Increase in Rates Payable Under the Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program and Other Miscellaneous Issues, 79645-79652 [E8-31033]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 250 / Tuesday, December 30, 2008 / Rules and Regulations effective sooner than otherwise provided by the CRA if the agency makes a good cause finding that notice and public procedure is impracticable, unnecessary or contrary to the public interest. This determination must be supported by a brief statement. 5 U.S.C. 808(2). As stated previously, we have made such a good cause finding, including the reasons stated, and established an effective date of [Date of Publication]. Therefore, the Agencies will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of this rule in the Federal Register. This action is not a ‘‘major rule’’ as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). ■ ■ List of Subjects [FR Doc. E8–30984 Filed 12–29–08; 8:45 am] 33 CFR Part 323 Navigation, Water Pollution Control, Waterways. 40 CFR Part 232 Environmental Protection, Wetlands, Water Pollution Control. Dated: December 19, 2008. John Paul Woodley, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), Department of the Army. Dated: December 19, 2008. Stephen L. Johnson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In consideration of the foregoing, 33 CFR part 323 and 40 CFR part 232 are amended as set forth below: ■ PART 323—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 323 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1344. 2. Amend § 323.2 as follows: a. Remove paragraph (d)(2). b. In paragraph (d)(1) introductory text, remove the words ‘‘paragraph (d)(3)’’ and add, in their place, the words ‘‘paragraph (d)(2)’’. ■ c. Redesignate paragraphs (d)(3) through (d)(6) as paragraphs (d)(2) through (d)(5), respectively. ■ d. In the newly redesignated paragraph (d)(3), in the first sentence of paragraph (d)(3)(i) remove each time they appear the words ‘‘paragraphs (d)(5) and (d)(6)’’ and add, in their place, the words ‘‘paragraphs (d)(4) and (d)(5)’’. pwalker on PROD1PC71 with RULES ■ ■ ■ PART 232—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 232 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1344. VerDate Aug<31>2005 23:31 Dec 29, 2008 Jkt 217001 2. Amend § 232.2 as follows: a. In the definition of ‘‘Discharge of dredged material’’, remove paragraph (2). ■ b. In paragraph (1) of the definition of ‘‘Discharge of dredged material’’, remove the words ‘‘paragraph (3)’’ and add, in their place, the words ‘‘paragraph (2)’’. ■ c. Redesignate paragraphs (3) through (6) as paragraphs (2) through (5), respectively. ■ d. In the newly redesignated paragraph (3) of the definition of ‘‘Discharge of dredged material’’, in the first sentence of paragraph (3)(i) remove each time they appear the words ‘‘paragraphs (5) and (6)’’ and add, in their place, the words ‘‘paragraphs (4) and (5)’’. BILLING CODE 3710–KF–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 21 RIN 2900–AM67 Increase in Rates Payable Under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program and Other Miscellaneous Issues Department of Veterans Affairs. Final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: This document amends Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regulations to reflect increases effective for fiscal years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, respectively, in the monthly rates payable under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program in accordance with statutory requirements and previously established formulas; a change in the formula used to calculate entitlement charges for individuals pursuing apprenticeship or other on-job training in accordance with the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004; and nonsubstantive changes for the purpose of clarity and to reflect agency organization. DATES: Effective Date: This final rule is effective December 30, 2008. Applicability Dates: For information concerning the dates of applicability for certain provisions, see the Supplementary Information section of this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brandye R. Terrell, Regulation Development Team Leader (225C), Education Service, Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 79645 Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461–9822. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Increase in Monthly Rates Payable Under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program Under the formula mandated by 38 U.S.C. 3564, the monthly rates of basic educational assistance payable under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program must be increased by the percentage by which the total monthly Consumer Price Index-W for the 12-month period ending on June 30 preceding the fiscal year (FY) during which the increase is applicable exceeds the Consumer Price Index-W for the 12-month period ending on June 30 preceding the previous FY. Using this formula, VA calculated a 2 percent increase for FY 2005, a 3 percent increase for FY 2006, a 4 percent increase for FY 2007, a 2.5 percent increase for FY 2008, and a 3.9 percent increase for FY 2009. Public Law 91–219 authorized monthly educational assistance payments for eligible persons pursuing training at less than half time. Since the effective date of that public law, February 1, 1970, students pursuing a program of education at less than onehalf time but more than one-quarter time have had their payments limited to the prorated amount of tuition and fees not to exceed the half-time rate. Similarly, students pursuing a program of education at one-quarter time or less have had their payments limited to the prorated amount of tuition and fees not to exceed 25 percent of the full-time institutional rate. The monthly rates of basic educational assistance for students pursuing a program of education at less than half time are increased in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph, and this document makes changes in the regulations accordingly. The entitlement charge for correspondence courses is based on the monthly rates of basic educational assistance. Hence, the amount used to determine entitlement charge for correspondence courses is increased by 2 percent for FY 2005, 3 percent for FY 2006, 4 percent for FY 2007, 2.5 percent for FY 2008, and 3.9 percent for FY 2009, consistent with the adjustments in the monthly rates of basic educational assistance discussed above. The increases in the DEA rates are applied in accordance with the applicable statutory provisions discussed above. Thus, VA began paying the increases for FY 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 effective for training pursued on or after October 1, 2004, October 1, 2005, October 1, 2006, and E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 79646 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 250 / Tuesday, December 30, 2008 / Rules and Regulations October 1, 2007, respectively. VA will pay the FY 2009 increase effective for training pursued on or after October 1, 2008. II. Modification of the Formula Used To Calculate Entitlement Charge for Eligible Persons Pursuing Apprenticeship or Other On-Job Training The Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108–454) modified the formula used to calculate entitlement charges for certain apprenticeship and other on-job trainees. Prior to October 1, 2005, eligible persons with 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 entitlement were charged a month of entitlement for each month they received educational assistance. The entitlement charge was based on the length of training rather than the amount received for training. Public Law 108–454 mandates that 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 entitlement charged for training pursued on or after October 1, 2005, be reduced proportionately by the percentage rate (rounded to the nearest percentage) determined by dividing the amount of the training assistance paid for the month by the monthly educational assistance payable for fulltime enrollment in an educational institution. This document amends VA regulations concerning 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 entitlement accordingly, and makes nonsubstantive changes in those entitlement provisions intended to clarify that entitlement charges are charges for record purposes and not monetary charges. pwalker on PROD1PC71 with RULES III. Other Nonsubstantive Changes This document also makes other nonsubstantive changes in the DEA regulations for the purpose of clarity. These include clarifying changes to specify the ending dates for certain 2004 provisions in §§ 21.3045, 21.3046, 21.3131, 21.3300, and 21.3333. In addition, we are making a nonsubstantive change to reflect current agency organization. Due to a publishing error, instructions that VA published in the Federal Register in a final rule entitled ‘‘Veterans Benefits Administration Nomenclature Changes’’ (66 FR 44052–44053, Aug. 22, 2001) were not fully implemented in the Code of Federal Regulations. This document repeats an instruction that had been in that final rule. IV. Applicability Dates To Conform to Statutory Requirements The changes in the DEA rates for fiscal years 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, are applied retroactively for training pursued on or after October 1, 2004, VerDate Aug<31>2005 02:04 Dec 30, 2008 Jkt 217001 October 1, 2005, October 1, 2006, and October 1, 2007, respectively, to conform to statutory requirements. The changes in the DEA rates for fiscal year 2009 are being applied effective October 1, 2008, for training pursued on or after that date, to conform to statutory requirements. The change in the formula used to calculate entitlement charges is applied retroactively to training pursued on or after October 1, 2005, to conform to statutory requirements. Administrative Procedure Act The changes made by this final rule merely reflect statutory requirements and adjustments made based on previously established formulas, or are interpretive rules or nonsubstantive changes. These changes are exempt from the notice-and-comment and delayedeffective-date requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553(b) and (d). Executive Order 12866 Executive Order 12866 directs agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). The Executive Order classifies a regulatory action as a ‘‘significant regulatory action,’’ requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) unless OMB waives such review, if it is a regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order. The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this final rule have been examined and it has been determined that it is not a significant regulatory action under the Executive Order. PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 This document contains no provisions constituting a collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501–3521). Regulatory Flexibility Act The initial and final regulatory flexibility analyses requirements of sections 603 and 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601–612, are not applicable to this rule, because a notice of proposed rulemaking is not required for this rule. Even so, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This final rule directly affects only individuals and does not directly affect small entities. Therefore, this final rule is also exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b) from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analyses requirements of sections 603 and 604. Unfunded Mandates The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any year. This final rule would have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance The program that this rule affects has the following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number and title: 64.117, Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance. List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 