Department of Veterans Affairs: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program -- Changes to Subsistence Allowance
GAO-12-391R, Jan 26, 2012
GAO reviewed the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) new rule on changes to the subsistence allowance of the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program. GAO found that (1) the final rule adopts as final, without change, the interim final rule effective August 1, 2011, amending VA regulations that affect payment of vocational rehabilitation benefits for certain service-disabled veterans to reflect changes made by the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010. Under the final rule, a veteran, who is eligible for a subsistence allowance under chapter 31 of title 38 of the United States Code, and educational assistance under chapter 33 of title 38 of the United States Code, may participate in a rehabilitation program under chapter 31 and elect to receive a payment equal in amount to an applicable military housing allowance payable under title 37, United States Code, instead of the regular subsistence allowance under chapter 31. In addition, the final rule discontinues payments of subsistence allowances during periods between school terms and modifies payments made during periods of temporary school closings; and (2) VA complied with the applicable requirements in promulgating the rule.