[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 56 (Monday, March 24, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 15920-15921]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-06378]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 21

RIN 2900-AO87


Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program: Changes Related 
to the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families 
Act of 2012

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its 
regulation to reflect a change made by the Honoring America's Veterans 
and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. If a veteran has been 
displaced as the result of a natural or other disaster while being paid 
an allowance, referred to as an employment adjustment allowance, this 
Act allows the extension of the allowance. This amendment is necessary 
to conform the regulation to the statutory provision.

DATES: Effective Date: This final rule is effective March 24, 2014.
    Applicability Date: In accordance with the amended statutory 
provision of 38 U.S.C. 3108(a)(2), this final rule pertains to all 
awards of employment adjustment allowance processed on or after August 
6, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: C.J. Riley, Policy Analyst, Vocational 
Rehabilitation and Employment Service (28), Veterans Benefits 
Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-9600. (This is not a toll-free 
telephone number.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 3108 of 38 U.S.C. establishes the 
criteria for entitlement to allowances payable under 38 U.S.C. chapter 
31. Section 3108(a)(2) provides for payment of a subsistence allowance 
for any veteran who has been rehabilitated to the point of 
employability for two months while the veteran is satisfactorily 
following a Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program of 
employment services. This statutory provision regarding a veteran's 
entitlement to such subsistence allowance, referred to as an employment 
adjustment allowance (EAA), is implemented by 38 CFR 21.268.
    Section 701(b) of Public Law 112-154, Honoring America's Veterans 
and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, amended 38 U.S.C. 
3108(a)(2) by providing that VA may extend the payment of an EAA up to 
an additional two months while the veteran is satisfactorily following 
a VR&E program of employment services if the veteran has been displaced 
as a result of a natural or other disaster while being paid an EAA. To 
make it clear that a veteran displaced as a result of a natural or 
other disaster may receive up to an additional two months of the EAA, 
we are amending our regulation to include this requirement. VA is 
implementing the statutory amendment in 38 CFR 21.268 by re-designating 
current paragraph (f), ``Employment adjustment allowance not charged 
against entitlement.'', as new paragraph (g), and adding a new 
paragraph (f), ``Special situations.'' We will start paying this 
additional two months of EAA beginning August 6, 2013, when the law 
took effect. We note the effective date of August 6, 2013, in new 
paragraph (f). In addition, we are adding an authority citation to the 
end of the paragraph for clarification.

Administrative Procedure Act

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs finds there is good cause under 
the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and (d)(3) to publish this rule 
without prior opportunity for public comment and with an immediate 
effective date. The regulatory change made by this rule reflects a 
change in statute that VA is adopting directly, without change, into 
VA's regulations. By statute, Congress is allowing up to an additional 
two months of a special allowance for veterans following a program of 
employment services who have been displaced as a result of a natural 
disaster. The regulatory change does not involve interpretation of this 
statutory provision. Consequently, opportunity for public comment is 
unnecessary. The statutory change was enacted on August 6, 2012, made 
effective on August 6, 2013. Due to the above considerations, VA is 
issuing this rule as a final rule, effective immediately upon 
publication.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; 
and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory 
Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. 
Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and

[[Page 15921]]

Review) defines a ``significant regulatory action,'' which requires 
review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), unless OMB waives 
such review, as ``any regulatory action that is likely to result in a 
rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million 
or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of 
the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere 
with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter 
the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan 
programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) 
Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the 
President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive 
Order.''
    The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy 
implications of this regulatory action have been examined, and it has 
been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under 
Executive Orders 12866. VA's impact analysis can be found as a 
supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 
hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy 
of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's Web 
site at http://www1.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for ``VA 
Regulations Published.''

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that adoption of this final rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 
U.S.C. 601-612). This final rule will directly affect only individuals 
and will not directly affect small entities. Therefore, pursuant to 5 
U.S.C. 605(b), this final rule is exempt from the regulatory 
flexibility analysis requirements of section 604.

Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 
1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and 
benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for 
inflation) in any one year. This final rule will have no such effect on 
State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule contains no provisions constituting a collection of 
information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-
3521).

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number and title for the 
program affected by this final rule is 64.116, Vocational 
Rehabilitation for Disabled Veterans.

Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this 
document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document 
to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as 
an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Jose D. 
Riojas, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this 
document on February 27, 2014, for publication.

List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 21

    Administrative practice and procedure, Armed forces, Civil rights, 
Claims, Colleges and universities, Conflict of interests, Education, 
Employment, Grant programs-education, Grant programs-veterans, Health 
care, Loan programs-education, Loan programs-veterans, Manpower 
training programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Schools, 
Travel and transportation expenses, Veterans, Vocational education, 
Vocational rehabilitation.

    Dated: March 19, 2014.
Robert C. McFetridge,
Director, Regulation Policy and Management, Office of the General 
Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of Veterans 
Affairs amends 38 CFR part 21 as set forth below:

PART 21--VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION

Subpart A--Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Under 38 U.S.C. 
Chapter 31

0
1. The authority citation for part 21, subpart A continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  38 U.S.C. 501(a), chs. 18, 31, and as noted in 
specific sections.


0
2. Amend Sec.  21.268 as follows:
0
a. Redesignate paragraph (f) as paragraph (g).
0
b. Add a new paragraph (f).
0
c. Add an authority citation at the end of new paragraph (f).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  21.268  Employment adjustment allowance.

* * * * *
    (f) Special situations. Effective August 6, 2013, a veteran who has 
been displaced as the result of a natural or other disaster while being 
paid an employment adjustment allowance may receive up to an additional 
two months of employment adjustment allowance, if satisfactorily 
following a program of employment services.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3108(a)(2))

* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2014-06378 Filed 3-21-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8320-01-P