21 Administrative practice and procedure, Armed forces, Civil rights, Claims, Colleges and universities, Conflict of interests, Education, Employment, Grant programs— education, Grant programs—veterans, Health care, Loan programs—education, Loan programs—veterans, Manpower training programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Schools, Travel and transportation expenses, Veterans, Vocational education, Vocational Rehabilitation. Approved: December 22, 2008. Gordon H. Mansfield, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs. For the reasons stated above, the Department of Veterans Affairs amends ■ E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 250 / Tuesday, December 30, 2008 / Rules and Regulations Subpart C—Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 35 (1) For training pursued before October 1, 2005, VA will reduce chapter 35 entitlement by one month for each month of benefits paid. (2) For training pursued on or after October 1, 2005, VA will reduce chapter 35 entitlement proportionately based on the percentage rate (rounded to the nearest percentage) determined by dividing the amount of the training assistance paid for the month by the monthly educational assistance payable for full-time enrollment in an educational institution. ■ 2. The authority citation for part 21, subpart C, continues to read as follows: (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3534, 3687; sec. 102, Pub L. 108–454, 118 Stat. 3600) Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a), 512, 3500– 3566, and as noted in specific sections. (h) Entitlement charge for correspondence courses. The charge against entitlement of a spouse or surviving spouse for pursuit of a course exclusively by correspondence will be 1 month for each of the following amounts paid as an educational assistance allowance: (1) $788.00, paid after June 30, 2004, and before October 1, 2004; (2) $803.00, paid after September 30, 2004, and before October 1, 2005; (3) $827.00, paid after September 30, 2005, and before October 1, 2006; (4) $860.00, paid after September 30, 2006, and before October 1, 2007; (5) $881.00, paid after September 30, 2007, and before October 1, 2008; and (6) $915.00, paid after September 30 2008. 38 CFR chapter I and 38 CFR part 21 (subpart C) as follows: Chapter I—Department of Veterans Affairs 1. In chapter I, revise all references to ‘‘VR&C’’ to read ‘‘VR&E’’. ■ PART 21—VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION 3. Amend § 21.3045 by: a. In the first sentence of the introductory text, adding ‘‘recordpurpose’’ before ‘‘charges’’ and ‘‘38 U.S.C. chapter 35’’ before ‘‘entitlement’’. ■ b. In paragraph (c) introductory text, removing ‘‘entitlement—’’ and adding, in its place, ‘‘entitlement of—’’. ■ c. Revising paragraphs (g) and (h). The revisions read as follows: ■ ■ § 21.3045 Entitlement charges. * * * * * (g) Entitlement charge for apprenticeship or other on-job training. For each month that an eligible person is paid a monthly educational assistance allowance while undergoing apprenticeship or other on-job training, including months in which the eligible person fails to complete 120 hours of training, VA will make a record-purpose charge against 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 entitlement, if any, as follows: (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3534(b), 3564, 3686(a)) * * * * * 4. Amend § 21.3046 by revising paragraph (d)(4)(ii) to read as follows: ■ Type of course § 21.3046 Periods of eligibility; spouses and surviving spouses. * * * * * (d) * * * (4) * * * (ii) The total additional amount of instruction that— (A) $2,206 provides during the period July 1, 2004, through September 30, 2004; (B) $2,248 provides during the period October 1, 2004, through September 30, 2005; (C) $2,316 provides during the period October 1, 2005, through September 30, 2006; (D) $2,408 provides during the period October 1, 2006, through September 30, 2007; (E) $2,467 provides during the period October 1, 2007, through September 30, 2008; or (F) $2,562 provides after September 30, 2008. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3511(b)) * * * * * 5. Amend § 21.3131 by: a. Revising paragraph (a). b. Removing paragraphs (b) and (c). c. Redesignating paragraphs (d), (e), and (f), as new paragraphs (b), (c), and (d), respectively. The revision reads as follows: ■ ■ ■ ■ § 21.3131 Rates—educational assistance allowance—38 U.S.C. chapter 35. (a) Rates. Except as provided in § 21.3132, educational assistance allowance under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 is payable at the following monthly rates— (1) For training pursued after June 30, 2004, and before October 1, 2004: Monthly rate Institutional: Full time ............................................................................................. 3⁄4 time ............................................................................................... 1⁄2 time ............................................................................................... Less than 1⁄2 but more than 1⁄4 time 1 ............................................... 1⁄4 time or less 1 ................................................................................. Cooperative training (other than farm cooperative) (full time only) ......... Apprenticeship or on-job (full time only): 2 First six months ................................................................................. Second six months ............................................................................ Third six months ................................................................................ Fourth six months and thereafter ...................................................... Farm cooperative: Full time ............................................................................................. 3⁄4 time ............................................................................................... 1⁄2 time ............................................................................................... Correspondence ....................................................................................... pwalker on PROD1PC71 with RULES 79647 $788.00 592.00 394.00 394.00 197.00 788.00 574.00 429.00 285.00 144.00 636.00 477.00 319.00 55 percent of the established charge for the number of lessons completed by the eligible spouse or surviving spouse and serviced by the school—Allowance paid quarterly.3 1 If an eligible person under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 pursuing independent study on a less than one-half-time basis completes his or her program before the designated completion time, his or her award will be recomputed to permit payment of tuition and fees not to exceed $394.00 or $197.00, as appropriate, per month, if the maximum allowance is not initially authorized. 2 See footnote 5 of § 21.4270(c) for measurement of full time and § 21.3132(c) for proportionate reduction in award for completion of less than 120 hours per month. VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:13 Dec 29, 2008 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 79648 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 250 / Tuesday, December 30, 2008 / Rules and Regulations 3 Established charge means the charge for the course or courses determined on the basis of the lowest extended time payment plan offered by the institution and approved by the appropriate State approving agency or the actual cost to the eligible spouse or surviving spouse, whichever is less. VA considers the continuity of an enrollment broken when there are more than 6 months between the servicing of the lessons. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3532(a), 3542(a), 3687(b)(2), (d)) (2) For training pursued after September 30, 2004, and before October 1, 2005: Type of course Monthly rate Institutional: Full time ............................................................................................. 3⁄4 time ............................................................................................... 1⁄2 time ............................................................................................... Less than 1⁄2 but more than 1⁄4 time 1 ............................................... 1⁄4 time or less 1 ................................................................................. Cooperative training (other than farm cooperative) (full time only) ......... Apprenticeship or on-job (full time only): 2 First six months ................................................................................. Second six months ............................................................................ Third six months ................................................................................ Fourth six months and thereafter ...................................................... Farm cooperative: Full time ............................................................................................. 3⁄4 time ............................................................................................... 1⁄2 time ............................................................................................... Correspondence ....................................................................................... $803.00 603.00 401.00 401.00 200.75 803.00 585.00 438.00 291.00 147.00 648.00 486.00 325.00 55 percent of the established charge for the number of lessons completed by the eligible spouse or surviving spouse and serviced by the school—Allowance paid quarterly.3 1 If an eligible person under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 pursuing independent study on a less than one-half-time basis completes his or her program before the designated completion time, his or her award will be recomputed to permit payment of tuition and fees not to exceed $401.00 or $200.75, as appropriate, per month, if the maximum allowance is not initially authorized. 2 See footnote 5 of § 21.4270(c) for measurement of full time and § 21.3132(c) for proportionate reduction in award for completion of less than 120 hours per month. 3 Established charge means the charge for the course or courses determined on the basis of the lowest extended time payment plan offered by the institution and approved by the appropriate State approving agency or the actual cost to the eligible spouse or surviving spouse, whichever is less. VA considers the continuity of an enrollment broken when there are more than 6 months between the servicing of the lessons. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3532(a), 3542(a), 3687(b)(2), (d)) (3) For training pursued after September 30, 2005, and before October 1, 2006: Type of course Monthly rate pwalker on PROD1PC71 with RULES Institutional: Full time ............................................................................................. 3⁄4 time ............................................................................................... 1⁄2 time ............................................................................................... Less than 1⁄2 but more than 1⁄4 time 1 ............................................... 1⁄4 time or less 1 ................................................................................. Cooperative training (other than farm cooperative) (full time only) ......... Apprenticeship or on-job (full time only): 2 First six months ................................................................................. Second six months ............................................................................ Third six months ................................................................................ Fourth six months and thereafter ...................................................... Farm cooperative: Full time ............................................................................................. 