Many soldiers have no idea what is waiting for them when they cycle back to the U.S. following deployments. Up until a few years ago, many veterans assumed once they left the service they would just move into a civilian job. That is no longer the reality. In fact, the opposite is true. Unemployment rates are higher for veterans than civilians on the national level.
This is just one of the issues returning veterans face, and one of the issues that can hopefully be more easily addressed than others. U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) hopes he can ease this burden by introducing the Hiring Heroes Act (H.R. 1941).
Some veterans join reserve or Guard units for the paychecks. Others, however, become homeless. Many are discovering they are essentially unemployable, despite the skills they learned as part of their military occupation. Should the Hiring Heroes Act become law, it will apply to all veterans separating from the military.
Upon separation, every veteran will be given an individualized career assessment, which will serve to line up their military skills with civilian jobs needing such skills. This matching service will fall under the Department of Defense’s (DoD) transition assistance program (TAP).
The bill also seeks to provide further benefits. First, it will provide 2 years of additional vocational rehabilitation. This is designed to help those veterans with injuries or disabilities regain the skill levels they had prior to their injury or disability. Second, it will offer help with employment after all state and federal level help has run out. Finally, the legislation seeks to create a veteran-specific program, which will pay veterans as they work with civilian employers.
An accompanying Senate bill is being considered. There are transition programs already in existence, and this bill would extend their existence past 2012, which is their mandated end date.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.