The Veteran Affairs Work Study department is committed to helping our Veteran students, dependents, and Site Supervisors during this unprecedented period. Below are some common questions and answers regarding the Work Study program. Please note, our operations are functioning and Work study is processing applications, paying time cards, and is available for you to reach out to.
We’re following current VA policy when processing Work Study benefits with some slight temporary changes shown below to help out our Work Study students and Site Supervisors during this time. Please note, this could all change depending on what comes through leadership in the future; therefore, please be on the lookout for new information as it comes through.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Work Study at 1-855-225-1159 (option #2), or by submitting a VA website Ask-A-Question incident.
Q – Can a zero hour request extend for more than 30 days so the students have more time to work the hours they missed due to a shutdown?
A – We cannot expand the 30-day extension to 31, 32, 33 days, etc. However, if a school extends a student’s term, then the 30-day time period will be extended. For example, the term was originally scheduled 1/15/20 to 5/15/20, and a 30-day zero hour request would go to 6/15/20; if the school had to close down for three weeks and extend their term to 6/5/20, then the 30 day zero hour extension request would naturally extend to a later date of 7/5/20.
Q – Can a Work Study student who’s no longer working for an approved Work Study site obtain unemployment through the state?
A – Work Study is a benefit; therefore, unemployment may not be approved. However, if they have any unemployment benefit questions, they should inquire with the unemployment office as they make the final determination on all unemployment benefits, not Work Study.
Q – Are there any allowances for VA Work-Study students being paid for time not worked due to COVID-19?
A – As of right now, VA cannot pay students for hours they have not worked. What we can do for these students is:
1) If we have processed a new contract and the student requested advanced payment, that advancement is still good to be processed as long as the signed agreement has been received.
2) If we have a facility reporting that they will be closing their doors (temporarily) we can allow the student to switch their contract location—as long as the new SS is aware and willing to accept, and we receive an application for that new site.
Q – Is it possible to perform approved Work-Study activities remotely due to COVID-19?
A – If the school is able to offer the student work that satisfies the requirements of the work study contract that can be performed off-campus remotely, then the student’s hours can be submitted and paid by Work study. If the time card and/or signed contract cannot be initialed/signed by the student due to a special circumstance and the student did work/review the signed contract, the Site Supervisor may submit the time card and confirm that the student could not initial it due to COVID-19 circumstances and the student understands the signed contract and worked the hours submitted. If special circumstances prevent the Site Supervisor from initialing the time card, the Site Supervisor can submit the time card and confirm the student did work the hours submitted. The Site Supervisor is still responsible for making sure the student is working on approved tasks. We ask that the Site Supervisor keep good records on how they verified the student worked (e.g. the student sends the supervisor an email when they log in and out; the Site Supervisor verifies through workload submitted to them that the student did complete their tasks within the time they initialed off on the time card; the site has a virtual tracking system of when the student is actively logged in a computer system and working; etc.).
Q – Will Work Study students be able to work their contacts even if the school cancels the classes due to this COVID 19?
A – If the school is completely canceling the class and the student will not be enrolled or attending any enrollments at that facility, any other facility, or attending online school paid by VA, then Work Study can pay the student for work performed until the end of the term the contract was based on, or 4 weeks after the date the school closed, whichever comes first.