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VA MONTHLY ASSISTANCE ALLOWANCE (VMAA) FOR VETERANS TRAINING IN PARALYMPICS PROGRAM Michael F. Welch Paralympic Program Specialist June 11, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "VA MONTHLY ASSISTANCE ALLOWANCE (VMAA) FOR VETERANS TRAINING IN PARALYMPICS PROGRAM Michael F. Welch Paralympic Program Specialist June 11, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 VA MONTHLY ASSISTANCE ALLOWANCE (VMAA) FOR VETERANS TRAINING IN PARALYMPICS PROGRAM Michael F. Welch Paralympic Program Specialist June 11, 2013

2 VMAA OVERVIEW 38 U.S.C.§322 and P.L , Sec. 703, created the VA Monthly Assistance Allowance (VMAA) for disabled Veterans training in Paralympics sports VA and the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) partner to manage VMAA and increase Paralympic sport opportunities for disabled Veterans VMAA is only authorized for Paralympic sports certified by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and with active programs in the United States VA, USOC, and the National Governing Bodies (NGB) and High Performance Multi-Sport Organizations (HPMO) that oversee U.S. Paralympic sports established improved Military Standards for VMAA in 2013 VA, USOC, NGBs, and HPMOs maintain ongoing initiatives to create opportunities and enhance training pipelines for disabled Veterans and disabled Servicemembers Although only disabled Veterans are eligible for VMAA; VA and USOC established procedures for certifying qualified disabled military athletes to receive VMAA upon transitioning to Veteran status Over 125 disabled Veterans qualified in Paralympic sports for the VMAA

3 Paralympic sports describe International Paralympic Committee-certified sports for competition by athletes with physical disabilities in classified categories in the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games Paralympic programs range from participatory to elite programming Summer Paralympics include 21 sports and about 500 events and Winter Paralympics include 6 sports and about 70 events If all Paralympic sport criteria are not met, it is considered an adaptive sport What is the significance of whether a sport is a Paralympic sport? By law, the VA Monthly Assistance Allowance (VMAA) is only authorized for disabled Veterans training in a Paralympic sport, not adaptive sports By law, the U.S. Paralympics Integrated Adaptive Sports Program (Paralympic Grant) focuses many activities on Paralympic sports due to the legislations verbiage targeting Paralympic sports, including Paralympic sport pipeline development and other activities applicable to VMAA PARALYMPIC SPORTS: WHAT ARE THEY?

4 Under the Paralympic grant program, the Paralympic and adaptive sports supported increased from 32 to 51 during the FY 2010 to FY 2012 grants Only the sports listed in black are IPC-certified Paralympic sports and may qualify for the VMAA EXPANSION OF VA AND USOC SPORT OPPORTUNITIES DOES NOT DIRECTLY TRANSLATE INTO MORE VMAA OPPORTUNITIES Air Pistol Fitness Shooting Air Rifle Goalball Sitting Volleyball Alpine Skiing Golf Snowboarding Aquatics Hiking Surfing Archery Ice/Sled Hockey Swimming Basketball Judo Table Tennis Biathlon Kayaking Tennis Boccia Nordic/Cross Country Skiing Track & Field Camping Paddle Boarding Transitions Camping Paratriathlon Water Skiing Canoeing/Vaa Powerlifting Weightlifting Climbing Power Soccer Wheelchair Basketball Curling Racquetball Wheelchair/Quad Rugby Cycling/Handcycling Rowing Wheelchair Racing Equestrian Running Wheelchair Softball Fencing Sailing Wheelchair Soccer Fishing SCUBA Wheelchair Tennis

