How Veterans Can Get Help During COVID Financial Hardship
The Department of Veterans Affairs has new programs to help veterans that many do not yet know.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Alan Marnick is starting a new job in Jacksonville and he’s pumped up.
“I wouldn’t have had this job without the VA,” Marnick said.
He said his training at ACI Learning Cyber Security and IT in Jacksonville was fully paid for by the VA.
In the military he worked as a construction mechanic, however, when he heard about how the VA would pay his tuition, he jumped at the chance.
“I was so interested in the material and so happy to have this opportunity,” said Marnick.
Charmain Bogue, executive director of the VA Education Service, wants veterans to be informed about new opportunities offered by the VA. She said the VA will pay your tuition and give you money for housing while you are training.
“On average, people who arrive get an opportunity within 60 days and the jobs bring in an average of $ 60,000,” Bogue said.
VET TEC PROGRAM
The VA now allows more people to participate in this program and you can apply on the VA website.
Tap here for a link to see if you qualify.
Another VA program that Bogue wants to tell veterans about is called VRRAP, the Veterans Rapid Retraining Assistance Program.
“So let’s say a veteran was employed at a company and was laid off during the pandemic,” Bogue said. “Now they think, ‘I need to improve my professional skills and get back into the job market.’ ”
The VRRAP will pay for one year of tuition and fees and will pay you a housing allowance each month. Bogue has so far said 4,000 veterans have applied.
The program encourages training for high demand jobs. Bogue mentioned that jobs in IT and medicine or health are some of the most in-demand jobs.
You can click here for a full list of high demand jobs.
According to the VA website, to be eligible, you must be:
- At least 22 years old, but not more than 66 years old, and
- Unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and
- Not considered totally disabled because you cannot work, and
- Not enrolled in a federal or state employment program
For more information on VRRAP, press this link.
UNUSED EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS
Bogue also wants veterans to be made aware of changes to the GI Bill to allow veterans to pass unused education benefits over to dependents, stepchildren and family.
Let’s say Jane is on active duty. Her husband, Bob, is a civilian and wants to take paramedic training.
“She can transfer her benefits to her husband or to her children,” Bogue said. “She can share it if you have two children who want to go to college. They can share these benefits between her husband and her two children.”
However, Bogue says you must apply before leaving military service to share your unused educational benefits.