Are You Eligible For The Militarys Unemployment Program
Are you separating from the armed services or have you recently separated, but you don’t have a post-military job lined up yet? You might be able to receive unemployment benefits to help keep you afloat until you are able to land a job.
The Unemployment Compensation for Ex-servicemembers provides financial benefits to ex-military personnel who qualify. Here’s a quick rundown of what it entails.
Exceptions: Extraschedular Consideration And Individual Unemployability Benefits
In some instances, the VA will approve UI even if you dont meet the general requirements above. To get approved, you must apply for extraschedular consideration.
This may be granted in unusual or exceptional circumstances, such as where it is clear that the disability schedular criteria dont paint a full or complete picture of the veterans service-related disability.
These vary by the individual, but one example would be the need for frequent hospitalizations that prevent you from holding a regular job.
The key factor is whether you can prove your service-related conditions prevent you from gaining and keeping employment that will support you at the poverty level.
For more information, see our guide on unemployability benefits, here.
How To File A Weekly Request For Payment
To file weekly claims by phone, call the VECs Voice Response System at 1-800-897-5630.
You will be given instructions on how to use the VRS when you apply for benefits. Follow the instructions very carefully. The instructions below apply to both Internet weekly requests for payment and VRS weekly requests for payment.
File your weekly request for payment of benefits correctly and accurately, as soon as the week has passed. You will not be paid benefits, even if you are qualified and eligible to receive them, if you fail to file your weekly request for payment.
Remember that the claim week does not end until after midnight on Saturday of the week being claimed and will not be available to you to file until after that time.
Your first weekly request for payment of benefits must be filed with the VEC after the week in which you file your application for benefits ends, but no later than 28 days after the date you filed your application.
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Unemployment Benefits For Military Veterans
Unemployment compensation may be available to ex-military personnel. If eligible, military members will receive compensation from the Unemployment Compensation for Ex-service members . This program is run by the federal government, but each state has its own agents representing the UCX. Whether or not you are eligible and how much compensation you will receive depends on several factors. If you receive other compensation the amount of compensation for which you may be eligible will be reduced. Here we look at how you can go about signing up for unemployment compensation and what you can do before separation to get your finances in order.
Can I Get Disability Insurance If I Go To A Drug Rehabilitation Facility Recommended By My Physician/practitioner
You may qualify for up to 45 days of Disability Insurance benefits if you live at a physician/practitioner-approved drug-free residential rehabilitation facility. An additional 45 days may be paid if you remain a resident of the facility and your physician/practitioner continues to certify to your need for continuing residential services.
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School Employees / Educators
School employees and educators may be entitled to collect unemployment insurance but have a different criteria to determine eligibility for unemployment insurance.
Professional and non-professional employees of educational institutions, educational service agencies and certain other educational employers may be eligible for unemployment ONLY if they do not have a contract or if their employer has not provided written reasonable assurance of their employment for the following year, academic term or for the period following a school vacation. State law requires each educational institution to provide reasonable assurance in writing to those individuals who will be unemployed during the summer and will return to work once the summer break or vacation period ends. If teachers, professional and non-professional educational employees DO have a contract or written reasonable assurance of employment, they are ineligible to collect unemployment insurance benefits using their educational wages during the vacation period or the period between academic terms.
Reasonable assuranceFiling for Unemployment
Consider Talking To A Lawyer
If you applied for full-time jobs while you were collecting unemployment or you applied for jobs that were more demanding than your physical and mental limitations allow for, its best to talk about this with a disability lawyer, especially if you are thinking about amending your onset date to after you stopped collecting unemployment benefits.
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Signing Up For Unemployment Benefits
Since each state is in charge of unemployment benefits paid out to residents of the state, this is the starting point for signing up for compensation. The state unemployment office will be able to determine if you are eligible to receive benefits, how long you can receive benefits, and how much compensation you will receive. You must apply through the state employment office which will also help you in your search for new employment. When visiting the state employment office to inquire about benefits be sure to have the following documents on hand job history or resume, Social Security Card, and DD Form 214 .