5 PARALYMPIC SPORTS BY DISABILITY GROUP 38 U.S.C. §322 and P.L , Sec. 703, authorizes the VMAA Under current legislation, VMAA is only authorized for disabled Veterans training in IPC-certified Paralympic sports Disabled Veterans training in non-IPC- certified competitive sports are not authorized the VMAA regardless of their level of competition Disabled Veterans must be categorized as having the applicable disability for IPC- certified Paralympic sports Current IPC-certified Paralympic sports are provided in the accompanying table If the IPC certifies an adaptive sport as a Paralympic sport, it becomes eligible for VMAA activation; if the IPC decertifies a Paralympic sport, the VMAA is terminated If no active USOC program exists for a Paralympic sport, the infrastructure to certify the VMAA does not exist VA and USOC monitor IPC actions on Paralympic sport to ensure VMAA currency * Soccer exists for Blind/Visually Impaired athletes in international competition, but there is no active U.S. program. Paralympic Sport Amputee / Dwarfism / Other Blind / Visually Impaired Spinal Cord Injury / Paralyzed / Wheelchair User Traumatic Brain Injury / CP / Stroke Intellectual Impairment ArcheryX XX BasketballX X Boccia X Canoe / KayakX XX CyclingXXXX EquestrianXXXX FencingX XX Goalball X Judo X ParatriathlonXXXX PowerliftingX XX RowingXXXX Rugby X SailingXXXX ShootingX XX Soccer* X SwimmingXXXXX Table TennisX XXX TennisX X Track & FieldXXXXX VolleyballX Alpine SkiingXXXX BiathlonXXXX Cross Country SkiingXXXX CurlingX XX Sled HockeyX XX SnowboardX

6 US PARALYMPICS PUBLISHES USOC AND VA VETERAN MONTHLY ASSISTANCE ALLOWANCE PROGRAM (VMAA) STANDARDS The VMAA Standards establishes single document to provide VMAA qualifying standards for all Paralympic sports to disabled Veterans, disabled Servicemembers, VA officials, and all external Paralympic and adaptive sport personnel and therapists USOC is responsible for coordinating with VA and National Governing Bodies in Paralympic sports to develop Military, Elite, and National Team standards in Paralympic sports that meet the goals and objectives of the VMAA VMAA Standards are disseminated electronically and posted on accessible sites such as USOC and VA websites VMAA Standards are used in planning, execution and assessment of VMAA, as well as inclusion in Paralympic grant and other processes that involve development of Paralympic sport pipelines and other opportunities for disabled Veterans and disabled Servicemembers

7 US PARALYMPICS PUBLISHES USOC AND VA VETERAN MONTHLY ASSISTANCE ALLOWANCE PROGRAM (VMAA) STANDARDS The VMAA Standards provide athlete performance requirements to qualify for the VMAA and contact information for the Paralympic sport official overseeing VMAA VMAA standards vary in metrics and method of objectivity involved, such as: –Boccia which focuses on disabled Veterans placement relative to other athletes in selected events and/or ranking systems –Canoe/Kayak which focuses on disabled Veterans performance relative to a specific metric such as time, distance, or weight –Wheelchair Basketball which focuses on coaches evaluations of disabled Veterans at selected events and National Wheelchair Basketball Association officials selection of eligible athletes to the applicable athlete pool or team VMAA Standards must be developed in partnership involving the VA, USOC and applicable NGB/HPMO to ensure fairness and compliance with the VMAA programs legislation, goals and objectives VMAA Standards are reviewed periodically to ensure consistency with each Paralympic sports existing performance standards, such as the Paralympic Games Minimum Qualifying Standards (MQS)

8 NATIONAL GOVERNING BODIES & HIGH PERFORMANCE Multi-SPORT ORGANIZATIONS

9 ADAPTIVE SPORTS CLUB FINDER VA and USOC host the Adaptive Sports Club Finder (ASCF) and shared database on their websites for Paralympic and adaptive sport programs The VA ASCF is located at: USOC maintains database of verified entities offering Paralympic and adaptive sport opportunities applicable to disabled Veterans and disabled Servicemembers ASCF is designed to identify Paralympic and adaptive sport entities based on geographic or selected criteria, including Paralympic sports offered The ASCF and its database is designed to facilitate identifying Paralympic sport opportunities that can help determine feasibility of the VMAA for prospective disabled Veteran participants and facilitate developing training plans VA and USOC foster ongoing development of the ASCF database and capabilities to facilitate VMAA planning and implementation, as well as identifying Paralympic and adaptive sport opportunities for all disabled Veterans and disabled Servicemembers

10 38 U.S.C. CHAPTER 31 SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE RATES 38 U.S.C..§322 and P.L , Sec. 703, directs use of 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 VR&E allowance rates for the VMAA 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 VR&E rates usually change periodically at the beginning of the fiscal year VA maintains ongoing verification of current VR&E rates and when rates change, the new rates are updated into VA software to ensure accurate payment to VMAA recipients The VA and USOC disseminates VMAA rate information through documentation, websites, and other means

