Summary: H.R.2433 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (10/12/2011)

Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011 - Title I: Retraining Veterans - (Sec. 101) Directs the Secretary of Labor (Secretary), from June 1, 2012, through March 31, 2014, to provide for monthly payments, through the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), of up to 12 months of retraining assistance to certain veterans from 35 to 60 years of age applying by October 1, 2013, who: (1) were last discharged from active duty service with an honorable discharge, (2) have been unemployed for a designated period, and (3) are ineligible for specified veterans' educational assistance. Sets forth the maximum number of eligible veteran participants and the authorized forms of education and training. Requires a joint report from such Secretaries to the congressional veterans committees on such assistance.

Title II: Improving the Transition Assistance Program - (Sec. 201) Revises guidelines for stationing Transition Assistance Program (TAP) personnel to require the Secretary to contract with a private entity or entities to provide specified counseling, employment, and training services. (Under current law, the Secretary is required to station such personnel at member transition assistance offices located on military installations.) Requires such contract to be entered into within 24 months after the enactment of this Act.

(Sec. 202) Directs the Secretary of Defense (DOD) and the Secretary of the Transportation (DOT) to require participation of all members eligible for employment assistance and other transitional services unless a documented urgent operational requirement prevents attendance or a member declines due to post-service employment or acceptance to an education program.

(Sec. 203) Directs the Secretary to: (1) report to the veterans committees on TAP, including the number of individuals who participated within 30, 90, and 180 days after separation; and (2) contract with a small business owned and controlled by veterans or service-disabled veterans for a TAP audit at least every three years. Requires audit results to be submitted to the Secretaries of Labor, DOD, and VA, as well as the veterans committees.

(Sec. 204) Requires the Secretaries of Labor to develop a method to assess the outcomes of individuals participating in TAP.

(Sec. 205) Directs the Comptroller General (CG) to review TAP, and submit review results to Congress.

Title III: Improving the Transition of Veterans to Civilian Employment - (Sec. 301) Modifies the demonstration project on credentialing for active duty service members transitioning to civilian employment by requiring the Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training to: (1) select at least 5 but not more than 10 (currently, at least 10) military occupational specialties; and (2) enter into a contract with an appropriate entity representing a coalition of state governors to identify credentialing, certification, and licensing requirements incorporating the necessary skills for such specialties. Establishes a new period, ending on September 30, 2014, for carrying out the demonstration project and limits funding to $180,000 each fiscal year from specified sources. Requires annual implementation reports over the project period from such Assistant Secretary to the veterans committees.

(Sec. 302) Requires, in an annual report on job counseling, training, and placement services for veterans, the inclusion of performance measures for the provision of such assistance.

(Sec. 303) Revises the priority of service in Department of Labor training programs. Requires the Secretary to annually evaluate whether certain qualifying veterans are receiving priority service and are being fully served by qualified job training programs. Prohibits the Secretary from using the proportion of representation of veterans as the basis for such evaluation.

(Sec. 304) Directs the Secretary to require that each individual receiving training by the National Veterans' Employment and Training Services Institute be given a final examination to evaluate their performance.

(Sec. 305) Requires that each full-time disabled veterans' outreach program specialist and local veterans' employment representative perform only duties relating to the employment and training needs of veterans, and not other non-veteran-related duties. Directs the Secretary to conduct regular audits of such duties to ensure compliance.

(Sec. 306) Directs the Secretary and the DOD Secretary to jointly: (1) contract to complete a previous study of 10 military occupational specialties aimed at reducing barriers to certification and licensure for transitioning members and veterans, and (2) submit study results to Congress.

Title IV: Improvements to Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights - (Sec. 401) Includes the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment within the benefits and rights of employment for purposes of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

Title V: Other Matters - (Sec. 501) Extends through: (1) FY2014 the VA adjustable and hybrid adjustable mortgage rate demonstration projects, (2) 2016 the authority of the VA Secretary to guarantee the principal and interest on securities evidencing an interest in a pool of veterans' mortgage loans, and (3) October 1, 2017, the authority to collect fees for certain housing loans made, insured, or guaranteed by the VA.

Amends the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 to extend through 2014 a temporary adjustment in the maximum VA single-family residence home loan guaranty amount.

(Sec. 502) Authorizes the VA to guarantee home loans for the surviving spouses of veterans who: (1) were eligible for veterans' dependency and indemnity compensation due to a total disability rating, or (2) were former prisoners of war who were totally disabled for at least one year preceding death.

(Sec. 503) Limits VA payments for ambulance services to the lesser of the actual charges or the rates permitted under title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act.

(Sec. 504) Directs the DOD and VA Secretaries to report annually to Congress on the effectiveness of education and training offered under the post-9/11 educational assistance program and the survivors' and dependents' educational assistance program, respectively. Terminates such report requirements after January 1, 2021.

(Sec. 505) Limits to $385 million the FY2012 VA funding for travel, printing, and fleet vehicle costs.

(Sec. 506) Extends through May 31, 2016, the current $90 limit on VA pension paid to veterans residing in nursing homes when their nursing costs are paid through title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act.