The U.S. Olympic Committee supports Paralympic-eligible military veterans in their efforts to represent the USA at the Paralympic Games and other international competitions. Veterans who demonstrate exceptional sport skills and the commitment necessary to pursue elite-level competition are given guidance on securing the training, support, and coaching needed to qualify for Team USA and achieve their Paralympic dreams.
Through a partnership with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the VA Paralympic Program Office helps to provide a monthly assistance allowance for disabled Veterans of the Armed Forces, as authorized by section 703 of the Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008.
Through the program, the VA will pay a monthly allowance to a Veteran with a service-connected or non-service-connected disability if the Veteran meets the minimum military standard or any higher standard (i.e. Emerging, Talent Pool, National Team) in his/her respective sport at a recognized competition.
Athletes must also have established training and competition plans and are responsible for turning in monthly and quarterly reports in order to continue receiving the monthly assistance allowance. The allowance base per-month rate for an athlete approved for monetary assistance ranges from $566.97 up to $1,070.40 depending on the number of dependents.
Selection Procedures differ from sport to sport. Evaluative criteria can vary from open tryouts, invitation only tryouts, world rankings, achievement standards or a combination of standards and tryouts. The National Team and Military Standard for each sport is determined by the respective National Governing Body(NGB) or Paralympic High Performance Management Organization (HPMO) based on the sport and/or discipline/event international competitive analysis and existing athlete pipeline. In order to be eligible for the VA monthly athlete assistance allowance you must be classified nationally or internationally within six months of being placed on the allowance pay list.
2014 VA Training Allowance Standards
To learn more about the specific sport standards or the monthly assistance allowance, contact the U.S. Paralympics Sport Performance division at 719-866-2088 or Kallece.Quinn@usoc.org.
For more information on classification visit the IPC Classification page or the U.S. Paralympics Classification page.
"I've done more with one leg than I ever would have done with two."
- 1LT (Ret.) Melissa Stockwell, U.S. Army
Iraq war veteran & 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team member