[104th Congress Public Law 238]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[DOCID: f:publ238.104]

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Public Law 104-238
104th Congress

                                 An Act

   To provide educational assistance to the dependents of Federal law 
 enforcement officials who are killed or disabled in the performance of 
           their duties. <<NOTE: Oct. 3, 1996 -  [S. 2101]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Federal Law Enforcement 
Dependents Assistance Act of 1996. 42 USC 3711 note.>> assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Federal Law Enforcement Dependents 
Assistance Act of 1996''.


    Part L of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act 
of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796 et seq.) is amended by--
            (1) inserting after the heading the following:

                     ``Subpart 1--Death Benefits'';

            (2) adding at the end the following:

 ``Subpart 2--Educational Assistance to Dependents of Civilian Federal 
     Law Enforcement Officers Killed or Disabled in the Line of Duty

``SEC. 1211. <<NOTE: 42 USC 3796d.>> PURPOSES.

    ``The purposes of this subpart are--
            ``(1) to enhance the appeal of service in civilian Federal 
        law enforcement agencies;
            ``(2) to extend the benefits of higher education to 
        qualified and deserving persons who, by virtue of the death of 
        or total disability of an eligible officer, may not be able to 
        afford it otherwise; and
            ``(3) to allow the family members of eligible officers to 
        attain the vocational and educational status which they would 
        have attained had a parent or spouse not been killed or disabled 
        in the line of duty.

``SEC. 1212. <<NOTE: 42 USC 3796d-1.>> BASIC ELIGIBILITY.

    ``(a) Benefits.--(1) Subject to the availability of appropriations, 
the Attorney General shall provide financial assistance to a dependent 
who attends a program of education and is--
            ``(A) the child of any eligible Federal law enforcement 
        officer under subpart 1; or

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            ``(B) the spouse of an officer described in subparagraph (A) 
        at the time of the officer's death or on the date of a totally 
        and permanently disabling injury.

    ``(2) Financial assistance under this subpart shall consist of 
direct payments to an eligible dependent and shall be computed on the 
basis set forth in section 3532 of title 38, United States Code.
    ``(b) Duration of Benefits.--No dependent shall receive assistance 
under this subpart for a period in excess of forty-five months of full-
time education or training or a proportional period of time for a part-
time program.
    ``(c) Age Limitation for Dependent Children.--No dependent child 
shall be eligible for assistance under this subpart after the child's 
27th birthday absent a finding by the Attorney General of extraordinary 
circumstances precluding the child from pursuing a program of education.

``SEC. 1213. <<NOTE: 42 USC 3796d-2.>> APPLICATIONS; APPROVAL.

    ``(a) Application.--A person seeking assistance under this subpart 
shall submit an application to the Attorney General in such form and 
containing such information as the Attorney General reasonably may 
    ``(b) Approval.--The Attorney General shall approve an application 
for assistance under this subpart unless the Attorney General finds 
            ``(1) the dependent is not eligible for, is no longer 
        eligible for, or is not entitled to the assistance for which 
        application is made;
            ``(2) the dependent's selected educational institution fails 
        to meet a requirement under this subpart for eligibility;
            ``(3) the dependent's enrollment in or pursuit of the 
        educational program selected would fail to meet the criteria 
        established in this subpart for programs; or
            ``(4) the dependent already is qualified by previous 
        education or training for the educational, professional, or 
        vocational objective for which the educational program is 

    ``(c) Notification.--The Attorney General shall notify a dependent 
applying for assistance under this subpart of approval or disapproval of 
the application in writing.

``SEC. 1214. <<NOTE: 42 USC 3796d-3.>> REGULATIONS.

    The Attorney General may promulgate reasonable and necessary 
regulations to implement this subpart.

``SEC. 1215. <<NOTE: 42 USC 3796d-4.>> DISCONTINUATION FOR 

    ``The Attorney General may discontinue assistance under this subpart 
when the Attorney General finds that, according to the regularly 
prescribed standards and practices of the educational institution, the 
recipient fails to maintain satisfactory progress as described in 
section 484(c) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1091(c)).

``SEC. 1216. <<NOTE: 42 USC 3796d-5.>> SPECIAL RULE.

    ``(a) Retroactive Eligibility.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
of law, each dependent of a Federal law enforcement officer killed in 
the line of duty on or after May 1, 1992, shall

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be eligible for assistance under this subpart, subject to the other 
limitations of this subpart.
    ``(b) Retroactive Assistance.--The Attorney General may provide 
retroactive assistance to dependents eligible under this section for 
each month in which the dependent pursued a program of education at an 
eligible educational institution. <<NOTE: Applicability.>> The Attorney 
General shall apply the limitations contained in this subpart to 
retroactive assistance.

    ``(c) Prospective Assistance.--The Attorney General may provide 
prospective assistance to dependents eligible under this section on the 
same basis as assistance to dependents otherwise eligible. In applying 
the limitations on assistance under this subpart, the Attorney General 
shall include assistance provided retroactively. A dependent eligible 
under this section may waive retroactive assistance and apply only for 
prospective assistance on the same basis as dependents otherwise 

``SEC. 1217. <<NOTE: 42 USC 3796d-6.>> DEFINITIONS.

    ``For purposes of this subpart:
            ``(1) The term `Attorney General' means the Attorney General 
        of the United States.
            ``(2) The term `Federal law enforcement officer' has the 
        same meaning as under subpart 1.
            ``(3) The term `program of education' means any curriculum 
        or any combination of unit courses or subjects pursued at an 
        eligible educational institution, which generally is accepted as 
        necessary to fulfill requirements for the attainment of a 
        predetermined and identified educational, professional, or 
        vocational objective. It includes course work for the attainment 
        of more than one objective if in addition to the previous 
        requirements, all the objectives generally are recognized as 
        reasonably related to a single career field.
            ``(4) The term `eligible educational institution' means an 
        institution which--
                    ``(A) is described in section 481 of the Higher 
                Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1088), as in effect on 
                the date of the enactment of this section; and
                    ``(B) is eligible to participate in programs under 
                title IV of such Act.

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    ``There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subpart 
such sums as may be necessary.''.

    Approved October 3, 1996.


            Sept. 20, considered and passed Senate.
            Sept. 26, considered and passed House.