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News Highlight
Nov 8, 2012

Training Veterans For A Brighter Tomorrow

This is an image of an American flag and a yellow awareness ribbon. On November 11, 2012-Veterans Day-Americans at home and abroad will pay tribute to former and current members of the military for their service to our country. In addition to the many parades, memorial services, and other related events, our country honors its heroes and their families throughout the year by making available a host of government programs and benefits created specifically for them.

A new Veterans initiative featured on Benefits.gov is the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a Benefits.gov partner. VRAP is part of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, and offers up to 12 months of training assistance to Veterans who received an other than dishonorable discharge, and who are-
  • Unemployed on the date of filing an application
  • At least 35 but no more than 60 years old
  • Not 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 already enrolled in a Federal or state job training program.
Under VRAP, participants attend classes full-time in a VA-approved education program offered by a community college or technical school which leads to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or Certificate in a high demand occupation. In return, Veterans can receive up to $1,564 per month for up to a year (effective October 1, 2012) which is equal to the payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty Program.

Once a Veteran successfully completes a program/training, they can work with the Department of Labor to obtain employment assistance with landing a job in their newly chosen field. If you are an unemployed Veteran and meet VRAP's eligibility requirements, click here to apply today. Get started soon-VRAP is limited to 54,000 participants from the period of October 1, 2012 - March 31, 2014.

You can view additional programs by visiting the Browse by Category page on Benefits.gov, and selecting 'Veterans-Active Duty.' You can also use our confidential Benefit Finder tool to create a customized search based on your personal needs and interests by clicking "Start Now" on the homepage.

ATTENTION BUSINESS OWNERS: The VOW to Hire Heroes Act offers tax credits to businesses that hire unemployed Veterans on/before January 1, 2013. If an unemployed Veteran is hired for a period of 4 weeks to 6 months, the business can receive a tax credit up to $2,400, and that number goes up to $5,600 if the Veteran is hired for more than 6 months. Businesses that hire Wounded Warriors for more than six months can receive a tax credit up to $9,600. To learn more about how your business can aid an unemployed Veteran, click here.