Department of Veterans Affairs
Washington, D.C. 20420
M22-4, Part V
April 28, 2008
Part V, Chapter 30 Procedures, Veterans Benefits Administration Manual M22-4, Education Procedures, is changed as follows. Chapter 11, Accelerated Payment, is added. Substantive changes to existing policy are as follows.
Paragraph 11.07 clarifies the procedure for determining if a course is a high technology course.
Paragraph 11.08 continues the requirement that students certify their intention to seek employment in a high technology industry. The policy advisory dated December 17, 2003 is rescinded.
Paragraph 11.09 clarifies how accelerated payment is calculated. It clarifies what fees may be counted. It makes a distinction between established tuition and fees and actual tuition and fees. It clarifies the effect of reaching a delimiting date on the calculation of accelerated payment. The policy advisories dated February 3, 2006, November 22, 2005, May 16, 2003, and April 2, 2003.
Paragraph 11.13b clarifies that the dual objective rule applies if student is enrolled concurrently in separate programs. The policy advisory dated October 23, 2003 is rescinded.
Paragraph 11.13c confirms that RPOs should deny claims if the claimant's program is not high technology. The first paragraph of policy advisory dated June 13, 2003 is rescinded.
Paragraph 11.15 clarifies that the student's training time for the accelerated payment calculation is determined in the usual manner. The policy advisory dated June 24, 2003 is rescinded.
Paragraph 11.16 clarifies how the interval payment rules apply to accelerated payment. The policy advisory dated June 13, 2003 is rescinded.
Paragraph 11.20 updates the certification procedures for accelerated payments. The policy advisory dated May 15, 2003 is rescinded.
Paragraph 11.21a clarifies that there is no time limit for requesting an accelerated payment. The policy advisory dated January 27, 2003 is rescinded.
Paragraph 11.21c clarifies how to handle requests for accelerated payment for overlapping terms. The policy advisory dated December 13, 2002 is rescinded.
Paragraph 11.21d clarifies that an accelerated payment should not be authorized if the student has failed to make the necessary certification for a previous accelerated payment.
Paragraph 11.21e states that RPO data collection requirements will be provided separately from the manual.
Exhibit A, an information sheet for schools, is revised.
Exhibit B, the list of approved high technology programs based on the Department of Education's Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP), is revised with very minor changes. These changes are in brackets [ ].
RESCISSION: Circular 22-02-01, Appendix A
By Direction of the Under Secretary for Benefits
Keith M. Wilson
Director, Education Service
Distribution: Printed Distribution: NONE
(Electronic Distribution only)
SUBCHAPTER I — ACCELERATED PAYMENT PROVISIONS
11.02 Accelerated Payment Defined
11.03 Persons Eligible for Accelerated Payment
11.04 Period Covered by Accelerated Payment
11.05 Accelerated Payment Highlights
11.07 High Technology Programs
11.08 High Technology Industries
11.09 Calculating the Accelerated Payment
11.10 Calculating Entitlement Charges
SUBCHAPTER II — CLAIMS PROCESSING PROCEDURES
11.12 Initial Processing Issues
11.13 Steps to Determine if Accelerated Payment Should be Made
11.14 Award Procedures
11.15 Accelerated Payment Workbook
11.16 Interval Payment
11.17 Effect of Rate Change on Accelerated Payment
11.18 Changes in Training Time
11.20 Claimant's Certification of Receipt and Use of an Accelerated Payment
11.21 Miscellaneous Issues
A. Accelerated Payment Information for Schools
B. List of Approved High Technology Programs
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
This chapter covers the accelerated payment provision (38 U.S.C. 3014A) of chapter 30 of title 38, U.S. Code. Subchapter I describes the provisions of law for the general reader. Subchapter II addresses detailed claims processing procedures. Accelerated payment was added by section 104 of Public Law 107-103, the Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001.
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
An accelerated payment is a lump sum payment of a maximum of 60 percent of the established tuition and fees for an individual's enrollment for a term, quarter, or semester in an approved program of education leading to employment in a high technology industry. In the case of a program of education not offered on a term, quarter, or semester basis, the accelerated payment is a lump sum payment of a maximum of 60 percent of the established tuition and fees for the entire program (38 CFR 21.7020(b)(51)).
NOTE 1: There is no provision for paying less than 60 percent of tuition and fees based on a claimant's request. VA would only pay less than 60 percent if the claimant had insufficient remaining entitlement or reached his or her delimiting date during the enrollment period for which accelerated payment was requested.
NOTE 2: Accelerated payment is a completely separate benefit from lump sum payment (see pt. V, par. 1.25 for lump sum payment.)
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
All persons eligible for chapter 30 of title 38, U.S. Code (including veterans, servicepersons, and dependents under the transfer of entitlement provision) are eligible for accelerated payment.
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
a. Term Basis. VA will make accelerated payments for one term, quarter, or semester at a time if the student is enrolled in a program offered on a term, quarter, or semester basis.
b. Entire Program Basis. VA will make accelerated payments for an entire program if the program is not offered on a term, quarter, or semester basis.
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
a. Key Points about Accelerated Payment
(1) Payment Option. Accelerated payment is a payment option for certain programs of education.
(2) Course Approval. The courses in a program of education must be approved in the usual manner by the State approving agency (SAA) or, in limited instances, the VA. There are no special course approval rules for accelerated payment.
(3) Program of Education Required. The claimant must be enrolled in a program of education to receive accelerated payment (see M22-4, pt. III, par. 6.02).
