Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.
Get more information on the Veterans Benefits Banking Program
 

Education and Training

School Certifying Officials COVID-19 FAQS

From the beginning of COVID-19, we have been working with Congress to preserve GI Bill® benefits for those impacted by COVID-19. In the Spring of 2020, the President signed Public Law 116-128, then Public Law 116-140 (Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020). These laws give VA temporary authority to pay education benefits and Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments to GI Bill students at the resident rate when their programs are converted to online learning solely due to COVID-19 until December 21, 2021. Originally, these special COVID-19 laws were in effect from March 1 to December 21, 2020. However, in the fall of 2020, PL 116-154 extended special COVID-19 rules until December 21, 2021.

These laws cover situations where 1) your school is combining online with resident training or 2) where your school is offering the student the option to choose online training in lieu of resident (physically in person) training.  Additionally, VA will afford these same protections to new incoming students. While there is no requirement that a student have a previous history of taking resident courses, that student must be enrolled in an officially “converted course” (a course which your school previously offered as resident training prior to COVID-19, but is now offering as online training due to COVID-19).  SCOs should continue to certify converted courses in the same manner as they were certified earlier in the year.  For specific guidance on how to certify converted courses, please read the FAQs below or contact your Education Liaison Representative (ELR).

What does this all mean? In summary, Post-9/11 GI Bill® students enrolled in approved resident (physically in person) courses at a rate of pursuit of more than 50%, which have been converted to online learning solely due to COVID-19, will continue to receive benefits, including Monthly Housing Allowance, at the resident rate until December 21, 2021, or until the school resumes normal operations of resident training, whichever comes first.

Table of Contents 

Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) Specific Questions
General
Change in modality
Approvals
Student enrollment changes
Discontinuing training or operations

Non-College Degree Program Specific Questions
General
Change in modality
Student enrollment changes
Discontinuing training or operations

OJT/Apprenticeship Program Specific Questions
General
Change in modality
Discontinuing training or operations

FAQs for Work Study Site Supervisors

Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL)

General

Q1) What impact does this law have on IHLs?

Converted after submitting an enrollment certification

   ● An IHL which converts an approved residence training modality course to an online training modality for that course (distance learning), should not submit changes when the conversion is the only factor. The law authorizes this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2021.
  ● Educational institutions which convert modalities as described above do not need to submit enrollment adjustments for the current term.
  ● Only converted courses – SCOs cannot certify resident credit hours to VA for online courses when there is no approval for a resident training counterpart.
  ● The new law applies equally to current and new students enrolled in the converted courses.

Converted before submitting an enrollment certification

  ● An IHL which converts from resident to online instruction as previously described may submit certification of resident courses, which were converted to online instruction, as resident courses if the start date of the term is prior to December 21, 2021.
  ● Use the Resident Credit Hour or Clock Hour portion of the VA ONCE enrollment certification.
  ● Enter Standard Remark “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online” located within VA-ONCE.

Note: Normal reporting requirements for all other changes should be completed per the SCO Handbook (change in start/end date, change in credit/clock hours, etc.).

Q2) Under this law, can an IHL offer programs that were not previously approved by the State Approving Agency (SAA) due to COVID-19?

No, only programs previously approved by the SAA will be available for IHLs to continue enrollments of GI Bill students.

Note: If the IHL institution seeks approval of any new programs, they must contact the SAA.

Q3) What should I know about changes to work-study?

PL 116-140 and 116-159 allow VA to continue to pay work-study allowance at the full-rate of 25 hours per week even if the student is unable to work those hours due to COVID-19. Specific guidance and instructions will be sent to work site supervisors by the Muskogee RPO’s work-study program staff.

Change in Modality (Conversion from Resident to Online)

Q4) What happens to a Post-9/11 GI Bill student’s Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) when a modality changes due to COVID-19?

Based on the new law, Post-9/11 GI Bill students, who pursue resident (physically in person) courses which have been converted to online instruction solely due to COVID-19, will continue to receive the MHA rate for resident training. The laws authorize this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2021.

Note: Other types of changes to the student’s enrollment status may affect payments. Non-COVID-19 related changes must still be reported per normal requirements.

Q5) Will there be any impact on tuition and fee payments when only the modality changes from resident to online within a term due to COVID-19?

Tuition and Fees reporting requirements will not change due to COVID-19.

Example: SCOs should review change in fees associated with online modality, prorated building fees, etc.

Note:
 Fees must be defined in the school’s catalog or supplement and listed on the school’s billing statement or invoice.

