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Guide to Veteran Unemployment in 2019


veteran using computer

For veterans, the transition from serving in the military to civilian life can be difficult. This is especially true if these individuals experience periods of unemployment during this time. There are many different resources available to help unemployed veterans navigate this next stage in their lives. However, veterans may be unsure about the services that are available and what they qualify to receive.

Before veterans can find the right benefits to help them during their unemployment, it is important that they understand what is available. It is also important that these individuals know whether or not veteran unemployment is widespread during a certain year or not. By understanding these concepts, veterans can gain a better sense of what their options are while they are unemployed.

Veteran Unemployment Rates Have Decreased

As of May 2019, the veteran unemployment rate was 2.7 percent. This is a decrease from the May 2018 veteran unemployment rate, which was 3.4 percent. Currently, this unemployment rate is lower than the national average for civilians, which was 3.3 percent in May 2019. This means that veterans today are generally able to find reemployment opportunities after they lose their jobs.

Can veterans receive unemployment insurance?

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for unemployment insurance (UI). Each state administers its own program, but it must follow federal rules about how the program needs to operate. When you apply for UI, which is also referred to as unemployment compensation (UC), you must met specific requirements to qualify for benefits. These relate to your work and earnings history, as well as your reason for being unemployed. If you meet the specific requirements for your state, you can receive UI.

However, if you do not qualify for UC, check if you qualify for Unemployment Compensation for Ex-servicemembers (UCX).  To receive benefits, you must:

  • Have served on active duty.
  • Have separated from the military for honorable reasons.

Veteran Reemployment Assistance Programs

If you’re an unemployed veteran, you may be able to enroll in the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) program. This program is operated through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and provides training and assistance to help you find work.

You could also enroll in the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program. There are specific requirements you need to meet to enroll in this initiative. However, if you qualify, you could receive:

  • Job training services.
  • Resume assistance.
  • Help starting your own business.
  • General career counseling.

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