(a)Eligibility.—An individual is eligible to participate in the Education Debt Reduction Program if the individual—
is an employee in the Veterans Health Administration serving in a position (as determined by the Secretary) providing direct-patient care services or services incident to direct-patient care services for which recruitment or retention of qualified health-care personnel (as so determined) is difficult; and
owes any amount of principal or interest under a loan, the proceeds of which were used by or on behalf of that individual to pay costs relating to a course of education or training which led to a degree that qualified the individual for the position referred to in paragraph (1).
(b)Covered Costs.—For purposes of subsection (a)(2), costs relating to a course of education or training include—
all other reasonable educational expenses, including expenses for fees, books, and laboratory expenses; and
reasonable living expenses.
(Added Pub. L. 105–368, title VIII, § 803(a)
, Nov. 11, 1998
, 112 Stat. 3357
; amended Pub. L. 107–135, title I, § 102(b)
, Jan. 23, 2002
, 115 Stat. 2448
; Pub. L. 111–163, title III, § 301(b)
, May 5, 2010
, 124 Stat. 1146
2010—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 111–163, § 301(b)(1), substituted “an” for “a recently appointed”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 111–163, § 301(b)(2), struck out subsec. (c). Text read as follows: “For purposes of subsection (a), an individual shall be considered to be recently appointed to a position if the individual has held that position for less than 6 months.”
2002—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 107–135 substituted “in a position (as determined by the Secretary) providing direct-patient care services or services incident to direct-patient care services” for “under an appointment under section 7402(b) of this title in a position” and “(as so determined)” for “(as determined by the Secretary)”.
Temporary Expansion of Individuals Eligible for Participation in Program
Pub. L. 107–135, title I, § 102(e), Jan. 23, 2002, 115 Stat. 2449, granted the Secretary of Veterans Affairs authority to treat certain individuals as recently appointed employees in the Veterans Health Administration under subsec. (a) of this section for purposes of eligibility in the Education Debt Reduction Program under this subchapter but prohibited exercise of this authority after June 30, 2002.
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