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bility criteria otherwise set forth in this chapter (including the eligibility criteria set forth in section 1711(b) of this title).

(2) Mental health services furnished under paragraph (1) of this subsection may, if determined to be essential to the effective treatment and readjustment of the veteran, include such consultation, counseling, training, services, and expenses as are described in section 17016)(B) of this title.

[(c) Repealed by P.L. 104–262, 331(b), 110 Stat. 3198.] (d) The Under Secretary for Health may provide for such training of professional, paraprofessional, and lay personnel as is necessary to carry out this section effectively, and, in carrying out this section, may utilize the services of paraprofessionals, individuals who are volunteers working without compensation, and individuals who are veteran-students (as described in section 3485 of this title) in initial intake and screening activities.

(e)(1) In furnishing counseling and related mental health services under subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the Secretary shall have available the same authority to enter into contracts with private facilities that is available to the Secretary (under sections 1703(a)(2) and 1710(a)(1)(B) of this title) in furnishing medical services to veterans suffering from total service-connected disabilities.

(2) Before furnishing counseling or related mental health services described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section through a contract facility, as authorized by this subsection, the Secretary shall approve (in accordance with criteria which the Secretary shall pre scribe by regulation) the quality and effectiveness of the program operated by such facility for the purpose for which the counseling or services are to be furnished.

(3) The authority of the Secretary to enter into contracts under this subsection shall be effective for any fiscal year only to such extent or in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts.

(f) The Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of Defense, shall take such action as the Secretary considers appropriate to notify veterans who may be eligible for assistance under this section of such potential eligibility.

(g)(1)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, the Secretary may close or relocate a center in existence on January 1, 1988, only as described in the national plan required by paragraph (3) of this subsection (or in a revision to such plan under paragraph (4) of this subsection in which the closure or relocation of that center is proposed).

(B) A closure or relocation of a center which is proposed in such national plan may be carried out only after the end of the 120-day period beginning on the date on which the national plan is submitted. A closure or relocation of a center not proposed in such plan may be carried out only after the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date the Secretary submits a revision to such plan in which the closure or relocation of that center is proposed.

(C) The Secretary may relocate a center in existence on January 1, 1988, without regard to the national plan (including any revision to such plan) if such relocation is to a new location away from a Department general health-care facility when such relocation is necessitated by circumstances beyond the control of the Department. Such a relocation may be carried out only after the end of the 30day period beginning on the date on which the Secretary notifies the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the proposed relocation, of the circumstances making it necessary, and of the reason for the selection of the new site for the center.

(2)(A) Not later than April 1, 1988, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report on the Secretary's evaluation of the effectiveness in helping to meet the readjustment needs of veterans who served on active duty during the Vietnam era of the readjustment counseling and mental health services provided pursuant to this section (and of outreach efforts with respect to such counseling and services). Such report shall give particular attention, in light of the results of the study required by section 102 of the Veterans' Health Care Amendments of 1983 (Public Law 98–160) to the provision of such counseling and services to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and to the diagnosis and treatment of such disorder.

(B) The report required by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall include

(i) the opinion of the Secretary with respect to (I) the extent to which the readjustment needs of veterans who served on active duty during the Vietnam era remain unmet, and (II) the extent to which the provision of readjustment counseling services under this section in centers is needed to meet such needs; and

(ii) in light of the opinion submitted pursuant to clause (i) of this subparagraph, such recommendations for amendments to this subsection and for other legislative and administrative ac

tion as the Secretary considers appropriate. (3XA) The Secretary, after considering the recommendations of the Under Secretary for Health, shall submit to such committees a report setting forth a national plan for all centers in existence on January 1, 1988. Such national plan shall set forth the Secretary's proposals as to each such center for a period (to be determined by the Secretary) of not less than 12 months beginning on the date of the submission of the report. The plan shall include, as to each center, whether the Secretary proposes to relocate the center to a general Department facility, relocate the center to a new location away from a general Department facility, expand the center in the same location, or close the center. The plan shall also set forth any proposal of the Secretary to open additional centers.

