§ 21.152Interpreter service for the hearing impaired.
(a)General. The main purpose of interpreter service for the hearing impaired is to facilitate instructor-student communication. VA will provide interpreter service as necessary for the development and pursuit of a rehabilitation program. This service will be provided if:
(1) A VA physician determines that:
(i) The veteran is deaf or his or her hearing is severely impaired; and
(ii) All appropriate services and aids have been furnished to improve the veteran's residual hearing; or
(2) A VA physician determines that the veteran:
(i) Can benefit from language and speech training; and
(ii) Agrees to undertake language and speech training.
(b)Periods during which interpreter service may be provided. Interpreter service may be furnished during:
(1) Initial evaluation or reevaluation;
(2) Extended evaluation;
(3) Rehabilitation to the point of employability;
(4) Independent living services; or
(5) Employment services, including the first three months of employment.
(c)Selecting the interpreter. Only certified interpreters or persons meeting generally accepted standards for interpreters shall provide interpreter service. When an individual is not certified by a State or professional association, VA shall seek the assistance of a State certifying agency or a professional association in ascertaining whether the individual is qualified to serve as an interpreter.
(d)Relatives. Interpreter service at VA expense may not be provided by a relative of the veteran. The term relative has the same meaning as under § 21.374 pertaining to the use of relatives as attendants.