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AmeriCorps VISTA Terms, Conditions and Benefits
for VISTA Supervisors
Welcome, VISTA supervisor!
As a VISTA supervisor you
• Guide and support a VISTA serving your community and

Carry on a legacy of national service started in the 1960s.

Welcome to VISTA Terms, Conditions and Benefits (TCB) for supervisors. This resource will explain the
rules and regulations of the VISTA program, so you can help your VISTA:

comply with VISTA’s dos and don’ts (terms and conditions)

identify the benefits of VISTA service and

have a successful service year

About this Resource
This resource is designed for you to explore the content in the order that works best for you.
If you are attending a supervisor’s orientation, we ask you to review the content in this resource before
the event. VISTAs are required to take this as a course before they go to Pre-Service Orientation (PSO).
For more details about VISTA Terms, Conditions and Benefits, refer to the VISTA member handbook.
How much do you know about the conditions and benefits of VISTA service? Which activities do you
think VISTAs are allowed to participate in and which do they have to postpone until after their service
During VISTA Year
• Attend weekly worship services

Defer student loan payments

Take a grant-writing class to build skills for your project

After VISTA Year
• Make extra cash selling crafts

Fundraise for a mayoral candidate




VISTA Central Building
The terms of VISTA service
Do you know the terms of your VISTA’s service commitment?

VISTA is a 12-month, full-time commitment.

VISTA is not a 9-to-5 job. Your VISTAs might serve within the work hours of your organization, but
they are expected to be available evenings and weekends, as needed by the project.

VISTAs may serve up to 5 terms of service. This limit applies to any combination of AmeriCorps
service programs, including the Summer Associates program. Under rare circumstances, an
additional year of service may be granted.

The tasks for a VISTA’s service year are outlined in the VAD (VISTA Assignment Description). Your
VISTA should bring a copy of this to PSO.

VISTA focuses exclusively on strengthening communities and ending poverty. What does that mean?
• Strengthens, expands, and increases the reach of anti-poverty programs

Serves people in need through work with project staff and volunteers, rather than directly serving
the clients of an organization

Welcome to the Neighborhood!
For VISTAs, the service year is full of opportunities. However, because VISTA is a federal program, VISTA
members are forbidden by law and policy to engage in some activities. A VISTA who violates these
policies may be terminated from service. You should report violation of any of these conditions to your
state office.
As one example, if a VISTA is arrested for any offense during the term of service, the state office needs
to be informed within seven days.
You may not select a VISTA who is related by blood, marriage, or adoption, to you, project staff,
sponsoring organization staff, officers or members of the sponsoring organization’s board of directors,
or Corporation program staff responsible for the VISTA project.
Termination from service impacts your organization, the community you serve and your VISTA’s life.
Help your VISTA avoid early termination!



Outside Employment
Playing gigs with a band
Your VISTA has been in a band since high school. Is it all right for her to play a couple of gigs and earn
some extra money?
A. It depends on whether it makes the VISTA’s income rise above 110% of the poverty level.
B. Maybe, as long as it does not interfere with her VISTA duties.
C. No, the VISTA made a commitment to VISTA and the community.
Correct answer: C. VISTAs are not allowed to work in any paid capacity during their service year.
However, they can still play with a band in their free time for no compensation.
Employment Key Points
• While serving, VISTAs cannot work to supplement their living allowance.
• A job distracts from the VISTA assignment.
• Immersion in the community includes living near the poverty level. Having a financial advantage can
prevent VISTAs from connecting deeply with the community.
• Earning outside income while serving as a VISTA is cause for termination.