(4) High Technology Program and High Technology Industry Requirements. The claimant must be enrolled in a high technology program (see par. 11.07) and must certify that he or she intends to seek employment in a high technology industry as defined by VA (see par. 11.08).
(5) Relationship to Accelerated Terms. Accelerated payment is not related to accelerated terms. Accelerated payment can be paid for any length of term -- standard length terms or non-standard length terms. Accelerated payment can be paid for enrollment that is not on a term basis at all.
(6) Claims Processing Rules. The claims processing rules that apply to other courses apply to accelerated payment courses. For example, existing rules governing prior credit, program of education, change of program, concurrent enrollment, incomplete grades, notice of reduction, and mitigating circumstances all apply to accelerated payment courses.
(7) ELR and SAA Requirements. Education Liaison Representatives (ELRs) and SAAs need not do anything special regarding accelerated payment except assist schools with the reporting requirements and provide outreach services to explain the program. See Exhibit A for a sample instruction to schools on how to certify accelerated payment requests. See the PCGL ED-14 attachment for a sample Q & A designed to explain accelerated payment to potential beneficiaries.
NOTE: ELRs should be aware that the law permits SAAs to approve courses at private business entities that offer high technology courses under certain conditions. These courses might be eligible for accelerated payment. See Circular 22-02-01, paragraph 11 for details.
b. Calculating Accelerated Payment. Accelerated payment is payable only if the student's actual tuition and fees exceeds 200 percent of the regular chapter 30 benefit that would be payable. If the 200 percent test is passed, the accelerated payment is 60 percent of the established charges. See paragraph 11.09 for details.
c. Time Limit for Making Accelerated Payments. The law requires that VA make accelerated payment no later than the last day of the month immediately following the month in which VA receives an enrollment certification for the term or other enrollment period involved.
NOTE 1: Regional Processing Offices ( RPOs) should try to meet this standard. The Education Service recognizes that sometimes delays are unavoidable.
NOTE 2: There is no time limit on making a request for accelerated payment itself. However, the time limits on claims apply. See paragraph 11.21a, Note.
d. Required Certifications
(1) The claimant must submit a request to receive each accelerated payment (see par. 11.12e(1)).
(2) After completing the enrollment period for the accelerated payment, the claimant must certify receiving the accelerated payment and state how that payment was used. The claimant has 60 days from the completion of the enrollment period in which to make this certification. Failure to complete this certification will result in an overpayment of the entire accelerated payment. See paragraph 11.20 for more details.
e. Overlapping Benefit Issues
(1) Top-up. A claimant can receive both Tuition Assistance Top-up and accelerated payment for different courses taken at the same time.
(2) Tuition Assistance. A claimant can receive both Tuition Assistance from the military and accelerated payment for different courses taken at the same time.
(3) Work-study. A claimant can receive work-study when receiving accelerated payment if training is at the 3/4 time or higher. (Work-study requires at least 3/4-time training.)
(4) Tutorial Assistance. A claimant can receive tutorial assistance when receiving accelerated payment.
(5) Accelerated Payment Courses Overlapping with Non-accelerated Payment Course. See paragraph 11.21b.
(6) Overlapping Accelerated Payment Courses. See paragraph. 11.21c.
(7) Accelerated Payment and Advance Payment. A person may not receive advance payment and accelerated payment for the same period of training regardless of whether different courses are involved.
f. Effective Date. The accelerated payment provision of law is effective October 1, 2002. Accelerated payment benefits can only be paid to individuals who are enrolled in a program of education with a term or other enrollment period that begins on or after October 1, 2002.
Go To Top
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
Go to Top
Date: April 28, 2008)
a. To receive accelerated payment, an individual must be enrolled in a program leading to a high technology occupation. See Exhibit B for a list of the programs that VA considers to be high technology.
b. The programs listed in Exhibit B are from the Department of Education's Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP). The most recent CIP (the 2002 edition) may be accessed at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2002/2002165_2.pdf. The programs listed in Exhibit B are consistent with the definition of "high technology occupation" given in 38 CFR 21.4200(cc). If there is a question about a particular program, it is appropriate to ask the school what CIP code is assigned to that program. VA should accept the school's classification of its programs. Contact Education Service (225A) if any issues cannot be resolved locally.
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
a. General. Individuals must certify that they intend to seek employment in a high technology industry. VA considers only the following industries to be high technology for accelerated payment purposes (38 CFR 21.4200(aa)):
NOTE: Failure to find employment in a high technology industry does not mean that the claimant has to refund the accelerated payment.
b. High Technology Programs vs. High Technology Industries. VA makes the distinction between high technology programs (see par. 11.07) and high technology industries. To qualify for accelerated payment, both elements have to be present. While a person may be pursuing a high technology program, the industry in which he or she wishes to be employed is not necessarily a high technology industry.
EXAMPLE: An individual is pursuing a mathematics degree and intends to work in publishing. This person is pursuing a high technology program. However, he does not plan to be employed in a high technology industry as that term is defined by regulation and therefore is not entitled to accelerated payment.
a. Established Tuition and Fees. "Established tuition and fees" are the charges for tuition and fees that similarly circumstanced non-veterans enrolled in the same program are required to pay. Established tuition and fees do not include courseware and materials, practice exams, certification exam fees, lodging, airfare, etc. (Note that certification and exam fees may be reimbursable through the licensing and certification benefit. See Circular 22-01-01, draft Appendix C.) In the accelerated payment calculation, the claimant is eligible for 60 percent of "established tuition and fees" even if this means he or she receives more than 60 percent reimbursement of "actual" tuition and fees.
b. Actual Tuition and Fees. Actual tuition and fees are what the student pays of the established tuition and fees. Actual tuition and fees may be lower than established tuition and fees if the student receives a discount. If there is no discount, then actual tuition and fees are the same as established tuition and fees. Accelerated payment is payable if actual tuition and fees are greater than 200 percent of the regular chapter 30 benefit payable.
c. Accelerated Payment amount. To arrive at the amount payable, take the following steps.
