PUBLIC LAW 105-368 —NOV. 11, 1998 112 STAT. 3357 "SUBCHAPTER VII—EDUCATION DEBT REDUCTION PROGRAM "§ 7681. Authority for program "(a) IN GENERAL.—(1) As part of the Educational Assistance Program, the Secretary may carry out an education debt reduction program under this subchapter. The program shall be known as the Department of Veterans Affairs Education Debt Reduction Program (hereafter in this subchapter referred to as the 'Education Debt Reduction Program'). "(2) The purpose of the Education Debt Reduction Program is to assist in the recruitment of qualified health care professionals for positions in the Veterans Health Administration for which recruitment or retention of an adequate supply of qualified personnel is difficult. "(b) RELATIONSHIP TO EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.— Education debt reduction payments under the Education Debt Reduction Program may be in addition to other assistance available to individuals under the Educational Assistance Program. " §7682. Eligibility " (a) ELIGIBILITY.—An individual is eligible to participate in the Education Debt Reduction Program if the individual— "(1) is a recently appointed employee in the Veterans Health Administration serving under an appointment under section 7402(b) of this title in a position for which recruitment or retention of qualified health-care personnel (as determined by the Secretary) 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. "(c) RECENTLY APPOINTED INDIVIDUALS.—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.
- § 7683. Education debt reduction
"(a) IN GENERAL.—Education debt reduction pa5mients under the Education Debt Reduction Program shall consist of payments to individuals selected to participate in the program of amounts to reimburse such individuals for payments by such individuals of principal and interest on loans described in section 7682(a)(2) of this title. "(b) FREQUENCY OF PAYMENT.—(1) The Secretary may make education debt reduction payments to any given participant in the Education Debt Reduction Program on a monthly or annual basis, as determined by the Secretary. "(2) The Secretary shall make such pa5nTients at the end of the period determined by the Secretary under paragraph (1).