Benefits of Hiring Veterans
Hiring veterans has many advantages for employers. The government offers employers many tax credits and financial incentives when hiring veterans. There is vocational training, salary subsidies, assistive technology, and salary reimbursement for companies that hire veterans.
Other advantages for hiring veterans may seem less tangible at first, but include the their technical knowledge, experience, ability to work under pressure, ability to adapt, and their leadership experience.
Veteran Tax Credits for Employers
A significant, and often overlooked, benefit for employers are the tax credits received from the government. Employers are eligible to receive the benefits of these programs if the new employee meets the Qualified Long-Term Unemployment standards. Specifically, in order to qualify, these new employees must remain with the company for a minimum of 27 weeks.
Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program is a federal credit that’s offered to companies for specific groups of individuals who may face difficulty in finding a job. Although there are several targeted groups, a “Qualified Veteran” is a veteran who:
- A member of a family receiving assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (food stamps) for at least 3 months during the first 15 months of employment.
- Unemployed for a period totaling at least 4 weeks (whether or not consecutive) but less than 6 months in the 1-year period ending on the hiring date.
- Unemployed for a period totaling at least 6 months (whether or not consecutive) in the 1-year period ending on the hiring date.
- A disabled veteran entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability hired not more than one year after being discharged or released from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
- A disabled veteran entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability who is unemployed for a period totaling at least six months (whether or not consecutive) in the one-year period ending on the hiring date.
The VOW (Veterans Opportunity to Work) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011
On November 21, 2011, President Obama signed into law The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, which created two separate tax credits for businesses.
1. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit is a new hiring tax credit that provides an incentive for businesses to hire unemployed veterans.
- Short-term unemployed: A new credit of 40 percent of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans who have been unemployed at least 4 weeks.
- Long-term unemployed: A new credit of 40 percent of the first $14,000 of wages (up to $5,600) for employers who hire veterans who have been unemployed longer than 6 months.
2. The Wounded Warrior Tax Credit doubles the existing tax credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities.
- Maintain the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for veterans with service-connected disabilities (currently the maximum is $4,800).
- A credit of 40 percent of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been unemployed longer than 6 months.
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E)
The VR&E for employers provides tax credits/benefits when a company hires and trains veterans with service connected disabilities. These tax credits/benefits include:
- Salary Subsidies – Through the on-the-job training program, VR&E subsidizes veterans’ salaries so that employers pay an apprentice-level wage while training veterans. As the veteran progresses, the employer pays a larger portion of the veteran’s salary, until the training program is completed, and the employer is paying the full salary.
- Assistive Technology – VR&E can provide specialized tools, equipment, and workplace modifications to eligible veterans, allowing them to perform their duties. These valuable services help veterans without additional cost to employers.
- Salary Reimbursement – Through the Special Employer Incentive program, employers may receive an incentive to hire veterans facing extraordinary obstacles to employment, which includes reimbursement of as much as 50 percent of the Veteran’s salary for up to six months.
- Federal Tax Credit – Employers that hire veterans may be eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC).
- Non-Paid Work Experience Training – The Non-Paid Work Experience program allows local, state, and federal government offices to temporarily employ a veteran without having the position count against the agency’s full-time equivalent allocation. VR&E pays the veteran a monthly subsistence allowance while he or she learns valuable work-related skills and experience.
How to Hire Veterans
According to careeronestop.org , a career site sponsored by the US Department of Labor, hiring a veteran can be done in two steps, they include:
- Start by posting the job on your state’s job bank , they provide a link to each individual state. There you will find specific instructions.
- Then, they recommend contacting a Veterans Employment Representative at an American Job Center. They will ask for additional information about the job posting.
Veterans preference give employment preference to veterans for federal agency jobs and is based on a point system that incorporates several factors including: type of discharge, military rank, type of service, disability rating, and others. The veterans preference eligibility is comprehensively outlined in our Veteran Recruiting article.
Besides honoring those that serve, hiring veterans has many benefits for employers as outlined above. Additional intangible benefits of hiring veterans is that they’ve learned to adapt to stressful situations, many are college educated, most are very resourceful, they’ve had extensive training, and many have served in leadership roles.
Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for service-members transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a PhD in Finance.