Veterans Employment: The Difficulty of Resuming Jobs from Former Employer

While veteran unemployment is no new situation for our service members, many previously employed veterans are finding it hard to return to the jobs they thought were protected for when they returned.

Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act employers of those who leave to serve in the National Guard or Reserves must restore their seniority, benefits, and pay upon their return. Unfortunately, obtaining your rights under this law is a very lengthy and often frustrating process, sometimes taking years until results are seen.

Many veterans have to take reduced salaries, hours, and job duties just to have some form of employment at their former occupation. In some cases, veterans have to work multiple jobs because their former primary employer cannot bring them back on at the level they were at prior to military service.

The case can be even more serious for veterans who return to the states with a combat-related disability. Disabled veterans are often unable to work at their prior profession due to physical or mental limitations, and in serious disability cases they may be unable to work at all.

Disabled veterans who find difficulty in obtaining gainful employment or are unable to work at all can find some relief by applying for veterans’ disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Once approved, a disabled veteran can obtain disability pay as well as connect to resources for medical care, jobs, and education opportunities.