Veterans Retraining Assistance Program - VRAP
Congress passed, and the President has signed into law, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. Included in this new law is the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP). VRAP offers up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed Veterans.
The VRAP offers 12 months of training assistance to Veterans who:
- Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
- Are unemployed on the date of application
- Received an other than dishonorable discharge
- Are not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
- Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability
- Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program
The 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. Participants may receive up to 12 months of assistance equal to the monthly full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty program (currently $1,473 per month). DOL will offer employment assistance to every Veteran who participates upon completion of the program.
Participants must be enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation.
High Demand Jobs
VRAP will provide training for programs of education that lead to a high demand occupation, as determined by the Department of Labor. Click here to see a listing of high demand occupations.
General Information about VRAP:
- An Individual who receives a Certificate of Eligibility for the Fiscal Year 2012, but doesn’t use the program until Fiscal year 2013 does not have to reapply for VRAP benefits.
- Individuals eligible for VRAP will only be paid benefits through their program end date, entitlement exhaust date OR May 31, 2014, whichever comes first. Note: a student will be terminated for unsatisfactory progress just as with any other VA education benefit.
- Individuals using VRAP will not be permitted to change their program of study once a payment has been issued.
- As of the date of application for VRAP, individuals must be unemployed. However, employment thereafter is not prohibited while pursuing an educational goal.
- Individuals must be enrolled and maintain for at least 12 credit hours (full-time). Individuals who reduce their training below full-time (12 hours at CPCC) are no longer eligible and benefits will be terminated on the date of the reduction. VA will re-establish benefits if an individual increases his/her training time back to full-time effective that date.
- Individuals using VRAP benefits are not eligible for the VA Work-Study Program.
- VRAP provides up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed veterans. If training program is three months then VA will pay three months of benefits. If training program is 18 months long, VA will only pay up to 12 months.
VA will not take any adverse action against students who do not complete their program. Department of Labor (DoL) will offer students employment assistance when they stop training even if they didn’t complete the program. For more information about the DoL’s veterans’ programs go to http://www.dol.gov/vets/