The Senate overwhelmingly passed the VOW to Hire Heroes Act (94-1) just before Veterans Day 2011. But before this comprehensive veterans job bill moves forward, the House must vote on the “compromise language” included in the VOW to Hire Heroes Act.
The House Veterans Affairs Committee has indicated the vote will happen once they return from their district work period. Veterans organizations are hoping action is taken as soon as they return to Washington, ensuring the president can quickly sign it into law.
All veterans should learn HOW the VOW to Hire Heroes Act will provide valuable assistance above and beyond the increased opportunity for employment:
KEY PROVISIONS OF THE VOW TO HIRE HEROES ACT:
- Expands education and training opportunities for older veterans by providing nearly 100,000 unemployed veterans of past eras and wars with up to 1-year of additional Montgomery GI benefits to go towards education or training programs at community colleges or technical schools for high-demand jobs.
- Makes the Transition Assistance Program (TAP)—an interagency workshop coordinated by Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs—mandatory for most service members moving on to civilian life to help them secure jobs in the 21st Century.
- Provides disabled veterans up to 1-year of additional Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits.
- Works with the states to create licensing and credentialing standards to break down the barriers to find meaningful employment in their military occupations.
- Allows service members to begin the federal employment process prior to separation in order to facilitate a truly seamless transition from the military.
- Strengthens USERRA protections for service members in the workforce to clarify what constitutes a hostile work environment.
- Provides a tax credit of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, as well as a $2,400 credit for veterans who are unemployed for more than 4 weeks, but less than 6 months. Also provides a tax credit of up to $9,600 for hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months.