Department of Veterans Affairs
This government agency is responsible for determining eligibility for VA education benefits, based upon information it receives from the military services, and for authorizing benefit payments. There are several key people involved in this process.
- Chief Education Liaison Officer: this person supervises the two people described below and is responsible for overseeing the education liaison and compliance functions of the VA. The CELO works at the VA Regional Processing Office in Buffalo, New York.
- Education Liaison Representative: This individual is responsible for reviewing the approvals conducted by the State Approving Agency, and acts as the VA's liaison representative to training institutes and sponsors of registered apprenticeship. The ELR works in the VA Regional Office in Boston, Mass.
- Education Compliance Survey Specialist: This person is responsible for conducting reviews of the employer's records and processes to ensure they are in compliance with the laws that allow VA benefits to be paid.
State Approving Agency
The State Approving Agency for registered apprenticeship programs in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the Massachusetts Division of Apprentice Training (DAT). DAT is responsible for reviewing the training facility and the programs of education to determine if they can be approved for the payment of VA education benefits. DAT Compliance Officers conduct initial and periodic follow-up visits to assist apprenticeship sponsors in establishing and maintaining registered apprenticeship programs. Sponsors should contact DAT with any questions concerning the approval of current or new programs. Certifying Official
This individual is the employer's representative responsible for completing all paperwork necessary to certify the enrollment and changes in enrollment for apprentices eligible for VA benefits. The name and signature of Certifying Officials are kept on file with the VA, and they are responsible for signing and forwarding a VA Form 22-6553d, Monthly Certification of On The Job and Apprentice Training for each registered apprentice they supervise. This VA form is mailed directly to apprentices along with their benefits check for the previous month. The apprentice must bring this form to work so it can be completed, signed and mailed back to the VA by the Certifying Official.
Apprentices who are eligible to receive VA education benefits may fall into one of the following categories.
- Active participant in the National Guard or Selected Reserve
- Veteran (discharged or separated service person)
- Veteran's dependent (spouse, surviving spouse, or child)
- Disabled veteran