Summary: H.R.3974 — 95th Congress (1977-1978)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.3974. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (02/23/1977)

Comprehensive Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act - Title I: Educational Assistance Program Amendments - Redefines the qualifying service period of an "eligible veteran" to be the period from August 4, 1964 to January 1, 1977; and redesignates as an "eligible peacetime post-Korean veteran" anyone whose qualifying service period fell between January 31, 1955, and August 5, 1964; and entitles both "eligible veterans" and "eligible peacetime post-Korean veterans" to all benefits, services and loans available under the educational assistance program.

Extends from 36 to 45 months the period of eligibility for receiving educational assistance (this provision currently exist, 38 U.S.C. 1661 (a)).

Sets conditions for extending the ten-year delimiting period for receipt of assistance up to a maximum of two additional years.

Provides that counseling offered by the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs to veterans eligible for educational assistance may include assisting any veteran: (1) to select the occupation or training objective suitable to personal circumstances, characteristics, financial resources, dependent responsibilities and other relevant factors; (2) to select the occupation or training objective which will provide reasonable opportunities for employment and with job satisfaction after development of the required job skills; (3) to select the educational institution that will effectively assist in attaining educational or vocational objectives; and (4) to develop a program of education that will lead to a recognized and predetermined educational, vocational, technical, or professional objective within the veteran's period of entitlement.

Directs the Administrator to take such measures as may be necessary, including denial of applications or disapproval of courses, to insure that no aspect of the educational assistance program is used for the purpose of income supplementation, unemployment compensation, or adjusted compensation. Allows continued payments to veterans enrolled in institutions not complying with provisions of the Act if such veterans are not at fault for the noncompliance.

Provides an accelerated educational assistance allowance, not to exceed twice the ordinary monthly amount, to be granted, after appropriate counseling, to an eligible veteran or person who demonstrates need for the acceleration. Stipulates the categories of persons most likely to need a program of acceleration. Limits any program of accelerated assistance allowances to five years.

Title II: War Orphans' and Widows' Educational Assistance Program Amendments - Allows the ten-year period of eligibility for educational assistance for the spouse of a veteran with a service-connected disability to run from the wedding date of the spouse and such veteran. Entitles eligible war orphans and widows to accelerated educational assistance allowances.

Title III: Administration of Educational Benefits - Extends the coverage of existing administrative provisions of the educational assistance program to all branches and extensions of an educational institution.

Directs the Administrator to establish between the Administration, the State approving agencies and nationally recognized accrediting agencies and associations, an exchange of information pertaining to activities of educational institutions, especially to the enforcement of approval standard and enrollment restrictions and fraudulent and other criminal activities on the part of persons connected with the institution; and directs the Administrator to furnish the U.S. Attorney General, the Department of Defense, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and other Federal, State and local agencies such information and assistance as may be necessary to preclude abuses or enhance the effectiveness of the programs established hereunder.

Requires educational institutions to transmit to State approving agencies catalogs or bulletins certified as true, current and correct both in content and policy by an authorized school official. Requires the State approving agencies to find as a condition of approval, adequate standards of progress established and clearly defined, and to find that an institution and its programs of education are in every aspect, portion, element, and division in full compliance with the law.

Revises the criteria for approval of nonaccredited courses.

Requires all advertising, promotion, sales techniques, claims and personnel employed by or representing the institution and branches or extensions offering nonaccredited courses to be in compliance with all applicable State and Federal licensing regulations and laws.

Permits the Administrator to disapprove any institution of program of education approved as accredited if it fails to comply with any of specified provisions of law.

Makes any advance payment of initial educational assistance or subsistence allowance conditional, and denies such advance payments to those entitled to receive accelerated payments. Requires the application for conditional advance payments to indicate that the eligible veteran or person had requested such, that it is necessary and appropriated to meet specific expenses, and that such expenses shall reasonably equal or exceed the amount of conditional advance payment.

Requires the Administrator to set up an appeals procedure for administrative proceedings involving property loss resulting from a decision to terminate or modify an eligible veteran's or person's educational benefits.

Increases from $3 and $4 to $8 and $10 respectively the fees paid to educational institutions in reimbursement for reports and certifications.

Directs the Administrator to refer to the U.S. Attorney General any deliberate, premeditated, or willful misconduct or illegal action of a significant nature or involving a significant sum of money stemming from overpayments occasioned by a false or misleading report by an educational institution.

Sets new conditions for the enrollment of an eligible veteran or person in a program of correspondence or residence-correspondence.

Denies approval of enrollment in an institution in any way affiliated with a proprietary institution or profitmaking operation which affects any program of education provided eligible veterans and persons unless such program meets all the requirements of the law.

Requires the Administrator to notify any eligible veteran or eligible person of any available vocational assistance alternatives and of any legal recourse when it disapproves an institution or discontinues anyone's educational assistance. Requires the Administrator, upon determination that the interruption of failure of a person's program was due in whole or in part to problems of personal adjustment, to advise such person of available counseling services and vocational, educational and psychological assistance.

Establishes with the Veterans Administration an Interagency Veterans' Advisory Task Force to advise and assist the Administrator, among other things, in: (1) the review of the effectiveness and coordination of all rights and services authorized for veterans; (2) the development and implementation of studies of the effectiveness of laws applicable to veterans and eligible persons; (3) the monitoring and evaluation and preclusion of abuses of veterans' adjustment assistance programs; (4) the investigation of allegations indicating that veterans are being denied rights, benefit,or assistance; and (5) the appraisal of Federal laws, appropriations, and policies meeting the readjustment needs of veterans. Directs the Task Force to serve as a national clearinghouse for information and assistance relating to the needs of veterans, and to serve as an advocate for the correction of problems and the preclusion of abuses.

Establishes within the Task Force a section on enforcement and implementation of laws, a section on the evaluation and accreditation of military experience, and an Advisory Committee to take over the duties and responsibilities of the current advisory committee, with special emphasis on the inclusion and participation of veterans receiving or requiring readjustment assistance. Empowers the Task Force and its sections to issue subpenas. Requires the Task Force to report to Congress within one year of enactment its findings and recommendations for post-Vietnam era readjustment assistance programs.

Sets maximum aggregate education loan amounts for eligible persons with no, one, two, or more dependents.

Title IV: Miscellaneous Veterans Program Amendments - Requires the Veterans' Administration to adjust its adjudication criteria and under no circumstances to determine eligibility for veterans' benefits for ex-servicemen with other than honorable discharges with either less lenient or more restrictive criteria and procedures that those used by the various military departments in the review and upgrading of other than honorable discharges.

Title V: Employment and Training of Disabled and Vietnam-era Veterans - Creates within the Department of Labor a separate agency to be known as the Veterans' Employment Service which shall be headed by an Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment.

Title VI: Veterans' Administration: Miscellaneous Amendments - Directs the Administrator to initiate a comprehensive outreach and information program to inform veterans of the programs and services made available by this Act. Directs the veterans' representatives to carry out such outreach and information assistance services.

Requires both the Administrator and the veterans' representatives especially to assist veterans whose educational benefits have ended because of the expiration of their delimiting period to obtain alternative means of completing their education and training.