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 Employment Services for Veterans, What you Need to Know. Veteran Population. Veteran Population. 250,000 military personnel return to civilian life each year. The Unemployment rate for the population is estimated to be 7.6% This current unemployment rate for the general population is 7.9%.

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veteran population1
Veteran Population
  • 250,000 military personnel return to civilian life each year.
  • The Unemployment rate for the population is estimated to be 7.6%
  • This current unemployment rate for the general population is 7.9%
veterans and disability
Veterans and Disability

The unemployment rate for veterans with disabilities is over 41%

5.5 million veterans have a diagnosed disability

The actual unemployment rate for disabled vets is believed to be far higher. Many live on disability payments and don't seek employment, and so they are not counted in jobs numbers.

veterans and disability1
Veterans and Disability

The signature disabilities of returning veterans from recent engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan are:

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Traumatic Brian Injury, and/or


post traumatic stress disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

As many as 30% of individuals returning from current conflicts may have PTSD (Rand Study)

Symptoms can be varying and subtle

Individuals with PTSD are 2x more likely to engage in criminal misbehavior

Individuals are 2-3x more likely to engage in domestic abuse

50% do not seek treatment

considerations for work
Considerations for Work
  • PTSD

Memory and Concentration

Poor Time Management Skills


Difficulty coping with Stress

Difficulty interacting with co-workers


Frequent absenteeism

Panic Attacks

Sleep Disturbance

traumatic brain injury
Traumatic Brain Injury

The 2008 Rand Study suggests that 19% of returning veterans have experienced brain injury

Brain Injury can be mild concussion to penetrating head wounds.

80% of reported military TBI are concussive brain injury as the result of IED explosions.

considerations for work1
Considerations for Work


Memory or concentration problems


Dizziness or loss of balance

Nausea or vomiting

Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears or a bad taste in the mouth

Sensitivity to light or sound

Mood changes or mood swings

Feeling depressed or anxious

Fatigue or drowsiness

Difficulty sleeping

Sleeping more than usual

mental health and veterans
Mental Health and Veterans

As many as 50% of returning veterans experience depression

Most veterans do not seek treatment for Mental Health issues because of the stigma associated with treatment or fear of being diagnosed with a mental illness.

Untreated mental health conditions can lead to other debilitating problems including high rates of unemployment, homelessness, substance abuse, divorce, child abuse and suicide.

finding the right job
Finding the Right Job

80% of military occupations have a civilian analog

For those jobs that do not, the employment specialist should take time to discover the component tasks and skills that are of value to an employer.

O*Net can help translate military experience into civilian equivalents

finding the right job be aware of the cultural differences between military and civilian cultures
Finding the Right JobBe aware of the cultural differences between military and civilian cultures.

Military Workplace Culture

Civilian Workplace Culture

Civilian workplace is often ambiguous

Chain of command is often vague or confusing

Multiple career paths

Emphasis on individual accomplishment.

  • Defined Hierarchy
  • Promotion is clearly defined
  • Emphasis on Camaraderie and collaboration for the benefit of the group
finding the right job employer motivation
Finding the Right JobEmployer Motivation
  • Patriotism vs. Return on Investment
  • Focus on Training, work ethic, goal oriented results
  • Don’t focus only on military training.
    • Personality
    • Interests
    • Personal Goals
veteran employment programs
Veteran Employment Programs

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. USERRA. USERRA protects the job rights of individuals who leave employment for military service. USERRA ensures that persons who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, Reserves, National Guard or other uniformed services:

Are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service;

Are promptly reemployed in their civilian jobs upon their return from duty;

Are not discriminated against in employment based on past, present, or future military service. 



USERRA protects the job rights of individuals who voluntarily or involuntarily leave employment positions to perform service in the uniformed service;

USERRA affects employment, reemployment and retention in employment, when employees serve in the uniformed services. USERRA also prohibits employers from discriminating against past and present members of the uniformed services, and applicants to the uniformed services.



must hold or have applied for a civilian job.

must have given written or verbal notice to the civilian employer prior to leaving the job for military training or service except when precluded by military necessity.

must not have exceeded the 5-year cumulative limit on periods of service.

must have been released from service under conditions other than dishonorable.

must report back to the civilian job in a timely manner or submit a timely application for reemployment.

veterans benefits
Veterans Benefits

Service Connected Pension

Non-Service Connected Pension

Pension paid to wartimeveterans who have limited or no income and are age 65 or older or who are permanently and totally disabled. The disability does not have to be "service connected". This is needs based programbased on limited income. VA provides a Disability Benefits Pension Rate Table based on countable family income which is set yearly by Congress.

This is a Means tested program

  • Disability compensation benefit paid to a veteran due to injuries or diseases occurring while on active duty, or made worse by active military service. It is also paid to certain veterans disabled from VA health care. The benefits are tax-free.
how work affects benefits
How Work Affects Benefits
  • The Disability Pension program is means-tested and earned income from employment impacts a veteran’s eligibility as well as the amount of payment due each month.
  • The VA will consider all income from sources such as:
    • wages, salaries, earnings, bonuses, income from a business or profession or from investments or rents as well as the fair value of personal services, goods or room and board received in lieu thereof will be included.
    • salary is not determined by “gross pay” before any deductions made under a retirement act or plan and amounts withheld by virtue of income tax laws.
  • In the case of self-employment, the gross income from a business or profession may be reduced by the necessary operating expenses, such as cost of goods sold, or expenditures for rent, taxes, and upkeep. Depreciation is not a deductible expense. The cost of repairs or replacement may be deducted. The value of an increase in stock inventory of a business is not considered income. A loss sustained in operating a business, profession, or farm or from investments may not be deducted from income derived from any other source.
how work affects benefits1
How Work Affects Benefits

Disability Pension is reduced dollar for dollar by any income that is deemed countable under the VA rules.

