Job Retraining Grants
To obtain benefits and services from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA), veterans must meet military service requirements and state residency requirements set by the State Legislature. In 1997, the Legislature extended eligibility for WDVA benefits to Wisconsin veterans who served on active duty for at least two continuous years—regardless of when they served. In 2003, the Legislature further extended eligibility for WDVA benefits to Wisconsin veterans who served on active duty for at least 90 days during a statutorily designated wartime period. In some instances, family members of eligible Wisconsin veterans also may obtain WDVA benefits.
The following information about WDVA benefits and services is not all inclusive and may change without notice.
Recently unemployed or underemployed veterans may receive up to $3,000 per year, for a maximum of two years, if they have a financial need while being retrained for employment. The amount of the grant is determined by the applicant's financial need as calculated by the WDVA. Other education or retraining grants will be included when determining the veteran's financial need for this program and should be included on the application. Download a Retraining Grant Application (WDVA 2019) (Adobe PDF) from our website.
To qualify, the applicant must have been involuntarily laid off or discharged (not due to willful misconduct) within a period beginning one year before the date that the WDVA receives the application. The applicant must have been employed for at least six consecutive months with the same employer or in the same or similar occupations. At least one day of that employment must have been within the period beginning one year before the date that the WDVA receives the application.
An underemployed applicant must have current annual income from employment that does not exceed federal poverty guidelines. To qualify, an underemployed applicant must have experienced an involuntary reduction of income during the year prior to the date that WDVA receives the application.
The applicant must be currently enrolled in a technical education program or engaged in a structured on-the-job training program that will be completed within two years of the date that the application is received by the WDVA. The program must reasonably be expected to lead to employment. Course work for a four year college or university degree does not qualify. The WDVA may require written verification from the school or employer that the veteran is making satisfactory progress toward completion of the program.
In addition to all Wisconsin technical colleges, various private occupational and trade schools, approved by the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board (EAB), may qualify for the retraining grant program if they do not offer four-year degrees or four-year programs.
An applicant may receive a second retraining grant no sooner than one year after the first grant was issued. No applicant may receive more than two retraining grants. The applicant may not receive a retraining grant and another WDVA education grant for the same period.
The WDVA will pay a retraining grant to the veteran's employer on behalf of a veteran engaged in an on-the-job training program. Download a Retraining Grant Application – OJT (WDVA 2039) (Adobe PDF) from our website.
Veterans may apply for the grant through their County Veterans Service Office.