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Veterans' Program Letter No. 8-97

Veterans' Program Letter No. 8-97

Memorandum for: All Regional Administrators and Directors for Veterans' Employment and Training and All State Employmnet Security Agency Administrators (SESAs) and All Regional Administrators, Employment and Training Administration

From: Preston M. Taylor Jr.

Subject: Vietnam Era Veteran Definition

Change - P.L. 104-275

PURPOSE: To inform State Employment Security Agencies (SESAs) and Veterans' Employment and Training field staff of the recent changes concerning the "expansion of the period of the Vietnam era for certain veterans". The change was legislated by the passage of the Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 1996, Public Law (P.L.) 104-275, Section 505, enacted October 9, 1996.

REFERENCES: Title 38, U.S.C., Chapter 1, Section 101 (29) and Chapters 41 & 42, Sections 4101, 4211 and 4212.

BACKGROUND: P.L. 104-275 incorporates provisions from a multitude of different bills resulting from compromise agreements between the United States House of Representatives and Senate. This letter reflects only the provisions of Section 505, which amends the definition of the Vietnam era for certain veterans.

Section 505 states:

(a) In General — Paragraph (29) of section 101 (of Title 38) is amended to read as follows:

(29) The term `Vietnam era' means the following:

(A) The period beginning on February 28, 1961, and ending on May 7, 1975, in the case of a veteran who served in the

Republic of Vietnam during that period.

(B) The period beginning on August 5, 1964, and ending on May 7, 1975, in all other cases.".

(b) Limited Expansion for Specific Compensation Purposes.--

(1) Paragraphs (1)(B) and (3) of section 1116(a) are each amended by striking out "during the Vietnam era" and inserting in lieu thereof "during the period beginning on January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975,".

(2) Paragraphs (1)(A), (2)(C), (2)(E), (2)(F), and (4) of such section are amended by striking out "during the Vietnam era" and inserting in lieu thereof "during the period beginning on January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975".

(d) Effective Date. -- The amendment made by this section shall take effect on January 1, 1997. No benefit may be paid or provided by reason of such amendment for any period before such date.

GUIDANCE: It is the understanding of the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) that this change, particularly with reference to "a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period", was intended to include those who served in the Vietnam theater of combat operations. This would include those veterans who served in Southeast Asian countries neighboring the Republic of Vietnam or the waters adjacent thereto.

Even with this broad interpretation of the legislation, it is unlikely, given the overall number of veterans that could possibly be included, that many Job Service applicants will be affected by this change. State Agencies must, however, ensure all veterans covered by this change (i.e., now considered Vietnam era veterans) are properly identified and afforded the full range of labor exchange services on a priority basis in accordance with 38 U.S.C. 4212 (regarding the Federal Contractor Program) and 20 CFR 1001.120.

ACTION:

1. The SESAs (or other agencies carrying out the public employment service function) should provide the guidance in this VPL to all staff responsible for serving veterans and the preparation and analysis of DVOP/LVER performance reports.

2. Necessary changes should be made to data collection processes and reporting systems in order to properly identify those affected by this change in status, and record the services they receive.

3. Directors for Veterans' Employment and Training will meet with their respective State Agency counterparts to ensure that states have received and understand the direction and requirements provided herein and provide technical assistance as necessary.

4. Regional Administrators for Veterans' Employment and Training will work with DVETs and SESAs to resolve any problems.

It is expected that all programs and services available through the public employment service, to include the one-stop career center systems, will provide these veterans every opportunity for assistance in reaching their career goals.

INQUIRIES: SESAs are invited to direct any questions they may have regarding the content of this VPL to the DVET in their respective state. DVETs will direct inquiries through the RAVET to Paul R. Hinkhouse in the National Office at (202)219-9105. Questions concerning the impact on Federal Contractors and Subcontractors' requirement to file an annual VETS - 100 survey report should be directed to Eileen Connors at (202)219-9110.

Expiration Date: September 30, 1997

VETS-D PHinkhouse:bct:2/11/97:FPB:Rm. S1316:219-9105

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