A couple of quick notes about military unemployment benefits:
- Federal law requires that you are physically in the state in which you file your first claim based on military wages. You can file in the state in which you separate from the military, but you may need to transfer your unemployment benefits if you move to another state .
- Unemployment benefits for former military members is usually based on military service wages, however, separation pay or military retirement pay may affect your benefits.
- In most cases, you must have been separated under honorable conditions to be eligible for unemployment benefits.
- Each state may have unique rules or provisions. Check with your state employment office for specific information.
Finding Veteran Unemployment Solutions
Thankfully, there are ways to get help for Americans if theyre between jobs. The first method is the one open to all citizens unemployment insurance, the joint state-federal program that provides jobseekers benefits and support while looking for a new job.
Since this program is administered individually by each state, its important to contact your own states unemployment information center depending on where you live. Sometimes these are administered by a states Health and Human Services or Welfare offices. There is general information available on unemployment benefits at USA.gov.
Additionally, there is an unemployment benefits program reserved exclusively for former US military personnel, provided you meet the requirements. The Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers, or UCX, is a Veteran unemployment benefit service thats intended for former servicemembers who have just returned to civilian life but have yet to secure a job.
If you were on active duty and you were recently discharged under honorable conditions, you may be legible. Be aware, however, that the UCX program doesnt rely on payroll deduction from servicemember wages for unemployment insurance protection. Instead, benefits are paid for directly by the various branches of the military. For more information about the UCX program and specific steps to follow to apply, the Department of Defense website has the answers for you.
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Am I Eligible For Disability Benefits From Va
You may be eligible for disability benefits if you meet both of the requirements listed below.
Both of these must be true:
- You have at least 1 service-connected disability rated at 60% or more disabling, or 2 or more service-connected disabilitieswith at least 1 rated at 40% or more disabling and a combined rating of 70% or moreand
- You cant hold down a steady job that supports you financially because of your service-connected disability. Odd jobs dont count.
Note: In certain casesfor example, if you need to be in the hospital oftenyou may qualify at a lower disability rating.
Who Qualifies For Ucx
- You were on active duty with a branch of the U.S. military. You may be entitled to benefits based on that service.
- You must have been separated under honorable conditions.
- There is no payroll deduction from your wages for unemployment insurance protection. Benefits are paid for by the various branches of the military.
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Unemployment Benefits For Veterans
One of the scariest things that can happen to someone is that they lose their job. When you lose your job it can create a lot of uncertainty and stress, because you dont know how you will get money so you that can meet your basic needs and pay your bills. The good news is that depending on your circumstances, you may be able to obtain unemployment benefits. Its important that people know about unemployment benefits for veterans, so that they can get the help if they lose their job.
Unemployment benefits are part of a program that is offered nationwide. The program provides a safety net for people, so that if they lose their job they dont suddenly lose everything else as a result. Sometimes it takes people weeks or months to get hired at another job. People cant go those weeks or months without any income, or they would not be able to make ends meet. By obtaining unemployment benefits, they will get money each week that helps ensure their basic needs are being met, while they are looking for another job to start.
What to Know About Unemployment Benefits for Veterans
While it is true that unemployment benefits will provide you with a check when you are between jobs, there are some important things to know about the program. Not everyone who is between jobs will qualify for receiving unemployment benefits. Those who do not qualify for unemployment benefits and are between jobs or need additional income to survive may qualify for other government benefit programs.
Can I Receive Both Unemployment And Social Security
The answer is yes. Generally, unemployment insurance doesnt count Social Security retirement benefits in its income calculations, said Demetra Nightingale, institute fellow at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. Other sources of income, such as annuities or investment income, also typically dont count.
But whether you qualify for unemployment depends on the rules of your state.
As long as theyre eligible under the state rules then they would qualify, Nightingale said.
Some states previously had Social Security offsets, which meant they would reduce unemployment benefits when someone is also receiving Social Security. But those rules have largely been repealed, according to the National Employment Law Project.
Of note, if you are receiving Social Security disability benefits, it means you are too disabled to work and therefore ineligible for unemployment benefits, said Gary Burtless, senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, a think tank.