3⁄4 time ............................................................................................... 1⁄2 time ............................................................................................... Correspondence ....................................................................................... $827.00 621.00 413.00 413.00 206.75 827.00 650.00 507.00 366.00 151.00 667.00 500.00 334.00 55 percent of the established charge for the number of lessons completed by the eligible spouse or surviving spouse and serviced by the school—Allowance paid quarterly.3 1 If an eligible person under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 pursuing independent study on a less than one-half-time basis completes his or her program before the designated completion time, his or her award will be recomputed to permit payment of tuition and fees not to exceed $413.00 or $206.75, as appropriate, per month, if the maximum allowance is not initially authorized. 2 See footnote 5 of § 21.4270(c) for measurement of full time and § 21.3132(c) for proportionate reduction in award for completion of less than 120 hours per month. 3 Established charge means the charge for the course or courses determined on the basis of the lowest extended time payment plan offered by the institution and approved by the appropriate State approving agency or the actual cost to the eligible spouse or surviving spouse, whichever is less. VA considers the continuity of an enrollment broken when there are more than 6 months between the servicing of the lessons. VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:13 Dec 29, 2008 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 250 / Tuesday, December 30, 2008 / Rules and Regulations (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3532(a), 3542(a), 3687(b)(2), (d)) 79649 (4) For training pursued after September 30, 2006, and before October 1, 2007: Type of course Monthly rate Institutional: Full time ............................................................................................. 3⁄4 time ............................................................................................... 1⁄2 time ............................................................................................... Less than 1⁄2 but more than 1/4 time 1 .............................................. 1⁄4 time or less 1 ................................................................................. Cooperative training (other than farm cooperative) (full time only) ......... Apprenticeship or on-job (full time only): 2 First six months ................................................................................. Second six months ............................................................................ Third six months ................................................................................ Fourth six months and thereafter ...................................................... Farm cooperative: Full time ............................................................................................. 3⁄4 time ............................................................................................... 1⁄2 time ............................................................................................... Correspondence ....................................................................................... $860.00 645.00 429.00 429.00 215.00 860.00 676.00 527.00 380.00 157.00 693.00 520.00 347.00 55 percent of the established charge for the number of lessons completed by the eligible spouse or surviving spouse and serviced by the school—Allowance paid quarterly.3 1 If an eligible person under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 pursuing independent study on a less than one-half-time basis completes his or her program before the designated completion time, his or her award will be recomputed to permit payment of tuition and fees not to exceed $429.00 or $215.00, as appropriate, per month, if the maximum allowance is not initially authorized. 2 See footnote 5 of § 21.4270(c) for measurement of full time and § 21.3132(c) for proportionate reduction in award for completion of less than 120 hours per month. 3 Established charge means the charge for the course or courses determined on the basis of the lowest extended time payment plan offered by the institution and approved by the appropriate State approving agency or the actual cost to the eligible spouse or surviving spouse, whichever is less. VA considers the continuity of an enrollment broken when there are more than 6 months between the servicing of the lessons. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3532(a), 3542(a), 3687(b)(2), (d)) (5) For training pursued after September 30, 2007, and before January 1, 2008: Type of course Monthly rate pwalker on PROD1PC71 with RULES Institutional: Full time ............................................................................................. 3⁄4 time ............................................................................................... 1⁄2 time ............................................................................................... Less than 1⁄2 but more than 1⁄4 time 1 ............................................... 1⁄4 time or less 1 ................................................................................. Cooperative training (other than farm cooperative) (full time only) ......... Apprenticeship or on-job (full time only): 2 First six months ................................................................................. Second six months ............................................................................ Third six months ................................................................................ Fourth six months and thereafter ...................................................... Farm cooperative: Full time ............................................................................................. 3⁄4 time ............................................................................................... 1⁄2 time ............................................................................................... Correspondence ....................................................................................... $881.00 661.00 439.00 439.00 220.25 881.00 692.00 540.00 389.00 160.00 710.00 533.00 355.00 55 percent of the established charge for the number of lessons completed by the eligible spouse or surviving spouse and serviced by the school—Allowance paid quarterly.3 1 If an eligible person under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 pursuing independent study on a less than one-half-time basis completes his or her program before the designated completion time, his or her award will be recomputed to permit payment of tuition and fees not to exceed $439.00 or $220.25, as appropriate, per month, if the maximum allowance is not initially authorized. 2 See footnote 5 of § 21.4270(c) for measurement of full time and § 21.3132(c) for proportionate reduction in award for completion of less than 120 hours per month. 3 Established charge means the charge for the course or courses determined on the basis of the lowest extended time payment plan offered by the institution and approved by the appropriate State approving agency or the actual cost to the eligible spouse or surviving spouse, whichever is less. VA considers the continuity of an enrollment broken when there are more than 6 months between the servicing of the lessons. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3532(a), 3542(a), 3687(b)(2), (d)) VerDate Aug<31>2005 23:59 Dec 29, 2008 Jkt 217001 (6) For training pursued after December 31, 2007, and before October 1, 2008: PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 79650 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 250 / Tuesday, December 30, 2008 / Rules and Regulations Type of course Monthly rate Institutional: Full time ............................................................................................. 3⁄4 time ............................................................................................... 1⁄2 time ............................................................................................... Less than 1⁄2 but more than 1⁄4 time 1 ............................................... 1⁄4 time or less 1 ................................................................................. Cooperative training (other than farm cooperative) (full time only) ......... Apprenticeship or on-job (full time only): 2 First six months ................................................................................. Second six months ............................................................................ Third six months ................................................................................ Fourth six months and thereafter ...................................................... Farm cooperative: Full time ............................................................................................. 3⁄4 time ............................................................................................... 1⁄2 time ............................................................................................... Correspondence ....................................................................................... $881.00 661.00 439.00 439.00 220.25 881.00 641.00 480.00 317.00 160.00 710.00 533.00 355.00 55 percent of the established charge for the number of lessons completed by the eligible spouse or surviving spouse and serviced by the school—Allowance paid quarterly.3 1 If an eligible person under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 pursuing independent study on a less than one-half-time basis completes his or her program before the designated completion time, his or her award will be recomputed to permit payment of tuition and fees not to exceed $439.00 or $220.25, as appropriate, per month, if the maximum allowance is not initially authorized. 2 See footnote 5 of § 21.4270(c) for measurement of full time and § 21.3132(c) for proportionate reduction in award for completion of less than 120 hours per month. 3 Established charge means the charge for the course or courses determined on the basis of the lowest extended time payment plan offered by the institution and approved by the appropriate State approving agency or the actual cost to the eligible spouse or surviving spouse, whichever is less. VA considers the continuity of an enrollment broken when there are more than 6 months between the servicing of the lessons. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3532(a), 3542(a), 3687(b)(2), (d)) (7) For training pursued after September 30, 2008: Type of course Monthly rate Institutional: Full time ............................................................................................. 3⁄4 time ............................................................................................... 1⁄2 time ............................................................................................... Less than 1⁄2 but more than 1⁄4 time 1 ............................................... 1⁄4 time or less 1 ................................................................................. Cooperative training (other than farm cooperative) (full time only) ......... Apprenticeship or on-job (full time only): 2 First six months ................................................................................. Second six months ............................................................................ Third six months ................................................................................ Fourth six months and thereafter ...................................................... Farm cooperative: Full time ............................................................................................. 3⁄4 time ............................................................................................... 