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Jerome I. Marshall, Chief Education Liaison Officer Atlanta Regional Processing Office SCAVA FALL 2014 CONFERENCE November 20, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Jerome I. Marshall, Chief Education Liaison Officer Atlanta Regional Processing Office SCAVA FALL 2014 CONFERENCE November 20, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Jerome I. Marshall, Chief Education Liaison Officer Atlanta Regional Processing Office SCAVA FALL 2014 CONFERENCE November 20, 2014

2 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 2014 CLAIMS PROCESSING HIGHLIGHTS 4,375,814 Claims Processed in FY % fewer claims than FY ,421 Original Claims - 28% fewer claims than FY 13 3,971,393 Supplemental Claims - 1% more than FY % Payment Processing Accuracy for FY 14 27% reduction in pending claims volume in FY 14 Claims Processing Timeliness Goals - Average Days to Complete – Original Claims – 36 % Improvement ̶ 16.7 FY 14 ̶ 26.2 FY 13 – Supplemental Claims – 39% Improvement ̶ 5.9 FY 14 ̶ 9.7 FY 13

3 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION EDUCATION SERVICE REALIGNMENT VBA Education Service realigned on October 1, 2013 The work of compliance and liaison activity was centralized to VACO effective June 1, 2014: –Included redistribution of the states among the 4 CELOs –Resolved inequities in workload distribution for compliance surveys –Allows a national perspective for compliance and liaison workload –Provide consistency for approval and compliance survey guidance at all schools, but especially schools with multi- state branches –This internal realignment activity is seamless to our beneficiaries

4 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION EDUCATION SERVICE REALIGNMENT

5 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION OUTCOME MEASURES – GRADUATION RATES R equired by Executive Order (Principles of Excellence). Designed to assist veterans make informed decision about using their benefits Two distinct websites o National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College NavigatorCollege Navigator o VA Comparison Tool Veteran-specific menu will be added to both Source of data o voluntarily-reported information from schools  VA-ONCE  LTS (CH33)  Based on reports received from Fall 2009 – December 2014 o No statutory authority to require schools to report graduation and program completion information o VA is requesting schools to voluntarily report outcome measures within the VA-ONCE system.

6 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION January 2015 release date o Schools will be afforded opportunity to review information before release o If missing graduation data missing, schools may submit corrected reports ( b - Change in Student Status)  Should report only for individuals who were using benefits during the actual graduation/completion term.  May report back to 2009 OUTCOME MEASURES – GRADUATION RATES

7 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION VETERANS ACCESS, CHOICE, AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2014 AKA Choice Act 1.Section 701 – Fry Scholarship Expansion 2.Section702 – In-Resident Tuition & Fees SECTION 701 Expands the Fry Scholarship to include the surviving spouses of Servicemembers who died in the line of duty after September 10, Prior to this expansion, only children of those who died in the line of duty were eligible for this benefit. “We can never fully repay the debt we owe to these families who have lost a loved one. It is a privilege to provide educational benefits that will make a positive difference in their lives.” VA Secretary Robert McDonald

8 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION SECTION 701 Eligible spouses entitled to up to 36 months of the full, 100% level, of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, including: o tuition and fees payment, o monthly housing allowance, o books and supplies stipend. Yellow Ribbon Program is NOT payable under the FRY Scholarship. Effective date – January 1, o Not retroactive o For training beginning on or after January 1, o Enrollment periods that span January 1, 2015, will not be eligible Eligibility period – up to 15 years after the line of duty death to use these benefits.

9 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION Entitlement o Entitled to 36 months of the Fry Scholarship, regardless of how many months of DEA have been used. o Limited to maximum of 48 months combined with one or more other education benefits, except DEA o may be eligible for up to 81 months in combination with DEA Remarriage is a bar to eligibility. o Before January 1, ineligible o After January 1, eligibility expires on date of remarriage. 8 SECTION 701

10 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION Application – updated VA Form contains provisions for a spouse to apply to receive Section 701. o VA started accepting applications from surviving spouses for the Fry Scholarship on November 3, Election required o By law, every individual who is eligible for both DEA and the Fry Scholarship must make an irrevocable election in writing for terms beginning on or after January 1, o Applicable even if spouse never previously received DEA benefits. 9 SECTION 701

11 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION o VA will identify surviving spouses eligible for both programs and send them a letter with comparative information on the benefits available and instructions on how make an election.  If DEA enrollment certification received for eligible spouse for terms beginning after December 31, 2014 – VA required request election before processing.  If old application form received - VA required request election before processing.  Development letter includes DEA/FRY Benefit Comparison enclosure Individuals should carefully consider eligibility & entitlement and own circumstances (marriage plans) before making a decision. 10 SECTION 701

12 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION SECTION 702 Instate Tuition & Fees (T&F) Effective July 15, 2014 Requires VA to disapprove programs of education under Post-9/11 (CH33) and MGIB (CH30) at public IHLs if in- state T&F are not offered to all covered individuals Covered individuals: o A veteran who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more. 11

13 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION SECTION 702 Covered individuals (cont’d): o A spouse or child using transferred benefits who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within 3 years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more. o A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the Servicemember’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more. 12

14 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION SECTION 702 Note: Individuals who initially meet the requirements above will maintain “covered individual” status as long as they remain continuously enrolled at the institution of higher learning, even if they are outside the 3-year window or enroll in multiple programs. All or Nothing…if in-state T&F not offered to all covered individuals, VA required to disapprove programs for everyone training under Post-9/11 & MGIB!!! 13

15 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION SECTION 702 Where are we at with implementation of this provision…? o Implementation and procedural details still under deliberation. o VA is making an effort to ensure states and key partners are aware of requirements o Recent letters to state Governors, SAA’s & educational institutions o Governor’s letter included questionnaire regarding compliance o To ensure compliance, States urged to consider offering in- state T&F to all individuals eligible for benefits under CH33 & CH30.  Simpler than trying to delineate complex eligibility rules covering veterans and eligible family members (TOE and Fry). o Further deliberation pending responses from Governor 14

16 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION SECTION 702 What happens if state law not compliant (or school policy, if authority at school level)…? o Possible disapproval of programs for CH33 & CH30. o Possible waiver if state actively pursuing compliance. Summary/Clarification: o Section 702 does not guarantee or require in-State tuition and fee charges to all Ch33 or Ch30 recipients o VA cannot compel a school to charge covered individuals the in-State rates o VA must disapprove the impacted programs if school does not charge in-State rates 15

17 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION Questions?


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