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GI Bill payments for on-the-job and apprenticeship training have dropped by more than $100 a month because Congress failed to extend a two-year-old pilot program that provided higher rates.
Effective Jan. 1, the maximum payment for on-the-job training for those who served at least three years of active duty is $825 for the first six months of training, $605.55 for the second six months and $385.35 for any remaining training. Since Oct. 1, the rates had been $935.85 for the first six months, $715.65 for the second six months and $494.45 for the remainder.
For people who served fewer than three years of active duty, the new benefits rates are $670.50 for the first six months, $491.70 for the second six months and $312.90 for the remainder. Previously, those rates were $759.90 for the first six months, $581.10 for the second six months and $402.30 for the remainder.
Because apprenticeship and on-the-job training benefits are paid one month after training is received, GI Bill recipients will see the drop in their February checks.
On-the-job and apprenticeship courses covered by the GI Bill include such training as hotel management, firefighting, plumbing and other skills. In some cases, veterans receive salaries in addition to the education benefits.
The benefits are paid for full-time employees in VA-approved programs for entry-level positions. Benefits are paid only for someone who is newly hired, has no work experience in the field they are learning and will be supervised at least 50 percent of the time.
While GI Bill benefits for attending college are available to people while they are still on active duty, the apprenticeship and on-the-job training benefits are restricted to veterans and members of the National Guard and reserve.