This is an update to an earlier post from December 2011.
A new GI Bill called the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program or VRAP, will start on July 1, 2012. As part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, it will offer up to 12 months of education and training for certain older unemployed veterans. Those in the program will be paid the current Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB-AD) rate of $1,473 per month for a maximum of 12 months, meaning this program could be worth up to $17,500 to you for the one year of training.
Veteran and Businesses Advantages
The VRAP advantage is you get an opportunity to train for a job or retrain into a field where there is more demand and where you can be more employable. Thousands of new jobs are currently unfilled because employers can’t find enough people skilled in the jobs they have available. The advantage to a business hiring you, besides filling open high-skilled positions they need filled, is certain tax breaks for them.
VRAP can be a real boost if you:
- are a veteran who have already used up your Montgomery GI Bill benefits, or
- had GI Bill benefits but they have since have expired, or
- declined the Montgomery GI Bill and don’t qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill and
- have been unemployed for a long time.
If you are interested in VRAP, as a veteran you must meet the following eligibility requirements for acceptance into the program:
- be between the ages of 35 and 60.
- currently unemployed (as defined by the Department of Labor).
- have a discharge other than dishonorable.
- ineligible for any other VA education benefit program.
- not currently receiving VA compensation due to your unemployability.
- not currently enrolled in any federal or state job training program.
Under the VRAP program, you can use the program to finish or lead to an associate or non-college degree, earn a certification or license, or train for a high demand occupation. The new VRAP program will be limited to 45,000 veterans this fiscal year ending September 30th and to 54,000 veterans in FY 20213 through March 31, 2014.
While in the program and after completion, the Department of Labor will assist VRAP veterans with finding employment in their newly trained skill. Interested veterans can apply for the program starting May 15, 2012 directly from the new VRAP Website.