On August 20, 2010, the Corporation for National and Community Service issued a final rule implementing changes in the National Service Trust and other provisions as directed by the Serve America Act.

The final rule was developed after a thorough review of public input. The changes further the CNCS goal of expanding opportunities for Americans to serve by increasing incentives, expanding eligibility, and improving the benefits for those who answer the call to serve.

The key provisions in the new rule reference the eligibility for, and amount of, the Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards, the number of terms that an AmeriCorps member can serve in State and National programs, the calculation of education awards over multiple terms, and the transferability of education awards.

Final Rule Summary

This rule primarily proposed amendments and additions to existing regulations regarding the National Service Trust, including:

  • limitations on education award receipt,
  • the available uses of education awards,
  • eligibility to receive an education award,
  • eligibility to transfer an education award,
  • the amount of an education award, and
  • the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve in an AmeriCorps State and National program.

The proposed rule allows flexibility in managing volunteer benefit requirements for Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs facing hardship.

This rule also makes several technical corrections inadvertently omitted from the interim final rule, including:

  • an amendment to the provision on pre-approval of Subtitle C formula programs,
  • amendments to the AmeriCorps State and National selection criteria, and
  • an amendment to include a reference to the Department of Education’s new Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Effective Dates

The provisions that allow an individual to enroll in a third term of service in AmeriCorps State and National are effective immediately. All other provisions will be effective September, 20, 2010, which is 30 days from publication of the rule, except for the provisions on transferring an education award, as the process for transfer will not be fully operationalized until late October of this year.

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