of such a nature or extent as to justify 
                a determination that persons suffering therefrom are 
                permanently and totally disabled.''.

    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1502 note.>> Effective Date.--The amendment made 
by subsection (a) shall take effect as of September 17, 2001.

SEC. 207. ELIGIBILITY OF VETERANS 65 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER FOR VETERANS' 
            PENSION BENEFITS.

    (a) In General.--(1) Subchapter II of chapter 15 is amended by 
inserting after section 1512 the following new section:

``Sec. 1513. Veterans 65 years of age and older

    ``(a) The Secretary shall pay to each veteran of a period of war who 
is 65 years of age or older and who meets the service requirements of 
section 1521 of this title (as prescribed in subsection (j) of that 
section) pension at the rates prescribed by 1521 of this title and under 
the conditions (other than the permanent and total disability 
requirement) applicable to pension paid under that section.
    ``(b) If a veteran is eligible for pension under both this section 
and section 1521 of this title, pension shall be paid to the veteran 
only under section 1521 of this title.''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is 
amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1512 the 
following new item:

``1513. Veterans 65 years of age and older.''.

    (b) Conforming Amendments.--(1) Section 1521(f)(1) is amended by 
inserting ``or the age and service requirements prescribed in section 
1513 of this title,'' after ``of this section,''.
    (2) Section 1522(a) is amended by inserting ``1513 or'' after 
``under section''.
    (c) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1513 note.>> Effective Date.--The amendments made 
by this section shall take effect as of September 17, 2001.

              TITLE III--TRANSITION AND OUTREACH PROVISIONS

SEC. 301. AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH OVERSEAS VETERANS ASSISTANCE OFFICES TO 
            EXPAND TRANSITION ASSISTANCE.

    Section 7723(a) is amended by inserting after the first sentence the 
following new sentence: ``The Secretary may maintain such offices on 
such military installations located elsewhere as the Secretary, after 
consultation with the Secretary of Defense, determines to be necessary 
to carry out such purposes.''.

SEC. 302. TIMING OF PRESEPARATION COUNSELING.

    (a) In General.--(1) The first sentence of section 1142(a)(1) of 
title 10, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: ``Within 
the time periods specified in paragraph (3), the Secretary

[[Page 115 STAT. 992]]

concerned shall (except as provided in paragraph (4)) provide for 
individual preseparation counseling of each member of the armed forces 
whose discharge or release from active duty is anticipated as of a 
specific date.''.
    (2) Such section is further amended by adding at the end the 
following new paragraphs:
    ``(3)(A) In the case of an anticipated retirement, preseparation 
counseling shall commence as soon as possible during the 24-month period 
preceding the anticipated retirement date. In the case of a separation 
other than a retirement, preseparation counseling shall commence as soon 
as possible during the 12-month period preceding the anticipated date. 
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), in no event shall preseparation 
counseling commence later than 90 days before the date of discharge or 
release.
    ``(B) In the event that a retirement or other separation is 
unanticipated until there are 90 or fewer days before the anticipated 
retirement or separation date, preseparation counseling shall begin as 
soon as possible within the remaining period of service.
    ``(4)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), the Secretary concerned shall 
not provide preseparation counseling to a member who is being discharged 
or released before the completion of that member's first 180 days of 
active duty.
    ``(B) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply in the case of a member who 
is being retired or separated for disability.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--The second sentence of section 1144(a)(1) 
of title 10, United States Code, is amended by striking ``during the 
180-day period'' and all that follows and inserting ``within the time 
periods provided under paragraph (3) of section 1142(a) of this title, 
except that the Secretary concerned shall not provide preseparation 
counseling to a member described in paragraph (4)(A) of such section.''.

SEC. 303. IMPROVEMENT IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING OUTREACH SERVICES FOR 
            SEPARATING SERVICEMEMBERS AND VETERANS.

    (a) Providing Outreach Through State Approving Agencies.--Section 
3672(d) is amended by inserting ``and State approving agencies'' before 
``shall actively promote the development of programs of training on the 
job''.
    (b) Additional Duty.--Such section is further amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(d)''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ``(2) In conjunction with outreach services provided by the 
Secretary under chapter 77 of this title for education and training 
benefits, each State approving agency shall conduct outreach programs 
and provide outreach services to eligible persons and veterans about 
education and training benefits available under applicable Federal and 
State law.''.