Veterans receiving Disability Pension are required to report all income to the VA.

how work affects benefits2
How Work Affects Benefits

Service Connected benefits are not means-tested so they are not affected by income or resources.

Neither wages nor net income from self-employment affects Disability Compensation payments in the sense that in and of themselves they would cause a reduction or “offset” in the VA payment amount.

Other forms of income (not related to employment) and assets are also not taken into consideration by the Disability Compensation program and have no impact on benefit eligibility or amount of monthly payment.

veterans benefits1
Veterans Benefits

VA Benefits


All or Nothing Criteria

Treating physician rule (deference is given to the opinion of the individuals treating physician)

Considers all impairments and gives great weight to the disability ruling of the VA

  • Degrees of Disability
  • Only considers service connected disability
  • Total file review, no deference given to 1 opinion
  • Disability rating of 70% or higher can help in getting SSDI
  • Gives little weight to SSA disability ruling (VA does have a duty to review SSA file in determination)
veterans benefits2
Veterans Benefits

Most veterans receiving Disability Compensation (Service connected disability) can work and have no prohibitions on obtaining and/or maintaining employment.

Only those who receive a higher rating because they are considered “Unemployable” would run into problems by working. Veterans receiving Non-Service Connected Pension can also work part-time so long as their income does not exceed the income cap for the program.  If they are capable of working full-time, they would not meet the 100% disabled requirement for this benefit.

income limits for non service connected pension
Income Limits for Non-Service Connected Pension

Veteran with no dependents $12,256

Veteran with a spouse or a child $16,051

Housebound veteran with no dependents $14,978

Housebound veteran with one dependent $18,773

Veteran who needs aid and attendant care and you have no dependents


Veteran who needs aid and attendant care (A/A) and you have one dependent $24,239

Two Vets Married to Each Other$16,051

Add for Each Additional Child to any category above$2,093

disability re determination exemptions
Disability Re-determination Exemptions

When the disability is established as static;

When the findings and symptoms are shown by examinations and hospital reports to have persisted without material improvement for a period of 5 years or more;

Where the disability from disease is permanent in character and of such nature that there is no likelihood of improvement;

In cases of veterans over 55 years of age, except under unusual circumstances;

When the rating is a prescribed scheduled minimum rating; or

Where a combined disability evaluation would not be affected if the future examination should result in reduced evaluation for one or more conditions.

veteran employment programs1
Veteran Employment Programs

HVSEP. The Homeless Veterans Supported Employment Program is a VA Program providing rapid job development services for Veterans. This project is part of the VA’s goal to end homelessness in the Veteran population by 2015. This is a time limited program scheduled to end in September 2014.

Eligible for VHA services. (1 of 7 different projects)

Be interested in obtaining immediate competitive employment.

Sporadic work history

Unable to obtain or maintain employment long term on your own 

Short term supports

veteran employment programs2
Veteran Employment Programs
  • Compensated Work Therapy/Supported Employment. CWT/SE. Offers job placement to veterans with on going support services and employer consultation .
  • Compensated Work Therapy/Transitional Employment. CWT/TE. Pre-employment vocational assessment program for Veterans.
    • Vocational assessments
    • pre-screening to match veterans to the specific job requirements.
    • Three to six month time limited
    • CWT/TWE functions like a temp-to-hire labor service so the expectations of veteran workers is the same as that of other non-CWT workers in the company
    • Employers do not pay benefits
veteran employment programs3
Veteran Employment Programs
  • Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program. VR&E. Assists veterans with service connected disabilities to prepare for find and keep jobs.
    • Comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation to determine abilities, skills, and interests for employment
    • Vocational counseling and rehabilitation planning for employment services
    • Employment services such as job-training, job-seeking skills, resume development, and other work readiness assistance
    • Assistance finding and keeping a job, including the use of special employer incentives and job accommodations
    • On the Job Training (OJT), apprenticeships, and non-paid work experiences (50% wages for 6 months)
    • Post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical or business school
    • Supportive rehabilitation services including case management, counseling, and medical referrals
    • Independent living services for Veterans unable to work due to the severity of their disabilities
veteran employment programs4
Veteran Employment Programs
  • Veterans Retraining Assistance Program. VRAP. VRAP is an education and retraining program:
  • Eligibility:
    • Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
    • Are unemployed on the date of application
    • Received an other than dishonorable discharge
    • Are not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
    • Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability
    • Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program
  • VRAP will provide training for programs of education that lead to a high demand occupation, as determined by the Department of Labor.
tax credits for veterans
Tax Credits for Veterans
  • On January 1, 2013, Congress extended the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits through December 31, 2013. 
  • The Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides incentives of up to $5,600 for hiring unemployed veterans
    • Short-term Unemployed: A new credit of 40% of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for at least 4 weeks.
    • Long-term Unemployed: A new credit of 40% of the first $14,000 of wages (up to $5,600) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for longer than 6 months.
tax credits
Tax Credits
  • Wounded Warriors Tax Credit doubles the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities, to up to $9,600.
    • Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: Maintains the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for veterans with service-connected disabilities hired within one year of being discharged from the military. The credit is 40% of the first $12,000 of wages (up to $4,800).
    • Long-Term Unemployed Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: A new credit of 40% of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for longer than 6 months.