(B) The plan shall include the Secretary's evaluation as to how, in light of each of the criteria described in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, the proposal set forth in the plan for each center covered by the plan would ensure the continued availability and effective furnishing of readjustment counseling services to eligible veterans needing such services in the geographic area served by that center.

(C) The Secretary shall make the evaluation described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph with respect to any center in light of the following:

(i) The distribution of Vietnam-era veterans in the geographic area served by the center and the relationships between the location of such center and the general Department facility and such distribution.

(ii) The distance between the center and the general Department facility.

(iii) The availability of other entities (such as State, local, or private outreach facilities) which provide assistance to Vietnam-era veterans in the area served by the center.

(iv) The availability of transportation to, and parking at, the center and the general Department facility.

(v) The availability, cost, and suitability of the space at the general Department facility.

(vi) The overall cost impact of the proposed closure or relocation, including a comparison of the recurring nonpersonnel costs of providing readjustment counseling to the same estimated number of veterans at the center and the general De partment facility.

(vii) The workload trends over the two previous fiscal years, and projected over the next fiscal year (or longer), at the center.

(viii) Such other factors as the Secretary determines to be relevant to making the evaluation described in subparagraph

(B) of this paragraph. (D) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “general De partment facility" means a Department facility which is not a center and at which readjustment counseling would be furnished in a particular geographic area upon the closure or relocation of a center.

(4) After submitting the plan required by paragraph (3) of this subsection, the Secretary may submit to the committees a revision to such plan in order to modify the proposal set forth in the plan as to any center. Any such revision shall include, with respect to each center addressed in the revision, a description of the Sec retary's evaluation of the matters specified in paragraphs (3/B and (3)(C) of this subsection.

(5) For purposes of determining a period of time under paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection, if the national plan (or a revision to the national plan) is submitted to the committees during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before and ending 60 days after the final day of a session of the Congress, it shall be deemed to have been submitted on the sixty-first day after the final day of such session.

[(h) Repealed. P.L. 102–83, 8 4(b).) (i) For the purposes of this section:

(1) The term "center" means a facility (including a Resource Center designated under subsection (h)(3)(A) of this section which is operated by the Department for the provision of services under this section and which (A) is situated apart from Department general health-care facilities, or (B) was so situated but has been relocated to a Department general healthcare facility.

(2) The term “Department general health-care facility means a health-care facility which is operated by the Depart. ment for the furnishing of health-care services under this chapter, not limited to services provided through the program established under this section.

Added P.L. 96–22, § 103(a)(1), June 13, 1979, 93 Stat. 48, § 612A; mended P.L. 96-128, 8501(b), Nov. 28, 1979, 93 Stat. 987; P.L. 7-72, $ 104(a)(1), (b), Nov. 3, 1981, 95 Stat. 1049; P.L. 98-160, 101, Nov. 21, 1983, 97 Stat. 993; P.L. 99–166, $$ 105, 106, Dec. , 1985, 99 Stat. 944, 945; P.L. 99-272, $8 19011(d)(4), 19012(c)(3), pr. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 379, 382; P.L. 99–576, $ 204, § 702(6), Oct. 8, 1986, 100 Stat. 3255, 3302; P.L. 100-322, $ 107(a)-e), May 20, 988, 102 Stat. 494–496; P.L. 100_687, 81501(a), Nov. 18, 1988, 02 Stat. 4132; P.L. 102-25, 8334(d), Apr. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 89; '.L. 102–54, § 14(b)(11), June 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 283; renumbered 1712A and amended P.L. 102-83, 884(a)(3), (4), (b)(1), (2)(E), (6), (a), (c/1), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404_406; P.L. 102-405, 302(c)(1), Oct. 9, 1992, 106 Stat. 1984; P.L. 104–262, 88 101(d)(5), 31, Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3180, 3197.) 1712B. Counseling for former prisoners of war