SEC. 304. IMPROVEMENT OF VETERANS OUTREACH PROGRAMS.

    Section 7722(c) is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(c)''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following:

    ``(2) Whenever a veteran or dependent first applies for any benefit 
under laws administered by the Secretary (including a request for burial 
or related benefits or an application for life insurance proceeds), the 
Secretary shall provide to the veteran

[[Page 115 STAT. 993]]

or dependent information concerning benefits and health care services 
under programs administered by the Secretary. Such information shall be 
provided not later than three months after the date of such 
application.''.

                        TITLE IV--HOUSING MATTERS

SEC. 401. INCREASE IN HOME LOAN GUARANTY AMOUNT FOR CONSTRUCTION AND 
            PURCHASE OF HOMES.

    Section 3703(a)(1) is amended by striking ``$50,750'' each place it 
appears in subparagraphs (A)(i)(IV) and (B) and inserting ``$60,000''.

SEC. 402. NATIVE AMERICAN VETERAN HOUSING LOAN PILOT PROGRAM.

    (a) Extension of Pilot Program.--Section 3761(c) is amended by 
striking ``December 31, 2001'' and inserting ``December 31, 2005''.
    (b) Authorization of the Use of Certain Federal Memorandums of 
Understanding.--Section 3762(a)(1) is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(A)'' after ``(1)'';
            (2) by striking ``and'' after the semicolon and inserting 
        ``or''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(B) the tribal organization that has jurisdiction over the 
        veteran has entered into a memorandum of understanding with any 
        department or agency of the United States with respect to direct 
        housing loans to Native Americans that the Secretary determines 
        substantially complies with the requirements of subsection (b); 
        and''.

    (c) Extension of Annual Report.--Section 3762(j) is amended by 
striking ``2002'' and inserting ``2006''.

SEC. 403. MODIFICATION OF LOAN ASSUMPTION NOTICE REQUIREMENT.

    Section 3714(d) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(d) With respect to a loan 
guaranteed, <<NOTE: Regulations.>> insured, or made under this chapter, 
the Secretary shall provide, by regulation, that at least one instrument 
evidencing either the loan or the mortgage or deed of trust therefor, 
shall conspicuously contain, in such form as the Secretary shall 
specify, a notice in substantially the following form: `This loan is not 
assumable without the approval of the Department of Veterans Affairs or 
its authorized agent'.''.

SEC. 404. INCREASE IN ASSISTANCE AMOUNT FOR SPECIALLY ADAPTED HOUSING.

    Section 2102 is amended--
            (1) in the matter preceding paragraph (1) of subsection (a), 
        by striking ``$43,000'' and inserting ``$48,000''; and
            (2) in subsection (b)(2), by striking ``$8,250'' and 
        inserting ``$9,250''.

SEC. 405. EXTENSION OF OTHER HOUSING AUTHORITIES.

    (a) Housing Loans for Members of the Selected Reserve.--Section 
3702(a)(2)(E) is amended by striking ``September 30, 2007'' and 
inserting ``September 30, 2009''.

[[Page 115 STAT. 994]]

    (b) Enhanced Loan Asset Sale Authority.--Section 3720(h)(2) is 
amended by striking ``December 31, 2008'' and inserting ``December 31, 
2011''.
    (c) Home Loan Fee Authorities.--The table in section 3729(b)(2) is 
amended by striking ``October 1, 2008'' each place it appears and 
inserting ``October 1, 2011''.
    (d) Procedures Applicable to Liquidation Sales on Defaulted Home 
Loans Guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.--Section 
3732(c)(11) is amended by striking ``October 1, 2008'' and inserting 
``October 1, 2011''.

SEC. 406. CLARIFYING AMENDMENT RELATING TO ELIGIBILITY OF MEMBERS OF THE 
            SELECTED RESERVE FOR HOUSING LOANS.

    Section 3729(b)(4)(B) is amended by inserting before the period the 
following: ``who is eligible under section 3702(a)(2)(E) of this 
title''.