Religious Activities
Practicing Religion: What Can Your VISTA Do?
Your VISTA is not allowed to participate in any religious activities while on duty. But what can he do
during his free time?
A. Belong to a religious organization
B. Recruit fellow VISTAs to his religion
C. Attend worship services
D. Hold his own beliefs
E. Wear a VISTA shirt to a benefit concert for his place of worship
F. Attend a potluck dinner at his religious organization
G. Lead co-workers in prayer
Correct answers: A, C, D, F. While on duty or perceived to be on duty, a VISTA member may not engage
in or promote religious activities.
Religious Activities Key Points
Though your VISTA is entitled to religious beliefs, he cannot participate in religious activities while on
duty or perceived to be on duty as a VISTA. He cannot:
• Provide religious instruction

Conduct worship services


Be admitted to a VISTA program based directly or indirectly on religious affiliation

Induce others to participate in religious activities



Participation in any of these activities while serving as a VISTA is cause for termination of service. This
does not preclude your VISTA from private prayer during service hours. Religious accommodation
permits an individual time and space to privately practice his religion.

Educational Enrollment
Completing a Degree
Your VISTA is 20 credits away from completing a degree in accounting and wants to take a course so she
will only have a semester left when she returns to school after VISTA.
Can your VISTA take a course to earn credits toward her degree while serving as a VISTA?
A. Yes, as long as the course does not interfere with the VISTA project and she tells you that she is
taking the course.
B. No, a VISTA’s commitment is to the community and she cannot take any courses.
C. She should take the course. No one at VISTA tracks enrollment in classes.
Correct answer: A. Yes, as long as the course does not interfere with the VISTA project, your VISTA can
enroll. However, it is important that your VISTA discusses this choice with you before she enrolls. You,
as the VISTA supervisor, need to agree that your VISTA’s studies will not interfere with the VISTA project.
Education Restrictions Key Points
Your VISTA is allowed to attend class(es) as long as her studies do not interfere with her VISTA
responsibilities. You and your VISTA need to determine whether or not the class(es) will detract from
her commitment to the VISTA project.
If your VISTA enrolled in a class(es) before she became a VISTA, it is still important to discuss her study
plan right away and make sure that the class(es) will not interfere with the project.
If your VISTA’s class(es) interfere with her VISTA responsibilities, you need to discuss this with the VISTA.
If you cannot come to a joint decision about how to make the VISTA project her focus, you may contact
the state office. The state office can ask a member to withdraw from the course or end her VISTA

Political Activities
Staying Politically Active
What can your VISTA do? A VISTA member may not participate in any political activities while on duty.
But what can your VISTA do during his free (off duty) time?
A. Join a political club
B. Plan a demonstration
C. Donate money to a candidate
D. Ask for donations to a candidate through a Facebook page
E. Attend political meetings
F. Distribute campaign literature
G. Sign nominating petitions
H. Register to vote
I. Run for office in a partisan election



Correct answers are: A, B, C, E, F, G, H. Yes! Your VISTA may never run for office in a partisan election
during his VISTA service. Nor may he solicit funds for a partisan candidate regardless of whether he is
identifiable as a VISTA or is on his free time. But on his free time, your VISTA can do all the other
Political Restrictions Key Points
The Hatch Act applies to VISTA members at all times during their service, including certain activities
during their off-duty hours and extends to VISTAs’ presence on social media. Your VISTA can't engage in
any political activity (either partisan or nonpartisan) that would result in identifying the VISTA program
with the activity. While on duty or perceived to be identified with the VISTA program, VISTA members
cannot show partisanship or work to direct resources (financial or human) to influence elections or
legislation (e.g.., lobby), engage in voter registration, or provide voter transportation to the polls.
Specific examples of activities your VISTA CANNOT participate in as a VISTA, either on or off duty:
• Soliciting or accepting from others monetary contributions for a partisan political candidate
• Pro-labor or anti-labor organizing
• Running for a partisan elected office
Participating in prohibited political activities during the VISTA term of service is cause for termination.
Refer to the member handbook for more information and a full list of prohibited political activities.