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When And How Will I Be Paid
Your first payment will be issued to you after you have served a waiting week and are eligible to receive benefits for the second week claimed.
However, Virginia has temporarily suspended the one-week waiting period due to COVID-19.
When you make an initial application for benefits, you will be able to select either direct deposit into your personal checking or savings account, or you will be able to collect benefits with a Virginia Debit Mastercard. Funds will be loaded on to the card which can be used any place where debit cards are allowed as a method of payment. It takes 2 business days for your funds to be deposited into your account after your weekly claim has been processed. You can also change your payment method at any time by logging on to your account on the VEC website or by calling 1-800-897-5630.
When you file an initial claim, you can expect your first payment within 14 calendar days after you file your weekly request for payment of benefits. You may not receive your payment on the same day of the week each time you file your request for payment. Timely payments depend on you meeting all weekly requirements as well.
However, no payment will be issued if you have a separation or able and available issue on your claim, until those issues have been addressed and appropriate action taken on them.
If you dont receive an anticipated payment, contact the VEC Customer Contact Center. However, you should wait at least 5 days after you file your request.
Other Types Of Benefits For Veterans
Unemployment insurance is a major lifesaver for any former service member whos caught facing Veteran unemployment, as these programs offer important support lifelines so that you can concentrating on finding that new job without having to worry quite so much about being able to afford your bills.
That being said, unemployment benefits certainly dont cover every expense youre going to run into. Thats why its important to consider what other types of benefits that Veterans can avail themselves of in order to help them during uncertain times.
The existence of these benefit programs, unfortunately, is often not explicitly advertised. However, they are still there, if you know where to look. An example of this is the VAs Financial Hardship Assistance program, which isnt a strict Veteran unemployment program but instead offers ways to manage your medical copay debt or even get yourself exempt from future copays. This can be a major game-changer for any Veteran, especially one who has a spouse or children that need medical care or who has medical issues of their own.
Speaking of Veterans with families, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF program, is a joint federal-state program that Vets with families may be eligible for. Like unemployment assistance, TANF is also administered on a state-wide level, which means that youll need to find your states point of contact to see if you qualify and what type of aid you might be eligible for.
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How To Get Cobra
Group health plans must give covered employees and their families a notice explaining their COBRA rights. Plans must have rules for how COBRA coverage is offered, how beneficiaries may choose to get it and when they can stop coverage. For more COBRA information, see COBRA Premium Subsidy. The page links to information about COBRA including:
About Virginia Unemployment Benefits Extension
A Virginia unemployment insurance benefits extension is available to states when the economy is recovering. An unemployment extension is administered by the federal government in partnership with Virginia.
There are two parts to the program: Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits . EUCs federal unemployment extension was temporarily enacted during the 2008 recession to prevent harm to unemployed individuals. The Extended Benefits program was the permanent program created for times when Virginias unemployment rate rises above a certain rate.
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New Gi Bill Program For Unemployed Military Veterans
If you are an unemployed veteran, you may be eligible for a new GI Bill program specifically designed for unemployed veterans age 35-60. The good news is this program is open to eligible veterans regardless of whether or not they still have remaining GI Bill eligibility .
The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 offers up to 12 months of education and training at the full-time active duty Montgomery GI Bill rate. Training is available to eligible veterans for VA Approved education and training programs at a community college or technical school. Benefits must be used toward an Associates Degree, qualified certification, or a non-college degree in a high demand field .
There Are Other Options
Unemployed retirees also may use their GI Bill benefits, which can provide some income for living expenses as well as help them become more employable.
The VA also has a program that was called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment and now is the Veterans Readiness and Employment Program . It is designed to help train veterans with a service-connected disability for a job. Changes in April 2021 made it so VR& E and the Post-9/11 GI Bill can be used to extend the amount of time veterans can pursue job skills or education.
Not every military retiree will qualify for unemployment benefits, based upon the amount of their military retirement pay and their state’s unemployment compensation rules. However, it’s worth investigating if you are out of work and money is tight.
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