Q6) Will GI Bill students be allowed to continue or start remedial/deficiency level courses at IHLs that convert to online instruction (distance learning) due to COVID-19?

Converted after sending an enrollment certification

An approved IHL which converts an approved resident Remedial/Deficiency course to online training for that course, may continue to certify these credit hours to VA as resident credit hours during the authorized timeframe: 1 March 2020, to 21 December 2021.

Converted before sending an enrollment certification

Due to COVID-19, SCOs may continue to certify Remedial/Deficiency courses due to COVID-19 usually required as resident to online conversion to modality if the start date of the term is prior to December 21, 2021.

  ● SCO must continue to use the R/D Credit hours section of VA ONCE. 
  ● SCO must enter Standard Remark “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online”.

Approvals

Q7) If an IHL creates a new vacation break, or extends the length of a break (which may include a change in term dates) due to COVID-19, what steps should SCOs take? 

IHL SCOs must make their SAA aware of any changes in term dates. Current published commencement dates that fall within 7 days (week) still apply if a school makes a change.

The SCO Handbook states to always include inclusive dates of official school vacation periods of 7 or more consecutive days when certifying non-standard enrollment periods for all benefits in non-standard remarks. However, you still do not need to report vacation periods on standard length terms. This remains true during this COVID-19 national emergency.
  ● If there is a change in enrollment dates, the SCOs must adjust all elements of the enrollment certification to match actual enrollment time frame (includes break time and end date).
  ● Specific instructions for amendment reporting are in the SCO Handbook.
  ● Standard and Non-standard term lengths are identified in the SCO Handbook.

Q8) Should IHLs report enrollment changes when they temporarily change from a standard grade scale (A, B, C…) to Pass/Fail grading or other another grading system due to COVID-19?

No, there is no need to report a conversion from a standard grading scale to a Pass/Fail grading scale or similar grading systems. However, depending on the IHL’s grading policy, classes taken Pass/Fail may result in a nonpunitive grade if the student fails the class. Rules about nonpunitive grades have not changed.

  ● Although VA does not typically make payments for classes resulting in nonpunitive grades, if COVID-19 is reported as a mitigating circumstance for the student’s receipt of a nonpunitive grade (i.e., Fail in a
Pass/Fail class), VA will pay for the class.
  ● Refer to the SCO Handbook for more information about reporting nonpunitive grades and mitigating circumstances.

Similarly, the outcome for a grade registered as “No Credit” (NC) would be the same as described above for failing a Pass/Fail course. A ‘NC’ course outcome would require the SCO to report an end of term adjustment (or sooner if the grade was assigned prior to the end of the term). If the change is COVID-19 related, liberal mitigating circumstances would be applied.

Note: The IHL must make SAA aware of any change in grading system.

Student enrollment changes

Q9) If a student becomes ill due to COVID-19 and cannot continue training while the IHL continues to offer course instruction, what steps need to take place?

All normal VA reporting rules still apply and SCOs should review the IHL’s published attendance policy and “Incomplete Grade” policy. SCOs should report the withdrawal based on the attendance policy and report COVID-19 as mitigating circumstances. The student’s last day of attendance should be reported as the effective date. In these situations, the law does NOT allow VA to continue payments beyond the last day of attendance.

When a student drops a course due to COVID-19, SCOs must report the adjusted credit hours (or termination as applicable), along with the “COVID-19 remark” to VA.  Liberal mitigating circumstances will be applied, but the student may incur some debt.  VA’s Debt Management Center (DMC) temporarily suspended collection until December 31, 2020 (currently – but subject to extension).  In addition, Veterans can request temporary collection suspension of preexisting debt or arrange for extended repayment plans. Institutions with questions or concerns regarding a VA debt should contact DMC at our dedicated email for School Certifying Officials: DMCEDU.VBASPL@va.gov.  

Q10) Will there be acceptable circumstances (due to COVID-19) that an IHL SCO may not meet the thirty-day requirement to report an enrollment change?

Late reporting (30 days from reporting event) is always a concern of VA.  During COVID-19, VA understands that institutions face additional challenges with timely enrollment amendment or adjustment certifications. VA asks that the institution make every attempt to complete the changes within a reasonable amount of time. VA will consider your mitigating circumstances when completing a compliance survey.

Discontinuing training or operations

Q11) If an educational institution temporarily ceases operation due to COVID-19, or discontinues training of all students, what steps should the school take?

