The VA's Veteran Monthly Assistance Allowance (VMAA) program is a rehabilitative benefit and is applicable to disabled veterans whether the disability is service-connected or non-service-connected. The VMAA has qualification standards that must be achieved and verified with the United States Olympic Committee's (USOC) Paralympics Division prior to receiving the allowance.
The allowance has very specific requirements in regards to training plans and levels of development, and is designed for Paralympic sports that have official governing bodies that have developed military and national standards. The governing bodies vary on level of program development; however, U.S. Paralympics is responsible for all Paralympic sport allowance programs at the standards and interaction with veteran athlete level in the 50 states and District of Columbia.
Also, if a veteran qualifies in more than one Paralympic sport, the veteran can switch which sport (s)he is receiving the allowance for; we have had several disabled veteran athletes switch Paralympic sports already—several when paratriathlon became available, another was from wheelchair rugby to track, and we currently have an athlete in field events working on transitioning to another sport.
As far as the stipend payment, the 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 allowance rates apply to the Paralympic assistance allowance. Therefore, the following rates currently apply, until modified (which is usually during mid-October since it’s the first month of the fiscal year):
|Number of Dependents
|Each Additional Dependent
Although the VA oversees the overall VMAA program, the USOC’s U.S. Paralympics handles applications and ongoing submission of VMAA documents to the VA. For information on the VMAA, the attached standards include points of contact for each Paralympic sport, the primary USOC point of contact is Jillian Brinkman who can be reached at Katie.Mitchell@usoc.org. She also handles applications for the allowance and can go over the requirements as far as coaching, training regimens and competitions.
For administrative processes, the USOC needs three documents to be filled out to submit to the VA as well as some other documents for their use such as training plans. After a veteran has been verified as meeting Paralympic allowance requirements, the USOC provides the verifying documentation to PVR, and we work with the VA's Administrative and Loan Accounting Center (ALAC), Austin, TX, to arrange allowance payment through direct deposit to your bank account.