Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)

Posted by Charlotte Webster

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, or call VA’s Call Centers toll free at 1-800-827-1000.

Veterans may also access the VRAP application online at through eBenefits, a joint project between the Department of Defense and VA.


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10 responses to “Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)”

  1. I am no computer geek but,this website for veterans to apply for vrap a program to help unemployed vets is hard to apply because of the password and user name.after about2 hrs trying to apply at this site and not being able to get your user name and to be accepted,pissed me off!why dont they use the KISS method(KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID)then we could apply for VRAP without a computer sicence p.h.d.,i am just sick of the secret password crap.anytime you can get hacked or compromised or a virus in our computer.

  2. Gregg says:

    Did I read this right? You have to be discharged as: “Other than Honorable” in order to qualify? Don’t get me wrong I am glad to see them get help too. I’m 51 and unemployeed but with an Honorable discharge from Army and full time National Guard. Now Im broke, busted and disgusted. But you know what, times are hard and one thing those grueling road marches/runs with full combat gear for 12+ miles in Alaska and Ft. Campbell taught me is that when your dogs are screamin’ and your socks start to stick to the silver dollar sized blood blisters that begin to break open and sting is that never quit, suck it up, if you live long enough you’ll reach the finish line and it’ll be over or you’ll die. Either way relief will come. “Strike Fear From Above” and “Geronimo”!

  3. Debi Teter says:

    Hi, Gregg.  
    No, you didn’t read it correctly. You must have an other than dishonorable discharge. You should be able to qualify and should definitely apply for the program. It is designed to help veterans just like you. 
    I wish you the best of luck.

  4. rick says:

    can this pay for a masters program or law school? How about a paralegal program?

  5. nathan melen says:

    Veteran’s Education Anchorage created a What is VRAP infographic please feel free to share

  6. nathan melen says:

    It won’t pay for a masters program or law school, but it will pay for a paralegal program

  7. Cathy says:

    Is VRAP effected by sequestration? 

  8. bill camille says:

    What happens if someone does not have a bank account because they are unemployed

  9. robert branch says:

    time and time again I have tried to grt these people to understand that I needed the money to get in the cwi program held by the AMERICAN WELDING SOCIETY,but theydo not seem to understand so now the CWI school is closed and I SEND the info to VRAP and they act as though they do not understand…………………..

  10. kristy riddle says:

    I am recieving benefits under VRAP. It will pay for any classes towards a degree, certificate or diploma as long as your program is listed in the HIGH DEMAND JOBS….dont give up….I hadto do some research but it paid off. I CAUTION YOUTO MAKE SURE YOU GET IN A PROGRAM OF STUDY THAT YOU WANT BECAUSE ALTHOUGH YOU CAN CHANGE SCHOOLS—YOU CAN NOT CHANGE PROGRAMS. SEMPER FI

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