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Can I Get the 12-Month Extension If I Have Already Used My Converted Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: If I already used my Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlement, can you still get the 12-month extension for a vocational school etc., if still unemployed?

A: No you can’t get an extension via the Post 9/11 GI Bill, however, you may qualify for the newest GI Bill – the VRAP (Veterans Retraining Assistance Program). To qualify for the program, you must:
• Be at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
• Be unemployed on the date of application
• Received an other than dishonorable discharge
• Be 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)
• Not be in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability
• Not be enrolled in a federal or state job training program.

If you qualify for the program, go to the eBenefits website and submit VA Form 22-1990. You will hear back very quickly as to whether or not you qualify. If you find out you do, you can receive up to 12 months of benefits paid at the Montgomery GI Bill monthly rate of $1,473.

Your training program must be completed within one year and result in a license, certification or associate’s degree in a high demand occupation as defined by the Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL will even help you find a job after completing your training program.

If you do not qualify for VRAP, then you most likely have reached the end of your GI Bill benefits.

Comments  (6)

It is not fair that a vet has to be 35 years old in order to qualify for VRAP or to get help regardless. If a veteran serves his or her country, and gets out honorable, the words “Your disqualified” should never be an option for a veteran that is in need.

posted by Tikisha
9:40 pm on July 20, 2012

I agree, however 35 is the minimum age limit for VRAP. How that number was determined, I have not heard.

posted by Ron Kness
9:44 am on July 29, 2012

Other qualifying factors for VRAP is the program must be in a “high demand” field as designated by the Department of Labor and benefits can only be used at a public school or vocational school. So do not plan on VRAP being used to finish a degree plan you started.

Finally, VA put out this morning that they have approved the quota of VRAP applications for this year.

posted by Brian
9:29 pm on September 18, 2012

And I might add that the school cannot offer any four-year degrees also. I did want to clarify something, the school does not have to be only public, it can also be a private school.

posted by Ron Kness
12:06 pm on September 30, 2012

Training does not need to be “completed in one year”. You do only get one year of benefits.

posted by Stephan
9:36 am on March 26, 2013

That is correct. The additional year of benefits does fall under the Post 9/11 GI Bill 15-year rule – the additional benefits have to be used up within 15 years from the last date of discharge.

posted by Ron Kness
9:54 am on March 29, 2013
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