38 CFR § 21.7072 - Entitlement to basic educational assistance.

§ 21.7072 Entitlement to basic educational assistance.

The provisions of this section apply to all veterans and servicemembers except to those to whom § 21.7073 applies.

(a) Most individuals are entitled to 36 months of assistance. Except as provided in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section and in § 21.7073, a veteran or servicemember who is eligible for basic educational assistance is entitled to 36 months of basic educational assistance (or the equivalent thereof in part-time educational assistance).

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3013; Pub. L. 98-525) (Nov. 18, 1988).

(b) Entitlement: individual discharged for service-connected disability, a medical condition which preexisted service, hardship, or involuntarily for the convenience of the Government as a result of a reduction in force.

(1) Except as provided in § 21.7073, when the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section are met, an eligible individual is entitled to one month of basic educational assistance (or equivalent thereof in part-time basic educational assistance) for each month of the individual's continuous active duty service that is after June 30, 1985, and that, in the case of an individual who had no previous eligibility under 38 U.S.C. ch. 34, is part of the individual's qualifying obligated period of active duty. In the case of a veteran to whom the definition of continuous active duty found in either § 21.7020(b)(6)(iii) or § 21.7020(b)(6)(iv) applies, the length of the continuous active duty will be the aggregate length of the periods of active duty referred to in those paragraphs. Except as provided in § 21.7073, VA will apply paragraph (b) of this section when the individual:

(i) Establishes eligibility through meeting the eligibility requirements of § 21.7042 or § 21.7044,

(ii) Serves less than 36 months of continuous active duty service after June 30, 1985 (or less than 24 continuous months of a qualifying obligated period of active duty service after June 30, 1985, if his or her qualifying obligated period of active duty is less than 3 years), and

(iii) Is discharged or released from active duty either -

(A) For a service-connected disability, or

(B) For a medical condition which preexisted the individual's service on active duty and which VA determines is not service connected,

(C) Under 10 U.S.C. 1173 (hardship discharge), or

(D) Involuntarily for convenience of the government as a result of a reduction in force, as determined by the Secretary of the military department concerned in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense or by the Secretary of Transportation with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, or;

(E) For a physical or mental condition that was not characterized as a disability and did not result from the individual's own willful misconduct but did interfere with the individual's performance of duty, as determined by the Secretary of each military department in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense or by the Secretary of Transportation with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3011(f), 3013(a))

(2) Entitlement will be calculated in whole months.

(3) The following types of time lost are not countable in determining the extent of a veteran's or servicemember's entitlement:

(i) Excess leave,

(ii) Noncreditable time, and

(iii) Not-on-duty time.

(c) Entitlement based on service in the Selected Reserve.

(1) Except as provided in § 21.7073, when the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section are met, an individual is entitled to one month of basic educational assistance (or the equivalent thereof in part-time basic educational assistance) for each month of the individual's active duty service that is after June 30, 1985, and that, in the case of an individual who had no previous eligibility under 38 U.S.C. chapter 34, is part of the individual's qualifying obligated period of active duty. An individual is entitled to one month of basic educational assistance (or the equivalent thereof in part-time basic educational assistance) for each four months served by the individual in the Selected Reserve after June 30, 1985 (other than a month in which the individual serves on active duty). Except as provided in § 21.7073, VA will apply the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section when the individual -

(i) Establishes eligibility through meeting the eligibility requirements of § 21.7042 or § 21.7044, and

(ii) Bases his or her eligibility upon a combination of service on active duty and service in the Selected Reserve as described in § 21.7042(b) and § 21.7044(b).

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3013(b))

(2) Entitlement will be calculated in whole months.

(3) The following types of time lost are not countable in determining the extent of a veteran's or servicemember's entitlement:

(i) Excess leave,

(ii) Noncreditable time, and

(iii) Not-on-duty time.

(4) A veteran described in this paragraph is not entitled to any basic educational assistance for service in the Selected Reserve in excess of the number of months of service in the Selected Reserve which is evenly divisible by four.

(5) VA will consider a veteran to be entitled to 36 months of basic educational assistance when he or she -

(i) Initially enters on active duty after June 30, 1985;

(ii) Is attempting to establish eligibility through service in the Selected Reserve;

(iii) Has completed the active duty service required in § 21.7042 of this part; and

(iv) Is participating in the Selected Reserve, but has not participated for the length of time required in § 21.7042 of this part.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3011, 3012; Pub. L. 98-525)

(d) Entitlement affected by failure to complete required Selected Reserve service. If a veteran attempts to establish eligibility through a combination of active duty service and service in the Selected Reserves, but fails to do so, his or her entitlement shall be the number of months to which he or she is entitled on the basis of his or her active duty service.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3011, 3012; Pub. L. 98-525)

(e) Repayment of an education loan affects entitlement. A period of service counted for the purpose of repayment under section 902 of the Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1981, of an education loan may not also be counted for the purposes of determining the number of months of the veteran's or servicemember's entitlement to basic educational assistance. Therefore, in determining a veteran's or servicemember's entitlement, VA will -

(1) Determine his or her entitlement as provided in paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d) of this section, as appropriate, and

(2) Subtract from the figure determined in paragraph (e)(1) of this section the number of months of service counted for the purposes of repayment of an educational loan under section 902 of the Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1981.

(f) Limitation on entitlement. Except as provided in § 21.7076(e) and § 21.7135(s) of this part no one is entitled to more than 36 months of full-time basic educational assistance (or its equivalent in part-time educational assistance).

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3013(c), 3013(f); Pub. L. 98-525, Pub. L. 102-127)(Oct. 10, 1991)
[53 FR 1757, Jan. 22, 1988, as amended at 56 FR 20134, May 2, 1991; 58 FR 26241, May 3, 1993; 59 FR 24052, May 10, 1994; 61 FR 6788, Feb. 22, 1996; 68 FR 34330, June 9, 2003]