ASHEVILLE NC – Unemployed veterans between the ages of 35 and 60 can apply for benefits to cover education costs for up to one year at A-B Tech Community College through a joint U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department of Labor program.
As part of a provision of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 the Veteran Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) allows qualifying veterans to receive up to 12 months of assistance equal to the full-time Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty rate.
To qualify, veterans must:
- Be 35-60 years old, unemployed on the day of application and not dishonorably discharged.
- Start education or training after July 1, 2012, in a VA-approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school leading to an associate degree, non-college degree or a certificate for a high-demand occupation as defined by the Department of Labor.
- Not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g., Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment).
- Not be enrolled in a federal or state job-training program within the last 180 days.
- Not receive VA compensation at the 100 percent rate due to individual unemployability.
Upon completion, the Labor Department will engage with participants within 30 days after their training to help them find good jobs that utilize their newly learned skills. Assistance under this program ends March 31, 2014.
For more information on VOW, high-demand occupations and how to apply for VRAP, veterans may go to the http://www.benefits.va.gov/VOW website or call VA’s call centers toll-free at 800-827-1000. Veterans can apply online at www.gibill.va.gov.
The Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 provides seamless transition for service members, expands education and training opportunities for veterans, and provides tax credits for employers who hire veterans with service-connected disabilities.