Veterans who find themselves unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic may qualify for a VA program launched last month that covers retraining costs for more than 200 high-demand careers.
The Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) provides up to 12 months of tuition, fees, and a housing allowance to eligible veterans enrolled in GI B ill-approved education programs (excluding bachelor’s and graduate degree programs) or training programs approved under the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) program. Per the VA website, to qualify, a veteran must be:
- At least 22 years old, but not age 67 or older.
- Unemployed because of the pandemic.
- Ineligible for GI Bill or Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) benefits.
- Not enrolled in a federal or state job program.
- Not receiving VA disability compensation because of an inability to work, or receiving unemployment compensation (including enhanced benefits) under the CARES Act.
Application details and a full list of participating institutions will be available from the VA in the coming days. The full list of high-demand occupations (PDF) includes more than 200 jobs, ranging from management and business positions to tech-heavy careers to teaching and health care options.
“Many veterans have seen their career paths change thanks to this pandemic,” said Col. Brian Anderson, USAF (Ret), MOAA’s senior director of transition and member services. “For some, VRRAP may provide a leg up as you plan to re-enter your chosen field. For others, it could be a great way to get a fresh start in one of dozens of in-demand positions. MOAA looks forward to working with VA on this and other programs assisting veterans in their transition and in finding success in the civilian sector.”
Veterans with questions about VRRAP eligibility or registration can contact the VA’s Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern.
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