(1) Determine the actual tuition and fees (see subpar. b) for the term or other enrollment period and also determine the established tuition and fees (see subpar. a ) for that period.
(2) Determine the length of the enrollment period and the training time in the usual manner.
(3) Determine the basic chapter 30 monthly rate for the individual's training time during the enrollment. This basic rate would include chapter 30 kickers (but not chapter 1606 kickers), payment for dependents, and the additional amount based on the $600 additional contribution. (The phrase "chapter 30 kickers" includes chapter 32 kickers for individuals who previously qualified for chapter 32 but elected to convert to chapter 30 benefits.) For the effect of rate increases during the enrollment period, see paragraph 11.17.
(4) Divide the actual tuition and fees by the length of the course expressed in months and fractions of a month.
(5) If the result in step 4 exceeds 200 percent of the basic rate payable (from step 3), then the individual is eligible for accelerated payment (assuming the requirements of pars. 11.07 and 11.08 are met).
(6) The accelerated payment is 60 percent of the established tuition and fees, or a lesser amount if the individual has insufficient remaining entitlement or the individual's delimiting date occurs within the enrollment period (see subpars. e and f).
EXAMPLE 1: This example is limited to the issue of what costs are payable. A school offers an IT certification Boot Camp program without any discounts. The school's catalog says, "The total cost of the program billed to students is $6,995." The $6995 includes:
Fees Registration $100 Courseware and materials $500 Lab Fees $225 Practice Exams $150 Exam Fees $1000 Total Fees $1975 Tuition $4,020 Total Tuition & Fees $5995 Lodging & Airfare $1000 Total Cost of Program $6995
For accelerated payment purposes, the established tuition and fees (and the actual tuition and fees) would be $4,345. This is calculated by subtracting from the total cost of the program ($6,995) the lodging & airfare, the courseware and materials, practice exams and exam fees. The accelerated payment would be 60 percent of $4345 or $2,607. The student might be eligible for reimbursement of 100 percent of the $1,000 of certification tests as well under the licensing and certification benefit.
NOTE: For non-accelerated payment purposes, VA has not previously allowed institutions to include dormitory fees or the cost of travel to the college or books, courseware, practice exams, or certification exam fees as part of the fees for a course.
EXAMPLE 2: A veteran enrolls in a full-time high tech program. The actual tuition and fees and the established tuition and fees are both $15,000 and the length of the program is 4 months. The regular chapter 30 full-time rate is $900 per month. The monthly rate based on the tuition and fees is $3,750, which is more than 200 percent of $900. Therefore, the student qualifies for accelerated payment. In this case, the student will receive 60 percent of $15,000 for a payment of $9,000.
EXAMPLE 3: A veteran enrolls in a full-time high tech program. The actual tuition and fees and the established tuition and fees are both $10,000 and the length of the program is 10 months. The regular chapter 30 full-time rate is $900 per month. The monthly rate based on the tuition and fees is $1,000, which is less than 200 percent of $900. Therefore, the student does not qualify for accelerated payment.
EXAMPLE 4: Established tuition and fees for a high tech program are $12,000. The length of the enrollment period is 3 months at full-time training. Actual tuition and fees to be paid by the student after the discount is $7,200. The regular full-time training rate is $900. The monthly rate based on the actual tuition and fees is $2,400, which is more than 200 percent of $900. Therefore, the claimant is entitled to accelerated payment of $7,200 (60 percent of $12,000).
NOTE: The 60 percent calculation is based on the established tuition and fees, not the actual tuition and fees. In this particular case, the claimant would be entitled to 100 percent of actual tuition and fees.
EXAMPLE 5: Established tuition and fees for the high tech program are $12,000 and the length of the enrollment period is 4 months of full-time training. Actual tuition and fees paid by the student will be $7,200. The regular full-time training rate is $900. The monthly rate based on the actual tuition and fees is $1,800, which is not more than 200 percent of $900. (It is exactly 200 percent.) This student would not be eligible for accelerated payment because the fees do not pass the 200 percent test.
e. Extension of entitlement. There is no extension of entitlement allowed for accelerated payment. An accelerated payment is limited to the dollar value of the individual's remaining entitlement. For non-accelerated chapter 30 benefits, a claimant entering a term with limited entitlement would qualify for education benefits until the end of the term. If a student would be eligible for a greater benefit by not receiving accelerated payment, VA will ask the student to decide which benefit (accelerated or regular monthly) he or she prefers to receive. (See PCGL Letter DEV-23.)
f. Delimiting Date. If the delimiting date for the claimant expires during a period of accelerated payment, determine the accelerated payment for the period before the delimiting date. Calculate the payment by using a proportionate amount of the total charges.