                         TITLE V--OTHER MATTERS

SEC. 501. INCREASE IN BURIAL BENEFITS.

    (a) Burial and Funeral Expenses.--(1) Clause (1) of section 2307 is 
amended by striking ``$1,500'' and inserting ``$2,000''.
    (2) <<NOTE: 38 USC 2307 note.>>  The amendment made by paragraph (1) 
shall apply to deaths occurring on or after September 11, 2001.

    (b) Plot Allowance.--(1) Section 2303(b) is amended by striking 
``$150'' each place it appears and inserting ``$300''.
    (2) <<NOTE: Applicability. 38 USC 2303 note.>> The amendments made 
by paragraph (1) shall apply to deaths occurring on or after December 1, 
2001.

SEC. 502. GOVERNMENT MARKERS FOR MARKED GRAVES AT PRIVATE CEMETERIES.

    (a) Government Marker Benefit.--Section 2306 of title 38, United 
States Code, is amended--
            (1) by redesignating subsections (d) and (e) as subsections 
        (e) and (f), respectively; and
            (2) by inserting after subsection (c) the following new 
        subsection (d):

    ``(d)(1) The Secretary shall furnish, when requested, an appropriate 
Government marker at the expense of the United States for the grave of 
an individual described in paragraph (2) or (5) of subsection (a) who is 
buried in a private cemetery, notwithstanding that the grave is marked 
by a headstone or marker furnished at private expense. Such a marker may 
be furnished only if the individual making the request for the 
Government marker certifies to the Secretary that the marker will be 
placed on the grave for which the marker is requested.
    ``(2) Any marker furnished under this subsection shall be delivered 
by the Secretary directly to the cemetery where the grave is located.
     <<NOTE: Expiration date.>> ``(3) The authority to furnish a marker 
under this subsection expires on December 31, 2006.

    ``(4) <<NOTE: Deadline. Reports.>> Not later than February 1, 2006, 
the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the 
Senate and House of Representatives a report on the use of the authority 
under this subsection. The report shall include the following:

[[Page 115 STAT. 995]]

            ``(A) The rate of use of the benefit under this subsection, 
        shown by fiscal year.
            ``(B) An assessment as to the extent to which markers 
        furnished under this subsection are being delivered to 
        cemeteries and placed on grave sites consistent with the 
        provisions of this subsection.
            ``(C) The Secretary's recommendation for extension or repeal 
        of the expiration date specified in paragraph (3).''.

    (b) Design of Marker.--Subsection (c) of such section is amended by 
striking ``subsection (a) or (b)'' and inserting ``subsection (a), (b), 
or (d)''.
    (c) Cross Reference Correction.--Subsection (a)(5) of such section 
is amended by striking ``chapter 67'' and inserting ``chapter 1223''.
    (d) <<NOTE: 38 USC 2306 note.>> Effective Date.--The amendments made 
by subsections (a) and (b) shall apply with respect to markers for the 
graves of individuals dying on or after the date of the enactment of 
this Act.

SEC. 503. INCREASE IN AMOUNT OF ASSISTANCE FOR AUTOMOBILE AND ADAPTIVE 
            EQUIPMENT FOR CERTAIN DISABLED VETERANS.

    Section 3902(a) is amended by striking ``$8,000'' and inserting 
``$9,000''.

SEC. 504. EXTENSION OF LIMITATION ON PENSION FOR CERTAIN RECIPIENTS OF 
            MEDICAID-COVERED NURSING HOME CARE.

    Paragraph (7) of subsection (d) of section 5503, as redesignated by 
section 204(a), is amended by striking ``September 30, 2008'' and 
inserting ``September 30, 2011''.

SEC. 505. PROHIBITION ON PROVISION OF CERTAIN BENEFITS WITH RESPECT TO 
            PERSONS WHO ARE FUGITIVE FELONS.

