Composition, jurisdiction, and duties of Committee on Educational Allowances.
(a) Authority.(1) 38 U.S.C. 3690 authorizes VA to discontinue educational benefits to veterans, servicemembers, reservists, or eligible persons when VA finds that:
(i) The program of education or course in which such individuals are enrolled fails to meet a requirement of 38 U.S.C. chapter 30, 32, 33, 35, or 36, or 10 U.S.C. chapter 1606, or the regulations in this part; or
(ii) An educational institution has violated any such statute or regulation, or fails to meet such a statutory or regulatory requirement.
(2) This authority does not extend to enrollments and reenrollments of individuals seeking to be paid tuition assistance top-up benefits to meet all or a portion of an educational institution's charges for education or training that the military department concerned has not covered under tuition assistance.
(3) 38 U.S.C. 3689 and 3690 further authorize VA to deny payment to servicemembers or veterans for licensing or certification tests when VA finds that either the test or the organization or entity offering the test fails to meet a requirement of 38 U.S.C. 3689 or the applicable regulations of this part.
(4) Sections 21.4210 through 21.4216 implement the authority discussed in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(3) of this section.
(5) Each VA Regional Processing Office shall have a Committee on Educational Allowances. For the purposes of this section, the Manila Regional Office is considered the VA Regional Processing Office of jurisdiction for educational institutions located in the Philippines. The Committee's findings of fact and recommendations will be provided to the Director of the VA Regional Processing Office.
(6) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs delegates to each Director of a VA Regional Processing Office the authority to suspend or discontinue payment of educational benefits, to disapprove enrollments or reenrollments, or to deny payment of benefits for tests.
(b) Purpose.(1) The Committee on Educational Allowances is established to assist the Director of the VA Regional Processing Office of jurisdiction in deciding in a specific case whether—
(i) Educational assistance should be discontinued to all individuals enrolled in any course or courses an educational institution offers; and
(ii) If appropriate, whether approval of all further enrollments or reenrollments in the course or courses an educational institution offers should be denied to veterans, servicemembers, reservists, or other eligible persons pursuing those courses under programs VA administers; or
(iii) Payment should be denied to all servicemembers and veterans for taking a specific licensing or certification test.
(2) A Director's decision described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section must be based on a finding that the educational institution is not meeting, or has violated, a requirement of 38 U.S.C. chapter 30, 32, 33, 35, or 36, or 10 U.S.C. chapter 1606, or the regulations in this part.
(3) The function of the Committee on Educational Allowances is to develop facts and recommend action to be taken on the basis of the facts found. A hearing before the Committee is not in the nature of a trial in a court of law. Instead, it is an administrative inquiry designed to create a full and complete record upon which a recommendation can be made as to whether the Director should discontinue payment of educational benefits and/or deny approval of new enrollments or reenrollments. Both the interested educational institution and VA Regional Counsel, or designee, representing VA, will be afforded the opportunity to present to the Committee any evidence, argument, or other material considered pertinent.
(d) Committee members. The Committee on Educational Allowances will consist of three employees of the VA Regional Processing Office of jurisdiction, at least one of whom is familiar with the adjudication of claims for benefits administered by the Veterans Benefits Administration. The Director of the VA Regional Processing Office of jurisdiction will designate a Chairperson. In the event that any member becomes unable to serve for any reason, the Director may appoint a replacement member. Before the Committee resumes its proceedings, the new member will be given an opportunity to apprise himself or herself of the actions and testimony already taken by the Committee.
(e) Duties and responsibilities of the Committee.(1) The function of the Committee on Educational Allowances is to make recommendations to the Director of the VA Regional Processing Office of jurisdiction in connection with specific cases referred for consideration as provided in §§ 21.4210(g) and 21.4212.
(2) The performance of this function will include:
(i) Hearing testimony or argument from witnesses or representatives of educational institutions and VA, as appropriate, when such persons appear personally before the Committee;
(ii) Receiving and reviewing all the evidence, testimony, briefs, statements, and records included in each case; and
(iii) Furnishing the Director of the VA Regional Processing Office of jurisdiction a written statement setting forth specifically the question or questions considered, a summation of the essential facts of record, recommendations as to issues referred for consideration by the Committee, and the basis therefor. In any case where there is not unanimity, both the majority and the minority views and recommendations will be furnished.