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
a. Basic Principle. To charge entitlement for an accelerated payment, divide the amount of the accelerated payment by the individual's basic full-time rate for institutional training.
b. Full-time Rate Clarified. The basic full-time institutional rate includes the following:
(1) Chapter 30 kickers. (The phrase "chapter 30 kickers" includes the chapter 32 kickers for individuals that previously qualified for chapter 32 but elected to receive chapter 30 benefits.)
(2) Chapter 30 basic rate increased by additional contributions ($600 Buy-up), and
(3) Chapter 30 additional allowance for dependents if applicable.
NOTE: The basic full-time rate does not include chapter 1606 kickers.
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
a. TIMS Processing. RPOs should identify accelerated payment documents in The Imaging Management System (TIMS) by using ACCEL as the Document Type. RPOs should maintain a separate queue for accelerated payment and should establish a routing rule for ACCEL document types so that accelerated payment documents are automatically assigned to the accelerated payment queue.
b. End Products. RPOs will use BDN end products (EPs) 200 and 210 in the usual manner as for other chapter 30 claims.
c. Chapter 30 Eligibility. To receive accelerated payment, a claimant must have established eligibility to chapter 30. The claimant should file a VA Form 22-1990, Application for VA Education Benefits, either in hard copy or online via Veterans Online Application (VONAPP), if he or she has not done so.
d. Certificates of Eligibility (COE). Some claimants may submit VA Form 22-1990 requesting accelerated payments for specific programs before they enroll. RPOs should send these veterans a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) if they qualify for chapter 30 benefits. RPOs should use PCGL Letter AWD-1 with the ED-14 attachment (accelerated payment information).
e. Enrollment Certification Received with Accelerated Payment Request
(1) Claimants should request accelerated payment by signing and dating the accelerated payment request on VA Form 22-1999, Enrollment Certification, or providing the equivalent information to the school for electronic certifications. RPOs may not process accelerated payment requests without enrollment certifications. If a claimant submits a request without the required enrollment certification, claims examiners must develop with the school for an enrollment certification that includes tuition and fees and other necessary information. See Exhibit A for the instructions to schools on how to complete enrollment certifications when the claimant requests accelerated payment.
(2) Any words in Remarks on a VA Online Certification of Enrollment (VA-ONCE) submission should prevent the Electronic Certification Automated Program (ECAP) from automatically processing any enrollment certifications after an accelerated payment is issued. However, as a precaution, following an accelerated payment, claims examiners should update the message line in the chapter 30 BDN master record with "STOP" to ensure that ECAP will not automatically process any enrollments. Also, enter "ACCEL PAYMT MADE" in the message line and ensure that TIMS indicates that accelerated payments have been made.
(3) All enrollment certifications for accelerated payment must be confirmed, i.e., signed and dated by the school on or after the beginning date of the enrollment period certified (see 38 CFR 21.7151(c)(3)). Do not return enrollment certifications to the school if they are submitted early. Use a BDN or TIMS diary to ensure review of the case on the first day of the enrollment period. At that point, contact the school to confirm the individual is still enrolled.
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
a. Check if Courses are Approved. Courses for which accelerated payment is claimed must be approved by the SAA (or VA in limited instances) just as any other courses. Claims examiners will use the Web Enabled Approval Management System (WEAMS) to determine course approval as with any course.
NOTE: WEAMS does not indicate whether a particular course might be eligible for accelerated payment. That is a decision claims examiners will make.
b. Check if Courses are Part of Claimant's Program. Any course for which accelerated payment is requested must fit within the claimant's approved program. See M22-4, part III, chapter 6, regarding programs of education. If a person claims accelerated payment for a course outside his or her program of education, it is possible a program with dual objectives could be approved (see pt. III, par. 6.04d). State Approving Agencies (SAAs) must specifically approve any program that leads to dual objectives. They must determine if these objectives lead to the same career field.
EXAMPLE: A claimant might be receiving regular monthly benefits for a BS degree in information technology and also applying for accelerated payment for a vocational school information technology course that overlaps the degree course. The RPO could pay for the overlapping courses (see par. 11.21b) provided the SAA determined that the combined program met the single career field test.
c. Check if Program is High Technology. If the program is not shown on Exhibit B as high technology, deny the claim for accelerated payment using PCGL Letter DIS-20 and pay regular chapter 30 benefits using BDN.
d. Determine if Required Certifications Received
(1) Request for Accelerated Payment. Check if the VA Form 22-1999, Enrollment Certification, has the necessary request for accelerated payment. Note that this request includes the student's certification that he or she intends to seek employment in a high technology industry. If the student declines to make the certification as to employment in a high technology industry, develop for this certification. Use PCGL Letter DEV-28.
(2) Return of Required Verification of Completion Certificate for Previous Accelerated Payments. Check the claimant's TIMS record to verify that no outstanding Verification of Completion letters exists for previous accelerated payments.. (See par. 11.20 below for more details.) If there are outstanding Verification of Completion letters, do not authorize a new accelerated payment until the student returns the required Verification of Completion.
e. Review the Tuition and Fees. The school must report the claimant's tuition and fees in all cases where accelerated payment is requested. If the school has not provided tuition and fees, develop for this information. In some cases, the school may report two figures: the established tuition and fees and the actual tuition and fees. See paragraphs 11.09a and b for more information.
f. Use Excel Workbook to Make Calculations. Use the spreadsheets in the Excel workbook furnished separately and described below in paragraph.11.15 to make the necessary calculations for accelerated payment. The spreadsheets will calculate whether the tuition and fee level is high enough to qualify for accelerated payment (i.e., passes the 200 percent test). If the person qualifies for accelerated payment, the spreadsheet advises claims examiners of the entries needed in the Chapter 30 PC payment system including the award line entries, the necessary certification entries, and the entitlement charge. If there is insufficient entitlement, the spreadsheet calculates if regular chapter 30 benefits may be higher than the accelerated payment.