    (a) Prohibition.--(1) Chapter 53 is amended by inserting after 
section 5313A the following new section:

``Sec. 5313B. Prohibition on providing certain benefits with respect to 
                        persons who are fugitive felons

    ``(a) A veteran who is otherwise eligible for a benefit specified in 
subsection (c) may not be paid or otherwise provided such benefit for 
any period during which such veteran is a fugitive felon. A dependent of 
a veteran who is otherwise eligible for a benefit specified in 
subsection (c) may not be paid or otherwise provided such benefit for 
any period during which such veteran or such dependent is a fugitive 
felon.
    ``(b) For purposes of this section:
            ``(1) The term `fugitive felon' means a person who is a 
        fugitive by reason of--
                    ``(A) fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody or 
                confinement after conviction, for an offense, or an 
                attempt to commit an offense, which is a felony under 
                the laws of the place from which the person flees; or
                    ``(B) violating a condition of probation or parole 
                imposed for commission of a felony under Federal or 
                State law.
            ``(2) The term `felony' includes a high misdemeanor under 
        the laws of a State which characterizes as high misdemeanors 
        offenses that would be felony offenses under Federal law.

[[Page 115 STAT. 996]]

            ``(3) The term `dependent' means a spouse, surviving spouse, 
        child, or dependent parent of a veteran.

    ``(c) A benefit specified in this subsection is a benefit under any 
of the following:
            ``(1) Chapter 11 of this title.
            ``(2) Chapter 13 of this title.
            ``(3) Chapter 15 of this title.
            ``(4) Chapter 17 of this title.
            ``(5) Chapter 19 of this title.
            ``(6) Chapter 30, 31, 32, 34, or 35 of this title.
            ``(7) Chapter 37 of this title.

    ``(d)(1) The Secretary shall furnish to any Federal, State, or local 
law enforcement official, upon the written request of such official, the 
most current address maintained by the Secretary of a person who is 
eligible for a benefit specified in subsection (c) if such official--
            ``(A) provides to the Secretary such information as the 
        Secretary may require to fully identify the person;
            ``(B) identifies the person as being a fugitive felon; and
            ``(C) certifies to the Secretary that apprehending such 
        person is within the official duties of such official.

    ``(2) The Secretary shall enter into memoranda of understanding with 
Federal law enforcement agencies, and may enter into agreements with 
State and local law enforcement agencies, for purposes of furnishing 
information to such agencies under paragraph (1).''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of that chapter is 
amended by inserting after the item relating to section 5313A the 
following new item:

``5313B. Prohibition on providing certain benefits with respect to 
           persons who are fugitive felons.''.

    (b) Sense of Congress on Entry Into Memoranda of Understanding and 
Agreements.--It is the sense of Congress that the memoranda of 
understanding and agreements referred to in section 5313B(d)(2) of title 
38, United States Code (as added by subsection (a)), should be entered 
into as soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
but not later than six months after that date.

SEC. 506. <<NOTE: 38 USC 5313 note.>> LIMITATION ON PAYMENT OF 
            COMPENSATION FOR VETERANS REMAINING INCARCERATED SINCE 
            OCTOBER 7, 1980.

    (a) Limitation.--Section 5313 of title 38, United States Code, other 
than subsection (d) of that section, shall apply with respect to the 
payment of compensation to or with respect to any veteran described in 
subsection (b).
    (b) Covered Veterans.--A veteran described in this subsection is a 
veteran who is entitled to compensation and who--
            (1) on October 7, 1980, was incarcerated in a Federal, 
        State, or local penal institution for a felony committed before 
        that date; and
            (2) remains so incarcerated for conviction of that felony as 
        of the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (c) Effective Date.--This section shall apply with respect to the 
payment of compensation for months beginning on or after the end of the 
90-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.

[[Page 115 STAT. 997]]

    (d) Compensation Defined.--For purposes of this section, the term 
``compensation'' has the meaning given that term in section 5313 of 
title 38, United States Code.

SEC. 507. ELIMINATION OF REQUIREMENT FOR PROVIDING A COPY OF NOTICE OF 
            APPEAL TO THE SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Repeal.--Section 7266 is amended by striking subsection (b).
    (b) Conforming Amendments.--Such section is further amended--
            (1) by striking ``(1)'' after ``(a)'';
            (2) by redesignating paragraph (2) as subsection (b);
            (3) by redesignating paragraph (3) as subsection (c) and 
        redesignating subparagraphs (A) and (B) thereof as paragraphs 
        (1) and (2); and
            (4) by redesignating paragraph (4) as subsection (d) and by 
        striking ``paragraph (3)(B)'' therein and inserting ``subsection 
        (c)(2)''.