Converted after sending an enrollment certification

  ● If the educational institution has temporarily ceased operations for all programs and students due to COVID-19, affected students will continue to receive their MHA until the end of the term or 4 weeks (28 days) from the date that the IHL temporarily ceased operations.
  ● When this occurs, the IHL should not submit enrollment adjustments for the current term. However, SCOs must report all affected facility codes and the date(s) of temporary cessation of operations to their Education Liaison Representative (ELR) and State Approving Agency (SAA) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It is important to notify the ELR and SAA as soon as practical, so the claimant’s monthly stipend is correctly
adjusted.

Converted prior to sending an enrollment certification

  ● IHLs which convert modalities as described above may submit certification of resident courses converted to online modality as resident courses for any training occurring between March 1 and 
December 21, 2021.
  ● Use the Resident Credit Hour or Clock Hour portion of the VA ONCE enrollment certification.
  ● Must enter Standard Remark “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online” located within VA-ONCE.

Q12) If a school transitions from resident to online classes to continue the training of some students, but must discontinue training in select programs (entire program of education; not just some courses) affecting some students, what steps should the school take?

  ● If the educational institution remains partially open (continues to provide training to some students) but must discontinue training to students enrolled in select programs the school must report changes for the
students whose training is stopped.
  ● SCOs should review the IHL’s published attendance policy and “Incomplete Grade” policy as all normal VA reporting rules still apply.
  ● SCOs must report the date that training ceased. When reporting this change using VA-ONCE, SCOs should complete steps to report mitigating circumstances using “COVID-19 Program Suspended” as the reason
 for the cessation of the training. If paper VA Form 22-1999b termination is reported, SCOs should include “COVID-19 Program Suspended” in the remarks section.
  ● Students enrolled in programs suspended due to COVID-19 will continue to receive their MHA until the end of the term or 4 weeks (28 days) from the date the program was temporarily suspended.
  ● When the IHL resumes regular operations, if the institution has same or new term dates all standard enrollment procedures remain in place.
  ● IHLs which convert modalities, follow to instruction in Q1 for certifying changes to training modalities. 

Q13) If a school transitions from resident to online classes to continue the training of some students, but must discontinue training in select courses (only select courses are discontinued) affecting some students, what steps should the school take?

 ● If the IHL remains partially open (continues to provide training to some students) but must discontinue training to students enrolled in some individual classes, the school must report changes for the students
whose training is stopped or been reduced. Current law only provides protection for stoppage in training when the school ceases operations completely (temporary or permanent) or training of entire programs is
temporarily suspended.
 ● SCOs should review the IHL’s published attendance policy and “Incomplete Grade” policy as all normal VA reporting rules still apply.
 ● SCOs must report the date that training ceased. When reporting this change using VA ONCE, SCOs should complete steps to report mitigating circumstances using “COVID-19” as the reason for the cessation of the training. If paper VA Form 22-1999b termination is reported, SCOs should include “COVID-19” in the remarks section.
● When the IHL resumes regular operations, if the institution has same or new term dates all standard enrollment procedures remain in place.
● IHLs which convert modalities, follow to instruction in Q1 for certifying changes to training modalities.

Q14) If a student is enrolled in a standard IHL degree program involving flight training and the school ceases the flight training due to COVID-19, what steps should SCOs take?

SCOs should review the “Incomplete Grade” policy and apply that procedure if applicable. When the training can continue, the student should complete the flight training portion without any further reporting requirements to VA when a punitive grade is assigned. Normal non-punitive grade requirements have not changed.

Q15) What happens when an IHL’s resident lab portion of a course is canceled or marked as incomplete due to COVID-19 and the IHL does not allow the student to move to the next class in the degree program?  (i.e. the student needs to complete Organic Chemistry 1 lab in order to enroll in Org Chemistry 2 next semester).

VA lacks authority to change a school’s degree program in any special way due to COVID-19.  Schools should follow their “Incomplete Grade” policy and apply that procedure, if applicable.  When the school is eventually able to continue training, the student will be allowed to complete the lab portion without any further reporting requirements to VA.  However, if the discontinued class is a prerequisite to future classes, the student cannot enroll in the next sequential required class until the pre-requisite is complete.

If the IHL’s “Incomplete Grade” policy is not applicable, SCOs should report withdrawal from the class based on student’s last date of attendance and report COVID-19 as a mitigating circumstance.  But, if such a reduction changes the student’s rate of pursuit, the student’s MHA may be affected. 

