Covering Veterans Retraining Assistance Program Participants Through June

Curtis Coy

Curtis Coy

Three years ago, the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011 created the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) that has helped many unemployed veterans access educational programs. This program came at a crucial time when veteran unemployment was at 8.3%.  VRAP was specifically designed to cover veterans who are not eligible to receive GI Bill educational benefits.   VRAP has helped qualified veterans who are 35 to 60 years old obtain up to 12 months of education benefits equal to the full-time Montgomery GI Bill.  Since the program’s launch, it has come to support more than more than 76,000 unemployed veterans and helped our Nation honor the sacrifices they made to their country.

Under the current law, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) authority to issue payments to VRAP participants will end March 31, 2014 – in the middle of the Veterans’ spring academic semester.  Concerned that funds would be cut off before VRAP participants could complete their academic semesters, President Obama asked VA to explore all available options to ensure that eligible veterans are able to finish their Spring 2014 semester.  Today, VA has taken steps to do just that.  To enable VRAP participants to complete training for their current enrollment period, VA will make payments prior to March 31, 2014, to cover training from April 1, 2014 through the conclusion of a Veteran’s current enrollment semester or term or through June 30, 2014, whichever is earlier.  For more information on the VRAP program, please go to www.gibill.va.gov  or call the VA GI Bill Benefits line at 1-888-442-4551.

With programs like VRAP, we are ensuring that veterans are taken care of and have opportunities to succeed in their communities.

Curtis L. Coy is the Deputy Under Secretary of VA for the Office of Economic Opportunity. Colonel Rich Morales is the Executive Director for Joining Forces.

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13 Comments to “Covering Veterans Retraining Assistance Program Participants Through June”

  1. william orr says:

    Thank you

  2. Michael D Wright says:

    This is some awesome news!

    • bc says:

      there seems to be some misunderstanding
      this extension is for current enrollment period
      not for a new one
      this came straight from horses mouth

  3. Robert Farris says:

    I agree that this is awesome news, for now. I was laid off, like so many other veterans,….and I am retraining into a new field. I qualified for 12 months of VRAP benefits and will have only used 8 months by June 2014. I am studying for a two year degree and that would have put me within one semester of graduating, but I may not be able to finish now.

  4. Christopher NAVAGE says:

    YES YES YES! Thanks for extending this program which is going to allow me to obtain an associates degree and start my own business, since my disability discharge from the military, it has been difficult to obtain steady employment, so I’m going to employ myself! ;-)

  5. B. Damron says:

    The VRAP has been a timely blessing. It’s made all the difference. If people doubt the significantly positive impact this program has on Veteran’s lives, please send ‘em my way. I learned of the program 10 months ago and by the end of May I will have 24 college credit hours under my belt. Thank you for the extension

  6. Theodore Dobbins says:

    THANK YOU!

  7. Rob says:

    This is indeed wonderful news!! I for one have taken full advantage of this opportunity and it is already making a difference! I am confused however or maybe it’s just my cautious pessimism but I have to ask; I have already used 11months of my benefit as of March 31st, and I am enrolled Full time for the Spring Semester at Santa Monica College (knowing full well I would run out of benes, but was to important to complete the curriculum) Will I receive the same benefit or get cut off after the 1 yr?
    Many Thanks for your reply, and for your hard work in assisting Veterans.
    Rob

  8. JIM HANNINGTON says:

    The American Legion legislative liaison officer, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (Chairman of the Senate Oversight Committee on Veterans Affairs), Jeff Miller (U.S. House of Reps) and the White House have affirmed another two year extension of the VRAP VOW programs to run concurrently from where the current program ends and run the second one through to June 2016. They have also made it easier for us veterans to qualify and utilize benefits. Hoooorah !!!!! The funding is currently awaiting funding by CONFERENCE of all 3 parties which crosses the T’s and dots the I’s. ;)

  9. milton j lewis says:

    i am currently under the vrap program my school official is having a problem sending in my attendance i am not terminated as stated.how can we correct these promblems?..

  10. bc says:

    I was told that this only covered a extension from a current enrollment period.
    in other words if winter quarter runs a little longer.
    unless something has changed since 03/21/14
    call benefits line i have 5 months left on my vrap and could finish in spring quarter.
    but was told by benefits hotline that the extension. was for a existing enrollment period
    not a new one. READ WHAT IT SAYS UP ABOVE. like i said unless this has changed
    i have no proof of that.