Standard Benefits
Your VISTA’s standard benefits include:
• Living Allowance

Health Coverage

Leave of Absence


Worker’s Compensation

VISTA Living Allowance

Covers basic needs – housing, food, utilities

Varies in amount, depending on location – the rate is based on poverty guidelines for a single
individual in your area

Is paid every two weeks via direct deposit

Is taxable. Federal taxes are withheld, though state and local taxes, and Social Security are not –
VISTAs are responsible for paying state and local taxes

Is not considered income for purposes of unemployment compensation

Is the only monetary compensation VISTAs can receive

Health Coverage
VISTA members receive health coverage under the AmeriCorps Health Benefits Program.
When does coverage begin and end?
Coverage begins the first day of PSO and ends at midnight the day service is terminated.
Who is covered?
Only the VISTA member is covered, not spouses, partners, or dependents.
How does it work?
• The AmeriCorps Health Benefits Program is administered by a contractor, Seven Corners. Your VISTA
will receive a health benefits card within two weeks of her PSO. She can use this card for medical
benefits and prescription drugs. Your VISTA member should call Seven Corners if she doesn’t receive
her card.

All maintenance (ongoing) medications must be purchased through the PharmaCare Direct Mail

If your VISTA plans to keep her current health insurance, it will be the primary payer. All claims
should be sent to her insurance carrier first. If your VISTA has coverage through Medicare or
Medicaid, claims should be sent to the AmeriCorps Health Benefits Program first.

For coverage after service, Seven Corners provides an optional private insurance policy for a
premium. Seven Corners must receive your VISTA’s application within 30 days of her last day of
service. Seven Corners can be contacted directly for conversion coverage.



What is covered?
• Most major medical and surgical costs


Prescription drugs (for new and existing prescriptions)

Certain emergency dental, vision, and maternity care
Not Covered
• Costs associated with pre-existing conditions or any illness diagnosed or treated prior to being
sworn in.
• Routine physicals, except one routine OBGYN visit
• Dental and eye exams
For questions about a VISTA’s specific situation and a complete list of what is and isn't covered, your
VISTA should view the Member Health Care Guide from Seven Corners.
How much is it?
$5 co-pay for each visit to a medical office; $25 for an emergency room visit

Leave of Absence
VISTAs get personal, medical and holiday leave. They may also receive emergency leave if appropriate.
Personal: Ten (10) personal days for vacation, personal days off, or for religious observances not given
as holidays by your sponsoring organization.
Medical: Ten (10) days of medical leave for illness, injury, or medical appointments.
Emergency: Up to five (5) work days of emergency leave for death or critical illness of an immediate
family member or if your VISTA is serving in an area where there has been a natural disaster and he
must leave the area temporarily. Emergency leave is granted by the sponsoring organization with
agreement of the state office. If more than 5 days are needed, contact your state office. VISTA will
purchase a ticket or reimburse your VISTA for actual travel expenses for the fastest regularly scheduled
means of transportation from his site. VISTA will not cover expenses for international travel. VISTAs
should contact the VMSU if they need to travel for an emergency.
Holiday: Your VISTA receives any holidays recognized by his sponsoring organization. If a federal
holiday is not recognized by your organization, such as Veteran's Day, a VISTA can request use of
personal leave. If your sponsoring organization provides its staff additional "holidays," "spring breaks,"
"summer recesses," etc., your VISTA is expected to continue to serve on her assignment unless
authorized to take the time off as part of her personal leave. You are responsible for creating a work
plan that spells out the assignments expected of your VISTA during these periods.
Approval for leave
As a supervisor, you are responsible for approving personal leave for your VISTAs. VISTAs should request
approval in advance from you for personal leave and provide notice when possible of medical and



emergency leave requests. For more than three days medical absence, you may ask for evidence of

VISTA Training
As a benefit of VISTA service, your VISTA receives training:
• Pre-Service Orientation (PSO) – Conducted by VISTA, formal training that introduces your VISTA to
VISTA, its mission, history, and policies, and to her roles and responsibilities as a member.