Non-College Degree (NCD) Schools

General

Q1) What impact does this law have on Non-College Degree (NCD) schools?

Converted after sending an enrollment certification

● Based on the PL 116-140 and PL 116-154, VA will continue to pay benefits for an NCD which converts an approved residence training course to online training (distance learning) due to COVID-19 (when the conversion is the only change). The law authorizes this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2021.
● Educational institutions which convert from resident (physically in person) to online training as described above do not need to submit enrollment adjustments for any terms certified as resident training.
● Only converted courses apply – SCOs cannot certify resident credit hours to VA for online courses when there is no approval for a resident training counterpart.
● These laws apply equally to current and new students enrolled in the converted courses.

Converted before sending an enrollment certification

● NCDs which convert from resident to online training as described above may submit certification of resident courses, which were converted to online training, as resident courses if the start date of the term is
   prior to December 21, 2021.
        ● Use the Resident Credit Hour or Clock Hour portion of the VA ONCE enrollment certification.
        ● Must enter Standard Remark “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online” located within VA ONCE.

Note 1: If an NCD resumes normal operation of a resident course prior to December 21, 2021, the school must resume certification of the actual training modality (i.e., resident training or distance education), and may only continue to certify online classes if distance education has been approved by the State Approving Agency.  The NCD should also cease utilization of the "COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online" remark. 

Note 2: Normal reporting requirements for all other changes should be completed per SCO Handbook (change in start/end date, change in credit/clock hours, etc.).

Q2) Can NCD education or training institutes offer programs that were not previously approved by the State Approving Agency (SAA)?

No, only programs previously approved by the SAA will be available for NCD institutions to continue enrollments of GI Bill students.

Note: If the NCD institution seeks approval of any new programs, they must contact the SAA.

Q3) Will there be acceptable circumstances due to COVID-19 where an NCD SCO is unable to meet the thirty-day requirement to report an enrollment change?

Late reporting (30 days from reporting event) is always a concern of VA.  During COVID-19, VA understands that institutions face additional challenges with timely enrollment amendment or adjustment certifications. VA asks that the institution make every attempt to complete the changes within a reasonable amount of time. VA will consider your mitigating circumstances when completing a compliance survey.

Change in Modality (Conversion from Resident to Online)

Q4) What happens to a Post-9/11 GI Bill student’s Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments when a modality changes for enrollment terms due to COVID-19?

Based on these new laws, Post-9/11 GI Bill students who pursue resident (physically in person) courses which have been converted to online training solely due to COVID-19 will continue to receive their MHA at the resident rate. The laws authorize this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2021.

Q5) What happens when an approved program at an NCD education or training institution temporarily ceases resident (physically in person) training because of COVID-19, but has the capability to convert training to an online?

Converted after sending an enrollment certification

  ● An NCD with a current SAA-approved program may continue to train and report enrollments to VA. Students who pursue resident courses which have been converted to online training solely due to COVID-19
will continue to receive their MHA at the resident rate. The laws authorize this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2021.
  ● SCOs do not need to report modality changes due to COVID-19 for any current enrollments submitted to VA.

Note: Other types of changes to the student’s enrollment status may affect payments. Non-COVID-19 related changes must still be reported per normal requirements.

Converted before sending an enrollment certification

  ● NCDs which convert from resident to online training as described above can submit certification of resident courses which have been converted to online training as resident courses.
         ● Use the Resident Credit Hour or Clock Hour portion of the VA ONCE enrollment certification.
         ● If any adjustments were made to the start or end date, these adjustments need to be reported to VA so accurate payments can be completed.
         ● Enter Standard Remark “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online”

Notes:
 
● The effective dates of the new laws allow NCD schools to continue training for converted programs/classes/courses due solely to COVID-19. When an NCD goes back to normal operations for resident courses,
the school will continue to submit enrollment certifications to VA without the requirement of the additional “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online” remark.
  ● NCD schools not currently approved to offer online courses, will not be allowed to continue to offer online courses after December 21, 2021.

Q6) For an NCD training institution that has an approved program which includes classroom and practical training, and the institution is only able to convert the classroom portion to online training, but unable to convert the practical training to online, what steps should SCOs follow to submit VA enrollments?

SCOs need to submit standard enrollment certification. When the converted online portion is complete, but the NCD institution is still unable to provide the resident practical training, SCOs must:

  ● Submit an amended enrollment certification changing the end date of the enrollment to the last day of converted online training.
  ● Submit Standard Remark “NCD LOA COVID-19.”

