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Flight Training Using Chapter 31 Benefits?

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Attention: Military veterans currently utilizing Chapter 31 benefits to pursue flight training.

 

I need supporting evidence…

 

According to my voc rehab counselor:

 

* flight training is not offered to anyone not already in possession of a private pilot's license (despite the fact that I know of others who began training in this program without one)

* labor market analysis suggests a lack of demand for pilots (to which I'd argue the same statement could be applied to most, if not all, industries at the present time -- but will turn around)

* flight training must be pursued at a training facility which holds a contract with a degree-conferring university (despite the fact that I know of others who are not under this arrangement, yet are presently utilizing chapter 31 benefits)

 

As I wish to pursue flight training myself, I would genuinely appreciate any additional evidence supporting my contention that these ‘regulations’ are not being enforced uniformly, thereby making them null and void.

 

Thanks in advance.

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All I can say is look at VA manual 38 CFR Book G. There is a lot of good info, too much for me to try and point out. Just start scanning through each subpart's.

 

Link:

38 CFR Book G

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You can vice argue that of course there isn't a demand for pilots right now but as the economy turns around hopefully in the next few years, the demand will be back up. That is why now would be a great time to get your training started, seeing as it will take a couple years to attain all of your ratings doing an aviation science program at a college, plus another two years of instructing before you even have enough hours to get setup for a commercial position in the industry. That is a very arguable defense.

 

I know the Voc Rehab stuff is a lot different than the Chapter 30 or Chapter 33 benefits. You probably aren't eligible for Chapter 33, are you?

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You can vice argue that of course there isn't a demand for pilots right now but as the economy turns around hopefully in the next few years, the demand will be back up. That is why now would be a great time to get your training started, seeing as it will take a couple years to attain all of your ratings doing an aviation science program at a college, plus another two years of instructing before you even have enough hours to get setup for a commercial position in the industry. That is a very arguable defense.

 

I know the Voc Rehab stuff is a lot different than the Chapter 30 or Chapter 33 benefits. You probably aren't eligible for Chapter 33, are you?

 

Thank you both (RagMan & mechanic) for your replies.

 

Regrettably, my eligibility for Chapter 33 benefits expired in November 2001 and, as such, my only hope for VA benefits is through their vocational rehabilitation and employment program (Chapter 31).

 

And while no one can know with certainty what the future holds for this industry, I strongly believe (perhaps naively so) that the basis of your (RagMan) argument, and your timeline, is spot on.

 

Problem is, convincing my voc rehab counselor is somewhat akin to pushing an enormous rock up a very steep hill. I'm sure it can be done but not without (a lot of) help.

 

As for the link provided by mechanic... I'll begin wading through it the very next time that insomnia sets in. ;)

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Chapter 30 and 31 use much of the same rules for eligibilty, programs, payments and etc... If you qualify under Chapter 30 you qualify under Voc Reh Chapter 31 as long as you are 31 qualified. I have a bud dealing with the VA also.

 

 

This isn't CW is it??

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Chapter 30 and 31 use much of the same rules for eligibilty, programs, payments and etc... If you qualify under Chapter 30 you qualify under Voc Reh Chapter 31 as long as you are 31 qualified. I have a bud dealing with the VA also.

 

 

This isn't CW is it??

 

Not sure who CW is but I can't honestly say I'm surprised he/she is also experiencing difficulties with the VA.

 

I did manage to get in touch with a veteran's service representative in the Waco office, who told me the following:

 

A private pilot's license is NOT required of anyone to begin training AS LONG AS you're enrolled in a degree-conferring program at a college/university which provides VA-approved (Part 141) flight training. In other words, if the school's curriculum specifically provides private pilot training (in the form of a degree plan), then the VA will provide funding.

 

Now, it's only a matter of convincing my voc rehab counselor to pull his head out the sand -- because, in the end, he holds the purse-strings and must provide approval.

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Well, the way I understand/been told, there is a new lady over the VA Regional office for our area, is what I am hearing. She is changing some things, ie, her interp of the reg's. My buddy is having prob's in Houston. SO, you both are dealing with the same lady's interp of the reg's. My buddy was approved last year, now all of a sudden they dropped him for supposidly no reason. I spoke to my buddy 2 days ago. He has Congressman Joe Barton's office involved for an inquiry of the VA recent rule changes. Don't know yet what will come of it.

 

You might call them and inquire also??

 

Good Luck, it pisses me off with the VA. Some of these people don't even serve in the military. They act like it's their money. I am a VET also, I delt with them over the Voc Flt Training deal. I never could get the prepaid part outta the way before my 10 year delimiting date caught me.

 

Regards.

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Mechanic......THIS is CW.

 

Sunset....I've been told the same thing and got the same run around. A least there's SOMEONE in the VA system that knows what's going on.

 

There's a paragraph in that info Mechanic gave you that has a paragraph that states the same. If the degree REQUIRES flight courses, then the VA can approve the flight training. If the flight classes are part of a NON DEGREE program, then we have to have our Private.