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
a. Payment like Flight Payment. The RPOs will use the Chapter 30 PC system to make accelerated payments. The Chapter 30 PC system is already programmed to pay 60 percent of the cost of flight courses. RPOs will use the flight features within the Chapter 30 PC system to make accelerated payments.
b. Additional Personal Computer Required. RPOs must dedicate a personal computer (PC) for processing accelerated payments. It is critical that only accelerated payment cases are processed on that PC. Do not stage this PC. It must be programmed with Windows 95. Windows 95 is the latest version of Windows that will accept the DOS programming required for the Chapter 30 PC program. Education Service will furnish necessary files to each RPO that must be installed before accelerated payment processing may begin.
c. BDN Master Record Requirement. Claims examiners must review a claimant's chapter 30 BDN master record when preparing to pay an accelerated payment. Claimants must have one of the following types of master record:
(1) Type "I" Master Record. A type "I" master record shows that the RPO has established eligibility for chapter 30 benefits and has issued a COE.
(2) Type "E" Master Record. A type "E" master record shows that the RPO has established eligibility for chapter 30 benefits, paid some chapter 30 benefit, and that the master record is currently inactive.
NOTE: RPOs cannot process a Chapter 30 PC award if a claimant has a running (type "A") master record. If BDN has a running award, it must be terminated (temporarily) so that the accelerated payment can be made. The temporary termination date can be the date of last payment. Once BDN indicates the accelerated payment has been issued (from the M22 screen), the RPO can reactivate the BDN award.
d. BDN Payment Data. The Chapter 30 PC system sends transactions to BDN and BDN then issues payment data to Treasury just like for any other BDN payment. BDN will not store accelerated payment award data. BDN receives and stores the fiscal transactions (06A) and CORR (Correction to entitlement) (02) transactions from the Chapter 30 PC system. Chapter 30 master records will display these transactions, as well as the payment history on the M22 (Transaction and Payment History) screen. Stations will also be able to see these payments using the TINQ (Treasury Inquiry) command (see pt. II, par. 8.12).
e. Chapter 30 PC Award Procedures. Follow Chapter 30 PC procedures for flight training awards to establish and update a record for an accelerated payment. If no BDN Master Record exists for the claimant, RPOs must establish a type "I" BDN master record.
(1) Complete the appropriate accelerated payment spreadsheet that has been provided. Instructions for completing the spreadsheets are in paragraph 11.15.
(2) Use the values computed and displayed in the Award Entries section of the spreadsheets to complete the Chapter 30 PC award.
(3) Enter the certification data computed and shown in the Cert Entries section of the spreadsheets.
(4) Capture the accelerated payment spreadsheet into TIMS.
(5) Generate and authorize the award using normal flight award procedures.
(6) Establish a TIMS suspense to control (see par. 11.20) for release of the Verification of Completion letter ( PCGL DEV-22) at the end of the accelerated payment term. Once the letter is released, establish a 60-day TIMS suspense control for receipt of this verification.
(7) Whenever an accelerated payment is to be done, make sure to remove any accounts receivable in the BDN record and enter it into the Chapter 30 PC to ensure proper debt collection. Likewise, if it is necessary to use BDN again, it is necessary to move the accounts receivable back to BDN.
f. TIMS Documentation. The Chapter 30 PC system printout should be scanned into TIMS as documentation of the accelerated payment.
g. Letters. Most letters regarding claims for accelerated payment are available through PCGL:
(1) Award Letter. Use PCGL Letter AWD-18 letter.
(2) Disallowance Letter. Use PCGL Letter DIS-20 letter.
(3) Completion of Accelerated Course Letter. Use PCGL Letter DEV-22 letter.
(4) Election of Accelerated Payment or Regular Monthly Payment. Use PCGL Letter DEV-23 letter.
(5) Election of Accelerated Payment or Regular Monthly Payment. Use PCGL Letter DEV-28 letter.
(6) Failure to Submit Completion of Accelerated Course Letter. Use PCGL Letter SR-6 letter.
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
a. Excel workbook. An Excel workbook "Accelerated Payments Excel 95 v1c.xls" was developed to help claims examiners determine eligibility and calculate payment information. The workbook has three spreadsheets to determine eligibility and generate information needed for award processing. These spreadsheets are described below. Use of this workbook is mandatory.
(1) Original/Reentrance Award spreadsheet. Use this spreadsheet when processing an original or reentrance award. Minimal entries are required to determine eligibility and generate information needed for award processing. The steps to complete this spreadsheet are as follows.
If the tuition and fees do not exceed 200 percent of the total basic educational assistance otherwise payable, the spreadsheet will display the message “Not Eligible for Accelerated Payment.” Pay regular chapter 30 benefits and send the claimant a disallowance letter (see PCGL DIS-20).
If the total charges exceed 200 percent of the total basic educational assistance otherwise payable, the spreadsheet will display one of these two messages:
(2) Amended Award with Mitigating Circumstances Spreadsheet. Use this spreadsheet when a claimant reduces his or her training time with acceptable mitigating circumstances. Minimal entries are required to determine if a claimant is still eligible for an accelerated payment and to generate information needed for award processing. The steps to complete this spreadsheet are as follows.