1⁄2 time ............................................................................................... Correspondence ....................................................................................... $915.00 686.00 456.00 456.00 227.75 915.00 666.00 499.00 329.00 166.00 737.00 553.00 368.00 55 percent of the established charge for the number of lessons completed by the eligible spouse or surviving spouse and serviced by the school—Allowance paid quarterly.3 1 If an eligible person under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 pursuing independent study on a less than one-half-time basis completes his or her program before the designated completion time, his or her award will be recomputed to permit payment of tuition and fees not to exceed $456.00 or $227.75, as appropriate, per month, if the maximum allowance is not initially authorized. 2 See footnote 5 of § 21.4270(c) for measurement of full time and § 21.3132(c) for proportionate reduction in award for completion of less than 120 hours per month. 3 Established charge means the charge for the course or courses determined on the basis of the lowest extended time payment plan offered by the institution and approved by the appropriate State approving agency or the actual cost to the eligible spouse or surviving spouse, whichever is less. VA considers the continuity of an enrollment broken when there are more than 6 months between the servicing of the lessons. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3532(a), 3542(a), 3687(b)(2), (d)) pwalker on PROD1PC71 with RULES * * * * * 6. Amend § 21.3300 by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows: ■ § 21.3300 Special restorative training. * * * VerDate Aug<31>2005 * * 22:13 Dec 29, 2008 Jkt 217001 (d) Duration of special restorative training. VA may provide special restorative training in excess of 45 months where an additional period of time is needed to complete the training. Entitlement, including any authorized in excess of 45 months, may be expended through an accelerated PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 program requiring a rate of payment for tuition and fees in excess of— (1) $247.00 a month for the period beginning July 1, 2004, and ending September 30, 2004; (2) $251.00 a month for the period beginning October 1, 2004, and ending September 30, 2005; E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 250 / Tuesday, December 30, 2008 / Rules and Regulations (3) $258.00 a month for the period beginning October 1, 2005, and ending September 30, 2006; (4) $268.00 a month for the period beginning October 1, 2006, and ending September 30, 2007; (5) $274.00 a month for the period beginning October 1, 2007, and ending September 30, 2008; and (6) $284.00 a month for months after September 30, 2008. The revisions and addition read as follows: (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3541(b), 3542) § 21.3333 * (a) * * * (1) For special restorative training pursued after June 30, 2004, and before October 1, 2004: * * * * ■ 7. Amend § 21.3333 by: ■ a. Revising paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3), and adding paragraph (a)(4). ■ b. Revising paragraph (b)(1). Course Monthly rate Special restorative training ......................................................... (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3542) $788.00 Accelerated charges If costs for tuition and fees average in excess of $247.00 per month, rate may be increased by such amount in excess of $247.00. Monthly rate Special restorative training ......................................................... (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3542) $803.00 Accelerated charges If costs for tuition and fees average in excess of $251.00 per month, rate may be increased by such amount in excess of $251.00. (3) For special restorative training pursued after September 30, 2005, and before October 1, 2006: Course Monthly rate Special restorative training ......................................................... (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3542) $827.00 Accelerated charges If costs for tuition and fees average in excess of $258.00 per month, rate may be increased by such amount in excess of $258.00. (4) For special restorative training pursued after September 30, 2006, and before October 1, 2007: Course Monthly rate Special restorative training ......................................................... (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3542) $860.00 Accelerated charges If costs for tuition and fees average in excess of $268.00 per month, rate may be increased by such amount in excess of $268.00. (5) For special restorative training pursued after September 30, 2007, and before October 1, 2008: Course Monthly rate Special restorative training ......................................................... (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3542) pwalker on PROD1PC71 with RULES Rates. (2) For special restorative training pursued after September 30, 2004, and before October 1, 2005: Course $881.00 Accelerated charges If costs for tuition and fees average in excess of $274.00 per month, rate may be increased by such amount in excess of $274.00. (6) For special restorative training pursued after September 30, 2008: Course Monthly rate Special restorative training ......................................................... VerDate Aug<31>2005 79651 22:13 Dec 29, 2008 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00061 $915.00 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Accelerated charges If costs for tuition and fees average in excess of $284.00 per month, rate may be increased by such amount in excess of $284.00. E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 79652 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 250 / Tuesday, December 30, 2008 / Rules and Regulations (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3542) (b) Accelerated charges. (1) VA may pay the additional monthly rate if the eligible person, or his or her parent or guardian (see § 21.3021(d)) if the eligible person has a guardian or has not attained majority under laws applicable in his or her State of residence, concurs in having his or her period of entitlement reduced by 1 day for each— (i) $26.27 that the special training allowance exceeds the basic monthly rate of $803.00 for the period July 1, 2004, through September 30, 2004; (ii) $26.77 that the special training allowance exceeds the basic monthly rate of $803.00 for the period October 1, 2004, through September 30, 2005; (iii) $27.57 that the special training allowance exceeds the basic monthly rate of $827.00 for the period October 1, 2005, through September 30, 2006; (iv) $28.67 that the special training allowance exceeds the basic monthly rate of $860.00 for the period October 1, 2006, through September 30, 2007; (v) $29.37 that the special restorative training allowance exceeds the basic monthly rate of $881.00 for the period October 1, 2007, through September 30, 2008; and (vi) $30.50 that the special restorative training allowance exceeds the basic monthly rate of $915.00 for months after September 30, 2008. * * * * * [FR Doc. E8–31033 Filed 12–29–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320–01–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R05–OAR–2007–1044, EPA–R05– OAR–2007–1133; FRL–8757–8] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Illinois and Indiana; Finding of Attainment for 1-Hour Ozone for the Chicago-GaryLake County, IL-IN Area Environmental Management (IDEM) that EPA find that the Indiana portion of the Chicago-Gary-Lake County, IL-IN nonattainment area, has attained the revoked 1-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA proposed to approve both requests on July 7, 2008. We received three comments on our proposed rulemaking, which are addressed below. DATES: This final rule is effective on January 29, 2009. ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID Nos. EPA–R05–OAR–2007–1004 and EPA–R05–OAR–2077–1133. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. We recommend that you telephone Gilberto Alvarez, Environmental Scientist, at (312) 886–6143 before visiting the Region 5 office. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gilberto Alvarez, Environmental Scientist, Criteria Pollutant Section, Air Programs Branch (AR–18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886–6143, alvarez.gilberto@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document whenever ‘‘we,’’ ‘‘us,’’ or ‘‘our’’ is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows: pwalker on PROD1PC71 with RULES AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Final rule. I. What Did EPA Propose? SUMMARY: EPA is approving a January 30, 2007, request from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) that EPA find that the Illinois portion of the Chicago-Gary-Lake County, Illinois-Indiana (IL-IN) nonattainment area, has attained the revoked 1-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). EPA is also approving an October 25, 2007, request from the Indiana Department of III. What Action Is EPA Taking? VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:13 Dec 29, 2008 Jkt 217001 II. What Comments Did We Receive on the Proposed Action? IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What Did EPA Propose? On January 30, 2007, IEPA requested that EPA find that the Illinois portion of the Chicago-Gary-Lake County, IL-IN nonattainment area, had attained the revoked 1-hour ozone NAAQS. On October 25, 2007, IDEM requested that EPA find that the Indiana portion of PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Chicago-Gary-Lake County, IL-IN nonattainment area, had attained the revoked 1-hour ozone NAAQS. On July 7, 2008, EPA proposed to approve the requests (73 FR 38353). II. What Comments Did We Receive on the Proposed Action? EPA received three comment letters in response to the proposed rulemaking. Comment: The Indiana Steel Environmental Group submitted comments in support of our proposed action. It also stated its understanding that this action means that Lake and Porter Counties will not be subject to the requirement to implement contingency measures for failure to attain the ambient standard. Response: EPA agrees with the commenter. A finding of attainment eliminates the requirement for a maintenance plan and contingency measures under Sections 107(d)(3) and 175A(d) of the Clean Air Act. Such measures would be required, however, in order for the area to be redesignated to attainment. Comment: While IDEM was generally supportive of the proposal, it expressed disappointment that EPA did not address certain New Source Review issues in our action. Response: EPA intends to address these issues in a separate Agency rulemaking which is currently under development. Comment: Dominion Resources Services, Inc. requested that EPA reiterate that these attainment areas are not subject to fees under Section 185 of the Act, and would not be subject to such fees even if the areas were to lapse into nonattainment. Response: EPA confirms that this action relieves Illinois and Indiana from having to develop a Section 185 rule for the subject areas, although the States are free to do so if they choose. III. What Action Is EPA Taking? EPA is approving a January 30, 2007, request from IEPA that EPA find that the Illinois portion of the Chicago-GaryLake County, IL-IN nonattainment area, attained the revoked 1-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA is also approving an October 25, 2007, request from IDEM that EPA find that Indiana portion of the Chicago-Gary-Lake County, IL-IN nonattainment area, attained the revoked 1-hour ozone NAAQS. IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 250 (Tuesday, December 30, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 79645-79652]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-31033]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 21

