Both veterans and those with disabilities may have a better chance at landing a job with the passing of two rules aimed at improving employment.
The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require federal contractors and subcontractors affirmatively recruit and hire qualified veterans and disabled individuals. These laws have been updated in order to tap into groups of people oftentimes overlooked.
Improvements under VEVRAA include setting benchmarks in the recruitment and employment of veterans. Federal contractors or subcontractors can set annual benchmarks based on their best data available or on the national percentage of vets in the workforce, currently at eight percent.
With regards to those with disabilities, the goal is that seven percent of each job group in federal contractors’ and subcontractors’ workforce will be qualified individuals with disabilities. Additionally, federal contractors must take specific actions regarding not only recruiting but training, policy dissemination and recordkeeping.
The rules are set to become effective 180 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Compared to the 7.2 percent unemployment rate for nonveterans, the unemployment rate for Gulf War-era II vets is at 10.0 percent as of August 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And yet many disabled vets are able to work. Of course, there are also those who are unable to perform daily life functions and are considered permanently disabled.
If denied disability benefits or if you have questions concerning your right to them, seek legal counsel. An attorney from the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group can help.