If the revised total charges do not exceed 200 percent of the total basic educational assistance otherwise payable, the spreadsheet will display the message “No” in the “Eligible” field. Pay regular chapter 30 benefits from the date of reduction and send the claimant an amended award letter.
If the revised total charges continue to exceed 200 percent of the total basic educational assistance otherwise payable, the spreadsheet will display the message “Yes” in the “Eligible” field.
The spreadsheet will display revised award and certification data that must be entered in the Chapter 30 PC to adjust the claimant’s award for both situations described above.
(3) Terminated Award with Mitigating Circumstances spreadsheet. Use this spreadsheet when a claimant terminates his or her enrollment with acceptable mitigating circumstances. Minimal entries are required to determine a claimant’s revised accelerated payment amount and generate information needed for award processing. The steps to complete this spreadsheet are as follows.
After completing all four steps correctly, the spreadsheet will advise the claims examiner of the revised award and certification data that must be entered in the Chapter 30 PC to adjust the claimant’s award.
(4) Reduction or Termination without Mitigating Circumstances. If a claimant reduces or terminates his or her enrollment without mitigating circumstances, take the following actions:
b. Chapter 30 PC entries. The spreadsheet will display all data that must be entered (or changed) for a PC award. See paragraph 11.14e for Chapter 30 PC procedures.
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
a. Interval Payment Rules. RPOs will not pay for intervals if the claimant receives an accelerated payment for the term, quarter, semester, or summer session immediately preceding the interval (38 CFR 21.4138(f)(1)(vii)). VA can make interval payment if the accelerated payment follows the regular payment period. In the latter situation, RPOs should pay eligible intervals at the regular monthly rate in effect for the term that precedes the interval.
EXAMPLE 1: A veteran attended an engineering program and received regular full‑time chapter 30 benefits from September 9, 2006, until December 18, 2006. He applies for and receives an accelerated payment for full-time training from January 6, 2007, until March 21, 2007. He qualifies for interval payment at the regular full-time rate from December 19, 2006 until January 5, 2007.
EXAMPLE 2: A veteran applies for and receives an accelerated payment for full‑time training from October 7, 2006 until January 25, 2007. He then enrolls in a non-accelerated program for full-time training from February 17, 2007, until April 25, 2007. He does not qualify for interval payment because the accelerated program precedes the non-accelerated enrollment.
EXAMPLE 3: A veteran applies for and receives an accelerated payment for three‑quarter time training from November 4, 2006, until March 28, 2007. The veteran then applies for and receives an accelerated payment for full time training for the next term from April 27, 2007, to July 15, 2007. The veteran does not qualify for interval payment since both training programs are accelerated programs.
c. Procedures for Making Interval Payments
(1) RPOs must use BDN to make interval payments in accelerated payment cases. The sequence of processing awards is critical if interval payment is an issue. Always process the interval payment award before processing a subsequent accelerated payment award if possible. This is so that the correct remaining entitlement can be entered on subsequent PC accelerated payment awards.
(2) If a person received regular payment for a term preceding an interval and is eligible for accelerated payment for the term following the interval, adjust the ending date of the regular BDN award. Process a verification of attendance for the period of the interval. Since the accelerated payment must have a confirmed enrollment, the interval period will always be in the past.
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
RPOs should make each accelerated payment based on the total chapter 30 benefits payable on the day the accelerated payment award is authorized.
a. Rate Change after Accelerated Payment Authorized. If a claims examiner has already processed an accelerated payment, do not adjust that accelerated payment if the veteran subsequently becomes eligible for a higher rate. For example, the veteran may qualify for a higher rate because of legislation, cost of living adjustment, a chapter 30 or chapter 1606 kicker, additional contributions, or additional dependents during the enrollment dates for the accelerated payment. However, the claims examiner must restore any entitlement the claimant is due because of the rate increase. Use the Excel workbook to generate the necessary entries for the Chapter 30 PC.
b. Rate Change before Accelerated Payment Authorized. If a claims examiner has not yet processed an accelerated payment and the claimant now qualifies to receive an increase in chapter 30 benefits during the period covered by the accelerated payment, determine the amount of any accelerated payment based on the actual total chapter 30 benefits that the veteran would receive for those enrollment dates. See subparagraph a for possible reasons for a rate increase.
EXAMPLE 1: A veteran submits an initial request for accelerated benefits on January 3, 2007. She is in a high cost, high technology program from January 3, 2007 to May 16, 2007. She only qualifies for the basic rate of chapter 30 benefits. She qualifies for accelerated payment for this term and the RPO makes an accelerated payment on January 22, 2007.
The veteran later establishes that she is eligible for a chapter 30 kicker. Even though this kicker would normally be paid for regular chapter 30 benefits, she has received the accelerated payment for all of her acceleration courses from January 3, 2007 through May 16, 2007. The RPO will not review the accelerated payment made on January 22, 2007 to see if the veteran is still eligible for it. However, the veteran's entitlement should be adjusted to reflect the higher monthly rate since the entitlement charge will now be lower than previously computed. The RPO would only use the revised amount of chapter 30 benefits to calculate accelerated payment for any courses taken after May 16, 2007.
EXAMPLE 2: Similar facts as in Example 1. A veteran submits an initial request for accelerated payment on March 1, 2007. She is in a high cost, high technology program from January 3, 2007, to May 16, 2007. She only qualifies for the basic rate of chapter 30 benefits. On January 6, 2007, the RPO received notice that chapter 30 rates are increased effective February 1, 2007. The RPO has not paid an accelerated payment before receiving the notice of increased benefits.