On-Site Orientation and Training (OSOT) – Conducted by you and/or your organization, training to
familiarize your VISTA with your sponsoring organization, project, community, and specific tasks

Ongoing Learning - Self-directed learning through the VISTA Campus, local training opportunities
and other sources.

Costs for approved training (e.g., tuition and travel) are covered by the VISTA program or the sponsoring

Worker’s Compensation and Injury
VISTA members are covered under the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA), which provides
compensation for an illness or injury if it is service-related. It is extremely important to properly report
and document an injury or illness—especially if it affects your member’s ability to serve as a VISTA.
If your VISTA is injured while serving or experiences an emergency illness related to his assignment,
refer to the member handbook for claims procedures.



Optional Benefits
Relocation and Settling In
If your VISTA is moving to be a VISTA she is entitled to three benefits:

Settling in allowance

Baggage reimbursement

Travel reimbursement

The Settling In Allowance
• Is intended to cover initial settling in expenses (deposits and utilities).
• CANNOT exceed $550. The state office director determines the amount.
• Is paid as a lump sum into your VISTA’s regular bi-weekly living allowance.

Baggage Reimbursement
• Your VISTA may also be reimbursed for shipping personal belongings between her home of record
(HOR) and your project site at the beginning and end of service.

The baggage reimbursement is based on the mileage between Home of Record and service site. It is
$25 per 100 miles, rounded down to the nearest hundred miles, with a maximum of $500. Your
VISTA should keep all her receipts for reimbursement through the VMSU.

Travel Reimbursement
Your VISTA has a few options for getting to site:
• Use ticked travel (air, rail, bus) and the VISTA program will make the travel arrangements.

Drive, after receiving authorization through the V-81 form. And if she drives, she may:

Drive from her home of record (HOR) to PSO and then to site.


Or, with permission, drive from her HOR to site, then to PSO.

The amount of her travel reimbursement is based on mileage and the need for a car at her site to serve.
The VISTA program also reimburses for travel from a VISTA’s project site to her home of record (HOR)
when she finishes service.

Driving to Site
If you require your VISTA to have a personal vehicle to perform the core activities of his VISTA
assignment, he shall be reimbursed for service-related travel (mileage) by your organization. He must
complete and submit a V-81 form (Authorization of Privately Owned Vehicle at Site) through the My
AmeriCorps portal, prior to beginning service. Once completed by the member, the form will appear in
your inbox of your portal page for approval, whereupon you forward it to the state office via the portal.
If you or your VISTA has questions, contact the VMSU.

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Delinquent Debts
• If your VISTA has delinquent federal or state debts, her travel allowance or miscellaneous
reimbursements can be may be offset/reduced by the Department of Treasury.

Service-Related Transportation and Reimbursement
If your VISTA needs to use a personal vehicle for service-related activities (other than the daily
commute) you shall reimburse your VISTA for approved transportation expenses at the organization's
standard rate. If your organization has no standard rate, use the federal mileage reimbursement rate.
Your VISTA needs to complete a V-81 form (Authorization of Privately Owned Vehicle at Site) prior to
PSO to be reimbursed for mileage. This form is found at
Your VISTA will only be reimbursed if the V-81 form is on file. We expect you to reimburse the VISTA
within one month of submitting his mileage statement form to you.

Life Insurance
Optional Life Insurance
Your VISTA has the option to purchase life insurance. The VISTA program offers a group policy with the
Reliance Standard Insurance Company.
The premium is $2.07 per pay period which is deducted from her living allowance.
18-59 years old = $19,600
60-69 years old = $9,800
70 and older = $4,900
To sign up for life insurance, your VISTA needs to complete Section I of the "Designation of
Beneficiary/Waiver for CNCS Life Insurance" form found on
If your VISTA is not interested in life insurance, she needs to complete Section II of the "Designation of
Beneficiary/Waiver for CNCS Life Insurance" form found on

Protection of Public Assistance
• If your VISTA and/or your VISTA’s family are receiving assistance or services under any federal, state,
or local governmental program before entering AmeriCorps VISTA service, he won’t lose or have his
benefits reduced by serving in VISTA. This includes WIC/SNAP (replaced food stamps), TANF
(replaced AFDC), Social Security Disability (SSDI) payments, Veteran's Benefits, subsidized housing
programs (Section 8), and any child care subsidy provided by VISTA.

