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How Does a Veteran Apply for the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: How does a veteran apply for the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)? This is a short deadline for applying for this benefit from July 1, 2012 through September 30, 2012; therefore the more information that is available the better chance veterans have to take advantage of this educational program.

A: Actually there are two different windows of opportunity you can use, however, by the time you read this post, the first period might be filled. As of this writing, the VA had received 43,185 applications out of their 45,000 participant limit, however, we don’t know how many out of that submitted number were approved. As you indicated, the first window closes at the end of September.

The second window opens on October 1, 2012 and runs through March 31, 2014 and the participant limit is 54,000. What I don’t know and have not seen posted is once the first period is filled, do the outstanding applications automatically roll over to the new window or not. I imagine they will, but we may not know until we get closer to filling the first window.

For those not familiar with the eligibility requirements of VRAP, you have to:
• Be at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
• Be unemployed on the date of application
• Received an other than dishonorable discharge
• 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 in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability
• Not enrolled in a federal or state job training program.

If you meet the requirements, you can get up to 12 months of paid training at the Montgomery GI Bill rate of $1,473 per month. Your training program has to result in or lead to an associate’s degree, non-degree certificate or certification in a high demand job as defined by the Department of Labor.

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