The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that veterans can now apply for benefits to cover education costs for up to 1 year through the Veteran Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP). The program is available to unemployed veterans between the ages of 35 and 60 years and focuses on retraining them for high-demand jobs, according to a press release.
VRAP, a joint program through the VA and Department of Labor, is a provision of the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. The program will allow qualifying veterans to receive 12 months of assistance equal to the full-time Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty rate, which is currently $1,473 a month. Within 30 days of completion of training, the Labor Department will work with participants to help them find good jobs that utilize their newly acquired skills.
“This important tool will help those who served our country receive the education and training they need to find meaningful employment in a high-demand field,” Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, stated in the release. “Veterans are disciplined, hardworking, goal-oriented team members who can play a vital role in helping businesses and the economy grow.”
Applications will be received on a first-come, first-serve basis, and training programs will begin on or after July 1, 2012. Assistance through VARP will be available until March 31, 2014.
For information and eligibility requirements, visit www.benefits.va.gov/VOW.