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If I’m an Unemployed Veteran and Want to Go to School, Are There Funds Available?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Can I receive monetary funds while I am unemployed and plan to attend school for training? If so, who do I contact to apply for these benefits? How do I find how much I qualify to receive? Please respond.

A: If you are between the ages of 35 and 60, and meet these other requirements, you may qualify for the newest GI Bill – VRAP:

  • Are unemployed on the date of application.
  • Received an other than dishonorable discharge.
  • Are 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).
  • Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability.
  • Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program.

The program opened up in last July and they can enroll up to 99,000 students. So far as of this writing, 86,540 applications out of 103,689 submitted have been approved.

If you want to apply, go to the eBenefits website and submit VA Form 22-1990. Note on the form you are applying for VRAP. The program ends on March 31 next year, so don’t delay if you qualify.

If approved, you can get paid $1,564 per month, for up to 12 months, to go to school. Your training program has to be one listed on the Department of Labor’s High Demand list and can’t be taught at a school also offering four-year degree programs. Once finished with the program, the DOL would assist you with finding employment.

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