 

My Congressman sent that paragraph to the VA. Hopefully they'll have that light bulb up stairs come on and see what's going on.

 

I'll keep you posted if I hear anything new. Let us know what you got happening on your end.

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Thanks to everyone for all your input but it appears as though I'll be watching you from the ground. Part of the most recent communication sent to be by my counselor is as follows (notice the date):

 

Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Central Office Bulletin of June 2010:

 

“Flight Training

There is no prohibition against developing a rehabilitation plan for a veteran training under Chapter 31 with the vocational goal of pilot, such as “Commercial Pilot” or “Flight Instructor.” However, current CER and M28 guidance regarding the provision of flight training must be followed. For example:

 

Training leading to a private pilot’s license cannot be authorized under Chapter 31. Before flight training can be approved, an individual must already possess a valid private pilot certificate or higher pilot certificate such as a commercial pilot certificate. [CFR 21.4235(a)(1)] [see also, M22-4, Part 10, Chapter 4, Subchapter 3, Paragraph 4.35]

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First, if you are trying to get "Flight Training" only, yes you do have to have a Private first to qualify.

 

I cannot find a copy of the "June 2010 Bulletin", so I don't know what it has to offer?? Will they give you a copy?? So we can see what is spelled out in the "Bulletin" sounds like they made an emergency change to the reg's, since 21.4235f is still in the VA manual and has been for years.

 

I know that "IF" you are taking a college level course that leads to a degree, Recreational and Private ratings are funded, IF it is required for the degree you are seeking.

 

Now, all the times I have spoke to the VA on the phone they always go the Vocational Flight Reg's route. They all don't want to acknowledge that 21.4235f even exists, they play dumb or did with me anyways.

 

I don't know about TSTC, if the VA counts their flight programs for Chap 30 as Higher Learning or Voc Flt since it is a state owned school and funded program.

 

Here are the links:

 

21.4235 Programs that INCLUDE fight training, see (f) at the last.

 

VA Manuals

 

I am really curious what they issued in the June Bulletin.

 

Here is the other reg they gave you from M22-4. Notice they keep using the wording "flight training". They use to use Vocational Flight Training, now they just use flight training as a way to interpt all the reg's I guess.

 

4.35 POSSESSION OF VALID PRIVATE PILOT CERTIFICATE OR HIGHER RATING AND APPROPRIATE MEDICAL CERTIFICATE (10 U.S.C. 2136©; 38 U.S.C. 3034(d); 38 CFR 21.4263(a))

 

 

a. Requirements. The requirements for compliance with VA law and regulations in these areas differ considerably from those imposed by the FAA. Flight school officials may need to be reminded of the differences.

 

 

(1) A veteran, service member, or reservist who has basic eligibility to receive educational assistance allowance under the provisions of chapters 30, 32, or 1606, may receive educational assistance for flight training provided that the student also possesses an unlimited private pilot certificate issued pursuant to FAR part 61, subpart E, or higher certificate or rating before enrolling in the flight training course. Benefits are not payable if the individual possesses only a student pilot or recreational pilot certificate before entry into the approved flight training course. Recreational certificates do not meet the private pilot certificate requirement. For service members on flight status, a commercial pilot certificate (fixed wing or rotor craft) will satisfy this requirement. In order to show that the student meets this requirement, the school must maintain in its records a photocopy of the student's private pilot certificate or higher rating or certificate.

 

 

(2) The student must also meet the medical requirements for the flight course being pursued. The medical requirements for the course must be met at the time of initial enrollment and continuously during pursuit of the flight training course. For all flight training courses except the ATP certificate, the student must possess a valid 2nd class medical certificate. For the ATP course, the student must possess a valid 1st class medical certificate.

 

 

(3) A 1st class medical certificate is valid until the last day of the sixth month after the month of medical examination. The certificate then reverts to a 2nd class medical certificate, which is only valid for six additional months, because the expiration date is determined as stated in subparagraph (4) below.

 

 

(4) A 2nd class medical certificate is valid until the last day of the 12th month after the month of medical examination. The certificate then reverts to a 3rd class medical certificate.

 

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Well i will find out tomorrow if I can. I spoke with DCA out of Florida. She called her VA contact, and HIS boss is one of the guys that writes the rules for the VA and flight training.....and he said that if you are enrolled in a degree plan that requires flight training as part of the degree or a pre-requisite....then the VA should pay.

 

I think they're just making excuses until the fall semester so they can put us in for the 2011 funding. We're pawns in the game....but they approved me last August...so they better find a way to get it back.

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Ah, are you trying to go Montgomery GI Bill or Post 9/11 GI Bill?? I think this is the answer you are seeking.

 

I think you are trying to go or just Post 9/11 qualified?

 

FAQ's link, VA ED Benefits

 

 

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I have requested a copy of the June 2010 bulletin from my counselor (the same guy who won't return my phone calls anymore) and will post its contents if/when it's received.

