Special Authorities for Veterans' Educational Assistance Programs During the COVID-19 Emergency [Updated December 17, 2021]   [open pdf - 763KB]

From the Document: "On January 31, 2020, the Secretary of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency (COVID-19 coronavirus disease 2019] emergency) under Section 319 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. [United States Code] §247d). The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and veterans' educational assistance beneficiaries raised concerns that abrupt disruptions to programs of education, educational institutions, and employment could negatively impact the short-term finances of beneficiaries and their continued pursuit of educational programs. In response, special authorities were enacted, and amended, by [1] P.L. 116-128 on March 21, 2020; [2] the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 (P.L. 116-140) on April 28, 2020; [3] the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act (P.L. 116-159) on October 1, 2020; and [4] the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 (P.L. 116-315) on January 5, 2021. The authorities reduce the effect of such disruptions on beneficiaries by extending benefits or not reducing benefit levels during the covered period from March 1, 2020, through December 21, 2021. The REMOTE [Responsible Education Mitigating Options and Technical Extensions Act] Act (H.R. 5545), as passed by the House on December 8, 2021, and the Senate on December 15, 2021, would extend the covered period to June 1, 2022, if signed into law by the President. Additionally, a VA administrative action provides temporary debt relief. After a brief introduction to veterans' educational assistance programs, this In Focus describes the special authorities and administrative action."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF11685
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
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