Military Advantage

More Details on VOW GI Bill

VA Offers More Details on New GI Bill Benefits

As recently reported here, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 was signed into law. VOW includes a new education and training option for Veterans Retraining Assistance Program for unemployed Veterans between the ages of 35 and 60.

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Department of Labor and VA are planning to make this new program available by July 1, 2012.

The VA has posted the eligibility criteria for the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program offers 12 months of training assistance to unemployed Veterans.

To qualify a Veteran must:

  • Be between the ages of 35 and 60
  • Be unemployed (as determined by DoL) with special consideration given to Veterans who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks.
  • Have an other than dishonorable discharge.
  • 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).
  • Not be in receipt of compensation due to unemployability.
  • Not be enrolled in a federal or state job training program
The law limits the program to 45,000 participants in the first fiscal year (2012), and 54,000 participants in the second fiscal year, which starts October 1, 2012. The program is set to close enrollment on March 31, 2014.

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 per month). Like other GI Bill programs the benefit will be funded through the VA. However, unlike other GI Bill type programs, applications will be submitted through and processed by the DoL.

In addition, DoL will provide employment assistance to every Veteran who participates upon completion of their program.

Participants must be enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certification, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation.

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