The RPO would make the accelerated payment determination based on the total amount of chapter 30 benefits that the veteran would actually receive for the program from January 2, 2007, until May 16, 2007. This determination would include the increased rate of chapter 30 benefits effective February 1, 2007.
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
a. General. Existing principles for handling withdrawals from training or changes in training apply to accelerated courses (38 CFR 21.7154(d)(3)). These principles include mitigating circumstances and the 6-credit hour exclusion as covered in part IV, paragraph 11.17.
b. Spreadsheet calculation of overpayments. The Excel workbook (par. 11.15) contains spreadsheets for assisting the claims examiner with making entries in the Chapter 30 PC system when an overpayment is to be established. Take the following actions if it is necessary to create an overpayment because of a withdrawal or termination:
(1) Access the appropriate spreadsheet to determine what the necessary entries are for the Chapter 30 PC system.
(2) Make the necessary entries in the Chapter 30 PC system. This will establish the overpayment in the PC.
(3) If the regular (non-accelerated) payments resume, remove the overpayment from the PC and enter it into BDN, following normal Chapter 30 PC procedures that would be used for flight training.
c. Manual Calculation of Debt - Terminations. Use the Excel workbook and the Chapter 30 PC to calculate the amount of overpayments. If it is necessary to manually calculate a debt, prorate the accelerated payment amount in proportion to the number of days from the beginning of the enrollment through the date of withdrawal. Use the following procedures.
(1) Determine the daily rate by dividing the accelerated payment amount by the number of days in the entire enrollment period.
(2) Determine the number of actual days from the beginning date of the term to the date of withdrawal.
(3) Multiply the daily rate by the number of days determined in step 2 above.
The result of this calculation will equal the amount the individual is due. The difference between the accelerated payment actually issued and the amount the individual is due will be established as an overpayment in the Chapter 30 PC system.
EXAMPLE: A veteran received a payment of $7,200 for pursuit of a high-tech program for training beginning September 6, 2006 and ending December 5, 2006. The veteran withdrew on October 5, 2006 with acceptable mitigating circumstances.
To determine the overpayment amount take the following steps.
- Determine the length of the term: 9-6-06 to 12-5-06 = 90 days
- Determine the daily rate for the length of the term: $7,200 ÷ 90 days = $80 daily rate
- Determine the number of days from the beginning date of the term to the date of withdrawal: 9-6-06 to 10-5-06 = 30 days
- Multiply the daily rate by the number of days determined in number 3 above: $80 x 30 = $2400
- Subtract the result derived in the last step above from the amount of the accelerated payment received by the veteran: $7,200 - $2400 = $4800. This is the amount of the overpayment.
d. Manual Calculation of Debt - Reductions. Use the Excel workbook and the Chapter 30 PC to calculate the amount of overpayments. If manual calculations are needed, use this instruction. If training time is reduced during an accelerated period, calculate the accelerated payment separately for the original tuition and fees and for the subsequent (adjusted) tuition and fees. Make both calculations over the entire enrollment period. If the individual is not entitled to accelerated payment after the recalculation of tuition and fees, then pay regular monthly benefits in BDN for the portion of the award for which he or she is not entitled to accelerated payment.
EXAMPLE 1 - Reduction (Accelerated Payment Continued): A person received an accelerated payment of $7200 for 9/15/06 through 12/28/06 based on original tuition and fees of $12,000.. The school reports the student dropped to ¾ on 10/27/02. Mitigating circumstances are accepted. The new tuition and fees are $8,000. Here are the steps to manually determine the overpayment:
EXAMPLE 2 - Reduction (Accelerated Payment Discontinued): Same scenario as above except tuition and fees after the drop = $4,000.
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
Existing procedures for collection of overpayments apply to debts created for accelerated courses.
(Change Date: April 28, 2008)
a. Certifications Required. Per 38 CFR 21.7154(d), individuals who receive an accelerated payment are required to provide certain certifications in writing within 60 days of the end of the enrollment period for which accelerated payment is made. The certifications are:
(1) That the courses for which the individual received an accelerated payment were completed, and if not why not, and the date of withdrawal.
(2) A report of any changes in credit or clock hours.
(3) A statement of how the accelerated payment was used.
NOTE 1: VA will collect general reasons on how claimants use accelerated payment. VA will use these reasons for statistical purposes only and will not penalize a veteran for submitting what appears to be a "poor" reason.
NOTE 2: An RPO may not make a new accelerated payment if it has not received all required certifications for previous accelerated payments.
b. Obtaining Certifications. Claims examiners will send a PCGL Letter DEV-22 to the claimant to obtain the required certifications. The letter should be released so the claimant receives it on or near the last day of the enrollment period for which the claimant received accelerated payment. Claims examiners should establish a TIMS control for the return of this verification by placing the claim token in Awaiting Mail for 60 days. The claimant has 60 days from the completion of the enrollment period in which to return this certification. No extension is permitted.
NOTE: Although, claims examiners may call the claimant concerning this verification, verification by phone will not be acceptable in lieu of a written response. VA needs the survey information from the claimant as well as his or her signature on file. A fax is acceptable.
c. Action if Verification not Received. If the claimant fails to return the verification, claims examiners should create an overpayment of the entire accelerated payment, including any interval payment if applicable. Claims examiners should use PCGL Letter SR-6 to advise the claimant of this decision. Claimants have one year from the date of the original letter to submit this verification. This one-year time limit can be extended for good cause.