RIN 2900-AM67


Increase in Rates Payable Under the Survivors' and Dependents' 
Educational Assistance Program and Other Miscellaneous Issues

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document amends Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 
regulations to reflect increases effective for fiscal years 2005, 2006, 
2007, 2008, and 2009, respectively, in the monthly rates payable under 
the Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) program in 
accordance with statutory requirements and previously established 
formulas; a change in the formula used to calculate entitlement charges 
for individuals pursuing apprenticeship or other on-job training in 
accordance with the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004; and 
nonsubstantive changes for the purpose of clarity and to reflect agency 
organization.

DATES: Effective Date: This final rule is effective December 30, 2008.
    Applicability Dates: For information concerning the dates of 
applicability for certain provisions, see the Supplementary Information 
section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brandye R. Terrell, Regulation 
Development Team Leader (225C), Education Service, Veterans Benefits 
Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave., NW., 
Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-9822.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Increase in Monthly Rates Payable Under the Survivors' and 
Dependents' Educational Assistance Program

    Under the formula mandated by 38 U.S.C. 3564, the monthly rates of 
basic educational assistance payable under the Survivors' and 
Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) program must be increased by 
the percentage by which the total monthly Consumer Price Index-W for 
the 12-month period ending on June 30 preceding the fiscal year (FY) 
during which the increase is applicable exceeds the Consumer Price 
Index-W for the 12-month period ending on June 30 preceding the 
previous FY. Using this formula, VA calculated a 2 percent increase for 
FY 2005, a 3 percent increase for FY 2006, a 4 percent increase for FY 
2007, a 2.5 percent increase for FY 2008, and a 3.9 percent increase 
for FY 2009.
    Public Law 91-219 authorized monthly educational assistance 
payments for eligible persons pursuing training at less than half time. 
Since the effective date of that public law, February 1, 1970, students 
pursuing a program of education at less than one-half time but more 
than one-quarter time have had their payments limited to the prorated 
amount of tuition and fees not to exceed the half-time rate. Similarly, 
students pursuing a program of education at one-quarter time or less 
have had their payments limited to the prorated amount of tuition and 
fees not to exceed 25 percent of the full-time institutional rate. The 
monthly rates of basic educational assistance for students pursuing a 
program of education at less than half time are increased in accordance 
with the provisions of this paragraph, and this document makes changes 
in the regulations accordingly.
    The entitlement charge for correspondence courses is based on the 
monthly rates of basic educational assistance. Hence, the amount used 
to determine entitlement charge for correspondence courses is increased 
by 2 percent for FY 2005, 3 percent for FY 2006, 4 percent for FY 2007, 
2.5 percent for FY 2008, and 3.9 percent for FY 2009, consistent with 
the adjustments in the monthly rates of basic educational assistance 
discussed above.
    The increases in the DEA rates are applied in accordance with the 
applicable statutory provisions discussed above. Thus, VA began paying 
the increases for FY 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 effective for training 
pursued on or after October 1, 2004, October 1, 2005, October 1, 2006, 
and

[[Page 79646]]

October 1, 2007, respectively. VA will pay the FY 2009 increase 
effective for training pursued on or after October 1, 2008.

II. Modification of the Formula Used To Calculate Entitlement Charge 
for Eligible Persons Pursuing Apprenticeship or Other On-Job Training

    The Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-454) 
modified the formula used to calculate entitlement charges for certain 
apprenticeship and other on-job trainees. Prior to October 1, 2005, 
eligible persons with 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 entitlement were charged a 
month of entitlement for each month they received educational 
assistance. The entitlement charge was based on the length of training 
rather than the amount received for training. Public Law 108-454 
mandates that 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 entitlement charged for training 
pursued on or after October 1, 2005, be reduced proportionately by the 
percentage rate (rounded to the nearest percentage) determined by 
dividing the amount of the training assistance paid for the month by 
the monthly educational assistance payable for full-time enrollment in 
an educational institution. This document amends VA regulations 
concerning 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 entitlement accordingly, and makes 
nonsubstantive changes in those entitlement provisions intended to 
clarify that entitlement charges are charges for record purposes and 
not monetary charges.

III. Other Nonsubstantive Changes

    This document also makes other nonsubstantive changes in the DEA 
regulations for the purpose of clarity. These include clarifying 
changes to specify the ending dates for certain 2004 provisions in 
Sec. Sec.  21.3045, 21.3046, 21.3131, 21.3300, and 21.3333.
    In addition, we are making a nonsubstantive change to reflect 
current agency organization. Due to a publishing error, instructions 
that VA published in the Federal Register in a final rule entitled 
``Veterans Benefits Administration Nomenclature Changes'' (66 FR 44052-
44053, Aug. 22, 2001) were not fully implemented in the Code of Federal 
Regulations. This document repeats an instruction that had been in that 
final rule.

IV. Applicability Dates To Conform to Statutory Requirements

    The changes in the DEA rates for fiscal years 2005, 2006, 2007, and 
2008, are applied retroactively for training pursued on or after 
October 1, 2004, October 1, 2005, October 1, 2006, and October 1, 2007, 
respectively, to conform to statutory requirements. The changes in the 
DEA rates for fiscal year 2009 are being applied effective October 1, 
2008, for training pursued on or after that date, to conform to 
statutory requirements. The change in the formula used to calculate 
entitlement charges is applied retroactively to training pursued on or 
after October 1, 2005, to conform to statutory requirements.

