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 www.gibill.va.gov/documents/VRAP_High_Demand.pdf.
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.
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.