When normal operations resume:
SCOs need to use the amended enrollment certification (which includes accurate Tuition and Fees) affected by COVID-19 to amend the new end date which would cover the hours required to complete the NCD program.

  ● SCOs must report in non-standard remarks the time period changes due to COVID-19 temporary cease of operations (i.e. the last day of converted online training and the first day of resuming practical
     training).

Notes:
  ● The effective dates of the new laws allow NCD schools to continue training for converted programs/classes/courses due solely to COVID-19.
  ● NCD schools not currently approved to offer online courses, will not be allowed to continue to offer online modality after December 21, 2021.

Student enrollment changes

Q7) When an NCD training institution (which had temporarily ceased all operations) resumes operations, what steps should SCOs take for VA students who do not return for training?

SCOs should use the initial enrollment certification affected by COVID-19 to terminate the student enrollment.

 ● Per normal reporting requirements, SCOs would report the last day of attendance as the effective date of termination.
 ● SCOs should use the standard remark for Mitigating Circumstances “COVID-19”
 ● The school must complete refund to student if applicable.

Q8) If a student becomes ill due to COVID-19 and they cannot continue training while the NCD institution continues to offer course training, what steps need to take place?

SCOs should review their institution’s attendance, “Leave of Absence”, and “Incomplete Grade” policies and apply as appropriate. If the school’s policy dictates that an “Incomplete Grade” or “Leave of Absence” is not an option, SCOs must:
 ● Report the withdrawal based on the attendance policy and report COVID-19 as mitigating circumstances.
 ● The student’s last day of attendance should be reported as the effective date.
 ● The NCD institution’s refund policy should be applied as soon as possible.
 ● In these situations, the law does NOT allow VA to continue payments beyond the last day of attendance.
If the school’s policy allows “Incomplete Grade” or “Leave of Absence” as an option, SCOs must follow normal established procedures.

What happens if the student resumes attendance?
 ● An NCD educational institution will complete standard enrollment practices associated with any prior withdrawal by a student.

Note: If the student returns during the 1 March 2020 to 21 December 2021 timeframe, the school may continue to report converted courses to VA in accordance with guidance provided in the FAQs.

Discontinuing training or operations

Q9) What happens when an NCD training institution temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19 and cannot offer a program via online training?

When this occurs, the NCD should not submit enrollment adjustments for the current term. Instead, SCOs must report the temporary school closure to the Education Liaison Representative (ELR) and State Approving Agency (SAA) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It is important to notify the ELR and SAA as soon as practical, so the claimant’s monthly stipend is correctly adjusted.
  ● If the educational institution has temporarily ceased operations to all students due to COVID-19, affected students will continue to receive their MHA until the end of the term or 4 weeks (28 days) – whichever is sooner - from the date that the NCD ceased operations.
  ● These laws only provide protection for stoppage in training when the school ceases operations completely (temporary or permanent).

Q10) If an NCD school transitions select programs from resident (physically in person) to online classes to continue the training, but must discontinue other training programs, what steps should the school take?

The NCD SCO should review their institution’s attendance, “Leave of Absence”, and “Incomplete Grade” policy and apply as appropriate. If the school’s policy dictates that an “Incomplete Grade” or “Leave of Absence” is not an option, SCOs must:
  ● Report the withdrawal based on the attendance policy and report ”COVID-19 Program Suspended” as mitigating circumstances.
  ● The program’s last session day must be reported as the effective date.
  ● In these situations, the law does NOT allow VA to continue payments beyond the last day of the program session.
  ● Students enrolled in programs suspended due to COVID-19 will continue to receive their MHA until the end of the term or 4 weeks (28 days) from the date the program was temporarily suspended.

Q11) When an NCD training institution (which had temporarily ceased all operations) resumes operations, what steps should SCOs take to ensure returning VA students receive proper payments?

SCOs would use the initial enrollment certification affected by COVID-19 to amend new end date to cover the hours required to complete the NCD program. SCO should also amend tuition and fees when:
  ● An increase or decrease is identified for specific fees associated with the continuation of training (admin fee, consumable products, etc.)
  ● If a refund was provided to the student, the school will need to collect refund back from the student.
  ● SCOs must report in non-standard remarks the time period changes due to COVID-19 temporary cease of operations (last day of training and the first day of resuming training).

Q12) What happens when an NCD vocational flight training institution temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19?

