Compelling Personal Circumstance Policy

Understanding Compelling Personal Circumstance Exits:

  • Program may release member from the term of service for Compelling Personal Circumstances (CPC) if the member has completed at least 15% of their required hours and demonstrates circumstances beyond the member’s control that prevent the individual from completing his/her term of service.  In case of CPC, Member will be asked for additional information (such as doctor’s note, military orders, etc.)  to document the situation for compliance purposes.  This information will be treated confidentially.  Compelling Personal Circumstances include:
    • Member has a disability or serious illness that makes completing the term impossible.
    •  There is a serious injury, illness, or death of a family member which makes completing the term unreasonably difficult or impossible for member.
    •   Member has military service obligations.
    •  Member has accepted an opportunity to make the transition from welfare to work. Member must have been on welfare prior to enrolling in AmeriCorps.
    • Some other unforeseeable circumstance beyond the member’s control makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for the member to complete the term of service, such as a natural disaster, a strike, relocation of a spouse, or the non-renewal or premature closing of a project or the Program.
  •  Compelling personal circumstances do not include leaving the Program:
    • To enroll in school
    • To obtain employment, other than moving from welfare to work
    • Because of dissatisfaction with the Program

APIL Compelling Personal Circumstances (CPC) Policy

In accordance with CNCS requirements, the AmeriCorps Partners in Learning Program will review individual member requests for suspension and early exit to determine whether they meet the standards for Compelling Personal Circumstance (CPC).  The program understands that some documentation or communication related to CPC can be sensitive.  We will maintain all information and communication in a confidential manner, sharing information only with essential parties and retaining the information in human resources files.

The AmeriCorps Regulations specifically outline that compelling personal circumstances should be beyond the member’s control (45 CFR § 2522.230).  CNCS gives examples of the following situations that may qualify as CPC for member exit or suspension:

  • Member disability or serious illness
  • Disability, serious Illness or death of a family member if this makes completing a term unreasonably difficult or impossible
  • Military service obligations
  • Other unforeseeable conditions beyond the member’s contral that make completing a term unreasonably difficult or impossible, such as a natural disaster, premature closing of a project or program, or relocation of a spouse

Volunteer Iowa has determined that the following situation may qualify as CPC for member exit:

  • Errors by the program that result in a late enrollment in eGrants, provided the Member Service Agreement and member first service date as documented on the timesheet, shows an accurate and earlier member enrollment date.

Situations expressly ineligible for CPC exit, according to the regulations, include:

  • To attend college or graduate school
  • To obtain employment (unless promotion of employment of the members is an approved objective of the program)
  • Dissatisfaction with the program

In other situations, the program will review the information and supporting documentation provided by the member to determine if the circumstances meet the requirement of “beyond the member’s control” as outlined in the AmeriCorps guidance.

In all cases of exit or suspension, the program will conduct, and document review of information provided by the member to make a determination of CPC or Exit for Cause.  Elective member suspension is only possible in cases of CPC.  Every case of suspension and early exit will have additional documentation to detail the situation and provide support for the program’s determination.

The following documentation will be required for each CPC Suspension or Exit:

  • Notification from the member requesting suspension/exit or indicating that a situation is preventing them from meeting their service obligations
  • Specific details of the situation from a third party documenting justification of CPC (preferred).  Examples of such documentation may include:
    • Letter from physician
    • Funeral information or death certificate
    • Military orders
    • In cases where third party documentation is not feasible, a detailed letter or memo from the member outlining the situation and describing why continued service for a period of time (suspension) or permanently (exit) is not feasible.
    • In most cases, if the member is unable or unwilling to provide additional supporting information, the program will not be able to rule in favor of a CPC suspension or exit.

The Program will include a note on the member documentation detailing review of the situation and outlining the determination that was made by the program.  The AmeriCorps Partners in Learning Program will then notify Volunteer Iowa of our decision using the Member Suspension Form in IowaGrants. 

COVID-19 UPDATE FROM CNCS



Can AmeriCorps State and National members get a full Education Award if they were not able to obtain their full hours due to circumstances related to COVID-19?

It depends. There are three situations that have different outcomes:

  1. AmeriCorps State and National members that have served less than 15 percent of the minimum required hours for the Term of Service at time of exit. AmeriCorps State and National members who have served less than 15 percent of the minimum required hours for a Term of Service at the time they are exited are not eligible for a partial education award. Nor are these members eligible for a full education award with a compelling personal circumstance exit related to COVID-19. 45 CFR § 2522.230(a)(2).
  2. AmeriCorps State and National members that have served between 15 percent and 50 percent of the minimum required hours for the Term of Service at the time they are exited. AmeriCorps State and National members that complete between 15 and 50 percent of the minimum required hours for the Term of Service may be exited for compelling personal circumstances proportional to the number of hours they have served. They are not eligible for a full education award with a compelling personal circumstance exit related to COVID-19. 45 CFR § 2522.230(a)(2). 
  3. AmeriCorps State and National members that have served more than 50 percent of the minimum required hours for the Term of Service at the time they are exited. An AmeriCorps State and National member who has completed more than 50 percent of the minimum number of hours required to successfully complete their Term of Service will be eligible to receive the full education award amount with a compelling personal circumstance exit related to COVID-19.  Compelling personal circumstances are the determination of the AmeriCorps program. 45 CFR § 2522.230(a)(2). Please see Q22 and Q23.
Source: https://nationalservice.gov/documents/2020/americorps-state-and-national-program-questions