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If your VISTA becomes eligible for assistance while serving (such as turning 65), his living allowance
income won’t be counted in determining eligibility for, or the level of, Social Security retirement

If your VISTA was NOT receiving SNAP before joining VISTA, his living allowance WILL count as
income in determining SNAP eligibility. The living allowance could decrease his SNAP allotment.

Public Assistance and the State
If your VISTA receives cash assistance from your state, encourage him to talk with his state (or county)
agency worker to learn if VISTA service will affect his eligibility. The Personal Responsibility and Work
Opportunity Act of 1996 (Welfare to Work Act) affects, in a number of ways, VISTA members who are
eligible for or receive public assistance.

Child Care Benefit Key Points
• Your VISTA may be eligible for a child care benefit of up to $400 per month per child.

Qualifying children must be under 13.

Eligibility is based on income guidelines.

All income of all family unit members living in the household is counted to determine eligibility. This
includes any wages, SSI, TANF, public assistance, unemployment, child support or alimony, worker's
compensation, retirement benefits, Social Security, and self-employment earnings. Your VISTA's
living allowance is not counted in determining eligibility.

Your VISTA cannot receive child care benefits from any other source if she is receiving VISTA child
care subsidies.

Each state has set income limits. If your VISTA’s family unit income is above the limit, she cannot
receive child care benefits. She can contact GAP Solutions, Inc. for more information.

Your VISTA should compare state child care benefits to the VISTA child care benefits to determine
which program best supports her family.

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End of Service Benefits
Your VISTA will receive additional benefits when he successfully completes his year of service. Although
this is a year away, he needs to make some important decisions now.

The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award vs. end-of-service stipend

Student loan forbearance vs. deferment

Non-competitive eligibility

Education Award vs. End-of-Service Stipend
Before your VISTA is sworn in, he must select either the education award or end-of-service stipend.
This is an important decision because VISTAs are allowed to switch from the education award to the
cash stipend, but cannot switch from the stipend to the education award.
To learn about which selection is best depending on a VISTA’s situation or future plan, read about the
education award and stipend.

Education Award
$5,550 voucher to use for educational training (degree or non-degree) and related expenses, or to repay
qualified student loans
End-of-Service Stipend
$1,500 cash

Education Award Key Points
• $5,550 for successfully completing a full year of service.

Can only be used to pay for tuition/college costs and related expenses at Title IV schools and to
repay existing qualified student loans.

Can access part or all, up to 7 years after your VISTA completes service.

When any portion of it is used during a particular calendar year, it is considered taxable income in
that year.

A person can only get 2 of these in a lifetime.

Your VISTA can switch to the stipend before the end of her 10th month of service.

End-of-Service Stipend Key Points
• $1,500 cash stipend, paid to your VISTA in her last 2 living allowance payments.

Some taxes are deducted when the payment is made.

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It can be used however your VISTA wants.

If your VISTA selected the end-of-service stipend, he can NOT switch to the education award.

Your VISTA must select the education award or end-of-service stipend on the “End of Service Option”
form in MyAmeriCorps.
When your VISTA is making her decision, she should consider the following:
Does she plan to go to college, a technical or trade school, or attend any other credit or non-credit
training program(s) after finishing service?
If the answer is yes or maybe, then your VISTA should consider that the Education Award can be used to
pay for education costs at Title IV schools – these participate in federal student aid programs. Most twoand four-year institutions in the United States are Title IV schools, including thousands of technical and
trade schools. Your VISTA should contact the school she wants to attend to make sure it is Title IV.

