38 U.S. Code § 7682. Eligibility

(a)Eligibility.—An individual is eligible to participate in the Education Debt Reduction Program if the individual—
(1)
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
(2)
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—
(1)
tuition expenses;
(2)
all other reasonable educational expenses, including expenses for fees, books, and laboratory expenses; and
(3)
reasonable living expenses.
Amendments

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)”.

Inclusion of Vet Center Employees in Education Debt Reduction Program of Department of Veterans Affairs

Pub. L. 115–182, title III, § 306, June 6, 2018, 132 Stat. 1470, provided that:

“(a)In General.—
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall ensure that clinical staff working at Vet Centers are eligible to participate in the Education Debt Reduction Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs under subchapter VII of chapter 76 of title 38, United States Code.
“(b)Report.—
Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [June 6, 2018], the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the House of Representatives a report on the number of participants in the Education Debt Reduction Program of the Department under such subchapter who work at Vet Centers.
“(c)Vet Center Defined.—
In this section, the term ‘Vet Center’ has the meaning given that term in section 1712A(h) of title 38, United States Code.”
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.