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Veteran Unemployment Benefits In USA

Updated : August 4th, 2020

Unemployment is one problem that doesn’t necessarily need a shout-out. In spite of all the banter on the march towards progression, the unemployment rate of 4.9% is not really hailed as the greatest feat. However, the stagnation isn’t forever.

Know more of the unemployment benefits to cross over all the obstacles in your way to hold you through the tough and testing time that unemployment brings.

What seems to be a great number in itself- 495,000 is only the figure for ‘veteran’ unemployment as published in the Current Population Survey (CPS) for the year 2015. In the survey, veterans are defined as, “men and women who have previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces/military and who were civilians at the time these data were collected”.

Veteran Unemployment Benefits

Veteran Unemployment rates have been at an all-time low, declining from 6.9% in October 2013 to 3.9% in October 2015, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also, notably, this rate was lower than the unemployment rate of non-veterans of 5.9% for 23 consecutive weeks.

This figure is only likely to decline when you enroll yourself in the many training programs designed especially for Veterans to acquire the skills of the generation which mostly covers technical knowledge. Otherwise, leadership skills, capacity to handle stress, attention to detail, interpersonal skills, problem-solving through critical thinking, project planning and so on, which are to be developed goes quite unsaid. And at the rate at which people are pitching into jobs, the sooner you learn to develop these skills, the better equipped you are to acquire jobs at the earliest.

Veteran Unemployment Compensation – A Safety Net

A Service Member separated from active duty may qualify for unemployment benefits if you haven’t found a new job. This program, Compensation for ex-servicemembers abbreviated as UCX is administered by the States as they are agents of Federal Government. To incur the benefits of this scheme, eligibility is to be determined. You are eligible, if –

  1. You were an active member in any of the branches of U.S. military.
  2. You should have separated from service by honorable means.
  3. There should be no deduction from your wages for Unemployment Insurance.

Apart from the above-enlisted eligibility clauses, your Unemployment Benefit can be affected if you are receiving the Separation pay. It is for this reason that retirees will receive little or no amount of benefits, for their weekly amount of retirement pay is considered.

The duration and amount offered through unemployment benefits vary from each state, and hence, to enjoy the benefits of the same, you have to visit the local State Employment Office. The nearest State Employment Office can be located using a Telephone Directory or you could locate the nearest one for some of the states (Nebraska, Ohio, Kansas, Montana, District of Columbia, Maine, Vermont, North Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska) from our site. Visit the Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) who will assist you in finding a new job apart from ensuring that you get the Unemployment Benefit. When applying for the Compensation, do carry your Certificate of Release (DD form 214), your Social Security Card and your Civilian and military job history or resume.

Since the Certificate of Release (DD form 214) determines the eligibility of a person’s entitlement to Unemployment Benefits, it is imperative to fill the application with utmost care to avoid mistakes. Also, you are expected to keep the original certificate safe and to only show copies of it when demanded by employers or others. Here are some of the details required to be filled in the Certificate of Release form –

  1. The Date and Place at which you entered into active duty
  2. Residential address at the time of entry
  3. Date and place at the time of release from active duty
  4. Residential address after separation from the service
  5. Last Duty assignment
  6. Military Job specialty
  7. Military Education
  8. Decorations, badges, medals, citations and campaign awards
  9. Total service
  10. Foreign service
  11. Information on separation (type, character and reason for separation, etc.)

The amount of benefit will depend on your pay at the time you left military service. The state will compensate by basing its calculation on a “Schedule of Remuneration”, set by the U.S. Department of Labor.

As to the amount of compensation that you get, it depends on the state you reside in (Unemployment benefits is acquired from the state you currently reside and not from the state you quit the Duty).

Other Opportunities At Acquiring Veteran Benefits

Apart from the many communities that have continually engaged in trying to get more veterans employed, there is also an increase in the concerted effort of private and government institutions in order to reduce the already declining rates of veteran unemployment.

The special provision is given to those who were part of the Vietnam War. The VEVRAA, 1974 (Veteran Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act) prohibits job discrimination and pushes federal contractors and subcontractors to take action. They employ  qualified Vietnam war-era veterans and also provide training when necessary. Others covered in this Act are Special Disabled Veterans and Separated Veterans.

Veteran Department has enabled various provisions which include education and training, health benefits, Life insurance, Home loans and Housing related Assistance, Employment Services, and Memorial/Funeral Benefits too.

How to Apply for Veteran Affairs (VA) Educational Benefits?