Student Loan Forbearance vs. Deferment
Another question to consider when your VISTA makes his decision is whether or not he has qualified
student loans
If your VISTA has federal student loans, he may be able to put his loans into forbearance or deferment,
depending on the end-of-service option he chooses.
Federal student loans + education award = forbearance
A temporary postponement of principal loan payments
Federal student loans + stipend = deferment
A postponement of monthly loan payment(s)

Forbearance & Deferment Comparison
(pairs with education award)
• Loan interest continues to accrue, but when your VISTA completes her VISTA year of service, the
National Service Trust will pay interest on her behalf.
• However, these payments are considered income so she will have to pay taxes on the amount of
interest paid by the Trust.
• Reason for forbearance is "national service."
(pairs with stipend)
• For subsidized loans, accrued interest will automatically be paid by the Department of Education
if the loan is deferred.
• Your VISTA’s lender decides if she can defer her student loans during her year of service
• She’ll need to obtain forms from her lender.
• Reason for deferment is “economic hardship.”

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Cancellation of part of her Perkins Loan may be an option.

Regardless of which route your VISTA takes for student loans during his year of service, he should
contact his lender ahead of time to make sure the type of loans he has are eligible for forbearance or
deferment, and get details about what that means financially.

Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE)
Non-Competitive Eligibility enables a VISTA who meets the minimum qualifications for a federal job to
be hired by a federal agency, without the position being announced to the general public and without a
formal selective process.

Non-Competitive Eligibility Key Points
• If your VISTA satisfactorily completes one full year of service, she earns one year of noncompetitive eligibility status from the day she completed her assignment.

NCE can be extended two additional years if an individual is in the military, Peace Corps,
attending college, or engaged in another activity a hiring agency believes warrants an extension.

A federal agency is not required to hire a VISTA alumnus, and she is not guaranteed a federal
civil service job. There must be a vacancy and she must have the necessary skills.

Your VISTA should go to MyAmeriCorps at the end of his service year to print a statement of
their non-competitive eligibility to include with any federal job applications.

You have now completed your VISTA Terms, Conditions and Benefits resource.
If you or your members ever have questions regarding the benefits and conditions of service, please
contact the VMSU.
To read about these topics in more depth, go to the member handbook.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about this topic and help improve the neighborhood.

A Web site that displays the writing of one or more individuals in chronological order and usually has
links to comments on specific topics.
Capacity Building
To strengthen, expand, and increase the reach of anti-poverty programs; to work on projects with staff
and volunteers, rather than directly with people in need.

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Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)
An independent federal agency created by the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. The
Corporation engages Americans through service in AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, and the Senior
Corps programs.
CNCS State Office
Federal offices staffed by federal employees in the state. They conduct public outreach and program
support. They are directly responsible for developing grants and projects and for overseeing all Senior
Corps and AmeriCorps*VISTA projects within their states.
A postponement of monthly student loan payment(s).
A temporary postponement of principal student loan payments.
Hatch Act
The Hatch Act restricts the political activity of federal government employees, and some state and local
employees who work in connection with federally-funded programs.
Immediate Family Member
A spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, child, grandparent or guardian.
Living Allowance
An allowance that is meant to cover basic living necessities during a VISTA's service period. It is set at
the rate based on poverty income for a single individual in the area and is deposited directly into the
member's account.
MyAmeriCorps (
A Web site designed to help your VISTA enter and prepare for her year of service.
National Service Hotline
VISTA staff your VISTA can contact when she has questions about MyAmeriCorps, the living allowance,
required paperwork, and benefits. Call toll free: 800-942-2677 and select the option for “VISTA Member
Support Unit,” or submit a request online at
Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE)
Allows a VISTA who meets the minimum qualifications for a federal job to be hired by a federal agency,
without having to compete with the general public.
Devoted to or biased in support of a party, group, or cause.
Poverty Guidelines
Income levels set by the federal government to establish who is living in poverty.
Pre-Service Orientation (PSO)

