VETERAN’S NEWS From the Internet
Gathered by Bob Kinsler, SSG (ret), US Army, VFW Dept. of Oklahoma, Public Affairs Team Member
In the last couple of weeks, I have been researching within the government of Oklahoma for the information I found, readily available, in the state of Texas about the GI Bill for On-the-Job Training (OJT) and Apprenticeships for veterans.
After going through Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, then through the Oklahoma Employment Commission and finally found the information noted below:
Most veterans know that they can use their GI Bill® benefits while attending a college or university. But, did you know that you can use your GI Bill® benefits for Apprenticeship and OJT? It’s a great way to receive education benefits while learning a new career, even as you earn a good wage.
You may qualify if you are eligible for the GI Bill® under the Active Duty (Veteran) or Reserve GI Bill® programs and: • You are no longer on active duty • You were recently hired or promoted • You left active duty less than 10 years ago or • You are currently a member of the Guard or Reserve • Any spouse or child eligible under Chapter 35 may also be eligible when in qualified training
Check your eligibility at: www.vabenefits.vba.va.gov
What Is Apprenticeship & OJT Training?
Apprenticeship is a real job with structured on-the-job training and applied classroom instruction. Wages increase as you gain skills and mastery through workplace training. On-the-Job Training (OJT) agreements are used when jobsite training is structured but does not meet apprenticeship’s industry requirements.
Many veterans can collect their GI Bill® educational benefits during Registered Apprenticeship or OJT training.
Post-9/11 GI Bill recipients. The payment rates are as follows:
You will receive 100 percent of your applicable MHA during the first six months of training:
- 80 percent of your applicable MHA during the second six months of training
- 60 percent of your applicable MHA during the third six months of training
- 40 percent of your applicable MHA during the fourth six months of training
- 20 percent of your applicable MHA during the remainder of the training
- Post-9/11 GI Bill recipients will also receive up to $83 per month for books and supplies.
All other GI Bill programs. For all other GI Bill programs, the payment rates are as follows:
- 75 percent of the full-time GI Bill rate for the first six months of training
- 55 percent of the full-time GI Bill rate for the second six months of training
- 35 percent of the full-time GI Bill rate for the remainder of the training program
All calculations are ultimately based on the Veteran’s remaining benefits.
What Are My Employer’s Responsibilities?
Once approved as a GI Bill® Training Establishment, your employer provides the training as outlined by a written OJT agreement or a formal Apprentice Contract and Standards of Apprenticeship. These documents describe how you will gain skills, knowledge and ability throughout the training program.
To be approved as a GI Bill® Training Establishment, your employer must employ qualified personnel to provide the training and ensure that you receive the instruction outlined in the agreement. Records must be kept to show training and wage progress made by you throughout your approved training program. Your employer assigns a Certifying Official to certify and submit your monthly training hours to the VA.
The Oklahoma State Accrediting Agency (SAA) can provide you and your employer with GI Bill® forms, help and guidance. Office Telephone: (405) 879-9600
How Do I Use My GI Bill® for This Training? Step 1 is to have or get a job with an approved GI Bill® Training Establishment or employer willing to sponsor qualified training. For job search assistance, visit http://inquiry.vba.va.gov/weamspub
Next, your employer can contact the SAA for training approval, tech assistance, OJT and apprentice registration.
Apply for your VA education benefits online (VONAPP) at www.vabenefits.vba.va.gov. If you’ve never used your benefits, select VA 22-1990 and upload your DD-214 (certified) and, if Select Reserves, DD-2384 (NOBE). You can use the online GI Bill® Comparison Tool to explore benefit options www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/comparison. When VA sends you a Certificate of Eligibility (COE), take it to your Certifying Official who can then certify your enrollment.
After VA processes your enrollment, your Employer’s assigned Certifying Official (CO) will complete VA form 22-6553d-1, Monthly Certification of Training. The CO will submit the form monthly to the VA as proof of your training hours so that you will continue to be paid for the duration of your program. Your monthly benefits are based on training hours (not paid leave) from this form.
Your CO reports to the SAA about changes in wage, training, journeyman rate, enrollment status, employer address or CO. If you complete or stop the training program, your employer uses VA form 22-1999b to report the change to the SAA and VA.
A copy of all forms and training must be kept on file by your employer
According to the listing there are some 336 employers within Oklahoma that are looking for or have OJT/Apprenticeships available for you. A lot of them looks like are in the state government area (including many in Department of Corrections).
There is a joke out there where a plumber hands a dentist his bill, and the dentist states that the hourly rate charged is more than he (the dentist) charges is patients, the plumber replies – Yep more than what I charged when I was a dentist. Given that, it might be a good idea to look into this versus attending a four-year college to get a degree you might never use.