With veterans unemployment rates at an alarming high, it is no wonder that so many of our service members are seeking out veterans unemployment benefits. Veterans unemployment has been a problem of increasing proportions over the last few years, leaving our brave military members in a desperate situation upon their return from service and re-entrance into civilian life.
Veterans often face the difficult task of searching for employment, but not being able to find a job that offers equivalent pay to what they earned in the military, or one that provides as much of a rewarding experience as their previous career. Oftentimes, unemployed veterans search day after day, looking for a job to help support themselves and their families, but with no return.
And with unemployment among civilians in the United States at a shocking high, it’s no wonder that veteran unemployment is an issue as well. While you would expect there to be a plethora of options when it comes to unemployment benefits for military members, there actually isn’t much available to help our service members in need.
Navigating the unemployment benefits for veterans can be a confusing process. You have to file for unemployment benefits, wait for your acceptance and then figure out how to make ends meet on the allotted benefits (which do not provide for much).
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers some hope for these common veterans issues of unemployment and inability to find a job. One of the VA unemployment benefits is the Unemployment Compensation for Ex-service members (UCX) program. This is one of the veterans programs that works to provide benefits for eligible ex-military personnel. The program is administered by the States as agents of the Federal government.
According to the Department of Defense, you may be eligible if meet these requirements:
If you receive separation pay, that may also influence your receiving unemployment compensation. Additionally, retirees will probably receive a lesser amount, or none at all, since the weekly amount of retirement pay is typically “offset” against the amount of unemployment compensation.
Your state employment office handles unemployment compensation, so it is important to get in touch with them in order to apply for unemployment benefits for veterans. Benefits vary from state to state, so only the office where you apply will be able to tell you the amount and duration of your entitlement. You can find the nearest state employment office in your local telephone directory. To receive unemployment compensation, you must apply by visiting the Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) at the state employment services office for assistance in finding a new job. When you go to apply for unemployment compensation, you must bring your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214), your Social Security Card and your civilian and military job history or resume.
In addition to unemployment benefits, military members can take advantage of other programs that assist them in the move from active duty to civilian life.
One such benefit is the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). TAP consists of comprehensive three-day workshops at military installations designed to help servicemembers as they transition from military to civilian life. The program includes job search, employment and training information, as well as VA benefits information, for servicemembers who are within 12 months of separation or 24 months of retirement. A companion workshop, the Disabled Transition Assistance Program, provides information on VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program, as well as other programs for the disabled.
Now would be a great time to put your GI Bill education benefits to use and go back to school. Check out our article on how to choose a military friendly college, and get started today!