SEC. 508. INCREASE IN FISCAL YEAR LIMITATION ON NUMBER OF VETERANS IN 
            PROGRAMS OF INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES AND ASSISTANCE.

    (a) Increase in Limitation.--Section 3120(e) is amended by striking 
``five hundred'' and inserting ``2,500''.
    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 3120 note.>> Effective Date.--The amendment made 
by subsection (a) shall take effect as of September 30, 2001.

SEC. 509. TECHNICAL AND CLERICAL AMENDMENTS.

    (a) Repeal of Expired Provision.--(1) Section 712 is repealed.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 7 is amended 
by striking the item relating to section 712.
    (b) Correction of Word Omission.--Section 1710B(c)(2)(B) is amended 
by inserting ``on'' before ``November 30, 1999''.
    (c) Repeal of Erroneous Cross Reference.--Section 1729B(b) is 
amended--
            (1) by striking paragraph (1); and
            (2) by redesignating paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) as 
        paragraphs (1), (2), and (3), respectively.

    (d) Correction of Cross Reference.--Section 3695(a)(5) is amended by 
striking ``1610'' and inserting ``1611''.
    (e) Stylistic Correction.--Section 1001(a)(2) of the Veterans' 
Benefits Improvements Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-446; 38 U.S.C. 7721 
note) is amended by striking ``and'' at the end of subparagraph (C).
    (f) Correction of Previous Amendment.-- <<NOTE: Effective 
date.>> Effective November 30, 1999, and as if included therein as 
originally enacted, section 204(e)(3) of the Veterans Millennium Health 
Care and Benefits Act (Public Law 106-117; 113 Stat. 1563) <<NOTE: 38 
USC 7366.>> is amended by striking ``and inserting `a';'' and inserting 
``the first place it appears and inserting `an';''.

[[Page 115 STAT. 998]]

      TITLE VI--UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS

SEC. 601. FACILITATION OF STAGGERED TERMS OF JUDGES THROUGH TEMPORARY 
            EXPANSION OF THE COURT.

    (a) In General.--Section 7253 is amended by adding at the end the 
following new subsection:
    ``(h) Temporary Expansion of Court.--(1) During the period from 
January 1, 2002, through August 15, 2005, the authorized number of 
judges of the Court specified in subsection (a) is increased by two.
    ``(2)(A) Of the two additional judges authorized by this 
subsection--
            ``(i) only one may be appointed pursuant to a nomination 
        made in 2002; and
            ``(ii) only one may be appointed pursuant to a nomination 
        made in 2003.

    ``(B) If a judge is not appointed under this subsection pursuant to 
a nomination made in 2002, a judge may be appointed under this 
subsection pursuant to a nomination made in 2004. If a judge is not 
appointed under this subsection pursuant to a nomination made in 2003, a 
judge may be appointed under this subsection pursuant to a nomination 
made in 2004. In either case, such an appointment may be made only 
pursuant to a nomination made before October 1, 2004.
    ``(3) The term of office and the eligibility for retirement of a 
judge appointed under this subsection, other than a judge described in 
paragraph (4), are governed by the provisions of section 1012 of the 
Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Amendments of 1999 (title X of 
Public Law 106-117; 113 Stat. 1590; 38 U.S.C. 7296 note) if the judge is 
one of the first two judges appointed to the Court after November 30, 
1999.
    ``(4) A judge of the Court as of the date of the enactment of this 
subsection who was appointed to the Court before January 1, 1991, may 
accept appointment as a judge of the Court under this subsection 
notwithstanding that the term of office of the judge on the Court has 
not yet expired under this section. The term of office of an incumbent 
judge who receives an appointment as described in the preceding sentence 
shall be 15 years, which includes any period remaining in the unexpired 
term of the judge. Any service following an appointment under this 
subsection shall be treated as though served as part of the original 
term of office of that judge on the Court.
    ``(5) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), an appointment may not be made 
to the Court if the appointment would result in there being more than 
seven judges on the Court who were appointed after January 1, 1997. For 
the purposes of this paragraph, a judge serving in recall status under 
section 7257 of this title shall be disregarded in counting the number 
of judges appointed to the Court after such date.''.
    (b) Stylistic Amendments.--That section is further amended--
            (1) in subsection (b), by inserting ``Appointment.--'' 
        before ``The judges'';
            (2) in subsection (c), by inserting ``Term of Office.--'' 
        before ``The term'';