Administrative Procedure Act

    The changes made by this final rule merely reflect statutory 
requirements and adjustments made based on previously established 
formulas, or are interpretive rules or nonsubstantive changes. These 
changes are exempt from the notice-and-comment and delayed-effective-
date requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553(b) and (d).

Executive Order 12866

    Executive Order 12866 directs agencies to assess all costs and 
benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is 
necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits 
(including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, 
and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). The Executive 
Order classifies a regulatory action as a ``significant regulatory 
action,'' requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
unless OMB waives such review, if it is a regulatory action that is 
likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the 
economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way 
the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, 
the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal 
governments or communities; (2) create a serious inconsistency or 
otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; 
(3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user 
fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
the Executive Order.
    The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy 
implications of this final rule have been examined and it has been 
determined that it is not a significant regulatory action under the 
Executive Order.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This document contains no provisions constituting a collection of 
information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-
3521).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The initial and final regulatory flexibility analyses requirements 
of sections 603 and 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 
601-612, are not applicable to this rule, because a notice of proposed 
rulemaking is not required for this rule. Even so, the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities 
as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This final rule 
directly affects only individuals and does not directly affect small 
entities. Therefore, this final rule is also exempt pursuant to 5 
U.S.C. 605(b) from the initial and final regulatory flexibility 
analyses requirements of sections 603 and 604.

Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 
1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and 
benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for 
inflation) in any year. This final rule would have no such effect on 
State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The program that this rule affects has the following Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance number and title: 64.117, Survivors and 
Dependents Educational Assistance.

List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 21

    Administrative practice and procedure, Armed forces, Civil rights, 
Claims, Colleges and universities, Conflict of interests, Education, 
Employment, Grant programs--education, Grant programs--veterans, Health 
care, Loan programs--education, Loan programs--veterans, Manpower 
training programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Schools, 
Travel and transportation expenses, Veterans, Vocational education, 
Vocational Rehabilitation.


    Approved: December 22, 2008.
Gordon H. Mansfield,
Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

0
For the reasons stated above, the Department of Veterans Affairs amends

[[Page 79647]]

38 CFR chapter I and 38 CFR part 21 (subpart C) as follows:

Chapter I--Department of Veterans Affairs

0
1. In chapter I, revise all references to ``VR&C'' to read ``VR&E''.

PART 21--VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION

Subpart C--Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Under 
38 U.S.C. Chapter 35

0
2. The authority citation for part 21, subpart C, continues to read as 
follows:


    Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a), 512, 3500-3566, and as noted in 
specific sections.

0
3. Amend Sec.  21.3045 by:
0
a. In the first sentence of the introductory text, adding ``record-
purpose'' before ``charges'' and ``38 U.S.C. chapter 35'' before 
``entitlement''.
0
b. In paragraph (c) introductory text, removing ``entitlement--'' and 
adding, in its place, ``entitlement of--''.
0
c. Revising paragraphs (g) and (h).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  21.3045  Entitlement charges.

* * * * *
    (g) Entitlement charge for apprenticeship or other on-job training. 
For each month that an eligible person is paid a monthly educational 
assistance allowance while undergoing apprenticeship or other on-job 
training, including months in which the eligible person fails to 
complete 120 hours of training, VA will make a record-purpose charge 
against 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 entitlement, if any, as follows:
    (1) For training pursued before October 1, 2005, VA will reduce 
chapter 35 entitlement by one month for each month of benefits paid.
    (2) For training pursued on or after October 1, 2005, VA will 
reduce chapter 35 entitlement proportionately based on the percentage 
rate (rounded to the nearest percentage) determined by dividing the 
amount of the training assistance paid for the month by the monthly 
educational assistance payable for full-time enrollment in an 
educational institution.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3534, 3687; sec. 102, Pub L. 108-454, 118 
Stat. 3600)

    (h) Entitlement charge for correspondence courses. The charge 
against entitlement of a spouse or surviving spouse for pursuit of a 
course exclusively by correspondence will be 1 month for each of the 
following amounts paid as an educational assistance allowance:
    (1) $788.00, paid after June 30, 2004, and before October 1, 2004;
    (2) $803.00, paid after September 30, 2004, and before October 1, 
2005;
    (3) $827.00, paid after September 30, 2005, and before October 1, 
2006;
    (4) $860.00, paid after September 30, 2006, and before October 1, 
2007;
    (5) $881.00, paid after September 30, 2007, and before October 1, 
2008; and
    (6) $915.00, paid after September 30 2008.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3534(b), 3564, 3686(a))
* * * * *
0
4. Amend Sec.  21.3046 by revising paragraph (d)(4)(ii) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  21.3046  Periods of eligibility; spouses and surviving spouses.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (4) * * *
    (ii) The total additional amount of instruction that--
    (A) $2,206 provides during the period July 1, 2004, through 
September 30, 2004;
    (B) $2,248 provides during the period October 1, 2004, through 
September 30, 2005;
    (C) $2,316 provides during the period October 1, 2005, through 
September 30, 2006;
    (D) $2,408 provides during the period October 1, 2006, through 
September 30, 2007;
    (E) $2,467 provides during the period October 1, 2007, through 
September 30, 2008; or
    (F) $2,562 provides after September 30, 2008.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3511(b))
* * * * *
0
5. Amend Sec.  21.3131 by:
0
a. Revising paragraph (a).
0
b. Removing paragraphs (b) and (c).
0
c. Redesignating paragraphs (d), (e), and (f), as new paragraphs (b), 
(c), and (d), respectively.
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  21.3131  Rates--educational assistance allowance--38 U.S.C. 
chapter 35.

    (a) Rates. Except as provided in Sec.  21.3132, educational 
assistance allowance under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 is payable at the 
following monthly rates--
    (1) For training pursued after June 30, 2004, and before October 1, 
2004:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Type of course                        Monthly rate
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Institutional:
    Full time..........................  $788.00
    \3/4\ time.........................  592.00
    \1/2\ time.........................  394.00
    Less than \1/2\ but more than \1/4\  394.00
     time \1\.
    \1/4\ time or less \1\.............  197.00
Cooperative training (other than farm    788.00
 cooperative) (full time only).
Apprenticeship or on-job (full time
 only): \2\
    First six months...................  574.00
    Second six months..................  429.00
    Third six months...................  285.00
    Fourth six months and thereafter...  144.00
Farm cooperative:
    Full time..........................  636.00
    \3/4\ time.........................  477.00
    \1/2\ time.........................  319.00
Correspondence.........................  55 percent of the established
                                          charge for the number of
                                          lessons completed by the
                                          eligible spouse or surviving
                                          spouse and serviced by the
                                          school--Allowance paid
                                          quarterly.\3\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ If an eligible person under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 pursuing
  independent study on a less than one-half-time basis completes his or
  her program before the designated completion time, his or her award
  will be recomputed to permit payment of tuition and fees not to exceed
  $394.00 or $197.00, as appropriate, per month, if the maximum
  allowance is not initially authorized.
\2\ See footnote 5 of Sec.   21.4270(c) for measurement of full time and
  Sec.   21.3132(c) for proportionate reduction in award for completion
  of less than 120 hours per month.