The Secretary may establish a program under which, upon the equest of a veteran who is a former prisoner of war, the Secretary, vithin the limits of Department facilities, furnishes counseling to uch veteran to assist such veteran in overcoming the psychological

ffects of the veteran's detention or internment as a prisoner of var. Added P.L. 99–166, § 107(a), Dec. 3, 1985, 99 Stat. 945, 8 612B; renumbered § 1712B and amended P.L. 102–83, 88 4(a)(3), (4), (b)(1), 2)(E), 5(a), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404-406.) 1713. Medical care for survivors and dependents of cer

tain veterans (a) The Secretary is authorized to provide medical care, in acordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, for

(1) the spouse or child of a veteran who has a total disability, permanent in nature, resulting from a service-connected disability,

(2) the surviving spouse or child of a veteran who (A) died as a result of a service-connected disability, or (B) at the time of death had a total disability permanent in nature, resulting from a service-connected disability, and

(3) the surviving spouse or child of a person who died in the active military, naval, or air service in the line of duty and not

due to such person's own misconduct, who are not otherwise eligible for medical care under chapter 55 of title 10 (CHAMPUS).

(b) In order to accomplish the purposes of subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall provide for medical care in the same or similar manner and subject to the same or similar limitations as medical care is furnished to certain dependents and survivors of active duty and retired members of the Armed Forces under chapter 55 of title 10 (CHAMPUS), by

(1) entering into an agreement with the Secretary of Defense under which that Secretary shall include coverage for such medical care under the contract, or contracts, that Secretary enters into to carry out such chapter 55, and under which the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall fully reimburse the Secretary of Defense for all costs and expenditures made for the purposes of affording the medical care authorized pursuant to this section; or

(2) contracting in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary shall prescribe for such insurance, medical service,

or health plans as the Secretary deems appropriate. In cases in which Department medical facilities are equipped to provide the care and treatment, the Secretary is also authorized to carry out such purposes through the use of such facilities not being utilized for the care of eligible veterans.

(c) For the purposes of this section, a child between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three (1) who is eligible for benefits under subsection (a) of this section, (2) who is pursuing a full-time course of instruction at an educational institution approved under chapter 36 of this title, and (3) who, while pursuing such course of instruc tion, incurs a disabling illness or injury (including a disabling illness or injury incurred between terms, semesters, or quarters or during a vacation or holiday period) which is not the result of such child's own willful misconduct and which results in such child's inability to continue or resume such child's chosen program of education at an approved educational institution shall remain eligible for benefits under this section until the end of the six-month period beginning on the date the disability is removed, the end of the twoyear period beginning on the date of the onset of the disability, or the twenty-third birthday of the child, whichever occurs first.

(d) Notwithstanding section 1086(d)(1) of title 10 or any other provision of law, any spouse, surviving spouse, or child who, after losing eligibility for medical care under this section by virtue of be coming entitled to hospital insurance benefits under part A of title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395c et seq.), has exhausted any such benefits shall become eligible for medical care under this section and shall not thereafter lose such eligibility under this section by virtue of becoming again eligible for such hospital insurance benefits. (Added P.L. 93-82, § 103(b), Aug. 2, 1973, 87 Stat. 181, 8613 amended P.L. 94-581, 8104, 8210(a)(4), Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat 2845, 2862; P.L. 96-151, $ 205(a), Dec. 20, 1979, 93 Stat. 1094; P.L 97–72, $ 105, Nov. 3, 1981, 95 Stat. 1050; P.L. 97–251, $5(a), Sept 8, 1982, 96 Stat. 716; renumbered $1713 and amended P.L. 10283, 884(a)(3), (4), (b)(1), (2)(B), (E), 5(a), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat 404_406; P.L. 102–190, $ 704(b)(2), Dec. 5, 1991, 105 Stat. 1402. $ 1714. Fitting and training in use of prosthetic appliances,

seeing-eye dogs (a) Any veteran who is entitled to a prosthetic appliance shall be furnished such fitting and training, including institutional training, in the use of such appliance as may be necessary, whether in a De partment facility or other training institution, or by outpatient treatment, including such service under contract, and including travel and incidental expenses (under the terms and conditions set forth in section 111 of this title) to and from such veteran's home to such hospital or training institution.

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