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My voc rehab counselor has yet to contact me. Big surprise. Just to keep everyone updated, I am in the process of filing yet another appeal with the VA. If that, too, doesn't produce the desired result, I'll let you all know how my lawsuit went.

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Things I have been reading and things I hear from other Flight Schools is this: If the Flight Courses are REQUIRED in the degree OR as a prerequisite, then the VA should be funding our training. I still have not heard anything out of my counselor either.

 

Sunset, please keep us posted as to your status....and I'll do the same.

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Sunset, please keep us posted as to your status....and I'll do the same.

 

Whatever the outcome, I'll be certain to post my findings here Taz.

 

-God bless the VA ('cause noone else in their right mind will).

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Ok. Sunset....I'm working on somethings on my end and I'll let you know of my success.......or failure for that matter. I'm still waiting on my response from the VA. I guess I need to talk to my Congressman again and see what the heck is going on.

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In the end, I lost my argument.

 

38 CFR 21.4235(f) exempts you from 38 CFR 21.4235(a2 - d). It does not, however, exempt you from 38 CFR 21.4235(a1), which requires anyone seeking educational benefits for flight training to first possess, at the very least, a private pilot's license.

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Sunset, that is what it states. But then they turn around and say in paragraph f2 that the VA will pay if the courses lead to a private pilot certification, if the certification will also lead to a degree. They are very contradicting in their rules.

 

But, I may be in the same boat then. But, I'm not giving up.

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In the end, I lost my argument.

 

38 CFR 21.4235(f) exempts you from 38 CFR 21.4235(a2 - d). It does not, however, exempt you from 38 CFR 21.4235(a1), which requires anyone seeking educational benefits for flight training to first possess, at the very least, a private pilot's license.

 

" may receive educational assistance for flight training in an approved course provided that the individual meets the requirements of this paragraph. Except when enrolled in a ground instructor certification course or when pursuing flight training under paragraph (f) of this section, the individual must (1) Possess a valid private pilot certificate...."

 

right after the part that says you are not exempt for a1 it says this

 

" (2) An individual described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section may pursue courses that may result in the individual eventually receiving recreational pilot certification or private pilot certification, provided that the courses also lead to a standard college degree. "

 

 

 

 

i read this as if it is part of a degree (institute oh higher learning) then it exempts you from the other requirements to just attend flight school.

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" may receive educational assistance for flight training in an approved course provided that the individual meets the requirements of this paragraph. Except when enrolled in a ground instructor certification course or when pursuing flight training under paragraph (f) of this section, the individual must (1) Possess a valid private pilot certificate...."

 

right after the part that says you are not exempt for a1 it says this

 

" (2) An individual described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section may pursue courses that may result in the individual eventually receiving recreational pilot certification or private pilot certification, provided that the courses also lead to a standard college degree. "

 

 

i read this as if it is part of a degree (institute oh higher learning) then it exempts you from the other requirements to just attend flight school.

 

 

 

helifixerupper, I thought the same thing too........I just can not for the life of me convince the VA that they're wrong in this ruling.

 

I'm getting ready to hit my Senators with this one (my Congressman didn't do me worth a dang), and then request a meeting with my VR&E supervisor.

 

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Hi Taz, et al...

 

I, too, have read the passage to which you refer. And, yes, I believe you're right. Convincing anyone in the VA to pull their head out of the sand is an altogether different matter.

 

Please don't interpret that to mean that I have given up, however.

 

At this point, I'm pretty much of the attitude that I have absolutely nothing to lose and, as such, have stopped playing nice (and I can do that very well). ;)

 

I'll keep you posted.

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Guys- I am at the start of the approval process through Vocational Rehab. The labor statistics I got were fine, comparable to many things out there. I'm not sure how the funding will go, but we'll see. Are you near your schools? When looking at a different type of school, they said to transfer the file to the nearest VA office and go from there, can you get things to a point where you could transfer to a different office?

 

The VA can be very, very frustrating with the legalities and everything. I'll let you know what pans out on my end, keep posting so we can all figure this out!

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Good luck, Norhtern. We've hit a road block so far. If you don't have your Private License, prepare for a fight.

 

I'm going to request a meeting with the supervisor that sent me the turn down letter. They lied to my Congressman and told them that they spoke with me extensively, and there has been no such contact. Anyway.....I'm doing everything I can to fight them and make them pay it.

 

If you hit a break through sunset, please let me know what you did.

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Same roadblock, guys. In order for the VA to finance any flight training, you must have a private license. It's hard to sift through all the similar topics and arguments on the site- what's your plan to get the ppl? The regs don't specify fixed or rotary, does it make any sense to get a fixed wing ppl because it's cheaper, and then have them fund the rotary training? Not sure if it would work or not....not as if I'm trying to cheat the system, just trying to satisfy the lingo in the regulations and still apply the benefits to what I want to do.

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