Date: April 28, 2008)
a. Paying Accelerated Payment after Regular Chapter 30 Payment for Same Course. An RPO may overlook a request for accelerated payment or a claimant may request accelerated payment after receiving regular payment. In these situation, the RPO should go ahead and make the accelerated payment. Take the following actions:
(1) Create a debt in BDN for the amount of chapter 30 benefits paid using a regular award action. Then, use a fiscal transaction 08E to remove the debt from BDN.
(2) Enter the debt in the Chapter 30 PC system using a fiscal transaction 04E.
(3) Process the accelerated payment using the Chapter 30 PC system. Make sure that the collection code indicator in the Chapter 30 PC system is set to "3".
NOTE: There is no specific time limit on receipt of a request for accelerated payment. The time limits on claims for a program of education do apply (see pt. IV, par. 1.16A).
EXAMPLE 1: A veteran received regular chapter 30 benefits for a term in 2005 and now in 2008 wishes to have received accelerated payment for that term. VA can do this because there is no specific time limit on receipt of request for accelerated payment.
EXAMPLE 2: A veteran attended school during a term in 2005 but filed an original claim for chapter 30 or a request to change programs on January 15, 2008. The veteran requested accelerated payment as part of the claim. VA would deny benefits (accelerated or otherwise) for the training in 2005 because the claim was not timely filed.
b. Accelerated Payment Courses Overlapping with Non-accelerated Courses. Claimants can receive accelerated payment and non-accelerated payment (regular monthly payment or lump-sum payment) for overlapping courses. However, claims examiners should ensure that the courses are part of an approved program of education. In some cases, dual objectives may need to be considered. See paragraph 11.13b.
Example: A math major is enrolled in a course from August 1, 2007 through September 30, 2007, and receives a lump-sum payment for this course (less than 1/2 time training). He also is enrolled from September 1, 2007 thorough October 30, 2007 in courses for which he is claimed accelerated payment. He can receive both the lump sum payment and the accelerated payment since the overlapping courses are in the same program of education.
NOTE: For accelerated payment and advance payment, see paragraph 11.05e(7).
c. Overlapping Accelerated Payment Courses. A person can receive accelerated payment for terms that overlap. The RPO will calculate the accelerated payment separately for each term. Each accelerated payment must be processed individually.
CAUTION: The claimant must verify each term before the RPO can process an award for a second, overlapping term. This is true even if a term is just 4 or 5 days long.
d. Debt Reduction. If a student fails to submit the necessary verification after 60 days and then re enrolls and requests a new accelerated payment), do not process a new accelerated payment (see par. 11.13d(2)). If the claim is for regular payment, process the award in the usual manner. The debt will be collected from the new award, subject to due process rules.
e. RPO Reporting. RPOs will receive separate instructions regarding their data collection requirements for accelerated payment.
How should a school notify VA that a student is requesting accelerated payment?
Paper Version of Enrollment Certification. Schools should complete VA Form 22-1999, Enrollment Certification, in the usual manner with the following exceptions:
VA ON-LINE CERTIFICATION (VA-ONCE). The school should complete electronic certifications in a similar manner, but include in Remarks, "Acceleration certification on file." To make this certification, the school must have in its files the student's written request for accelerated payment for each term and the necessary certification as described above. Be sure tuition and fees are properly reported for each term.
How should school officials submit changes in enrollment information for accelerated payment? Schools should submit changes in enrollment certifications in the usual manner. Be sure to include tuition and fees for the term involved. Mitigating circumstances are an issue in accelerated payment cases and should be reported in the usual manner.
Can a student receive both accelerated pay and advance pay for the same enrollment period. No. A student may not receive both for the same period.
Can a student receive accelerated payment before the start of the school term? No. VA may send an accelerated payment check to the student shortly after the term begins if: (1) The school certifies the claimant's enrollment before the beginning date of the term and (2) VA processes the enrollment at the start of the term. If the school submits the request for accelerated payment before the start of the term, the RPO will call the school to confirm enrollment at the start of the term.
Is there more information about accelerated payment on VA's website? Yes. Go to www.gibill.va.gov.
NOTE: An * means all programs are considered high technology programs within that discipline.1.09 Animal Sciences
[01.11 Plant Sciences]
[03.99 Natural Resources and Conservation, Other
[11.99 Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, Other
*14. Engineering. Instructional programs that prepare individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the solution of practical problems.
*15. Engineering Technologies/Technicians. Instructional programs that prepare individuals to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of engineering and related projects.
*26. Biological and Biomedical Sciences. Instructional programs that focus on the biological sciences and the non-clinical biomedical sciences, and that prepare individuals for research and professional careers as biologist and biomedical scientist.
*27. Mathematics and Statistics. Instructional programs that focus on the systematic study of logical symbolic language and its applications.
*29. Military Technologies. A program that prepares individuals to undertake advanced and specialized leadership and technical responsibilities for the armed services and related national security organizations. Includes instruction in such areas as weapons systems and technology, communications, intelligence, management, logistics and strategy.30.01 Biological and Physical Sciences
*40. Physical Sciences. Instructional programs that focus on the scientific study of inanimate objects, processes of matter and energy, and associated phenomena.
*41. Science Technologies/Technicians. Instructional programs that prepare individuals to apply scientific principles and technical skills in support of scientific research and development.42.11 Physiological Psychology/Psychobiology