  1. Apply online for Educational/Training benefits  
  2. Apply in person – from the nearest VA regional office
  3. Apply at school – through consulting a School Certifying Official
  4. Apply by Mail  – Call 888-442-4551 to have the application mailed to you

These Benefits are granted through the Post 9/11 GI Bill/Servicemembers Readjustment Act, also associated with Yellow Ribbon Program, Montgomery G.I. Bill (for active duty members who pay $100 per month in order to receive a monthly benefit for education, if they should choose to leave military service), Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Educational Assistance to the members of Reserve components who constitute the those ordered to active duty in response to a National Security threat or Emergency situation), Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA).

These educational Benefits can be utilized for Traditional degrees, non-college Degrees, Job Training and job apprenticeship.

Requirements to acquire Educational Benefits –

  1. Copies of your military service discharge or separation papers (DD 214)
  2. Documentation of an enlistment incentive or College Fund
  3. To qualify for a monthly housing allowance you must have attended school for more than half the term.

Employment Resources & Opportunities – All through VA Dept.

Veteran Affairs Department offers numerous opportunities to acquire Vocational jobs, Training and Employment Counseling too. In short if you are eligible for the employment benefits provided by the VA, your life is shortly about to change for good as close to millions of dollars are spent by corporations in order to incorporate skilled veterans into service. This benefit can be acquired by both Active Duty Servicemembers and Veterans.

Veterans applying for the same must have an honorable discharge from service, obtain VA service-connected disability rating of 10% or more, including applying for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services and have an established employment handicap resulting from a service-connected disability. If the above four conditions are not fulfilled, the veteran is not eligible for Employment Benefits.

To apply online,

  1. Register yourself at the eBenefits account
  2. Click “Additional Benefits” from the Dashboard
  3. Select Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program or Education/Career Counseling
  4. If you are eligible, the person will be invited to attend an orientation session at the nearest VA Regional Office

Otherwise, you can also apply by filling your application in person at the nearest VA Regional Office. If not, download the applications of Educational/Vocational Counseling and Disabled Veterans Application for Vocational Rehabilitation online and mail the same.

Veteran Affair’s Various Employment Resources

VA has consistently strived to drive its many resources into propelling a massive flux of service members from service-oriented military career to a civilian job duty. And they have indeed succeeded in optimally utilizing existing resources and creating job-seeking tools to transform the face of Veteran Unemployment figures. VA thus connects the Veterans with the employers in order to help them fill their empty chairs. Some of the Employment Services you would want to explore are listed below-

  1. Veteran Unemployment Centre
  2. Skill Transition Tools
  3. Resume builders
  4. For a Private Sector or Federal job, pick one from 3 million jobs at JobsBank

You can access all this and more once you have logged into the eBenefits service enables by the States.

Disability Compensation For Unemployed Veterans

An Injury incurred either while on active duty or those disabilities resulting from a disease which was aggravated due to active military service can be held eligible for Disability Compensations for Veterans. It is a tax-free monetary benefit which can also be paid for post-service disabilities that are secondary to the illnesses/disabilities occurring in service. This benefit can be incurred if you are at least 10% disabled. The disability can arise from physical medical conditions like chronic knee condition, and mental health conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you have dependents, an additional of 30% allowance will be granted. You will be incapacitated to receive compensation if you receive military retirement pay, disability severance pay/separation incentive pay. Eligibility for the above benefit is acquired if you are –

  1. In the Uniformed Services on Active Duty
  2. Active Duty training  
  3. Inactive Duty training
  4. Discharged under honorable conditions
  5. 10 – 100% disabled from the injury incurred

Apart from the above reasons a person can be readily inferred or presumed as eligible if you are,

  1. A former prisoner of war,
  2. Having a certain chronic or tropical diseases that were evident within a certain time after discharge from active military service.
  3. Exposed to ionizing radiation, mustard gas or Lewisite while in active service.
  4. Served in the Southeast Asia during the Gulf war.

Documents to be kept ready with to in order to avail the Disability Benefits are –

  1. Medical evidence of a current physical or mental disability.
  2. Evidence of a relationship between your disability and injury, disease or event in military service.

You can apply for a Disability Benefit, both offline and online (eBenefits). The means to acquire an offline Disability Benefit is through contacting your local Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) office and have a VA employee assist you.

Other Disability Benefits include Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) which is also a tax-free monetary benefit provided to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of Servicemembers who died while on active-duty.  

Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) is another additional tax-free monetary benefit that can be paid to veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses or parents. SMC is a higher rate of compensation paid during special circumstances where the injured person is in need of special assistance or aid of another person. Such circumstances arise when there is a specific disability such as the loss of a hand or leg.

Veteran Benefits – Your Key To Financial Security

We certainly hope that all the information provided above has left you with little or no doubts lingering. If you are an ex-service member, wait no more to avail all the benefits you are eligible, for now it is easier than ever with increasing awareness and enhanced connectivity. It has also brought about a healthy online discourse to disseminate the various Government policy initiatives into the general public’s domain. Participate in this community discourse to add your insights and questions so we could keep the wheel turning!

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  1. I had trouble getting my proof of self-employment to upload in secure file exchange and finally got it submitted by 12:06 am , 6 minutes late. What are the possibilities that they will deny it? I have received unemployment from March 2020 to some of Jan and some in Feb 2021. Most of Dec, Jan, Feb, March, & april were stopped for this proof of employment.
    Also, I see proof of Income as a 2nd issue but it is always on there. That was not on my TO DO list.
    I feel for u all on ID.ME…

    Anyone trying to reach UI, call their number, press 2 or 3 (questions abt filing a claim?) and then wait thru the message. At the end of it, u will be connected to a live person! I promise.. don’t push another button.. I’ve done it 4 times and it never failed.

    We lost our home, my ex took my child…. (kept her after a visit and called cps facilitating drama while the cops wouldn’t give her back without paperwork locked up in the court house..shut down for covid) I raised her by myself for 12 years & now she is with a violent alcoholic and parental alienating parent .. ….my dog, my 9-year sweet little best friend, was attacked, passing away 3 days later.. all in this time frame.
    But! It will all be ok. I have faith.

    Be grateful for your life and all that is in it today. What u dwell on daily will be your strength or weakness.
    Good luck to all of u.
    And thank you, Jeff, for responding out here. It is appreciated!
    Davulia S.

  2. I filed over two months ago. I have not received any information. My status says “pending resolution”. I have no way of contacting anyone. My position was eliminated at my job and I submitted the documentations online. I dont know what else I can do.

  3. I have been apply Ohio Pua unemployment since July 5th still pending issues. Upload what they ask for when ever I call says your case is in Adjudication. Very very frustrated, financially I am broke. Health issues. Waiting a long period.Don’t know what I will do ?

    1. Nafisa,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

    2. Same here since Feb 2021 turned in all the documents still pending issues 3 months now. When you call they tell you to be patient. Pulling my hair out it’s so frustrating.

  4. I was receiving PUA unemployment. they made me file for a new claim in February. Now I am in adjudication even though I gave all the same information from my previous claim. Have been adjudication since February and I call and they say they will put in a ticket to have an Adjudicator call me. Nothing. I am wondering If I can go down to to Maryland Unemployment Office and demand that someone talk with me to release my claim for payment. It’s been 56 days. I read that they have a maximum of 45 days.

    1. Luis,

      Your adjudicator may be inundated with pending cases. Please continue to follow up (if you have the contact details) or consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

    2. t sounds just like mine only im disqualified yet actie every till sept 4th . they haven’t asked me for anything! i file then its disqualified yet im told im ok and have nothing to do bit wait for an answer? answer to what? they switched my program and all and asked me to provide proof for a claim that wa denied al eady back in 2018! deny me once and then again perhaps? lol idk

  5. My mom had unemployment in Florida. She just recently moved temporally to California with a sister since she needs assistance, and now the website is telling her she cannot do anything because she is register in another state. Can she keep filing unemployment in Florida, even if she is living and register now in another state? how is the process to change the unemployment? I tried calling and there is no answer. Thank you!

    1. Stephanie,

      Please ask your mother to consider transferring the UI benefits from FL to CA (details will be available on either of the websites). If there are benefits weeks left in the account, she will be able to claim them.

    1. Leatha,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment involuntarily and be able to and available for work.

  6. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  7. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  8. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

      1. HI Jeff,
        I applied back in Dec 5th, 2020 and I haven’t received any correspondence, is there a local office that I can make an appt to make certain my claim is right.

        1. Adam,

          You can consider visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (details will be available on the Unemployment Office’s website).

  9. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  10. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

        1. Gary,

          You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  11. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  12. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  13. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  14. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

    1. Maria,
      I have gotten through to the call center (live agent) every time i’ve tried calling within the last 2 weeks. The number to a live agent (follow the prompts carefully) is (667)-207-6520. i have gotten through within 10 to 15 mins with each call i had made!

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