Submitted by Jerry Huggins, Dillon County Veterans Affairs Officer
VOW TO HIRE HEROES ACT 2011 – VETERANS RETRAINING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
1. The VA is now accepting applications for the VETERANS RETRAINING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (VRAP).
This program provides 12 Months of training assistance TO QUALIFIED UNEMPLOYED VETERANS AT THE FULL-TIME PAYMENT RATE UNDER THE Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty program (currently $1,473.00 per month).
2. You MUST PURSUE A PROGRAM approved for VA Benefits offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to a HIGH DEMAND OCCUPATION and result in an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree or a Certificate.
3. To complete the application you will need to know your direct deposit information (i.e., bank routing number and account number), the name and location of your school, the program you wish to pursue, and the HIGH DEMAND OCCUPATION YOU ARE TRAINING TOWARDS. *****YOU CAN APPLY ONLINE.****
4. If you have further questions, please visit the CUSTOMER HELP PAGE where you can read Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the VRAP program, or submit a question to the customer service staff. ***FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS TO APPLY:
Visit www.benefits.va.gov/ VOW for additional information and/or access to VONAP.
Veterans should select the VRAP Application (VA Form 22-1990V) from the available options.
Veterans will complete the initial questions (i.e., name, date of birth, etc.) for the Department of Labor to determine their eligibility.
If the Veteran IS ELIGIBLE based on the Department of Labor’s questions, the Veteran will continue completion of the VONAP APPLICATION for submission to VA.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Labor (DOL) are working together to roll out this new program on July 1, 2012.
A quick recap of the Basic Eligibility Criteria. The VRAP offers 12 months of training assistance to Veterans who:
– Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old.
– Are Unemployed On The Date Of Application
– Received an Other Than Dishonorable Discharge
– Are 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)
– ARE NOT in receipt of VA Compensation due to Unemployability.
– ARE NOT enrolled in a federal or state job training program
This program is limited to 45,000 participants from July 1, 2012 through September 30, 2012, and 54,000 participants from October 1, 2012 through March 31, 2014.
VRAP APPLICATIONS ALREADY RECEIVED THROUGH JUNE 22, 2012: 23,396
ON THE BENEFITS PAGE CHECK OUT THE LISTINGS OF HIGH DEMAND OCCUPATIONS BEFORE YOU APPLY.
VA CONTACT PHONE NUMBERS
VA Medical Center – Columbia, SC 1-800-293-8262
VA Outpatient Clinic – Florence, SC 1-843-292-8383
VA Regional Office – Columbia, SC 1-800-827-1000
(Press 1, then 1, then 0)
VA Medical Center – Fayetteville, NC 1-800-771-6106
VA Outpatient Clinic, Hamlet, NC 1-910-582-3536
VA Outpatient Clinic – Myrtle Beach, SC 1-843-477-0177
VA Medical Center – Charleston, SC 1-888-878-6884
Dillon County, SC VA Office – 843-774-1427
Marion County, SC VA Office – 843-423-8255
Marlboro County, SC VA Office – 843-479-5622
Robeson County, NC Veterans Service Office – 1-910-671-3070