UPDATES FROM VETERANS AFFAIRS
New VRAP GI Bill for Unemployed Vets
The new program, now known as Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), will offer up to 12 months of Montgomery GI Bill benefits for older unemployed veterans. The program is part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act which also includes tax breaks for companies that hire veterans.
That means that pre-9/11 veterans who often feel left out, may soon qualify for as much as $17,600 ($1473 a month) for education and training. Here’s what you should know about the new VRAP:
•This benefit can be used to finish up a college degree, certification, vocational training, On-the-Job Training and more.
•According to the VA, the program will begin July 1, 2012.
•This new benefit will be limited to 45K vets in FY2012 and 54K for FY 2013 through March 31, 2014.
•Once participating veterans have completed the VRAP education program, the Dept. of Labor will provide employment assistance.
•To be eligible for the VRAP GI Bill Veterans must:
•Be at least 35 but no more than 60 years old.
•Be unemployed (as determined by DoL).
•Not have a dishonorable discharge.
•Not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program.
•Not be drawing VA compensation due to unemployability.
•Not be enrolled in a federal or state job training program.
More information to come....
eBenefits was released that allows Post-9/11 GI Bill students to view their entitlement and enrollment information. eBenefits enrollees, who have a Premium account, can now view their VA education benefit enrollment information.
Once logged in, key information is displayed such as your Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility date, your delimiting (or end) date, the amount of entitlement used, and the amount of remaining entitlement. It will also display your enrollment history. This screen capture is an example of the information displayed.
The eBenefits - Homepage is your primary starting point. Instructions to establish a Premium account are located here. Remember, eBenefits is a secure access point for information on all your VA benefits.
Watch for announcements on future enhancements to eBenefits that will deliver more information about your Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Reminder of Housing Allowance Changes
December 20, 2011 2:15 PM
As you may know, the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments you receive for the Post-9/11 GI Bill are based on the military's Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates for an E-5 with dependents. Department of Defense adjusts the military BAH rate every calendar year (or January 1) based on changes to housing costs across the country. Rates can either go up or down.
Public Law 111 - 377 (the Veterans Educational Assistance Improvement Act of 2010) amended the effective date for the adjustment of the MHA you receive under the Post-9/11 GI Bill from the beginning of the calendar year (January 1) to the beginning of the academic year (August 1). Therefore , if the BAH increased for your area, you will not see an increase until your September 2012 payment for training pursued in August. If the BAH decreases for your area, your MHA amount will not decrease unless you change schools or have more than a six-month break in training.