[[Page 79648]]

 
\3\ Established charge means the charge for the course or courses
  determined on the basis of the lowest extended time payment plan
  offered by the institution and approved by the appropriate State
  approving agency or the actual cost to the eligible spouse or
  surviving spouse, whichever is less. VA considers the continuity of an
  enrollment broken when there are more than 6 months between the
  servicing of the lessons.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3532(a), 3542(a), 3687(b)(2), (d))

    (2) For training pursued after September 30, 2004, and before 
October 1, 2005:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Type of course                        Monthly rate
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Institutional:
    Full time..........................  $803.00
    \3/4\ time.........................  603.00
    \1/2\ time.........................  401.00
    Less than \1/2\ but more than \1/4\  401.00
     time \1\.
    \1/4\ time or less \1\.............  200.75
Cooperative training (other than farm    803.00
 cooperative) (full time only).
Apprenticeship or on-job (full time
 only): \2\
    First six months...................  585.00
    Second six months..................  438.00
    Third six months...................  291.00
    Fourth six months and thereafter...  147.00
Farm cooperative:
    Full time..........................  648.00
    \3/4\ time.........................  486.00
    \1/2\ time.........................  325.00
Correspondence.........................  55 percent of the established
                                          charge for the number of
                                          lessons completed by the
                                          eligible spouse or surviving
                                          spouse and serviced by the
                                          school--Allowance paid
                                          quarterly.\3\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ If an eligible person under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 pursuing
  independent study on a less than one-half-time basis completes his or
  her program before the designated completion time, his or her award
  will be recomputed to permit payment of tuition and fees not to exceed
  $401.00 or $200.75, as appropriate, per month, if the maximum
  allowance is not initially authorized.
\2\ See footnote 5 of Sec.   21.4270(c) for measurement of full time and
  Sec.   21.3132(c) for proportionate reduction in award for completion
  of less than 120 hours per month.
\3\ Established charge means the charge for the course or courses
  determined on the basis of the lowest extended time payment plan
  offered by the institution and approved by the appropriate State
  approving agency or the actual cost to the eligible spouse or
  surviving spouse, whichever is less. VA considers the continuity of an
  enrollment broken when there are more than 6 months between the
  servicing of the lessons.


(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3532(a), 3542(a), 3687(b)(2), (d))

    (3) For training pursued after September 30, 2005, and before 
October 1, 2006:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Type of course                        Monthly rate
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Institutional:
    Full time..........................  $827.00
    \3/4\ time.........................  621.00
    \1/2\ time.........................  413.00
    Less than \1/2\ but more than \1/4\  413.00
     time \1\.
    \1/4\ time or less \1\.............  206.75
Cooperative training (other than farm    827.00
 cooperative) (full time only).
Apprenticeship or on-job (full time
 only): \2\
    First six months...................  650.00
    Second six months..................  507.00
    Third six months...................  366.00
    Fourth six months and thereafter...  151.00
Farm cooperative:
    Full time..........................  667.00
    \3/4\ time.........................  500.00
    \1/2\ time.........................  334.00
Correspondence.........................  55 percent of the established
                                          charge for the number of
                                          lessons completed by the
                                          eligible spouse or surviving
                                          spouse and serviced by the
                                          school--Allowance paid
                                          quarterly.\3\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ If an eligible person under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 pursuing
  independent study on a less than one-half-time basis completes his or
  her program before the designated completion time, his or her award
  will be recomputed to permit payment of tuition and fees not to exceed
  $413.00 or $206.75, as appropriate, per month, if the maximum
  allowance is not initially authorized.
\2\ See footnote 5 of Sec.   21.4270(c) for measurement of full time and
  Sec.   21.3132(c) for proportionate reduction in award for completion
  of less than 120 hours per month.
\3\ Established charge means the charge for the course or courses
  determined on the basis of the lowest extended time payment plan
  offered by the institution and approved by the appropriate State
  approving agency or the actual cost to the eligible spouse or
  surviving spouse, whichever is less. VA considers the continuity of an
  enrollment broken when there are more than 6 months between the
  servicing of the lessons.



[[Page 79649]]

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3532(a), 3542(a), 3687(b)(2), (d))

    (4) For training pursued after September 30, 2006, and before 
October 1, 2007:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Type of course                        Monthly rate
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Institutional:
    Full time..........................  $860.00
    \3/4\ time.........................  645.00
    \1/2\ time.........................  429.00
    Less than \1/2\ but more than 1/4    429.00
     time \1\.
    \1/4\ time or less \1\.............  215.00
Cooperative training (other than farm    860.00
 cooperative) (full time only).
Apprenticeship or on-job (full time
 only): \2\
    First six months...................  676.00
    Second six months..................  527.00
    Third six months...................  380.00
    Fourth six months and thereafter...  157.00
Farm cooperative:
    Full time..........................  693.00
    \3/4\ time.........................  520.00
    \1/2\ time.........................  347.00
Correspondence.........................  55 percent of the established
                                          charge for the number of
                                          lessons completed by the
                                          eligible spouse or surviving
                                          spouse and serviced by the
                                          school--Allowance paid
                                          quarterly.\3\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ If an eligible person under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 pursuing
  independent study on a less than one-half-time basis completes his or
  her program before the designated completion time, his or her award
  will be recomputed to permit payment of tuition and fees not to exceed
  $429.00 or $215.00, as appropriate, per month, if the maximum
  allowance is not initially authorized.
\2\ See footnote 5 of Sec.   21.4270(c) for measurement of full time and
  Sec.   21.3132(c) for proportionate reduction in award for completion
  of less than 120 hours per month.
\3\ Established charge means the charge for the course or courses
  determined on the basis of the lowest extended time payment plan
  offered by the institution and approved by the appropriate State
  approving agency or the actual cost to the eligible spouse or
  surviving spouse, whichever is less. VA considers the continuity of an
  enrollment broken when there are more than 6 months between the
  servicing of the lessons.


(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3532(a), 3542(a), 3687(b)(2), (d))

    (5) For training pursued after September 30, 2007, and before 
January 1, 2008:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Type of course                        Monthly rate
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Institutional:
    Full time..........................  $881.00
    \3/4\ time.........................  661.00
    \1/2\ time.........................  439.00
    Less than \1/2\ but more than \1/4\  439.00
     time \1\.
    \1/4\ time or less \1\.............  220.25
Cooperative training (other than farm    881.00
 cooperative) (full time only).
Apprenticeship or on-job (full time
 only): \2\
    First six months...................  692.00
    Second six months..................  540.00
    Third six months...................  389.00
    Fourth six months and thereafter...  160.00
Farm cooperative:
    Full time..........................  710.00
    \3/4\ time.........................  533.00
    \1/2\ time.........................  355.00
Correspondence.........................  55 percent of the established
                                          charge for the number of
                                          lessons completed by the
                                          eligible spouse or surviving
                                          spouse and serviced by the
                                          school--Allowance paid
                                          quarterly.\3\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ If an eligible person under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 pursuing
  independent study on a less than one-half-time basis completes his or
  her program before the designated completion time, his or her award
  will be recomputed to permit payment of tuition and fees not to exceed
  $439.00 or $220.25, as appropriate, per month, if the maximum
  allowance is not initially authorized.
\2\ See footnote 5 of Sec.   21.4270(c) for measurement of full time and
  Sec.   21.3132(c) for proportionate reduction in award for completion
  of less than 120 hours per month.
\3\ Established charge means the charge for the course or courses
  determined on the basis of the lowest extended time payment plan
  offered by the institution and approved by the appropriate State
  approving agency or the actual cost to the eligible spouse or
  surviving spouse, whichever is less. VA considers the continuity of an
  enrollment broken when there are more than 6 months between the
  servicing of the lessons.


