Unemployed veterans are being encouraged to apply for the new Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) GI Bill, which offers up to 12 months of Montgomery GI Bill benefits for older unemployed veterans.
As of May 15, older unemployed veterans have been able to apply for education benefits worth as much as $17,600 ($1473 a month). So far only about 7,000 have applied.
To be eligible for the VRAP GI Bill you must:
- Be at least 35 but no more than 60 years old.
- Be unemployed (as determined by DoL).
- Not have a dishonorable discharge.
- Not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program.
- Not be drawing VA compensation due to unemployability.
- Not be enrolled in a federal or state job training program.
Here’s what you should know about the new VRAP before you apply:
- This benefit can only be used to earn an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train the you for a high demand occupation
- According to the VA, the program should begin processing VRAP benefits on July 1, 2012.
- This new benefit will be limited to 45K vets in FY2012 and 54K from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014.
- Once you have completed the VRAP education program, the Dept. of Labor will provide employment assistance.
Be sure to visit the VA’s VRAP webpage on May 15 to apply.
And, as always, stay tuned for more details as VA releases them.