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The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through June 15, 2014
 
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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS

 

DIVISION 31

VETERAN SERVICE OFFICER CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

274-031-0001

Purpose and Objectives

OAR 274 division 31 is established to administer and enforce ORS 406.452 and 408.095, which authorize the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (“ODVA”) to establish and administer a Veteran Service Officer (“VSO”) Certification Program (the “Program”). The essential objectives of the Program include assuring that each certified VSO receives appropriate initial and ongoing training, education, and experience sufficient to achieve and maintain competency in applying for applicable federal and state benefits on behalf of Oregon veterans, spouses and dependents of veterans or survivors of veterans.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 406.452 & 408.095
Stats. Implemented: ORS 406.050, 406.452 & 408.095
Hist.: DVA 1-2011, f. & cert. ef. 3-24-11

274-031-0002

Definitions

For the purposes of OAR chapter 274 division 031, the following terms have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) "Certified" means that ODVA has provided specific written recognition that a particular person, employed by the state or county to counsel and apply for applicable state and federal veterans’ benefits on behalf of Oregon veterans, spouses and dependents of veterans or survivors of veterans, has received requisite training, and otherwise satisfied minimum standards of education and experience, consistent with ORS 406.452 and the Program to serve in that role as a VSO.

(2) "Director" means the Director of Veterans’ Affairs for the State of Oregon as defined in ORS 406.010.

(3) "ODVA" means the State of Oregon, acting by and through its Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

(4) "Veteran Service Officer" or “VSO” means a state or county employee who is designated to apply for applicable state and federal veterans’ benefits on behalf of Oregon veterans and certified by ODVA to so act consistent with this division.

(5) "Reestablished VSO" means a VSO who has not been employed as a VSO in the last three years.

(6) "Milestone Examination" means an examination administered by ODVA near the midpoint of the Training Program. This examination is designed to benchmark the progress, and future training needs, of the VSO related to defined training objectives as defined in OAR 274-031-0003.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 406.452
Stats. Implemented: ORS 406.050 & 406.452
Hist.: DVA 1-2011, f. & cert. ef. 3-24-11

274-031-0003

Minimum Training Standards for Certification

(1) As it deems appropriate, ODVA will make available or recognize training for VSO certification typically including, but not necessarily limited to the following:

(a) A multiple-day training course developed and provided on-site at ODVA’s Salem headquarters facility located at 700 Summer Street NE, Salem, Oregon;

(b) An introductory training course for new or reestablishing VSO applicants;

(c) Topical training as part of its VSO conference(s); and

(d) Additional training approved by ODVA offered through official sanctioned veterans’ organizations.

(2) To receive VSO certification, persons must, as determined by ODVA, satisfactorily complete required training within the first 18 months of appointment, except as provided in section (5) of this rule.

(3) The training will be conducted under the supervision of ODVA's Training Coordinator or designee.

(4) Upon satisfactory completion of the training and a passing grade on the certification testing, as determined by ODVA, the VSO will qualify to become certified as determined by ODVA.

(5) VSO certification will terminate if the VSO has not been employed as a VSO in the last three years. The VSO must then satisfactorily complete the training program to qualify for certification. ODVA shall waive this requirement if the VSO:

(a) Successfully completes a written test; or

(b) Submits documentation of successful completion of equivalent training as determined by ODVA.

(6) ODVA may grant an extension of the time limit for the completion of the Training Program upon presentation of evidence by the employing agency that the VSO was unable to complete the required training due to illness, injury, military service, or other prudent reason(s).

Stat. Auth.: ORS 406.452
Stats. Implemented: ORS 406.050 & 406.452
Hist.: DVA 1-2011, f. & cert. ef. 3-24-11

274-031-0004

Certification Testing

ODVA shall require that all new VSOs and VSOs being reestablished must take the following examinations within a timeframe as determined by the Director or the Director's designee per OAR 274-031-0003:

(1) Milestone examination; and

(2) Certification examination.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 406.452
Stats. Implemented: ORS 406.050 & 406.452
Hist.: DVA 1-2011, f. & cert. ef. 3-24-11

274-031-0005

Minimum Certification Standards

(1) Each certification test will require a passing grade as determined by ODVA. If a passing grade is not achieved, the test will be readministered approximately 90 days thereafter.

(2) Newly appointed and reestablished VSOs must complete the minimum training standards for certification within the first 18 months of appointment.

(3) The Director, or designee, will assign a specific value to each training as outlined in 274-031-0003.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 406.452
Stats. Implemented: ORS 406.050 & 406.452
Hist.: DVA 1-2011, f. & cert. ef. 3-24-11

274-031-0006

Maintaining Certification

Each VSO must maintain certification by:

(1) Participating in six training units every year;

(2) Taking and passing the certification test once every two years; and

(3) Maintaining quality work performance as determined by the Director or designee.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 406.452
Stats. Implemented: ORS 406.050 & 406.452
Hist.: DVA 1-2011, f. & cert. ef. 3-24-11

274-031-0007

Denial/Revocation of Certification

The Director, or the Director's designee, may deny or cancel a VSO’s certification if the Director, or the Director's designee, determines that the VSO is not maintaining, but not limited to, the following:

(1) The minimum certification standards as outlined in 274-031-0005;

(2) Satisfactory completion and maintenance of training and education as set by ORS 406.452;

(3) Compliance with state or federal laws;

(4) Continued employment as a VSO;

(5) Lack of sanctions by the federal Veterans Administration;

(6) Quality of claims work.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 406.452
Stats. Implemented: ORS 406.050 & 406.452
Hist.: DVA 1-2011, f. & cert. ef. 3-24-11

274-031-0008

Hearings Request

Any person adversely affected by an ODVA determination with respect to this Program, may request review of such determination by the Director. The Director, or the Director’s designee, will undertake such review as he or she deems appropriate. The Director, or the Director's designee will endeavor to provide a written response within 30 days of receipt of the requested review.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 406.030 & 406.452
Stats. Implemented: ORS 406.030 & 406.452
Hist.: DVA 1-2011, f. & cert. ef. 3-24-11

274-031-0009

Waiver of Rules

ODVA may waive or modify any requirements of OAR 274, division 31, in order to achieve substantial justice and the purposes of the Program unless such waiver or modification would violate applicable federal or state law.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 406.030 & 406.005
Stats. Implemented: ORS 406.030, 406.050 & 406.452
Hist.: DVA 1-2011, f. & cert. ef. 3-24-11

The official copy of an Oregon Administrative Rule is contained in the Administrative Order filed at the Archives Division, 800 Summer St. NE, Salem, Oregon 97310. Any discrepancies with the published version are satisfied in favor of the Administrative Order. The Oregon Administrative Rules and the Oregon Bulletin are copyrighted by the Oregon Secretary of State. Terms and Conditions of Use

Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722
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