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Questions and answers


Qualification

Q1. Can I participate in the Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program or the Canadian Forces Income Support Benefit and the Education and Training Benefit at the same time?

No. Even if you qualify for all three programs, you can only participate in one at a time. You should choose the program best suits to your needs. To help you make a decision, check out our Rehabilitation, Vocational Assistance, or Canadian Forces Income Support Benefit pages or call us at 1-866-522-2122.


Q2. I am still serving but plan on releasing soon. Can I apply for the Education and Training Benefit?

Yes, but please note that your application will not be processed until you officially release or transfer to the Supplementary Reserve. Once this has occurred, please notify us by calling 1-866-522-2122 or send us a message via My VAC Account.

If you know what program you want to take, you can submit your formal program plan or short course application with your Education and Training Benefit application and it will be processed when we receive confirmation of your eligibility. Eligible applicants can expect a decision within four weeks of submitting their completed application.

We recommend that you consider these time frames when planning your education and training.

If you would like help planning your education, consider applying for our Career Transition Services program. The coaches can help you look at education funding options and find the schools and programs that are best suited to your academic goals and needs. They will also help you find employment with your new skills when your education or training is complete.


Funding

Q1. How much funding can I expect to receive if I qualify for the Education and Training Benefit?

 

View the current rates to find out how much is available.

Any funds remaining after your tuition and fees are paid may be used to cover other costs while studying.


Q2. Will the Education and Training Benefit be provided directly to me or paid to the school?

The Education and Training Benefit will be paid directly to you. You are responsible for paying your tuition and fees. Remaining funds can be used to cover other costs while studying.


Q3. Can I still receive the Education and Training Benefit if I apply after I’ve already started school or my short course?

We must receive your application before your program starts for you to receive funding for the initial study period or course.

If your course starts while you are waiting for a decision on your completed application, we may pay for that period of study or course. We will need to make sure the submitted application is complete and approved. Your completed application date is what we will use to issue the payment.


Q4. Will VAC reimburse me for travel related to school?

Education and Training Benefit payments are made before each term or semester. The funds are intended to cover tuition costs and other expenses you have while attending school, including travel costs.


Q5. Can I use the Education and Training Benefit for more than one program or short-term course?

Yes. If you are eligible for the Education and Training Benefit and do not use all the funds for your initial program, you may use the remaining funds to pursue additional education or training. You will need to submit a new Education and Training Benefit formal program plan or short course application for each new program you plan to take and receive pre-approval from VAC.


Formal Program Plans

Q1. What is needed for an Education and Training Benefit formal program plan?

The Education and Training Benefit formal program plan must include:

  • the educational institution must be listed on the Employment and Social Development Canada master list of designated educational institutions*
  • the program credentials must meet the requirements (degree, diploma, certificate, or certification).
  • the length of course must run for a minimum of 12 weeks within a 15 week period.

Q2. Will VAC consider institutions not on the Employment and Social Development Canada Master List of approved post-secondary institutions?

Yes. For institutions that are not on the Employment and Social Development Canada Master List, applicants must submit documentation proving that it is a government recognized post-secondary education institution.

For a list of Canadian Flight Schools that qualify for this program, click here. The list of American Flight Schools that qualify can be found here. Educational institutions that are recognized by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs can be found here.


Q3. How are the formal program plan payments calculated?

The payments are calculated according to:

  • The amount of funding you are eligible to receive;
  • The duration of the program;
  • The anticipated time it will take you to complete the program.

Funds will be given to students in equal payments throughout their program, usually paid at the beginning of each study period.


Q4. What if I want to change my program or educational institution?

You will need to submit a new application that includes the new program or institution that will need to be approved before your start date. You must also provide a monitoring form and proof of completion for the last study period of your original plan before any payments can be made on your new plan. If you don’t provide documentation stating that you completed your previous period of study, an overpayment of funds may occur which will be dealt with on a cases by case basis.


Q5. What if I need more or less time than I originally stated on my formal program plan to complete my program?

If you need more time to complete your program or you progress faster than originally planned, you must submit a plan amendment form. Your plan will be reviewed and payment changes will be calculated. For instance, if you decide to take less courses during the Fall and Winter semesters and plan to attend the Summer session, we will re-allocate your funds so that you receive money before each study period.


Q6. What do I do if I discontinue my program in the middle of a semester/period of study?

You must let us know as soon as possible by calling 1-866-522-2122 or by sending us a message via My VAC Account. We will need the following information:

  • the reason you discontinued your program;
  • the date you stopped attending the program;
  • your final monitoring form, including proof of completion from your school (even if it shows as a withdrawal or not completed); and
  • if your school returned any tuition to you.

When the required information is received, it is reviewed and you will be advised if you are in an overpayment situation.


Technical Education

Q1. What if my program is offered by an approved post-secondary school and results in a certification, but it is shorter than 12 weeks? What kind of funding will I receive?

This program has been updated to pay for shorter technical education programs. Students attending trade programs and specialized skill training shorter than 12 weeks, can meet all of the requirements for formal program funding.

We will pay the tuition and fees charged by the post-secondary institution and the funding will be rounded up to the next $5,000 level. For example, if your program costs $8,700, you will receive $10,000.

If your program does not meet the criteria for formal program funding, it may qualify for short course funding (view current rates).


Q2. I was previously declined formal program funding because my course was shorter than the minimum 12 weeks within a 15 week period. Will I now be approved?

If you didn’t pursue the training, you can apply again with the new policy in effect. If you completed the training, you cannot be approved retroactively (the new Technical Education section of the policy is effective as of 30 June 2021).


Short Courses

Q1. How do I know if the course I want to take qualifies for short course funding?

To be considered for short course funding (for things like: bee keeping, language training, safety and rescue training, fitness instructor training and other fields) you must ensure that the program:

  • is offered by an organization recognized by provincial and federal authorities or community groups;
  • is offered and available to a broad population of Veterans and the Canadian public;
  • is conducted online or in a public forum; and
  • is publicly advertised and accessible to the public with information about:
    • who provides the course;
    • where the course is offered;
    • how it is conducted; and
    • how much it costs.

Q2. How much can I receive for a short-term course?

View the current rates to find out how much is available. This funding can be used at different times for multiple courses until the maximum amount has been used.


General questions

Q1. I don’t have my high school diploma or GED. Is that a problem? How do I get one?

A high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) high school equivalency certification is not necessarily needed to access the Education and Training Benefit, but may be required  to enroll in your post-secondary program. To find out more, you can contact your provincial or territorial department of education or go to High school diploma and continuing education - Canada.ca.


Q2. I am being advised to attend a specific school because they say they are focusing on Veterans. Does VAC recommend any schools?

Students should decide to go to the school that suits their academic goals. To avoid influencing any student’s decision, we do not recommend or endorse any school. Coaches with the Career Transition Services program can provide information to help students choose a school that best suits their needs.


Q3. How do I get VAC's Career Transition Services contractor to refer Veterans to our institution?

The role of the service provider is to help Veterans find a meaningful career. If education and training is part of their plan, we do not direct them to any particular institution, we provide them with the skills and information they need to apply for suitable education and training programs. The decision to attend an institution is made by the Veteran.

Updated: July 2021

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