[[Page 115 STAT. 999]]

            (3) in subsection (f), by striking ``(f)(1)'' and inserting 
        ``(f) Removal.--(1)''; and
            (4) in subsection (g), by striking ``(g)(1)'' and inserting 
        ``(g) Rules.--(1)'.

SEC. 602. REPEAL OF REQUIREMENT FOR WRITTEN NOTICE REGARDING ACCEPTANCE 
            OF REAPPOINTMENT AS CONDITION TO RETIREMENT FROM THE COURT.

    Section 7296(b)(2) is amended by striking the second sentence.

SEC. 603. TERMINATION OF NOTICE OF DISAGREEMENT AS JURISDICTIONAL 
            REQUIREMENT FOR THE COURT.

    (a) Termination.--Section 402 of the Veterans' Judicial Review Act 
(division A of Public Law 100-687; 102 Stat. 4122; 38 U.S.C. 7251 note) 
is repealed.
    (b) Attorney Fees.--Section 403 of the Veterans' Judicial Review Act 
(102 Stat. 4122; 38 U.S.C. 5904 note) is repealed.
    (c) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7251 note.>> Construction.--The repeal in 
subsection (a) may not be construed to confer upon the United States 
Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims jurisdiction over any appeal or 
other matter not within the jurisdiction of the Court as provided in 
section 7266(a) of title 38, United States Code.

    (d) Applicability.--The repeals made by subsections (a) and (b) 
shall apply to any appeal filed with the United States Court of Appeals 
for Veterans Claims--
            (1) on or after the date of the enactment of this Act; or
            (2) before the date of the enactment of this Act but in 
        which a final decision has not been made under section 7291 of 
        title 38, United States Code, as of that date.

SEC. 604. REGISTRATION FEES.

    (a) Fees for Court-Sponsored Activities.--Subsection (a) of section 
7285 is amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: ``The 
Court may also impose a registration fee on persons (other than judges 
of the Court) participating at judicial conferences convened pursuant to 
section 7286 of this title or in any other court-sponsored activity.''.
    (b) Use of Fees.--Subsection (b) of such section is amended by 
striking ``for the purposes of (1)'' and all that follows through the 
period and inserting ``for the following purposes:
            ``(1) Conducting investigations and proceedings, including 
        employing independent counsel, to pursue disciplinary matters.
            ``(2) Defraying the expenses of--
                    ``(A) judicial conferences convened pursuant to 
                section 7286 of this title; and
                    ``(B) other activities and programs of the Court 
                that are intended to support and foster communication 
                and relationships between the Court and persons 
                practicing before the Court or the study, understanding, 
                public commemoration, or improvement of veterans law or 
                of the work of the Court.''.

    (c) Clerical Amendments.--(1) The heading for such section is 
amended to read as follows:

[[Page 115 STAT. 1000]]

``Sec. 7285. Practice and registration fees''.

    (2) The item relating to such section in the table of sections at 
the beginning of chapter 72 is amended to read as follows:

``7285. Practice and registration fees.''.

SEC. 605. ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITIES.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter III of chapter 72 is amended by 
inserting after section 7286 the following new section:

``Sec. 7287. Administration

    ``Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Court of Appeals 
for Veterans Claims may exercise, for purposes of management, 
administration, and expenditure of funds of the Court, the authorities 
provided for such purposes by any provision of law (including any 
limitation with respect to such provision of law) applicable to a court 
of the United States (as that term is defined in section 451 of title 
28), except to the extent that such provision of law is inconsistent 
with a provision of this chapter.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is amended by inserting after the item related to section 
7286 the following new item:

``7287. Administration.''.

    Approved November 13, 1999.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 1291:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 106-416 (Comm. on Resources).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 145 (1999):
            Nov. 1, considered and passed House.
            Nov. 8, considered and passed Senate.

                                  <all>