(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3532(a), 3542(a), 3687(b)(2), (d))

    (6) For training pursued after December 31, 2007, and before 
October 1, 2008:

[[Page 79650]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Type of course                        Monthly rate
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Institutional:
    Full time..........................  $881.00
    \3/4\ time.........................  661.00
    \1/2\ time.........................  439.00
    Less than \1/2\ but more than \1/4\  439.00
     time \1\.
    \1/4\ time or less \1\.............  220.25
Cooperative training (other than farm    881.00
 cooperative) (full time only).
Apprenticeship or on-job (full time      ...............................
 only): \2\
    First six months...................  641.00
    Second six months..................  480.00
    Third six months...................  317.00
    Fourth six months and thereafter...  160.00
Farm cooperative:
    Full time..........................  710.00
    \3/4\ time.........................  533.00
    \1/2\ time.........................  355.00
Correspondence.........................  55 percent of the established
                                          charge for the number of
                                          lessons completed by the
                                          eligible spouse or surviving
                                          spouse and serviced by the
                                          school--Allowance paid
                                          quarterly.\3\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ If an eligible person under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 pursuing
  independent study on a less than one-half-time basis completes his or
  her program before the designated completion time, his or her award
  will be recomputed to permit payment of tuition and fees not to exceed
  $439.00 or $220.25, as appropriate, per month, if the maximum
  allowance is not initially authorized.
\2\ See footnote 5 of Sec.   21.4270(c) for measurement of full time and
  Sec.   21.3132(c) for proportionate reduction in award for completion
  of less than 120 hours per month.
\3\ Established charge means the charge for the course or courses
  determined on the basis of the lowest extended time payment plan
  offered by the institution and approved by the appropriate State
  approving agency or the actual cost to the eligible spouse or
  surviving spouse, whichever is less. VA considers the continuity of an
  enrollment broken when there are more than 6 months between the
  servicing of the lessons.


(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3532(a), 3542(a), 3687(b)(2), (d))

    (7) For training pursued after September 30, 2008:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Type of course                        Monthly rate
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Institutional:
    Full time..........................  $915.00
    \3/4\ time.........................  686.00
    \1/2\ time.........................  456.00
    Less than \1/2\ but more than \1/4\  456.00
     time \1\.
    \1/4\ time or less \1\.............  227.75
Cooperative training (other than farm    915.00
 cooperative) (full time only).
Apprenticeship or on-job (full time
 only): \2\
    First six months...................  666.00
    Second six months..................  499.00
    Third six months...................  329.00
    Fourth six months and thereafter...  166.00
Farm cooperative:
    Full time..........................  737.00
    \3/4\ time.........................  553.00
    \1/2\ time.........................  368.00
Correspondence.........................  55 percent of the established
                                          charge for the number of
                                          lessons completed by the
                                          eligible spouse or surviving
                                          spouse and serviced by the
                                          school--Allowance paid
                                          quarterly.\3\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ If an eligible person under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 pursuing
  independent study on a less than one-half-time basis completes his or
  her program before the designated completion time, his or her award
  will be recomputed to permit payment of tuition and fees not to exceed
  $456.00 or $227.75, as appropriate, per month, if the maximum
  allowance is not initially authorized.
\2\ See footnote 5 of Sec.   21.4270(c) for measurement of full time and
  Sec.   21.3132(c) for proportionate reduction in award for completion
  of less than 120 hours per month.
\3\ Established charge means the charge for the course or courses
  determined on the basis of the lowest extended time payment plan
  offered by the institution and approved by the appropriate State
  approving agency or the actual cost to the eligible spouse or
  surviving spouse, whichever is less. VA considers the continuity of an
  enrollment broken when there are more than 6 months between the
  servicing of the lessons.


(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3532(a), 3542(a), 3687(b)(2), (d))

* * * * *
0
6. Amend Sec.  21.3300 by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:


Sec.  21.3300  Special restorative training.

* * * * *
    (d) Duration of special restorative training. VA may provide 
special restorative training in excess of 45 months where an additional 
period of time is needed to complete the training. Entitlement, 
including any authorized in excess of 45 months, may be expended 
through an accelerated program requiring a rate of payment for tuition 
and fees in excess of--
    (1) $247.00 a month for the period beginning July 1, 2004, and 
ending September 30, 2004;
    (2) $251.00 a month for the period beginning October 1, 2004, and 
ending September 30, 2005;

[[Page 79651]]

    (3) $258.00 a month for the period beginning October 1, 2005, and 
ending September 30, 2006;
    (4) $268.00 a month for the period beginning October 1, 2006, and 
ending September 30, 2007;
    (5) $274.00 a month for the period beginning October 1, 2007, and 
ending September 30, 2008; and
    (6) $284.00 a month for months after September 30, 2008.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3541(b), 3542)

* * * * *
0
7. Amend Sec.  21.3333 by:
0
a. Revising paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3), and adding paragraph 
(a)(4).
0
b. Revising paragraph (b)(1).
    The revisions and addition read as follows:


Sec.  21.3333  Rates.

    (a) * * *
    (1) For special restorative training pursued after June 30, 2004, 
and before October 1, 2004:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Course               Monthly rate     Accelerated charges
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Special restorative training...         $788.00  If costs for tuition
                                                  and fees average in
                                                  excess of $247.00 per
                                                  month, rate may be
                                                  increased by such
                                                  amount in excess of
                                                  $247.00.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3542)

    (2) For special restorative training pursued after September 30, 
2004, and before October 1, 2005:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Course               Monthly rate     Accelerated charges
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Special restorative training...         $803.00  If costs for tuition
                                                  and fees average in
                                                  excess of $251.00 per
                                                  month, rate may be
                                                  increased by such
                                                  amount in excess of
                                                  $251.00.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3542)

    (3) For special restorative training pursued after September 30, 
2005, and before October 1, 2006:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Course               Monthly rate     Accelerated charges
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Special restorative training...         $827.00  If costs for tuition
                                                  and fees average in
                                                  excess of $258.00 per
                                                  month, rate may be
                                                  increased by such
                                                  amount in excess of
                                                  $258.00.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3542)

    (4) For special restorative training pursued after September 30, 
2006, and before October 1, 2007:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Course               Monthly rate     Accelerated charges
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Special restorative training...         $860.00  If costs for tuition
                                                  and fees average in
                                                  excess of $268.00 per
                                                  month, rate may be
                                                  increased by such
                                                  amount in excess of
                                                  $268.00.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3542)

    (5) For special restorative training pursued after September 30, 
2007, and before October 1, 2008:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Course               Monthly rate     Accelerated charges
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Special restorative training...         $881.00  If costs for tuition
                                                  and fees average in
                                                  excess of $274.00 per
                                                  month, rate may be
                                                  increased by such
                                                  amount in excess of
                                                  $274.00.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3542)

    (6) For special restorative training pursued after September 30, 
2008:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Course               Monthly rate     Accelerated charges
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Special restorative training...         $915.00  If costs for tuition
                                                  and fees average in
                                                  excess of $284.00 per
                                                  month, rate may be
                                                  increased by such
                                                  amount in excess of
                                                  $284.00.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 79652]]

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3542)

    (b) Accelerated charges. (1) VA may pay the additional monthly rate 
if the eligible person, or his or her parent or guardian (see Sec.  
21.3021(d)) if the eligible person has a guardian or has not attained 
majority under laws applicable in his or her State of residence, 
concurs in having his or her period of entitlement reduced by 1 day for 
each--
    (i) $26.27 that the special training allowance exceeds the basic 
monthly rate of $803.00 for the period July 1, 2004, through September 
30, 2004;
    (ii) $26.77 that the special training allowance exceeds the basic 
monthly rate of $803.00 for the period October 1, 2004, through 
September 30, 2005;
    (iii) $27.57 that the special training allowance exceeds the basic 
monthly rate of $827.00 for the period October 1, 2005, through 
September 30, 2006;
    (iv) $28.67 that the special training allowance exceeds the basic 
monthly rate of $860.00 for the period October 1, 2006, through 
September 30, 2007;
    (v) $29.37 that the special restorative training allowance exceeds 
the basic monthly rate of $881.00 for the period October 1, 2007, 
through September 30, 2008; and
    (vi) $30.50 that the special restorative training allowance exceeds 
the basic monthly rate of $915.00 for months after September 30, 2008.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. E8-31033 Filed 12-29-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8320-01-P