As Veterans Day approaches, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has received over 72,000 applications and approved nearly 60,000 Veterans for the new Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP). The program gives up to 12 months of educational assistance for programs that lead to a high demand occupation and is open to 99,000 unemployed Veterans between ages 35-60. Maximum payments are equal to the full-time rate for the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty, currently $1564 monthly. By law, the last date of payment is March 31, 2014.
“On the day the country has set aside to honor our Nation’s Veterans, we want all Veterans to know about VA employment programs – especially those who might qualify for this limited opportunity to begin a new high-demand career,” said VA Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey.
Potential applicants can learn more about VRAP and apply online at www.benefits.va.gov/VOW or call VA toll-free at 1-888-GIBILL-1.
To qualify for VRAP Veterans must:
- Be 35 to 60 years old, unemployed on the day of application, and have been issued discharges under conditions other than dishonorable;
- Be enrolled in education or training after July 1, 2012, in a VA-approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school leading to an associate degree, non-college degree or a certificate for a high-demand occupation as defined by the Department of Labor;
- Not be eligible for any other VA education benefit, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill, or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment;
- Not have participated in a federal or state job training program within the last 180 days; and
- Not receive VA compensation at the 100 percent rate due to individual unemployability.
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