Veterans Retraining Assistance Program
The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) for unemployed Veterans is part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. It provides retraining assistance to veterans who are having a tough time finding jobs. The program is geared toward helping veterans receive education or training needed to become employable.
Benefits of the Program
The VRAP offers 12 months of training assistance to unemployed Veterans. You may qualify for up to 12 months of assistance at the full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty program. Which at this time, is $1,473/month.
Veterans Retraining Program Eligibility
To qualify for the Veterans Retraining Program, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
- Be unemployed (as determined by Department of Labor)
- Enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school
- Your program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certification, and train you for a high demand occupation.
In addition, you are not eligible for VRAP if you are:
- Eligible for any other VA education benefit program. Examples include:
- Receiving VA compensation due to unemployability
- Enrolled in a federal or state job training program
- Received a dishonorable discharge
For Those Who Previously Completed VA Vocational Rehabilitation Program
If you previously completed VA vocational rehabilitation program and used the initial 26 weeks of unemployment benefits, you may quality for an additional 12 months under this program. You must meet the following requirements:
- Previously completed VA rehabilitation and employment program and be considered rehabilitated
- Apply within six months of using your initial 26 weeks of unemployment benefits.
- Do not start any education or training until June 1, 2012
In addition, your application must be received by March 31, 2014 and you may still qualify for extended or emergency unemployment benefits.
How to Apply for Retraining Benefits
The Veterans Retraining Program is offered through the U.S. Office of Veteran Affairs. You may download and fill out the Veterans Retraining Program Application. Once complete, submit this application to the nearest United States Department of Veterans Affairs office.
Cost and Availability of Retraining
The Veterans Retraining Program is limited to 45,000 participants from July 1, 2012 through September 30,2012, and 54,000 participants from October 1, 2012 through March 31, 2014.