38 CFR § 21.7046 - Eligibility for supplemental educational assistance.

§ 21.7046 Eligibility for supplemental educational assistance.

The Secretary concerned, pursuant to regulations prescribed by that Secretary, has the discretion to provide for the payment of supplemental educational assistance to certain veterans and servicemembers eligible for basic educational assistance.

(a) Service requirements: eligibility based only on active duty service. The Secretary concerned may authorize supplemental educational assistance to an individual who is eligible for basic educational assistance under § 21.7042 or § 21.7044 of this part based solely on active duty service only if the individual meets the provisions of this paragraph.

(1) An individual may establish eligibility for supplemental educational assistance by serving five or more consecutive years of active duty in the Armed Forces in addition to the years counted to qualify the individual for basic educational assistance without a break in any such service.

(2) After completion of the service described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section the individual must either -

(i) Continue on active duty without a break,

(ii) Be discharged from service with an honorable discharge,

(iii) Be placed on the retired list,

(iv) Be transferred to the Fleet Reserve or the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve,

(v) Be placed on the temporary disability retired list, or

(vi) Be released from active duty for further service in a reserve component of the Armed Forces after service on active duty characterized by the Secretary concerned as honorable service.

(b) Service requirements: eligibility based on service in the Selected Reserve. The Secretary concerned (pursuant to regulations which he or she may prescribe) has the discretion to authorize supplemental educational assistance to an individual who is eligible for basic educational assistance under § 21.7042 or § 21.7044 of this part through consideration of additional active duty service and additional service in the Selected Reserve only if the individual meets the provisions of this paragraph.

(1) The individual must serve -

(i) Two or more consecutive years of active duty in the Armed Forces in addition to the years on active duty counted to qualify the individual for basic educational assistance, and

(ii) Four or more consecutive years of duty in the Selected Reserve in addition to the years of duty in the Selected Reserve counted to qualify the individual for basic educational assistance.

(2) The individual after completion of the service described in paragraph (b)(1) must -

(i) Be discharged from service with an honorable discharge, or

(ii) Be placed on the retired list, or

(iii) Be transferred to the Fleet Reserve or Fleet Marine Corps Reserve, or

(iv) Be placed on the temporary disability retired list, or

(v) Continue on active duty, or

(vi) Continue in the Selected Reserve.

(3) The Secretary concerned may prescribe by regulation a maximum period of time during which the individual is considered to have continuous service in the Selected Reserve even though he or she is unable to locate a unit of the Selected Reserve of the individual's Armed Force that the individual is eligible to join or that has a vacancy.

(4) The Secretary concerned may prescribe by regulation a maximum period of time during which the individual is considered to have continuous service in the Selected Reserve even though he or she is not attached to a unit of the Selected Reserve for any reason (also to be prescribed by the Secretary concerned by regulation) other than those stated in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(5) Any decision as to the continuity of an individual's service in the Selected Reserve made by the Department of Defense or the Department of Transportation under regulations described in paragraph (b) (3) or (4) of this section shall be binding upon VA.