11 FY 2013 VR&E ALLOWANCE RATE TABLE

12 VA AND USOC MANAGEMENT OF VMAA Based on VA-USOC relationship, VA manages specific portions of VMAA and acts in partnership with USOC in execution of other VMAA components As a VA benefit program, VMAA is subject to federal and VA administrative, financial, and other applicable policies, regulations and directives VA enacts budget actions to enable VMAA staffing and allowances VA maintains VA-based VMAA webpage and works with USOC on synergies in VA and USOC webpages, such as posting of VMAA Standards and Club Finder for Veterans to help find Paralympic opportunities VA and USOC are responsible for analyzing all VMAA inputs to ensure only authorized payments are made; in the case of an incident where a VMAA discrepancy exists, VA will take action such as recoupment or waiver USOC conducts independent audits of subgrant recipients, to include VMAA programs as applicable; occasionally, VA participates in these audits VA and USOC grant-affiliated personnel participate in formal grant management training programs; subgrants usually include VMAA activities

13 VMAA obligation and funding is separate from the U.S. Paralympics Integrated Adaptive Sports Programs Paralympic grant; however, the Paralympic grant must incorporate VMAA support –The Paralympic grant includes funding for USOC staffing for VMAA management –The Paralympic grants Athlete Development subgrants focus on development of Paralympic sport pipelines for disabled Veterans and disabled Servicemember –USOC Training and Technical Assistance to VA entities, Paralympic Sport Clubs, Veterans Service Organizations, college and universities, and other organizations are tasked to include VA Paralympic and adaptive sport opportunities, including VMAA VA and USOC websites, social media, public affairs campaigns, and other programs incorporate VMAA as a component of Paralympic and adaptive sport opportunities for disabled Veterans and disabled Servicemembers VA and USOC implemented management, monitoring, internal control, and reporting systems for the Paralympic grant and VMAA programs 38 U.S.C § 322(d) authorizes VMAA within available appropriated funds; therefore, VMAA is constrained as one component of the $2 million authorized As a federal benefit, VMAA is registered in Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) system, must meets CDFA management and reporting requirements, and other reporting requirements such as USAspending.gov VA AND USOC MANAGEMENT OF VMAA (CONT.)

14 VMAA COORDINATION AND REPORTING VA and USOC monitor and report VMAA program status and metrics USOC reports through monthly VMAA inputs, Paralympic Quarterly Reports, Paralympic Annual Reports, and other monitoring actions VA reports VMAA activities and metrics through monthly VMAA inputs to ALAC, allowance payments under USAspending, Annual Paralympic Report to Congress, testimony to House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC) and Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (SVAC), and diverse VA inputs such as budget forecasts VA, USOC, and NGBs/HPMOs for Paralympic sports maintain ongoing dialogue to ensure accurate past, present and projected VMAA information Example: VMAA participant Figure used in Paralympic Report to Congress, briefing to Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and National Adaptive Sports Training Conference.

15 Each month the USOC contacts Veterans eligible for the VMAA and collects VMAA documentation, as applicable to the each Veterans situation USOC conducts an evaluation process to determine accuracy of each Veterans data, certifies eligible Veterans for the VMAA, compiles the data to report VMAA payment data to the VA, and submits inputs to VA Paralympic Program The primary USOC means of submission of VMAA data to the VA Paralympic Veterans Program Office (PVP) and includes: –Emerging Athlete Tracking Sheet: Records status of all non-National Team members eligible for VMAA –National Team Tracking Sheet: Records status of all National Team members eligible for VMAA –Paralympics Allowance Payment Sheet: Records all VMAA payments for month –VA Forms 0918a: Certifies participation of VMAA athlete –VA Forms 0918b: Certifies eligibility and VMAA payment rate –Standard Form 3881 Vendorizing Coversheet and Form: Enables VMAA recipient direct deposit –Optional USOC Documentation, such as Personal Monthly Performance Plan, VA Athlete Support Form PVP verifies each Veterans VMAA eligibility and submits qualified payment and change data to the VA Administrative Loan and Accountability Center (ALAC), VA ALAC verifies all VMAA submissions and approves VMAA payments to qualified Veteran athletes through direct deposit to their bank accounts MONTHLY VMAA PROCESSING

