Deadline to Apply for VRAP Tomorrow
Even in a stumbling job market, there are a few high-need occupations in which the number of opportunities remains higher than the number of qualified applicants. The VA has identified a list of these high-demand career fields, and last year partnered with the US Department of Labor to create the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.
Under the VOW act, the joint benefits program called Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) was created to help provide retraining of US veterans so they would better qualify for these high demand careers. The goal – increasing the employability of our veterans and lowering the unemployment rate.
For eligible veterans, VRAP offers financial assistance for those who return to school to gain new, in-demand skills. This assistance comes in the form of a monthly payout equal to the full-time payment of the MGIB-Active Duty: $1,473. For the up to 45,000 unemployed soldiers who qualify, these benefits are available for 12 months. As of now, about 37,000 applications have been accepted. The program is set to end in October 2013 OR when the 99,000 participant limit is reached, whichever happens first.
VRAP Eligibility Requirements are:
- You must be between the ages of 35-60 and have received an other-than-dishonorable discharge
- You must be unemployed when you apply, but you must be employable
- You cannot be eligible for other VA educational benefit programs
- You may not be enrolled in another governmental training program
The simplest way to apply for VRAP is online through the VONAP EBenefits portal. But before you get started, make sure you’ve collected the following pieces of information and have them handy – you’ll need them during the application process:
- Entry and exit dates for your time in Active, Reserves, or National Guard
- Addresses for the units in which you served
- List of any and all military benefits, and the amount of payments you currently receive
- If you claim a disability, list the name/address of your current and past medical facilities
- If you claim a disability, a list of exposures that caused it
- If you are married, information about your spouse
- If you were married, information about your previous spouse(s)
- Information about your children that live in your home or elsewhere (you will need child support information if applicable)
- Records of any training and employment history for the past year