Current Events

Title:New Benefits for Unemployed Veterans

Author:VOW

Date:May 2012

Source:www.benefits.va.gov/VOW

Volume:Volume 3 Issue 70

While the big push, currently, is to find jobs for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, recently passed legislation also offers assistance to veterans from previous conflicts. The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) offers 12 months of retraining assistance to Veterans. Additionally, Veterans with a service-connected disability may qualify for additional vocational rehabilitation (Voc-Rehab) and employment benefits.

To qualify for VRAP, the Veteran must be:

  • Unemployed
  • At least 35 but not more than 60 years old
  • Have an other than dishonorable discharge
  • Not eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g., the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment)
  • Not in receipt of VA compensation due to Individual Unemployability (IU)
  • Not enrolled in a federal or state job training program
  • Enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school

The VRAP is limited to 45,000 participants between July 1, 2012 and September 30, 2012, and to an additional 54,000 from October 1, 2012 through March 31, 2014. Approved participants may receive up to 12-months of assistance at the full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill — Active Duty program (currently $1,473/mo). The education program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certification, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation.

What occupations does the VA deem High Demand? Click here for a complete list

Veterans who've already completed a VA Voc-Rehab program and used the initial 26-weeks of unemployment benefits may qualify for an additional 12-months of Voc-Rehab benefits. To qualify you:

  • Must have previously completed a VA Voc-Rehab and Employment program and been considered 'rehabilitated' by the VA.
  • Must apply within six months of using up your initial 26-weeks of unemployment benefits. You may still qualify for extended or emergency unemployment benefits.
  • Can apply now, but cannot start any education or training until June1, 2012 and you must apply to the VA by March 31, 2014.

To apply or learn more about VRAP or Voc-Rehab benefits, including how to apply, visit www.benefits.va.gov/VOW and fill out an only application (VONAPP).

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