New Training Assistance Available to Unemployed Veterans – VRAP

Included in the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 is the new Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) that rolls out on July 1, 2012. This new program, sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and Department of Defense (DoD), offers up to 12 months of training assistance for unemployed Veterans between the ages of 35 and 60.

Who is Eligible?
The VRAP offers this program to Veterans who:

– Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
– Are unemployed
– Received an other than dishonorable discharge
– Are not eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
– Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability
– Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program

What Type of Training?
The VRAP provides training towards an Associates Degree, Non-College Degree, or Certificate that leads to a high demand occupation, as determined by the Department of Labor (DoL). Participants must be enrolled in a VA approved education program offered by a community college or technical school.

To view the list of high demand occupations included in the program, visit

How Do You Apply?
The Department of Veterans Affairs is accepting applications now, and the program begins on July 1, 2012. The applicants will be on a first come, first served basis.

To apply, visit the DVA’s eBenefits website ( to fill out the Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP).

The training assistance will be offered to 99,000 unemployed Veterans over two years. The program will accept 45,000 participants from July 1, 2012, to September 30, 2012, and 54,000 participants from October 1, 2012 to March 31, 2014.

Eligible participants will receive up to 12 months of training assistance at the full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty program (currently $1,473 per month). In addition, DoL will offer employment assistance to every Veteran who participates or applies to the VRAP program.

For more information, visit the DVA’s Veterans Retraining Assistance Program site to either apply or sign up for email updates.


12 thoughts on “New Training Assistance Available to Unemployed Veterans – VRAP

  1. Pingback: New Training Assistance Available to Unemployed Veterans … | Vocational Training

    • Randy – It says open to veterans who received an “other than” dishonorable discharge, meaning it includes all vets except those with a dishonorable discharge. I agree the wording is tricky. I took it straight from the VA-VRAP webpage so as to be accurate, but I think they could’ve worded that better. I had to read it twice the first time I saw it to make sure I understood!
      Thanks for your comment!

  2. It will be interesting to see the enrollment numbers for this program since most getting out today will be GI Bill eligible -the main exception being career Soldiers who are retiring in this window but didn’t sign up (buy in) for one of the earlier versions of the GI Bill. I wonder if you qualifed for the GI Bill, but signed it over to a family member if you would still be eligible for the VRAP?

    • Pat – Good point about most veterans now do qualify for the GI bill, and so not for the VRAP. I doubt you would be eligible if you qualified for GI Bill but signed it over to a family member.

  3. I take it this is a pilot or temporary program since it has such a limited window for application? Looks like many of those ‘High demand” occupations require more than an Associates degree or technical certification, and many would take longer than a year to complete as well. But it definitely will help some vets so it’s a good program if it accomplishes that.

    • Pat – thanks for your comments. Though this program is limited in scope, I agree that any program that can help our vets get trained for a job they want is a good thing!

  4. Why is this program for those who do not have the G.I. Bill? I’m a enlisted veteran unemployed for nearly two years. I retired from the National Guard which puts me in “Grey Area Retiree” before 60. I have NO benefits till then. I’m 55, and the civilian employers will not hire me do to my age. I live with my girlfriend who has been the bread-winner…Obama needs to be fired for not doing enough for the veterans, period!

    • John – I don’t know why this program doesn’t include GI Bill-eligible veterans. This site: lets you ask the VA a question about education benefits. Sorry I can’t answer your dilemma, but maybe they can help.
      Thanks for serving!

  5. It seems obvious that if a veteran is GI Bill-eligible, they wouldn’t need the VRAP program…plus they would conceivably have 4 years of schooling available. VRAP covers many grey-area vets for a faster start towards employment (compared to 4 year schools). VRAP is a brand new program that seems to fill a niche…why can’t we all wait to see the results before we tank it with silly political attitudes? As a veteran’s service officer, I hear entirely too much whining and complaining and never enough appreciation about what the VA provides. Obama-bashing seems out of place—this is happening on his watch.

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