Education and Training Benefit

Do you want to go back to school after your career in the military? We may be able to help pay for the education.

Getting a certification, degree, diploma, or just additional training, can give you a greater advantage in the workforce.

About this program

The Education and Training Benefit (ETB) may be able to help pay for the education required for you to reach your career or personal goals.

The funding from this taxable benefit is flexible. You can choose:

  • the education that will help you get the career or reach the goal you want; and
  • the school that best suits you.

This benefit is not limited to formal post-secondary training. Funding is also available to attend shorter courses, such as those for career and personal development. This can include business boot camps, workshops, and seminars.

Do you qualify?

Before you can apply for funding to support your education plan, we must first determine that you qualify. You should apply for the ETB if:

  • you have been honourably released from the Canadian Armed Forces on or after 1 April 2006, or are a member of the Supplementary Reserve; and
  • you have at least 2,191 paid days of service.

You have 10 years from the date of your release (or transfer date to the Supplementary Reserve) to apply for this funding.

As this benefit was only launched on 1 April 2018 if you released between 1 April 2006 and 31 March 2018 you can access funding up to 1 April 2028.

I already applied and I qualify, but how do I apply for funding?

Go to our Applicant Guide to learn how to apply for funding and to our Rates page to see current funding rates.

Before you apply

If you are not sure what education to pursue, consider applying for Career Transition Services first.

This program will give you access to a trained career coach, who will help you find the best educational or training path for you.

How do you determine my “paid days”?

  • All your paid days of service in the Canadian Armed Forces, including Regular Force, Primary Reserve Force (Class A, Class B and Class C), Canadian Rangers, COATS, and Supplementary Reserve, are part of the calculation.
  • Once we receive your application, your paid days of service will be calculated and provided to us by the Department of National Defence (DND) Pension Centre.
  • To find out your total paid days of military service, please contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre — Canadian Armed Forces Pensions.

The Pension Centre can be reached at:

Toll free: 1-800-267-0325
Outside Canada and the United States: 1-613-946-1093
(collect calls accepted)

I am on the Supplementary Reserves list, do I still qualify?

You qualify for ETB funding if you are a member of the Supplementary Reserve.

  • If you released from the Supplementary Reserve between 1 April 2018 and 4 July 2019 you have 10 years from your date of release to receive funding.
  • If you were a Supplementary Reserve member on 5 July 2019 you have until 5 July 2029 to access funding.
  • If you transferred to the Supplementary Reserve after 5 July 2019 you would have 10 years from your date of transfer to access funding.

You will not qualify for ETB if you are currently participating in VAC’s Rehabilitation and Vocational Assistance program, or if you receive the Canadian Forces Income Support.

How to apply

Apply online

Apply online through My VAC Account. Applying is easier with a guided form. Sign in or register for My VAC Account.

My VAC Account

By mail

Download the application form and mail your completed application directly to the address listed on the form.

Go to form

Need help filling out the form?

Send us a secure message using My VAC Account or call us at 1-866-522-2122.

When will I know if I qualify?

After you apply, you can expect a decision on whether you qualify for the ETB within four weeks. If you are applying for funding at the same time, you can expect both decisions within eight weeks.

Additional information

See the current rates for this program

Related programs

Career Transition Services – Access to a career coach who can assist Veterans to:

  • select an educational program/institution that best suits their needs;
  • complete ETB applications and other required forms; and
  • assistance with resume writing, interview preparation and job search after their education is complete.

Vocational Rehabilitation – This is available to Veterans who qualify for the Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program. Services are based on your specific needs and may include coaching, support, and any other training you need to return to work or find a new job after an injury resulting primarily from service.

You cannot pursue Vocational Rehabilitation at the same time as accessing ETB funding, but it can be accessed before and after participating in ETB.

Transition Interview – Before your release, a meeting to provide information on VAC programs and services is available to you and your family.

Information for academic institutions - We have resources to help you inform Veterans about possible funding options to pursue their education at your institution.

Read this ETB fact sheet for Veterans

Next steps

If you already qualify, your next step is to apply for funding.

If you are using Career Transition Services, your career coach will help you choose a course of study that is best suited to you.

Frequently asked questions

If I apply for the benefit and get declined, can I appeal?

Yes. If you are not satisfied with a decision you may apply in writing for a review within 60 days from the date you receive the decision letter. Requests must be submitted by My VAC Account secure messaging or by mail to:

Veterans Affairs Canada
National 1st Level Appeals Unit
PO Box 6000
Matane QC G4W 0E4

Do family members qualify for the Education and Training Benefit?

No. This benefit is for Veterans only, but there are other options for family members:

  • Survivors, spouses and common-law partners may be able to access Vocational Assistance if the Veteran is ill or injured and unable to participate in Vocational Rehabilitation offered through the Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program.
  • Children of deceased members or Veterans of the CAF may qualify for the Education Assistance program.

Are there policies for this program?

Yes. Read more about the Education and Training Benefit policies.

Does VAC pay education institutions directly?

Any approved ETB funding is paid directly to you. You will then be responsible for paying tuition and other expenses to the educational institution. ETB funds are released in Canadian dollars, regardless of the location of the educational institution.

View all Education and Training Benefit FAQs.