Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)
The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) begins July 1, 2012, but applications are being accepted now.
What is VRAP?
It’s a program for qualified veterans who enter a 1-year vocational program in certain high-demand occupations, designed to help combat the devastatingly high unemployment rate among veterans. The benefit will provide up to $1,473/month, an amount equal to the full-time education benefit for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Who is eligible?
To qualify, a veteran needs to be between 30 and 60 years old. Veterans must also be unemployed, have received an other-than-dishonorable discharge, and cannot be enrolled in any other federal or state job assistance program.
Veterans must also not be receiving VA compensation due to unemployability and cannot be qualified for other VA education benefits (or have already exhausted them).
To receive the VRAP benefit, veterans must agree to enroll in a program that will lead to a job in one of 210 high-demand occupations as specified by the Department of Labor.
How to apply
Veterans can apply now, but need to do so quickly. The program is limited to 45,000 participants July 1-Septemter 30, 2012, and to 54,000 participants October 1, 2012-March 31, 2014.
To apply, veterans must provide the VA with their bank account number and routing number as the benefits are deposited directly to the participant and not to the school. Vets will be responsible for paying tuition, fees, supplies and books to the school.
For more information on VRAP, high demand occupations, and how to apply, veterans may go to the website at www.benefits.va.gov/VOW, or call VA’s Call Centers toll free at 1-800-827-1000.
Veterans may also access the VRAP application online at https://www.ebenefits.va.gov through eBenefits, a joint project between the Department of Defense and VA.