16 VMAA WEBPAGE VA maintains a VMAA webpage to provide a centralized information on VMAA for disabled Veterans and others seeking information on the VMAA program located as follows: aining_allowance.asp The VMAA webpage will provide a summary of information on Paralympic sports and requirements for disabled Veterans to qualify as training for a Paralympic sport The VMAA webpage is linked to other VA webpages related to VA Paralympic and adaptive sport programs to aid access and synergies between programs The VMAA webpage is updated to provide access to the current VMAA Paralympic sport Standards

17 VMAA DOCUMENTS AND FORMS The following document and forms are used in the VMAA program: USOC and VA Veteran Monthly Assistance Allowance Program (VMAA) Standards – Overall VMAA guidance and standards for each Paralympic sport VA Form 0918a, Certification of U.S. Paralympics Training Status – Certifies training, submitted monthly for emerging athletes and quarterly for National Team VA Form 0918b, Application for Monthly Assistance Allowance for Veterans in Connection with the U.S. Paralympics – Certifies VMAA qualification and status of dependents required to determine the VMAA rate Vendorizing Coversheet & ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form – Both required, legible with Benefit marked on Coversheet; only VMAA form related to Veteran recipient submitted to ALAC--required current to establish direct payment to Veteran Veterans Administration Athlete Support Form – Documents entry in VMAA with USOC U.S. Paralympics Emerging Sport Program: Personal Monthly Performance Plan – Provides information on training and competition in Paralympic sport; supports VMAA recipients compliance with training in a Paralympic sport

18 VA FORM 0918A – CERTIFICATION OF VMAA TRAINING VA Form 0918a is the form signed by the VMAA recipient and certifying USOC official that certifies the recipient has met VMAA requirements for payment during the period indicated on the form The VAF 0918a is required monthly for emerging athletes and quarterly for National Team members Section A provides personal data for identifying the VMAA recipient Section B provides the basic information on Paralympic sport and site of training Section C provides the period(s) of Paralympic training and the type of training. Daily training is the most common and should be documented carefully to ensure accurate payment. Sections D and E provide the USOC official and VMAA recipients signature and date of signature; respectively.

19 VA FORM 0918B – APPLICATION FOR VMAA VA Form 0918b is the application form that certifies the VMAA recipient has met VMAA payment requirements and provides dependent information to determine VMAA payment rate. VAF 0918b is required to begin VMAA payment A new VAF 0918b is submitted upon change of any key dependent information, and periodically as determined necessary to maintain VMAA database accuracy. Section A provides personal data to identify the VMAA recipient. Section B provides information on Paralympic sport, the Governing Body for that Paralympic sport, the site of training, and the USOC official certifying the VMAA recipients data. Section C provides the core information on dependent status both for spouse(s) and for children. The spouse information is contained in Blocks 8A-8F, 9. Ex-spouses have no direct effect on VMAA payment rate. The current spouse counts as one dependent and there is no VMAA consideration of spouses employment status. On reverse side of VAF 0918b, Blocks 10-13C contain information on dependency status of children.

20 SF 3881 VENDORIZING COVERSHEET AND FORM VMAA applicants must submit a Standard Form 3881 Vendorizing Coversheet and Form in order for the VA Administration and Loan Accounting Center (ALAC), Austin TX, to establish direct deposit of all VMAA payments VMAA is a VA benefit and the Benefit block must be marked on the Vendorizing Coversheet. All information must be complete and clearly legible on the Vendorizing Form. The most common error is account and other data in the Financial Institution Information section is not absolutely legible. Once a VMAA recipients account is active for payment, there is no requirement to submit additional Vendorizing Forms. However, if a VMAA recipient changes banking accounts, a new complete Vendorizing Form must be submitted. A copy of the SF 3881 Vendorizing Coversheet and Form follows on the next slide.

21 OFFICE OF NATIONAL VETERANS SPORTS PROGRAMS AND SPECIAL EVENTS Provides information and resources to Veterans, their support network and those in the adaptive sports community Promote adaptive sports nationally: For VMAA Information: VA Paralympic Veterans Program: Mr. Michael F. Welch USOC National Teams & Emerging Sports Programs: Ms. Kallece Quinn

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