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An event VISTA candidates attend to receive orientation to CNCS, VISTA, and their role as a VISTA
member. PSO ends with the oath to serve as a VISTA.
Project Plan
A document that describes a community need and how the VISTA project will meet that need. A project
plan is composed of one or more action plans. Each action plan contains a community need statement, a
goal statement and milestones for meeting that goal.
Attempt to convert others to a religion.
Qualified student loans
Also referred to as "federally backed student loans." These are loans guaranteed by the federal
government under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (except PLUS Loans to parents of students), or
under Titles VII or VIII of the Public Health Service Act. The education award can be used to pay qualified
student loans.
As of Oct. 1, 2008, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the new name for the federal
Food Stamp Program.
Sponsoring Organization
A federal, state or local government agency; a government of an Indian nation; or a private non-profit
organization (faith- or community-based) that has an AmeriCorps VISTA member placed in the
State Office Director
A person who oversees a CNCS State Office (see above). They are directly responsible for developing
grants and projects and for overseeing all Senior Corps and AmeriCorps VISTA projects within their
Subsidized loans
A loan for which interest is paid by the federal government while the student is enrolled in school at
least half-time, during the six month grace period prior to entering repayment, and during eligible
deferment periods.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. This is a federal assistance program that provides assistance,
food stamps and cash to people living in poverty in America.
Term of Service
The length of time a VISTA member has agreed to serve. In most cases, the "term of service" is one year,
but may also be a two-month summer term.
Title IV school
Federal student financial assistance program authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965. Students
can receive federal loans from Title IV schools.

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V-81 Form (Authorization of Personally Owned Vehicle at Site)
A form required for those who need to use their personal vehicles for service-related activities (other
than your daily commute). This form is found at
VISTA Assignment Description (VAD)
A description of specific activities a VISTA engages in during the service year. These activities support the
success of the sponsor's VISTA project plan.
VISTA Leader
A person who is serving a second or third VISTA term, usually in a large VISTA project. Their aim is to
build the capacity of the VISTAs they lead, in coordination with the projects they serve.
VISTA Member Handbook
In this up-to-date, online, searchable resource, you can find detailed information on the benefits of
VISTA service, including the living allowance, health coverage, child care and education benefits. You can
also learn about VISTA, its mission, history, guidelines and policies.

Child Care
GAP Solutions, Inc. distributes child care subsidies to VISTAs. These subsidies are offered for those who
meet specific requirements. Call (855) 886-0687 or visit their website at
CNCS state office staff
The people who administer VISTA projects. Almost every state has a state office. You can find
contact information online at:
Education Award
There is a lot of information about the Education Award on the main AmeriCorps page as well as a
tutorial about getting the most out of the Education Award at If your member still has questions, have him contact the
National Service Trust at 800-942-2677, option 3.
Health Coverage
For information about your VISTA’s health benefit, download a copy of the AmeriCorps VISTA Member
Health Care Guide (PDF) at Your
VISTA can also contact Seven Corners, the health coverage provider, with specific questions at or 866-699-4186.
A Web site designed to help your VISTA enter and prepare for her year of service.
National Service Hotline
VISTA staff you can contact when you have questions about MyAmeriCorps, your living allowance,
required paperwork, and benefits. Call toll free: 800-942-2677 and select the option for “VISTA Member
Support Unit,” submit a request online at

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VISTA Member Handbook
In this up-to-date, online, searchable resource, you can find detailed information on the benefits of
VISTA service, including the living allowance, health coverage, child care and education benefits. You can
also learn about VISTA, its mission, history, guidelines and policies.
View online at:
VISTA Service and Taxes
For tax questions, including eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit, contact the Internal Revenue
Service at

For technical assistance
Contact us:
Toll free: 800-860-2684, ext. 125
Email: VISTA Campus Tech Support
For questions about any of the Terms, Conditions, and Benefits
Contact National Service Hotline and select the option for VISTA Member Support Unit:
Toll free: 800-942-2677
Online request: