Veterans Encouraged to Apply for Retraining GI Bill

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.

About the Author

Terry Howell
Before becoming the Managing Editor for, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.
  • Raymoind Carrillo

    Why are they discriminating against us older people who still want to work but can find work in our old career field because we do not have a degree or a certification. After 911 I was laid off and have yet to regain employment in the Telecommunications/Networking arena

    However I think it is a great opportunity for numerous ex miltary and active individuals

    • Scott Williams

      you don’t get it yet do you, after age 60 you are pretty much disposable under the Obama regime… good luck with that…

  • PMarquis

    I don’t understand why they don’t just honor our full GI bill benefits as agreed upon. I paid into the system and I shouldn’t have to perform back flips to try to receive something back from it. Yes, after I finished my enlistment I went into construction. I know that I past my eligibility but I didn’t expect for the government to turn its back on us when we are in a crisis as we did not turn our backs on them when they were in a crisis.

    • SWilson

      I totally agree with you on this. I got out in `91, the economy was booming had no reason to go to school at the time. there were more jobs then people to fill them, if you were willing to get dirty and sweat a little!!


    The government has NEVER made anything easy for anyone and that includes its servicemembers.
    Think about it. When you them…..they want it ..LUMP SUM and NOW. When they owe YOU … its..”let’s take 50 percent out first for taxes..” then you must fill out all kinds of “LEGAL AGREEMENTS” that they will have no trouble HOLDING YOU to the agreement but conveniently leave all kinds of “OUTS” for them.

  • Larry Chambers

    And why the cut off at 60 – Oh so no Vietnam war vets qualify?
    Thank again for nothing
    LC age 64 101st abn

    • roepra

      Dear Larry,
      You more than likely qualify for disability benefits due to Vietnam Vets presumptive conditions Then you can be awarded GIBill Chapter 31-Voc Rehab benefits.
      P.S. Thank you for your service Nam Vets are my HEROS ;-)

      • D Murphy

        The Vietnam Vets got screwed when they returned, discriminated against with this program and have to wait to apply for benefits because the Iraq and Afghanistan Vets are getting priority filing.
        3rd TFW, Bien Hoa, ’69.

        • Vet Rep

          Actually a lot of the Afghan and Iraq vets have other benefits available that will disqualify them for this program.

    • Mr. Obvious

      The cut off is at 60 because 60 is OLD AS HELL and your working years SHOULD be behind you if you took care of business for the last 42 working years of your adult life. Why send a 63 year old to school for a year? So then he is 64 and looking for a job as a Walmart greeter? Congress might not be the brightest bunch but even THEY can see that if there are only a limited number of accepted applicants, then they might as well be 30 and 40 year olds who need some training that THEY STILL HAVE TIME TO USE!

      • Chief741A

        Spoken as only a 12 year old troll posting from mommy’s basement can.

        • Righteous

          Bunch of whiny little bitches….

        • Mr. Obvious

          Once again Chief, no, Im 26, and Iraq war vet myself, and I am using my education benefits NOW instead of waiting until the end of my life when I am 64 years old to complain that my country hasnt done anything for me. Also, Im not in my “mommys basement. I also used my VA benefits to BUY MY OWN 4 bedroom home while the housing market is cheap. Benefits are only beneficial IF YOU ACTUALLY USE THEM! Dont be mad at the world because you waited until you were 64 to show some damn initiative and get motivated.

          • L Stringer USAR Ret.

            That is very harsh and highly disrespectful to any Miliary person. You’re still young and do not have a clue. Majority of the benefits enforced now was not available. Your attitude towards older Vets that paved the way for you is very hurtful and meaningless. How would you feel if you spent 20+ years of your life serving your Country and then told you qualify for nothing. GROW UP!

          • Mr. Obvious

            I dont care if it is “harsh”. And you didnt pave the way for me you retired reservist. Most of the guys in Vietnam were there because they got drafted anyway. Now, that being said, I dont have to feel sorry for a guy who is 64 and doesnt qualify for a RETRAINING program. “Ask not what your country can do for you…..” Have you ever heard that before? Well take responsibility for your OWN actions and the situation your 64 year old self is in! Nobody else is more responsible for you than yourself. Its not MY fault or anybody elses fault that you are retirement AGE with no retirement MONEY! Suck it the hell up and have some damn dignity. Boo hoo hoo, Im 64 and I dont qualify for a program that will retrain me for a new career. How RIDICULOUS does that sound? Just wait a year, collect you Social Security and then go fishing until you kick the damn bucket and get your military funeral! There is nothing more pitiful than a man who feels sorry for himself. I have seen men who lost their legs that dont feel as sorry for themselves as you do. Soldier the f*ck up!

          • Chief741A

            I have accomplished more than you ever will, child.

          • Are you kidding me why don’t you too exchange phone numbers and take your ***** session elsewhere, I want to learn more about VRAP

          • J.ortiz

            Mr. Obvious, I too am offended on your posts I was also in Iraq and Afghanistan and other theaters. It’s not appropriate to belittle any other service member or veteran from another campaign. I too lost a friends in the war and lost body parts and the va only pays a portion to me. So have some respect for other military members and stand the F**K down.
            Very respectfully,
            The angry veteran!

          • Chief741A

            Thanks, J.ortiz. Mr Oblivious is a child, a bully that thinks he knows everything. Karma has a habit of catching up with people like that – there is always somebody bigger, badder – he/she will get slapped down hard. Next week, next month – 10 years – MO will run it’s mouth to exactly the wrong person. If it’s lucky, it will just loose it’s job.

            I seriously doubt MO is what it says it is. REAL combat vets tend to have at least some humility and respect for those that served before. MO sounds like the only way it can make itself feel worthwhile is to belittle others.

            Like I said, Karma is going to bite MO where it hurts, sooner or later.

          • Mr. Obvious

            Quit cryin about some damn Karma. Next you are gonna say that the Boogeyman is gonna get me. Respect is a two way street, and when you start talking smack and calling names, I lose all respect for your bum ass. Goin to damn Vietnam (for nothing), doesnt give you a free get out of jail card with me.

          • Mr. Obvious

            Yo, if I tell it like it is, and somebody doesnt like it, thats too bad. I didnt start calling them names. I just stated the facts. The age limit was no accident! The program was DESIGNED to retrain the middle age guys who will benefit more from the retraining! That should not be a difficult concept to understand! Now if some old fart who happens to be a Vet LIKE MYSELF is offended by that and wants to start name calling, then no, Im not going to “stand down”. This is a free country, we all should know that, and if an old vet wants to talk smack, then the young vet has just as much right to snap back.
            Still, the bottom line is, THIS PROGRAM WAS NOT DESIGNED FOR OLD FARTS! It wasnt designed SPECIFICALLY to exclude Vietnam era guys because we dont like them and dont want to give them anything! It just so happens that those guys are OLD now and wouldnt benefit as much from the retraining! It also excludes WWII guys! We respect WWII Vets and guess what, THIS PROGRAM ISNT FOR THEM EITHER! Me saying that isnt even disrespectful. It really is OBVIOUS. Could a 63 year old benefit from the program if he was eligible? Absolutely! Could an 83 year old benefit from the program? Possibly! But would a 43 year old benefit more? Probably so! If they created a clause that gave 35-60 year olds a priority in the program, and then if slots were still left vacant after the priority window closed, then I would see NO REASON that a Vet of ANY AGE shouldnt be allowed to use these available benefits. But as it is written now, the program is for the middle aged guys There are programs for seniors too though, like Social Security! And guess what, healthy 43 year olds DONT QUALIFY YET!
            Again, this program wasnt intended to retrain senior citizens. Its OBVIOUS since they set the age limit.

      • D Murphy

        Just wait until 60. A lot of Vets were caught when companies eliminated retirement programs and began contributing to a 401k. Since then 401 investments have crashed twice. The government helped the companies and did nothing for those in most need. Today’s economy isn’t helping. I want to work until I’m physically unable and I’m sure a lot of other older Vets feel the same way. Just food for thought. We all get old!

    • Ken Neely

      I noticed the same thing that you did about the age thing. I wondered from the onset why Nam vets were singled out.

      • maria

        This is for all veterans- Women and Men.

        Many wars came before us-our soldiers came home mentally or physically useless—there were no GI benifits. for rehab. or education.

        As a woman veteran-during the Viet Nam war- the war no one wanted to own up to or discuss that we were even involved….but we got through it. Then military women were invisable. Only in the last 10 years, based on my local observation, there has been a discovery that maybe we military women needed care as well.

        Our men-who were exposed to chemicals used to drive out the enemy, inturn-produced children with birth defects. Back then people ignored the physically or mentally retarded offspring of these soldiers.

        Even though my husband, a trained Green Beret, left vietnam, vietnam didn’t leave him. Dana still had nightmares, malaria attacks, even carried a gun to bed because “they were coming after him”. According to Dana, “there was no God in Viet Nam”. “God forgot us there”, he’d say.
        ———going forward to 2012——

        the technology we have now—was still in infant stages of development back then. How I wished we had the education then–that we have now.

        As if God heard my dreams about getting a leg up on computer technology, to learn about tele- medicine, to take online classes, to be part of our ever changing technology.
        Im 57 now—-and Im am in no way ready to retire. Yes I did have 401k’s established, only to have my industry disolve–remember Enron?

        I do not dwell on what might have been, I look forward to aging gracefully, and learning about new technology.

        Remember, when you have health, you have wealth.

        What is wealth without health and personal happiness?

  • JMurdock

    My husband is a Vietnam Vet, and of course, he was DENIED for his VA BENEFITS! He was exposed to AGENT ORANGE and has HEART DISEASE, had a HEART ATTACK, now has a Difbulator & Pacemaker… Our Government only cares about THEIR paychecks, not those of whom fought for our country… Sad, but true!

    • Roepra

      Dear Mrs. Murdock,
      It was a sad time in history for the Vietnam Vets. I want to encourage you and your husband by sharing information that can empower you! Please click on the following links:… AND

      Peace and Best of luck to you both

    • Nate

      They have more evidence concerning agent orange and other health problems from Vietnam. I just got the list for my dad and my last vet support group.E mail me and I will help you with this information. I am a Gulf war vet fighting for my benefits myself.

    • Lisa

      @JMurdock, My dad and uncle are both Vietnam vets and have service-connected disabilities for Agent Orange. Both have problems with their heart. I don’t think your husband should have been denied and I would urge you to reapply until they accept him. Maybe speak with the veterans advocacy office, too. God bless, I pray it works out!

      • Corrine

        this goes to all the above answers… You may not believe me, but get in contact with your congressman for help.. Hope you all have good ones.
        my dad could not get his benefits for WWII. My mother went through all the places. Then when she contacted him things begin to fall in to place.
        At least give it a try.. Remember, it’s an election year… If they can help great, but if nothing happens you will not be any worse off…
        Good Luck to all. and Happy Memorial Day.

  • Robert

    This bill is a peice of crap. They will pay you to be an actor or singer but will not pay someone to finish a four year teaching degree to be a certified teacher. This bill is nothing but full of contradictions. In the state of Minnesota all trades require apprenticeship training plus trade school but do you think this VRAP garbage covers that type of training? No. What a poor peice of legislation this was written. Also, this bill was signed into law more then 7 months ago yet when you call in to talk to any counselor they all contradict each other on how the specifics work. What a winner this peice of legislation is. They will pay somone to become an actor or singer but will not pay for someone to finish a BSN in nursing if they have 5 courses left. What a bunch of jokers these DOL people are.

    • Roepra

      The fact is the U. S. Congress determined the 12 month limitation; based research most adult learners (age 35 to 60 yrs. old) already have some foundational skill sets.

      • Scott Williams

        Congress determined? Who the hell died and left them boss? Last I knew they worked for us, it is about time to remind them of this, I will vote against any incumbent no matter how long they have been there or how Good they think they are…enough is enough

        • retiree

          US Constitution, Article I, Section 9:
          “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law”

          bottom line – WE put them in charge.

        • Tom F

          “Congress determined? Who the hell died and left them boss?”

          John Dickinson, Gouverneur Morris, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Thomas Paine, Edmund Randolph, James Madison, Roger Sherman, James Wilson, and George Wythe, and everybody else that helped frame the U.S. Constitution.

    • so im 23 years old the only skills i have is to shoot machine guns! and this automated reply BS says 35 to 60 years of age already have foundations set! wheres MY! training? wheres MY! help? im a young buck straight out of the Marines and being in the military i recently found out really isnt good enough to get hired at places i wanna be. i cant even get training so i could get the low end job! you know what its fine just another day of getting screwed. dont call me when America is getting “attacked” again. because now to me it every man for himself.

      • Jeanne Ryan

        Thomas…you were in the Marines and are 23y/o. So that means that you enlisted under the new GI bill. So what exactly is the problem here? Use the educational benefits you are entitled to. Because your GI bill will cover 4 years of college. Were as this bill covers one year of college. Do the math and stop complaining. I’d give anything to have served with the GI Bill all I got was the VEEPs program and that was a piece of crap.

      • David


        Listen devil dog, first off you aint got no place blamin America or the Marine Corps for your lack of skills, how can you be 23 yrs old and ALREADY out of the Corps and only knowin how to shoot Machine Guns? Hmmm that must mean the only rank you got promoted to was Lcpl, unless of course they NJP’d your a*# and busted you down, otherwise you should have taken some damn initiative and did correspondance courses or something. Either one is unsat. And for your information, (seeing as though you haven’t bothered to seek out any) You are qualified for the chapter 33 post 911 GI Bill IF IN FACT YOU WERE DISCHARGED UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS!!!! Otherwise, you aint eligible for S#@’;T!!!
        By the sound of you, they kicked you out cuz your a pothead or smthg, and no one to blame but yourself. Otherwise get off your a## and do something and stop ******* while the rest of us former Leathernecks are tryin to make it in this world.

    • joy

      All you have to do is take courser that you need for non-degree program.


      What’s wrong with actors and singers?
      If it’s so easy, why don’t you pick up a guitar and show us something?

  • DMorton

    Amazingly I lost my hearing in one ear due to not having on my mickey mouses during a firing exercise as a vietnam vet. It was noted as hearing loss on my exit nedical and have been denied denied denied any compensation ever sense. So what is in my favor here?
    US Navy, 72-75.

  • T. A. Robinette

    Comment 1 of 2 part message: I contributed the $100 per month for 12 months for the Montgomery GI Bill, three years later, I retired. I live in a rural area with no local accredited schools, so I started a business and was waiting for high speed internet to be run in the area. 9 years 6 months later, high speed internet service was installed and I applied to Southern University and was accepted. I contacted the regional office of the VA in Buffalo, NY and was told I was not eligible and that my benefits had ran out. I ask how that was possible and then was told the VA had no record of my ever contributing to the Montgomery GI Bill program. Well, I did some digging and found my first month contribution LES and my last month contribution LES, thus demonstrating 12 months of contribution. The VA case manager in Buffalo, NY manually entered the data, made me eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill benefits in March 2009 and issued me a Notice of Eligibility of Benefits, BUT!!!!! Get this; according to that NOEB notice, I had only 30 days to use 36 months worth of benefits!!!
    Theodore A. Robinette, SFC, USA Retired

    • bill

      Check out with the Veterans Counselor at NYS Dept of Labor.and the HESC in Albany…..NYS has 5500 dollar grants (each year of school) for Vietnam and Gulf War Vets….but must have the expeditionary medal to qualify…in other words…had been ‘in countrty’…….

    • Stephen

      Might want to consider getting on it quick. I believe they will not stop the money after it starts. I was in a degree program and used all 36 months of eligibility in January after starting my last semester of school. They did not stop the money until May of that last semester.

    • Charles Taylor

      I’m sorry to hear that can you tell me what happen at the end of the 30 days did you get your 3 years of college. My story is a little stranger then da! In 1997 (two years before I retired) I tried to paid the complete $1200 in to the Mong IG, they said VA people said NO, I could’nt do it and left me with a GI bill alltogether. with the $1200 in the bank I managed to get about 54 college credits but ran out of funds after losing my job. After 15 years I look to finish my degree in a field (Audio & Visual Management) that was taking over by computers. Better late then never. Charles E. Taylor TSgt AFSOC Det 8 1361 AVS Retired

  • T. A. Robinette

    Comment 2 of 2 + 3 part message: He refused to issue and extension even though I was enrolled in an accredited university and met the requirements for an extension, but according to him, I was ineligible since I left the military “For Economical Benefits” and therefore he was denying an extension. I thought I had only retired, I guess I should have stayed until I was 65!! I have struggled with the collapse of the economy like many small business owners to the point that I have had no income beyond my retirement for the past 22 months. I have had to drop out of college this January due to no funds left to pay tuition and books.
    Theodore A. Robinette, SFC, USA Retired

    • Ravi

      Whiole it sucks big time to be denied Veterans education benefits, I hope you will try to get a federal student loan and go back to college instead of just giving up.

      • 2tall

        i thought it was 10 yrs from the date on the Notice of Eligibility of Benefits..Man i would appeal…..

  • T. A. Robinette

    Comment 3 of 2 + 3 part message: I have 116 semester hours of completed college courses awarded or complete and was listed as a junior working on a business administration bachelor degree with a 4.0 GPA. I tried to get congressional assistance in correcting the situation, but could not even get a written or telephonic response. I sent all supporting documents to my US senator, but I guess he was a ROAD since he retired a year later. I have become disillusioned with our US govt and wonder whether I wasted my life spending 20 years serving while my fellow high school graduates have built careers in the private world and have good jobs and careers to show for it. I have been unemployed and can’t even get counted as one by this manipulative government.
    Theodore A. Robinette, SFC, USA Retired

    • R. S. Prater

      Mr. Robinette, __I’m not sure if you qualify but Try and apply for the VRAP program. Currently, I work with the Veterans Upward Bound Program for the Greater Cincinnati, OH area. By the way is “Southern University” in B.R. LA?

  • Ron A., MM1 USN Ret.

    I joined the Navy in 1983 and paid into VEEP which was not a good program. I did 20 years moving around the world, collected a nice amount of college credits and finally retired in 2003. Got a job with a nice company and after nearly 9 years have been terminated as our group was no longer considered a value to the company. I started my job search and nearly everyone required some kind of degree which I do not have. I saw VRAP was comming and thought I might take advantage of this program. The job situation was not going well as nearly everyone who would even consider me would require me to move and with no assistance! I am, like many, stuck in an upside down mortgage and dont want to burnden my community by just leaving it behind so am trying to stay here. I decided to start my own company and so I have. Not a dime has come in yet and honestly not sure how this will work out. I thought I could see if it works and in the mean time enroll with VRAP to get my degree. Turns out that starting your own company means you are employeed! Now I am no longer eligible for this program! Stuck again…seems everytime I try to do the right thing….well you get the picture!

    • Guest

      i got out in 1995 after 10 years before messing up my leg and I had veep also, but I switched it over to new gi bill as they supposely had did away with veep.Its sounds like you got some bad info before you retiredGood luck sailor hang in there we put up with more crap on the deployments that where worse then this.

    • J.

      Just a suggestion: Since you are not making any money with your business. Shut down the business. Then, apply for VRAP. If you want to reopen the same business, you can do so immediately after you apply for VRAP. Technically, in accord with my reading of the law, you would only be out of business for one day – the day you make VRAP application. You can read the law for yourself here:

      • Charles


        Let me suggest that this most likely will be seen as defrauding the Government/VA.

        • Jim

          Why do you believe it would be defrauding the governement. Based upon my reading of the law, and I could be wrong, what I suggested is in accord with the law as it is written.

          Why should Ron A. not structure his situation, (if he is not making any money, he is “in effect” unemployed) to better the lives of him and his family and utilize the benefits for the reasons they were created?

          Maybe after his training, he will be able to work, produce income, and pay taxes, and provide for him and his family. And, his future taxes could help someone else do the same. In his current circumstance, everyone is losing.

          • Charles


            Not wanting to make this personal to anyone that has posted, but I just don’t see this program to mean that anyone that is working, can’t quite his job for a day, fill out VA Form 21-526, put it in the mail and go back to work the next day.

          • Charles



            Not wanting to make this personal to anyone that has posted, but I just don’t see this program to mean that anyone that is working, can quite his job for a day, fill out VA Form 21-526, put it in the mail and go back to work the next day.

          • Jim


  • The DOL defines unemployed as willing and able to work and actively looking for work. I have a back injury that I’m waiting for the VA to operate on and have been waiting for about a year. I’m unable to work due to my injury yet the DOL does not concider me unemployed, how can I get approved for VRAP?

  • Ok…. So IF one qualifies, they will pay you about $1500 a month for a year, but one main qualifying factor is one must be unemployed.

    Just who can afford to live on $1500 a month? …and for how long?

    Of course this is provided whichever college you are enrolled in will accept some kind of deferred payment so the VRAP funds can be used to buy food.

    • Tony Ratagick

      Agreed – I have no idea how one survives on $1500 a month, especially since thats supposed to be for the school. I was thrilled to see this program initially as I thought they were finally recognizing the sacrifices we made in between Vietnam and Gulf 1, Alas, it looks like its just a sham program so the administration can say “See, we’re trying to help…”

      • Indeed… it’s my belief that this is just a bullet for the pols to use as talking points as to “How they helped retrain and employ 100,000 vets…”

    • Charles Taylor

      I think the unemployment issue is for the date of the application and DOL will check it out but they like for you to get a job too. I hope this is true because I plan to look for so kind of employment during school. Charles Taylor Retired

    • Charles Taylor

      I don’t understand what you are saying, are you sure about the VARP is limited to a 2 years degree, I though the the money/funds just needed to be towards a degree. if the the case then I need to change my 4 year program to a 2 year. If this is true then the VARP program will only support vets in they 2nd year of a 2 year degree (this is nonsense), because the VARP will only give you 1 year of tutiion, books and lab classes at $1500 per month at full time student rate, unemployed for a year, Will unemployment stop are let you collect it on the State dime. If you work will dat dis-qualify you for the unemployment. Remember this is for one year of schooling.

      • Teri

        That was my biggest question Charles. Do unemployment benefits stop if you are accepted to this program?

        • Chief741A

          The rules vary slightly from state to state, Teri, but it’s been my experience that, since your attending school effects your ability to accept a job – you would loose Unemployment benefits. Catch-22

          The last time I was able to get UIC (2008), I asked for retraining assistance and all I was offered were courses I could TEACH. I could not make the state worker understand that my Master’s degree meant nothing in the world of computer programming, where you can be turned down because your experience was with the wrong vendor or compiler version… I’ve known state workers who intelligent and hard working, but this one was as thick as a brick – and he was the gatekeeper I had to go through to get any help.

          This is changing – here in Florida, they have expanded your ability to go to school while drawing UIC, BUT – if they don’t pre-approve it and find out, you will loose UIC and possibly get nailed for fraud. Whatever you do, go through your state UIC agency.

        • Righteous

          Yes, they do…

    • Teri

      Michael, I have been living on $1552 a month while raising a child for the last 10 1/2 months. It is horribly hard here in Southern California, but it can be done. You do nothing but exist. But you do what you have to do to get by. I refuse to give up or give in. You just have to do your best to remain positive and keep beating the pavement. I hope I am one of the 45,000 chosen for this program.

      • I appreciate that, Teri… but actually living on the 1500/month is one thing… and as I said, that is provided you can actually get a loan to cover tuition while living on the VRAP funds.

        Many programs – especially certificate programs – are not eligible for federal aid, but are included in the VRAP program. So unless you have outstanding credit or can put up collateral for a personal note (all while being unemployed?), then living on 1500/month is next to impossible. Gas alone, just to GET to classes three times a week would be $200/month for me…

        It just gets frustrating being a pawn in the politicians’ ambitions, and I’m tired of them using our name in vain.

        I’ve applied for a simple, fifteen week course, am unemployed and ultimately hopeful, yet not very optimistic.



  • Dale

    Here is a “problem” I discovered with VRAP.

    When you APPLY for it you have to be signed up IE “committed” to whatever training you are going to do.

    So what happpens if you “get turned down” for whatever reason, like maybe you turn out to be number 45,001?

    You are already on the hook for for the cost of the training from where is you already signed up at.

    • you can cancel your classes before they start. Don’t cash any checks, and please…. stop making excuses, because you’re scaring the children.

    • Valdaor

      If you have to drop/cancel your classes or training before they start, the only thing you will be out is the $50 application fee and the time you put into applying for both VRAP and the college. Driven people will take the money while lazy good fod nothing people sit around and complain.

      • gulfwarveteran

        do not sign up for a class until you find out if your approved for VRAP. even if you have to wait for the next class. you will have until 2014 to use your benefits.

  • Wayne

    If the truth were known, all combat veterans of any service, in any war or conflict should by all right be fully qualified for as much school as they can handle in a life time and it should be free. This shouls surely guarantee a veteran a life time of full employment.

  • Tony

    Great. I retired from the military in 1993 and immediately got a law enforcement job. While many LE get degrees now online, it wasn’t that prevalent in 1993. Plus as a single parent, and working rotating shifts, going to school in a classroom wan’t an option. I never used my Viet Nam era GI Bill.
    So here I am, unemployed, with time on my hands to get retrained, and guess what, At 63 I’m too old.

    • SIT DOWN!

      If you retired in 1993 from the military and then got a Law enforcement job, and today in 2012 you are unemployed at 63 years old, then WHATS THE PROBLEM?! You are SUPPOSE TO BE UNEMPLOYED! Go sit down somewhere and watch the grass grow! You were 18 years old 45 years ago. Do you REALLY wanna welcome people to Walmart?

      • Chief741A

        Spoken as only a 12 year old troll posting from mommy’s basement can.

        • SIT DOWN!

          Actually Im no 12 year old. I am a 26 year old who just got off Active Duty Army after 4 years to go to college. I figured it was a good idea to use my Post 9/11 GI Bill to get an education WHILE I STILL HAVE MY WHOLE LIFE AHEAD OF ME TO USE THAT EDUCATION! Not wait until I am 63 to sit around complaining that my country isnt doing anything for me…. Good Day Sir

          • Chief741A

            Back up a few responses, Mr Obvious – I won’t waste space repeating what I wrote to your alter ego, other than to say I hope it’s one of my grandchildren that tells YOU roll over and die because YOU are in THEIR way.

            Don’t call me Sir. You haven’t earned the right.

          • Mr. Obvious

            Okay, I wont call you sir, I will call you BUM because that is what you are. I didnt really mean sir anyway, I was quoting Wonka. Anyway, I wasnt telling you to roll over and die because youre in my way. Youre not in MY way AT ALL! I live a very very comfortable life! And your grandchildren wont be able to tell me a damn thing because I wont be whining about how the world is so hard on me like you are whining about it. By the time I am 64, your grandchildren will be LUCKY to work for me! I feel sorry for your grandchildren if they have to sit and listen to an old man drivelling about how his life turned out the way it did. Boo hoo hoo, at 64, the government wont send you to school to learn a new job. DUH! They expect you to be done working by then! Go collect your Social Security!
            Good Day BUM. I have earned that right.

      • Righteous

        Right on!!!! Well spoken! You are correct, sir!

    • Moses

      Tony, on May 3rd I graduated with a Masters in Social Work Degree and just got hired as a Readjustment Counselor at a Vet Center to counsel with combat veterans, their partners, children, and families about the “Journey Home.” I am also 63 years old and a Vietnam Vet. I think one of the stamps of our era is the fatalistic “what difference will it make” attitude that was so prevalent as we took ground and gave it back in our combat tour in RVN. Dude, it ain’t ever to late! Saddle up and let’s get Oscar Mike…

  • David

    Ok so let me get this straight, if you’re eligible for any other va ed benefits you are NOT eligible for this VRAP thing? Because I’m using Post 911 GI Bill right now, so I guess this program no longer an option. Shame because it seems to be more than GI Bill under Montgomery or post 911.

    • yes David, but stay focused using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, get that degree, get up, and get on. The VRAP isn’t a benefit, its a safety net. Think bigger, be stronger

    • Student

      If you are using Post 9/11 right now, then WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU WANT VRAP? Post 9/11 pays FULL TUITION for ANY public college, $1000 a year for books, AND E-5 WITH Dependent BAH for wherever you live for 36 MONTHS. On top of that, ANY Grants that you get like the Pell Grant or Scholarships go straight to your pocket since all tuition is already paid. My wife and I BOTH are using Post 9/11 right now. TWO Bachelors degrees paid for, TWO E5 with dependent BAHs, TWO $1000 book allowances, and the Pell Grant ALONE was $4800 for me and $4700 for her this year, and then Scholarships on top of that for good grades. And if thats not enough for you, then you can get a part time job! Please explain how in your mind VRAP is better than that!

      • David

        You’re right, I can’t, good point. Think I’ll stay with what I’m doing.

    • Damon

      David…I got out of the Marine Corps in 1998 and went directly into a good paying job. Never used my GI Bill because it really wouldnt cover all that much. I tried to use it after my world fell apart only to find that it was gone already. Stuck….2 little kids….no useable skill….unemployed with no benefits anywhere….and this may be a god send to me, or at the very least a good alternative to stealing food for my kids. Your benefits will cover a 4 year major university degree….ours would not have. Use the massive amount that your being given (in comparison to what we were offered), and make the most of your life.

  • This VRAP is a good thing for those who qualify. You get E-5 BAS with dependents. 1467.00 a month, plus it pays for school. You SHOULD be able to sign up for any REGIONALLY accredited school. NATIONALLY accredited schools, may not be covered. Relax…. take a deep breath…. and have a plan…. okay?

    • James, where have you read that you receive BAS PLUS “it pays for school”.

      IF you qualify, you receive the $1500/month, PERIOD. That’s it.

  • Chief

    Thanks for nothing, guys. I turn 62 next month.

    • Student

      62? Well you shouldnt be RETRAINING for a new career, you should be FINISHED! Why waste education money on a 62 year old who obviously wasnt motivated enough over the last 44 working years of his adult life when there are 35 year olds who have 30 more working years ahead of them?

      • Chief741A

        Wasn’t motivated? I started at the bottom, I was DRAFTED in 1971 – and managed to earn SFC stripes in 11 years before being appointed and later commissioned as a Warrant Officer. By the time I retired as a CWO-3, I had earned AS, BSCS, and MA degrees – ALL AT ACCREDITED STATE SCHOOLS BY ATTENDING CLASSES AT NIGHT WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY.

        I worked my ass off after I retired and made a good living until Y2k was over – I expected a dip – I did not expect a dead market, I did not expect 9/11, and I did not expect my livelyhood to be exported to India.

        I don’t need retraining for a new career – I need retraining to gain CURRENT skills in my profession.

        I could sit back with my thumb up my butt if I wanted to, BUT I WANT TO WORK. When you stop moving and learning, you start dying.

        I doubt that is something you can understand. You sound like a 12 year old troll reaching out from mommy’s basement.

        • Mr. Obvious

          Exactly, you were DRAFTED! You made E7 after a decade because most of the other guys LEFT and went HOME. You can keep using the lame ass “12 year old troll ….. mommys basement” comment all you want. It doesnt hurt me at all Lol. I am about as successful as a 26 year old could be! When I go to college, MY Mercedes is the ONLY one in the student parking lot. You can cry all you want about how you want to work but here are the FACTS. If all of those 45,000 slots are filled, and they DO decide to make more, they will ALSO be for 35-60 year olds! Maybe you are some extreme physical specimen of a 64 year old, but nobody is really hiring ANYBODY right now, and damn sure not 64 year olds! Is that against the law? Yep, but how can you prove it? Look Chief, Im not telling you to go sit down and die. Im not THAT much of an asshole. I wouldnt even suggest being a Walmart greeter, because that would definitely make you feel old and want to die. But the TRUTH is, not too many places want to hire a 64 year old that will have a limited future with the company. They want a younger worker who will dedicate himself to the company and be there for a while busting his ass hoping to get promoted. Those are the cold hard facts. Even when they say they want “experience”, they dont want it in the form of a 70 year old! They want a 40 year old who knows the job. Im sure you have an EXCELLENT resume all they way up until the point that they see your age. Retired military, masters degree, great. Sounds like a good candidate. Until whoa, 64? Uhhhhh, I dont know about this one. And AGE is something that you cant change. Adding another 12 months to your education column wont help either. Because guess what, NOW, instead of seeing 64 they are seeing 65! YOU of all people dont have TIME to waste in school! Sometimes I see 50 year olds in my Business and Economics classes, and I think to myself “She is gonna REALLY have to get out there and start making some money in these next few years to make this time spent here worth it”. But you do whatever you want. Just dont expect any help from the VA in pursuing your unusual goal.

      • Jim

        Your an ass, How do you know Chief wasn’t motivated or working for the last 44 years. There a plenty of people out there that have been laid off that have worked hard all their lives. Let’s see what you have to say when your 62…………….

        • JJJ

          Great point Jim ! And… he is an ass

          • Passionate

            No, you two ding dongs are asses….he’s right, Chief is eligible for SS benefits.

          • Mr. Obvious

            Thank you! Finally someone that agrees with LOGIC. If you had 44 working years of your adult life to PREPARE for retirement, then dont sit around mad at the world because you are 62 and dont qualify for money that is meant to retrain an individual for a future career! If saying that makes me an ass, then oh well. I am 26 years old and I have 41 college credits right now on my way to a Bachelors Degree that is completely paid for by VA. My house was purchased with my VA loan benefits. I wont be 62 years old grumbling about “What my country hasnt done for me”

          • Chief741A

            Just so you know, Obvious, I used TA to earn a AS degree from NVCC and a BSCS degree from UMCP on active duty as an enlisted man. I did that from a standing start in 4 years. If you think that was easy, TRY IT. I did that supporting a wife and 2 kids – and got promoted twice in my “spare” time..

            After I got my WO appointment, I earned a Masters from Webster using in-service GI bill before I retired from USASOC at Fort Bragg.

            Quite aside from the purely academic, I also spent 2 years – YEARS – as a full time student in various Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps service schools and vendor training courses. I earned SFC stripes before accepting a WO appointment, and I retired as a CWO-3.

            So pardon me if I am underwhelmed with your 26 years and 41 hours. My BSCS was a 120 hour program, and the Master’s was 36. When I was 26, I was a senior at University of Maryland College Park AND a 74F4O working in the Army Operations Center in the Pentagon..

            Big expletive deleted deal. I earned my way, and I did it longer than you have been alive.

            This VRAP program, which is being sold as a program for ” older unemployed veterans” – excludes the tens of thousands of “too young to retire, too old to hire” people like me. Highly skilled folks who don’t need another degree but do need retraining to stay competitive in a job market that has been decimated by years of mentally defective politicians. People who were too busy earning a living to get ANOTHER degree before their Viet Nam era GI Bill expired – JUST WHEN WE NEEDED IT.

            One more thing – I own my home free and clear. 5+ acres bordering a state wildlife management area. I didn’t use VA – I paid cash.

            Today, I am 62 years old. I don’t HAVE to work, I WANT to work. I have enough money to survive on – but I also have a wife living with cancer – something that eats more money and time than you can imagine, even with Tricare.

            Before you rag on people who you think should be rotting on the front porch, consider that someday YOU will be 62 and not 26.

            I sincerely hope that you find yourself up to your armpits in debt when you get handed your pink slip and watch the savings of decades evaporate while your spouse dies slowly. If God has a really fine-tuned sense of humor, it will be MY grandson or granddaughter telling you to shut up and get out of the way.

          • Mr. Obvious

            Well you silly old man, good for you that you retired as a Chief with all kinds of education. You SHOULD have plenty of money. So why are you crying about not being able to get 12 months more of education if you already have a Masters degree and you are retired from the military with you house paid for? And for the record, I got my 41 college credits in my last TWO semesters. I JUST started college in the fall of 2011. And I own TWO houses. The one I live in a pay my mortgage, and the other, I paid cash. BOTH are very nice houses. I have a Mercedes and my wife does too. If you have more than me, than congratulations. You SHOULD. You are 36 years older. I am living a damn good life for a 26 year old and I plan to retire very wealthy and in my 40s. Will I? Who knows? Maybe at 50…. Maybe at 60. But one thing I DO KNOW, is that I wont be sitting around at 62 blaming the world for my success or failure! I wont be looking to RETRAIN and start a new career at 62.
            You are complaining that the program excludes tens of thousands of people too old or too young. HELLO, it will exclude MILLIONS who DO qualify! There are only 45,000 who will get it the first year and 54,000 the next year. Why should half of those be 62 year olds that WANT to work when there are 42 year olds that NEED to work? This whole conversation is not about what I own or what you own. It is about who does and does not qualify. You dont qualify because your too old. I dont qualify, and I dont NEED to either. I use my Post 9/11 GI Bill which is better than anything VA has ever offered. I understand that the old GI Bills are not as good as the one my generation qualifies for. The bottom line is, if only 45,000 people will qualify this year, what makes YOU think that you, who doesnt NEED to work but instead WANTS to work at the age of 62, should be given one of the 45,000 spaces over another VETERAN who may be 40 years old and NEEDS to be retrained so that he can find a job in the work force and hold that job for 20 years longer than you would.
            Why should YOU, a 62 year old get that position over a 42 year old who is ALSO a vet and doesnt already have a Masters Degree or a retirement check? You talk about me for being disrespectful, but you cant even see how SELFISH you are!

          • Chief741A

            Maybe because I have more training, more experience, and can do the job better?

            You aren’t going to retire at 50. You aren’t going to be able to retire at all the way things are going. With your attitude, I suspect you are going to drift from job to job. If you ever own a business, your employer turnover rate is going to be crippling.

            You remind me of a CW4 that was my supervisor on my first job as an officer. He had an attitude just like the one you have been displaying here. He enjoyed beating people down, belittling them, anything to show that he was on top and his word was law.

            And then he retired. Last I heard, he had been let go from 3 jobs in his first year. I talked to one of his former employers, who said that the guy was outstanding at his job – but he was an insufferable creep with a huge ego – much like you – and nobody wanted to work with him. When good people started quitting because of good ole’ JJ – they decided to let JJ go and started trying to get their good people back.

            The time will come when you are in a position like mine, I hope it hurts – bad.

            I plan on working until I die, and here’s why. I watched my father retire. He was a veteran of WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam, an RA CW4 with so many hero badges that his CIB was level with the shoulder straps on his blues – enough to rate burial at Arlington. He got a job at the Cape during the Apollo program when he retired from the Army. He retired from the Cape at 65 and basically sat on the porch waiting to die. I learned something from that – when you stop moving, you start dying.

            I don’t plan to stop moving. If that offends you, ESAD. I plan to see 100 and die at my desk.

          • Mr. Obvious

            Thats very nice, but that guy you hate so much retired with more money and more rank than you! Obviously, his “attitude” got him SOMEWHERE. And if you have so much “training” then why do you need 12 months more? What could you possibly do in 12 months that would shine bright enough in that illustrious resume that you already have? Lol. Thats nice that you plan to work until your 100 and die at your desk. I DONT. I have already purchased 2 homes in the past year and am currently buying a duplex. I like for people to go to work and then pay me rent. Housing is cheap as hell right now and I am in full position to take advantage of this opportunity. Whatever “position” I find myself in 30 years from now, good or bad, most likely EXCELLENT, I will have myself to thank for it. Save all your stories about your dad for some other time. His “hero badges” dont add any credibility to you or your stories. He has nothing to do with any of this.

            The bottom line is: You are whining that you cant get a limited availability slot that was created to retrain a younger worker. You claim that you only WANT to work, but then you say that one day I will be in a position like you and you hope it hurts. Well which is it?! Are you doing good or struggling? Nevermind that, because I dont really care! If your are doing good, its because you worked hard to get there. If you are struggling, whatever, shit happens. Its not my business and its not my problem!
            My ONLY issue is that you and all the other old farts need to stop whining that you dont qualify for the limited slots meant to RETRAIN people for new careers! What the hell would be the point in using all the available slots retraining a bunch of 60 year olds who MIGHT use those newly learned skills another 5 years on average? Thats simply not efficient. I dont care if you do plan on working until your 100. There are age limits for a reason. So that the guys who can benefit from the program THE MOST, have the opportunity to. Its that damn simple, and all of your complaining and boasting about your credentials wont change a thing. If you are so educated and decorated, then you shouldnt need 12 more months of training to find a damn job for extra cash!

          • Mr. Obvious

            And for the record, MY father is 74 years old and was also in the Army, and HIS father too was in the Army. Youre not the only guy with a father that was in the Army! And guess what, my dad doesnt meet the age requirement for this program either! And if my grandfather who is a WWII vet was still alive, HE wouldnt meet the age requirement either! He couldnt even come home from war and eat at a restaurant with white people or drink from the same damn water fountain as a fellow white Vet. So no, I dont care to hear about all of your fathers “hero badges”. I have my own grandfather who did the same sh!t, and I doubt that he got anywhere near the respect that he deserved. The bottom line is STILL that 61 year olds and older DO NOT QUALIFY!

          • Chief741A

            Go back to your room, child. Grownups are having a discussion.

          • Mr. Obvious

            What are you discussing? YOU DONT QUALIFY CHIEF! They arent gonna give you a DIME!

  • Stan Ford

    I am not eligible because of a lousy $200 a month part time job with the Census Bureau. Have to be totally unemployed for 12 months.

    • JJJ

      Where did it say you have to be unemployed for 12 months ? I didn’t see that

    • Janet

      Thanks for serving! Your benefits would far exceed that $200/month. In the end, your skills would be more marketable. You may want to reconsider.

  • Mbrewer

    Its sad to read these knowing they are true.

  • Stringer, SFC

    I am a Retired USAR Vet, I applied for the GI Bill for Reserve members and was denied because I am no longer Drilling. How is this right, I served 20+ years and can not get any Educational Benefits. I think the new Program should be designed for Veterans who would not qualify for other benefits regardless of how old you are or if you’re working.

    • Jim

      If you were called on Title 10 or in some cases Title 32 orders and served after 2001 you may be eligible for additional benefits-you should look into it.

  • lemmie

    I think this is a good bill for unemployed veterans. I exhausted my (1977) benefits in the early 1980’s. I am in the age category and just hope I am eligible for the program. My monthly income is fixed, I need some assistance like “yesterday”.

    lemmie, old school VET.

  • ModMajGen

    So maybe it’s time for another Veterans’ march on Washington. WWI Vets did that to protest the lies given to them by the people in power and they were burned and driven out by active duty forces.

    We can either go quietly into the night (death), which would be what the government wants or we can choose another option. Which is it to be?

    • Student

      Well, if you want to go march and demand the resignation of most of the people in our gridlocked Congress that cant seem to budge to get anything done, I suppose I will go. But if you just want to go and demand more education benefits because you didnt use your first ones, well, I cant go because I have classes to attend.

  • trina

    The original letter stated you had to be unemployed at the time you applied.. is that true? can you work after receiving benefits?

    • Jim

      You are correct Trina, the applicant must be unemployed as of the date of application.

  • martin

    I applied even though, this program begins officially on July 1st 2012 and I am scheduled to graduate on October 20th 2012 with an Associate Degree. I could really use 1,400 dollars for 4 months to help me with my school loans!!!!!!

  • K Cole

    Why is it that you can never make everyone happy? What about the people ages 35-60 that this will help? What about those unemployed that this will help? Why is it that everyone only see’s their own circustmances without looking at the larger picture. It will help 45K veterans. At least they will be getting something. Congress didn’t have to pass anything, therefore, not helping those 45K veterans. Better than nothing.

    • Patrick Hunter

      I absolutely agree with you. Here in Arizona we have more then 2,000 homeless US Vets that this may help. I live in a VA TLC with 50 other Vets that have been displaced. Many of them are between 30 and 50 and are unemployed, and will qualify for this program. That’s a Great thing! We sit back and see only the negative when we cannot take advantage of something good for other fellow vets. What happened to vets helping vets? Vets supporting each other and being happy when something good comes along. You are right, Congress didn’t have to do anything for us, but they did. We need to be happy for the “small: things.

      Hunter, US Army Airborne

    • J.Gatewood

      I strongly agree,this program is exactly what (I) needed to jump start my life again.i thank God and my government for not forgetting about us that are in need.

    • Calvin

      Right on!

  • Raffy

    Since I was one of the fortunate to be approved. Can I qualify for the VA student work study?

  • Raffy

    Since I am one of the fortunate to be approved. Can I qualify for the VA student work study program?

    • martin

      Congrats Raffy, I got my eligibility letter also….Martin from Pennsylvania!!!!

    • pooua


  • Anonymous Vet

    I applied for the benefit the first day it was available to apply. I received a letter today (June 4) saying “We have received your application for benefits. it is our sincere desire to decide your case promptly. However, as we have a great number of claims, action on yours may be delayed.” Give me a break. I meet all the qualifications and am unemployed…….what’s to decide? A Female Vet – Hurrying up and Waiting.

    • Ron Witherspoon

      I applied the 1st week also and I haven’t heard anything. I contact the VA and no one seem to have any information on VRAP but did let me know my application was recieved. I’m glad you were notified. good luck to you.

    • Anonymous NJ Vet

      I agree. Everytime I call the VA, some VA rep acts dumb claiming they never heard of such New GI Bill or I’ll get transferred to another number. I know I qualify but I never get any straight answers on how I can apply & actually get started. I NEED Certifications now!

    • Bandit13

      I also applied the first day it was available and got a letter saying the same?? I don’t get it either?? I meet all the qualifications too. I am also a female war time vet. I will keep inquiring until I get an answer, let you know if I get anywhere. So much for progress.

    • Sue

      I applied on May 18. On June 25, I received a letter stating my next payment would be Direct Deposit. I phoned their office, left my number for a call back for more info. I received a call back within an hour and was told that I was approved. I received my COE Friday in the mail and have an appt. tomorrow to register for school. I’ve been unemployed for a year and am thankful for VRAP. I selected a school that included an externship with the program in hopes of being employed immediately after completion.

      • Jim

        Hi Sue

        Glad things are going well for you in the VRAP.

        When you say you “phoned their office,” to whom are you referring and could you please provide the number you called so maybe others could benefit by calling the same number/office?

        Also, if you don’t mind sharing, what school and program did you choose?


  • Robert B.

    I believe this VRAP was set up for those of us that served our time when no program was offered (between 1979 to about 1984). I was enlisted during this time and because I did not fall under any of the GI bills, I have never qualified for any assistance. Now for what ever the VA searches for reasons for me not to get this either. Hey try to find out any status on your application, that’s a no go.

    • speedy

      i served for the same period but i think im disqualified bcause of voc rehab eligibility

  • Vet Rep

    I am a veterans rep heping veterans with the job process. If you think about it would it really make much sense to pay out a very limited amount of money for people to go to school to get an education when they are so close to retiring and getting Social Security. Why would any entity put out money if it is generally not going to any benefit. This program is a great thing for those that qualify and it breaks my heart that every veteran doesn’t qualify, but can’t you be a little happy for those that do qualify. Not eveyone in this world is going to be able to benefit from every program that is out there.

    • Barbara

      I am very happy for ones that qualify, but the information needs to be more specific about the guidelines. I was told I didn’t qualify because I don’t have an SCD. I appreciate all you do!

      • Vet Rep

        Barbara, You should contact your local Veterans rep to see if they can help you understand it. You can talk to someone at the Employment Security Department, American Legion, VFW or your regional office. If they don’t know the answer they should be able to help you find out how to get it. When you received your denial did they give you a contact number. You should try to call them and ask more information on why you were denied.

    • iamshane41

      To all those of you who are complaining, we all did our time. Your greatest benefit is being an American Citizen. Try going to a 3rd world country and living. Sometimes Vets expect too much from the government. you were smart enough to sign the enlistment documents and you are not smart enough to read the fine print??? I respect you all, I did my time too, but quit complaining and be happy for those that can be helped by this bill. If you were not smart enough to save a little money, YOUR BAD. I have been out of work for 3 years and live OK due to my planning. I have a broken neck and this program is great for me. For those of you needing a couple classes to finish a degree, good luck, there are plenty of financial aid programs out there

      • Joe

        Great Attitude iamshane41!

    • Dorothee

      This is a lifesaver for me. Everything that can go wrong has for me for many years and due to an injury I have been unemployed for over 2 years. Thank the VA and God for miracles. As for the complaints written by folks out there, the VA made the offer, I waited patiently-what else could I do? And the VA came through. I am anxious to begin a new life, especially since I am almost 60 years of age and as one of the first few female fighter jet engine mechanics, this is an offer I can not refuse. I am too old to do some things and too young to do nothing to support myself, unlike the younger generation today.

  • Corlina Canty

    A concerned VET to the ones that do not have transportation is transportation available to the veterans?

    • Vet Rep

      you should check with your local Employment Security Department to see what resources they can refer you to for some transportation.

  • Jeff

    What I don’t get, is why did they make the effective date of the VRAP 15MAY2012? Why not 1JAN2012? I think it is time for all Vets to unite and let those morons in Congress know what we think? I am a Vietnam Era Veteran and missed the date by 2.5 months, unemployed…etc. One person blogged about, why should they offer this to someone about ready to collect Social Security? Try living on Social Security….I don’t know of anyone that could live on Social Security alone. Anyway, I think most people would rather work and if retraining can help, it should be open to any Vet at any age.

    • Roepra

      Dear Jeff, FYI 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. May 15th is when applications to determine eligibility began to be accept for Round 1.

  • eric bennett

    i just wonder how many of those that aplied will get it and how long it will take to find out if you even do get it

    • martin

      I got my eligibility 3 weeks to the day after application submission….good-luck….Martin from Pennsylvania.

    • pooua

      It took about 3 weeks for me to get my Certificate of Eligibility.

  • M Anthony

    I just got a letter stating that I was approved and now I am unsure of the next steps. Also I am receiving $1500 per mo SSDI payment for PTSD as well as a dependent benefit of $400 for a child that lives with me will this payment for education affect SSDI payments?

  • Alejandro

    I am in this exact same position but I am 33. I can qualify but my age is my only draw back. It sucks, I’m too old for certain things and too your for others. Would there be a way to appeal for an extension. I really hope I am not still unemployed by 35.

    I can just really use this NOW!!!


  • frankm

    is it ture national guardsmen from 1977 to 1983 are not eligible for vrap?

    • James

      The branch or year of service have nothing to do with VRAP; JUST LIKE ANY OTHER VA BENEFIT, you must have served at least 180 days of continous active duty. Most guard and reserves have not.

    • Coleman

      I have been attending college on my own and now i have received my cert for VRAP for RN nursing program, today my vet rep at the college said she would not certify me because I am still need more nursing pre-reqs. What? The pre-req’s are part of the nursing program has a whole. Who can I call for help with my vet rep not understanding what VRAP is all about? Thanks, have a blessed day.

  • Andrew

    I applied for and recieved my letter of eligibilty almost imediately. Now I find out the school I am attending is not a qualifying school because they offer a 4 year degree in basket weaving. I looked around and none of the schools in this city that offer a degree in electronics are eligible because they all have a 4 year degree in something other than my area of study. I am sitting on all this money and can’t use it. The only schools in this city that are eligible are welding, auto tech, and massage therapy. I was an electronics technician in the navy why do I have to become a hair stylist to satisfy this policy?

  • Sandsucker

    How do you apply for school or training without any money?
    You have to be going to receive the funds and you have to be unemployed.

    • Calvin

      To apply for it is free if you 35 to 60 and unemployed! Just go to the VA website!

    • Calvin

      And no you don’t have to be already in school!

  • Zappattazz

    “Once you have completed the VRAP education program, the Dept. of Labor will provide employment assistance.”

    This is the statement that perplexes me the most. You complete your training in a new career or you finish your AS degree and now you’re ready to start a new job and get back to living a normal life. Will the DOL actually place us in open positions in our chosen career field?

    “Employment assistance” sounds like they will direct us to their website of “creating a resume, writing a cover letter, preparing for the interview!” How do get a job in your retrained field if employers won’t hire you since you don’t have experience?

    • retiree

      What it means is that the Government will HELP you find a job, but cannot guarantee you a job in the free market.

  • anonymous

    I own a failing business. Am i eligible?

    • Jim

      Just a suggestion: Since you are not making any money with your business. Close the business. Complete and submit a few job applications to wherever (within 4 weeks of applying for VRAP) , in order to comply with the Department of Labor’s definition of “unemployed”. Then, apply for VRAP.

      At this URL:… The Department of Labor defines “unemployed” as “People who are jobless, looking for jobs, and available for work.” All three criteria must be met to be considered unemployed.

      The questions the Department of Labor asks to determine if the above is true are located under the section: “Who is counted as unemployed?” at this URL: :

      You can read the law (Subtitle A — Retraining Veterans) at this URL::

      Hope this helps!

      • Charles


        Just a note, the last URL you posted doesn’t apply to Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) if I’m correct.

        • Jim

          Your’e not correct

          May I suggest you utilize said link, and after the pdf file opens, press and hold your control key while simultaneously pressing the “f” key — the “f” stands for “find.” Then once the find window opens, enter the word “Veterans” and press enter.

          It should take you to this section:

          Subtitle A—Retraining Veterans
          Sec. 211. Veterans retraining assistance program.

          Hope this helps!

  • anonymous GI

    Iwon a business that failed and currently collect unemployment. Am I eligible

  • Calvin

    I’ve no school that accepts VRAP! A lot of my veteran friends are having the same problems so what schools are approved schools that can accept VRAP.

  • Tuttee

    I applied in late June. When will you know if you are qualified? My classes start July 23rd. I will have to cover the cost until this comes through, if it comes through.

  • Wes

    I was in the Navy from ’83 to ’89. I got out with an Other Than Honorable Discharge. I had a positive urinalysis test. I have battled alcohol and drug abuse for years. I finally have 9 years clean and sober. I was working for years until the economy took a dump. I started to go to school. I have completed 2 years and 2 more to go. I saw this opportunity online and I was so excited. The verbage said you must have other than a Dishonorable Discharge. I don’t have a Dishonorable Discharge so I thought I was good. I applied and just got a denial letter in the mail. They said “You do not qualify for VRAP because your last dischare was Other Than Honorable.” So to all of you out there do not take the language literally. Other than Dishonorable discharge does not mean other than Dishonorable Discharge.

  • jack

    can i lose my unemployability rating if i use my gi bill and go to school?

    • fairydust

      you should contact EDD and tell them your intentions. When you want to attend school and you are collecting unemployment benefits, you must notify EDD. Just go online and send them an email, they are pretty quick with returning a reply…at least they are in California.

  • Jim

    Maybe some of these VRAP questions/answers at the above link will help some of you. This appears to have been prepared for educational institutions by the VA.

  • Adrian

    I hate how they have this set up. I’m unemployed and the training program I got approved for is only offered on a 4 month track(FT) or 8 month track(PT). Since they will only pay for the months you are in the class, both programs would have to be stretched to a year to cover the cost. They adjusted their price to allow veterans to do the 8 month one. My problem is that its the same program. Why make me sit in classes for 8 months doing it part time when you could just pay them their price for the 4 month program? I could be done and working instead of dragging it out for 12 months just to cover the costs. Not to mention the FT program starts on 7/30 but he PT one starts in late Sept…. The sad thing is that you are going to make students and training providers get “creative” with their programs to fit within the funding. For example, I know that there are certain free classes given as a bonus to this training(microsoft office etc). They could easily put that as a normal part of the program. So after the first 4 months when you normally would be done, you would be switched to the part time program for 8 months of mostly filler stuff that you would probably only show up to the minimum time in order to get the funding. If its an online program then it would just mean logging in a bit and then logging out.

    • SERGIO


  • Tom Langkau

    Does the VRAP program funds only go for tuition/school related expenses etc etc or can it also be used for living expenses such as rent while going to school?

    Tom L.

    • Jim

      Tom, the below VA link to Frequently Asked Questions About the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) should help you.

      Currently, the VRAP pays a maximum of $1,473 per month, prorated for time in/out of school, directly to the Veteran. Said Veteran is responsible for all costs associated with attending school FULL-TIME, and whatever monies are not required to pay for school costs can be used at the discretion of said Veteran. The monthly rate is based upon the monthly rate of the MONTGOMERY GI BILL ACTIVE DUTY (CHAPTER 30.)

      Link to verify rate:

      Based upon my discussion with a VA rep, for example, it you enrolled in a Community College, and the Fall Semester begins 27 AUG 2012 and ends 14 DEC 2012. You will be paid prorated for 5 days for AUG, then $1,473 each month for SEP, OCT & NOV, then you would be paid, prorated for 14 days in DEC.

      You can also Contact a VA GI Bill Rep at: 1-888-442-4551

      Hope this helps you!

  • Scott

    This VRAP program is completely worthless, you have to FRONT the money!…then WAIT to get reimbursed! I am unemployed, I don’t have the cash to FRONT the money, then WAIT to get reimbursed! You also have to go FULL-TIME, so if I get a job while attending school (IF I were even able to come up with the cash to FRONT the money), I would have to drop out, then I would be on the “hook” for the pro-rated portion of classes, and HAVE NO A.S. nor Certificate!!

    • Tia

      Scott, if your unemployed you are eligible for the pell grant. I too, thought the same thing, but here’s what you can do. Apply to a community college like a month or two before the semester. At the same time complete your financial aid application. If you do this before the semester in which you want to attend. Your financial will post to that desired school. But keep in mind your courses have to fall within one of the vrap degree or certificate programs. So have someone at the school of your choice to verify that your classes fall into their program. Don’t get discouraged, and Good Luck! It’s worth it but you have to put a little work into.

    • Cheryl Lynn

      Scott is correct in that the VRAP program is completely worthless. You do in fact have to front the money. No where did I hear the word reimbursed, until the ( Approved) school used the word to describe this program. I was accepted as a full time student pursuing a certificate in Phlebotomy and EKG technician. I was willing to pay the registration fee to guarantee a slot in class. After that I was told I must pay the full tuition, buy my books, and lab jacket up front before the financial aid office would put me in the VA system. If I could afford all this why would I need the VRAP program? Even the Department of Labor Director I spoke with, said this program is doomed and useless, and just a political ploy to gather votes.

      • norm f

        find another school,,,do pell for jan,,,,u hav until 2014, vet rep at school should know this,,,pell grant will pay for almost all

        • Cheryl Lynn

          I intend to pursue my education at another school, in January. I have used the pell grant in the past and never had a problem at my school. Unfortunately my previous school is not an approved school for the VRAP program. Thanks for your interest and concern.

      • 2tall

        Cheryl Lynn than that school in your location sucks.. i enrolled in a school here in Chicago, IL. on 20 aug. attending classes.. the school knows it can take up to 3 wks. before the funds start rolling in.. so the school and myself are still waitting.. ( registration fee did come out my pocket.and my books and lab fee is included in my tuition) DON’T give up maybe try another school if there is one in your location..

    • frenchy

      the VA Representative at the school is not doing his Job. My VA rep. filled out the paperwork and no payment is due to the school for 2 months to allow VRAP to send the money.

    • Stephan

      I appreciate the VRAP program. I picked my local community college and talked to all of the necessary people there. They allowed me to sign a promissory note for the tuition and fees stating I would pay them when I received my first benefit. I enrolled enough ahead of time that I was able to buy my books from Ebay and Amazon, which saved me a lot of money as opposed to the campus bookstore. I bought 5 books for four classes for under $100, which I had to scrape and scrounge for since I’m unemployed, but am glad I did.

    • Fran

      I applied for a special scholarship that my community college has for just thiis situation, and got approved. It covers all tuition and books for the first semester. Be sure to ask at the college if there is a similar scholarship available to you. It never hurts to ask, and the worst thing that can happen is that they say no. You already thought that, right?

  • Thomas Young

    I found an online school that offers a certificate for a claims adjuster which is on the approved list of careers. The course is 4 months long and the school says that it is approved for VA benefits. How do I find out if I can use this school and get a certificate while using VRAP?

  • eric bennett

    i aplaid 2 mounths ago and havent heard a thing except the letter i got that siad dont call us anymore .a guy i go to school with got his aprovel in 3 weeks

    • Jim

      CALL GI Bill Contact: 1-888-442-4551 and they should be able to give you the status of your VRAP application.

      Hope this help!

  • Cheryl

    I was approved and without this I would lose my home. Hopefully I can get an advance of the monies to pay the school because I don’t have any money to pay for it myself. I am raising a teenage daughter on $1000 a month and make too much for food stamps. My house pmt is $500 a month which is with the Bank of America crooks. Anyway I am grateful to have a chance to learn something that will hopefully bring in more money so we can buy food.

  • Served proudly

    I was approved, but problem I am having is that my local community college in SC for approved school and approved course in coding is waiting list for is a lot of their other programs. The waiting lists is as long as 3 years! What am I supposed to do? The continuing Ed for same college offers same program, immediate class availability but the VA education rep. said they will not approve cont. Ed, even though its same program, same amount of time, same school. By the time I can get in an approved course, my benefits will expire! What gives? I wish they would give you at least 2 yrs to use it. Has anyone ever considered that at many technical colleges, programs are flooded. No hope for me.

    • verneice prince

      find another school. Even if its online as long as its full time and even if you end up having to change your major to get a college education under the vrap program.

    • Sonya

      I appear you should get approve for the continuing ed. component of your program. On this website it states that the benefit can be used to earn a non college degree or certificate. Continuing Education rewards cerfication for programs. So, if the school is an approved school, then you should be approved to earn a certificate at that school for your program. You should contact Veteran Affairs department or the VA Rep at your state employment office in your city.

  • Served proudly

    Why is continuing education programs not approved at an approved community college for VRAP? I think it would help people get a good job? Short and quick, also fill high demand jobs. I just don’t understand.

  • sixstringthing


    Does anyone know of an “online” Computer Support Tech, Help Desk certificate program provided by a VRAP approved school?

    Do you know which school offers this type of training?

    Thanks for your help!

  • Tim W.

    I put $300 into the veap program years ago,never used it. Can I still get vrap?

    • rick

      Yes,as long as your age and discharge is withen spec.
      Veap was a joke,that was the era of no GI Bill at all,I was in that period of crap too and cashed out of it many years ago to pay bills.In fact I would go as far to say that this program is made to give a little back to those who were in under the Montgomery plan,It sucked.Everone post 911-has a real GI Bill,those of us ‘cold warriors after Nam but before 9-11 were hosed.This helps a lot,we just hope to hope that they make it a two year deal somehow….

      • Fran

        I thought the same thing! I used my VEAP for education but it didn’t even cover my first year! 225.00 a month. LOL! I do tend to think of VRAP as compensation to those of us who got stuck with that.

  • Denise Davis

    At registration with my VRAP, I was placed in classes that I did not choose nor did I think they were considered freshman classes. As school went on, there were no instructors to teach the classes, only to answer any questions. I failed this class miserably, I believe, because there was little instruction and no student support services. My question is,How do I correct this situation ?
    Thank You

  • Ed Rummel

    Still waiting for the balance of the money that was due from last semester. The new semester starts in ten days. I have called 10 times and talked to a rep. I also talked to 3 case mangers. I have been waiting for one hundred and two days since my the Va rep sent from my school. The Va electronically received certification on 8- 30 -2012 on my status at Community college of Aurora in which I just received straight “A”, 3.86 GPA. Can anyone out there help?

  • Theresa

    Does anyone know if the VRAP will pay for training for a real estate license? What schools in Jacksonville, Florida are approved for VRAP? Help

  • gary


  • Gary Williams

    I am very sorry my fellow veterans is having problems with education assistant. I have been a DVOP representative for 10 years, prior to retiring. I am a Vietnam veteran. I worked with veteran with disability. Work the Worksource in Jacksonville, Florida an Floridaworks in Gainesville, Florida. I feel that the private board entity that control our future is not in our best interest. They are only interested in their person wealth. I was getting veteran employed with a higher employment rate than the entire facility. Sometimes the veteran who assist you are the problem. I will forward a concern letter to the president with these concerns. I have been trying to get a VA loan with a certificate, with a Becon score 655 to 710, and still having problem as a first time buyer. “God bless you all” I will keep you posted. E-6 Veteran.

    • Andrew Cabral

      Hi Gary,
      Long time no see. I was going to you guys, as well as the Orange Park Office (while I was living in Mandarin). My job at the Duval County Health Department started drying up. My salary was based upon three grants that were being declined by the State. I got lucky and found an internship with the US Army in Huntsville, Alabama. That’s the good news. The bad news is I lost my home to short sale, my dog to a loving home, and my security for my son attending schools that he liked in Arlington. I even was getting very comfortable in the Northeast Florida region. Unfortunately, that all is in the past now. We may move back to the area someday. Most likely, we will end up in Virginia or a place with a multitude of opportunities within DOD for my new career in safety and occupational health management. Hope all is well in Florida’s First Coast.

  • Scott Proctor

    I am now enrolled in vrap and think its a great program. I may be offered a good job soon. If I take the job will I have to pay back any money received if I quit school for the job? I couldn’t find work until I had surgery on my neck that was severe chronic pain for three years. Three dics were removed and fused. I’m better now and can work.

    • Scott Proctor,

      Take the job and finish school. Think about where you may be if your new job doesn’t pan out. Don’t want to get into an argument, but I would hope they would make you pay back taxpayer money.

      • Scott Proctor

        good advise. I’ll take the job and finish school as long as I don’t lose my benefits because of the job.

  • guest

    Vrap is only good for 1 yr and you must finish program ..Repayment is not required unless you drop out after receivng funds for the current month (at least thats what I was told…) So they only pay for current classes you are enrolled in each month..Ifyou do stop and go back to work, the funds are stopped from that point and no other money need to be repaid…Based on if you are fulltime(12units , they will pay for 3/4 time also,but not less than 6units it is prorated each time you verify attendance each month..)

    • Bill

      Hi. Where do you get the info that they will pay for 3/4 time? Everything I have found says if you drop below full time (12 credit hours), then you will be cut off completely. I’d like to know if you are for sure about the 3/4 time and if you could please let me know where you got that information. Thanks!

      • davery

        i was told by the vet rep who didnt tell me i needed 12 units i only have 10 she was so intrested in my test score rather than my clasess in needed now she says a week to late to add on i dont get paid what the### U KNOW been going tto two cities to get to school like vietnam am #####ed again

  • Errol Webb

    Can I take more than 1 program. In my case I want to take the CDL and EMT courses, but I heard that once you complete the requirement for one program VRAP will stop payment. And that you can not take any additional program from there on.

  • Linda Solis

    VRAP is horrible we as older vets are expected to take on a full load which includes 4 classes that are accelerated I am presently in Santa Fe college In Gainesville Florida and would not recommend anyone my age go there. The young veterans are standoffish and treat us very disrespectfully. Im ready to go to work it will be easier..I didn’t learn anything

  • Melissa

    I received my Certificate for VRAP a few months ago but have not enrolled in school yet because of some serious health issues. Can I still use my benefits? – school starts in May. Or was there a deadline to actually be enrolled? I do realize I would not be getting the full year of benefits.

    • norm fleury

      no deadline and they introduced a bill to extend it to jun 2014..good luck

  • Mike

    I’m in the same frame of mind as Scott. Unemployed vets can’t afford to FRONT the Tuition and then wait for reimbursement!!! WTF? Useless to us that can’t come up with the money for Tutition! :(

    • Ree

      I applied for student loans through the school…then you repay with the money you get from VRAP

  • Debra

    I was enrolled in college in 2011 but did not find out about VRAP until 2012, my VA rep did not inform me of benefits. I received 1 1/2 months of funding and then graduated with an associates degree. Can I request payment for the previous months?

  • Rogers brown

    I would like to check my amount of my vrap check amount where do i go for that information and im changing colleges what is the process time frame.

  • Leland G Chandler

    I have been receiving benefits from the VRAP program and I know it is ending,are there any other programs that will benefit an older veteran that has been out since 1981? I would also like to know if the benefits I have received need to be filed on my taxes.

  • raybon riden

    has the vrap program been extended? if so …I didn’t receive my full payment for march because of an error the school made in my enrollment …will they refund me the amount they didn’t pay…
    My Name; raybon riden jr.