Summary: S.3021 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (12/10/2016)

Veterans Education Improvement Act of 2016 or the VEI Act of 2016

This bill permits veterans to use Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Post-9/11 educational assistance for an accredited independent study program offered by an educational institution that is not an institution of higher learning, such as an area career and technical education school or a postsecondary vocational institution providing postsecondary level education.

The VA may prioritize vocational rehabilitation services based on need and upon consideration of disability ratings, the severity of employment handicaps, qualification for a program of independent living, income, and other appropriate factors.

Individuals may elect to convert their educational assistance to the Post-9/11 veterans' educational assistance program if, as of August 1, 2009, they meet specified conditions with respect to their entitlements and elections under the all-volunteer force educational assistance program or certain other educational programs for professional military, selected reserve, or reserve component members.

The bill prescribes transitional rules with respect to the transfer or revocation of entitlements from a previous assistance program after an election to convert to the Post-9/11 program.

Certain assistance shall remain available to individuals under their previous program if it is not available under the Post-9/11 program.

After January 1, 2016, if an individual submits an election that the VA determines is against the individual's interests, the VA may make an alternative election on the individual's behalf. Such an individual may, during a specified period, modify or revoke the VA's alternative selection.

The bill extends the period for certain qualifying work-study activities for individuals receiving VA educational assistance.

Specified education programs are deemed to be approved for veterans' education benefit purposes if a state approving agency determines that they qualify.

Licensure or certification program requirements necessary for VA approval are revised.

The Director of a Veterans Integrated Service Network may contract with an entity specializing in civilian accreditation or health care evaluation to investigate any network medical center.