When this occurs, the NCD vocational flight institution should submit current flight hours per standard reporting requirements based on the last day of training (time to report will be extended). VA will process and pay benefits for qualifying tuition and fee costs to the NCD flight institution.

What happens when NCD institution resumes operations:
When an NCD vocational flight institution resumes operations for flight training:
   ● Normal resumption of monthly flight training reported to VA using VA-ONCE.

Note: Flight medical certification must still be current.

On the Job Training (OJT)/Apprenticeship

General

Q1) Will there be acceptable circumstances, due to COVID-19, where an OJT or Apprenticeship training establishment SCO may not meet the thirty-day requirement to report an enrollment change?

Late reporting (30 days from reporting event) is always a concern of VA.  During COVID-19, VA understands that institutions face additional challenges with timely enrollment amendment or adjustment certifications. VA asks that the institution make every attempt to complete the changes within a reasonable amount of time.  VA will consider your mitigating circumstances for the aforementioned when completing a compliance survey.

Change in Modality (Conversion from Resident to Online)

Q2) Under the new laws, what happens when an OJT or Apprenticeship establishment can convert trainee programs from resident to online training due to COVID-19?

  ● The laws allow payment for trainees only if the facility site is capable of converting from on-site to online training without disrupting the completion of the program with hours counted toward journeyman status.
SCOs can provide monthly training hours via VA ONCE or using a PDF attachment (VA Form 22-6553d-1 or agency letterhead) through our “Ask A Question” portal.

Note: VA highly recommends submitting documents via electronic means. Facsimile submissions are no longer accepted. Mailed documents are acceptable but may delay trainee payments.

Discontinuing training or operations

Q3) What happens when an OJT or Apprenticeship establishment temporarily ceases trainee program training due to COVID-19 and the facility completely closes all operations?

When this occurs, the OJT or Apprenticeship should submit actual training hours for any partial month if not previously submitted. If the OJT or Apprenticeship facility has temporarily ceased all operations due to COVID- 19, the affected trainee will continue to receive their MHA until the sooner of the end of the program or 4 weeks (28 days) from the date that the facility temporarily ceased operations.

If using VA ONCE:
   ● SCO must select “No” in the “Trainee Enrolled in and Pursuing Approved Program for Month Shown.
   ● SCO must terminate enrollment in VA ONCE using the Date Terminated data field. This date must be the last day of training completed.
   ● SCO must select “Other” for reason terminated and enter “FACILITY Temporarily Ceased Ops-COVID” in the Remarks text field in VA ONCE.

If using paper forms to report monthly training hours (VA Form 22-6553d-1):
  ● SCO must select “No” in box 3, “Trainee Enrolled in and Pursuing Approved Program for Month Shown.”
  ● SCO must enter the last day of training as the termination date into block 4.
  ● In addition, SCO should state in box 7, “FACILITY Temporarily Ceased Ops-COVID”
  ● The SCO should submit this document using a PDF attachment (through our “Ask A Question” portal

Note: Hours cannot be reported unless they are actual training hours. Hours reported must be hours pursued for the approved training plan.

Q4) What happens when an OJT or Apprenticeship establishment temporarily ceases trainee program (examples: Veteran may still be working but not training: Employer is open, lay-off or furlough of the trainee, etc.) due to COVID-19 but the facility is continuing operations?

When this occurs, the OJT or Apprenticeship should submit actual training hours for the partial month if not already completed

If using VA ONCE:
   ● SCO must select “No” in the “Trainee Enrolled in and Pursuing Approved Program for Month Shown.
   ● SCO must terminate enrollment in VA ONCE using the Date Terminated data field. This date must be the last day of training completed.
   ● SCO must select “Other” for reason terminated and enter “INDIVIDUAL Temporarily Stopped Training COVID” or the Remarks text field in VA ONCE.

If using paper forms to report monthly training hours (VA Form 22-6553d-1):
   ● SCO must select “No” in box 3, “Trainee Enrolled in and Pursuing Approved Program for Month Shown.
   ● SCO must enter the last day of training as the termination date into block 4.
   ● In addition, SCO should state in box 7 “INDIVIDUAL Temporarily Stopped Training COVID”
   ● The SCO should submit this document using a PDF attachment (through our “Ask A Question” portal

Note: Hours cannot be reported unless they are actual training hours. Hours reported must be hours pursued for the approved training plan.

In these situations, the law does NOT allow VA to continue payments beyond the last day of training attendance.