Veteran Unemployment Target of New Bill

A bill aimed “to get more of our veterans back to work” has been identified to reverse veteran unemployment trends.

Two proposals to improve veteran unemployment are currently in discussion within the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. The first would radically transition resources from the Department of Labor. The second is geared to provide civilian services for transitioning military members in states with veteran employment problems.

One key lawmaker supports removing Labor Department’s role in veteran employment and rehabilitation. The bill will “increase coordination between the various education, rehabilitation and employment programs whose goals are to enable veterans to compete in the workforce,” according to Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller.

By eliminating VETS, the Labor Department program, the House Committee would consolidate funds and resources under the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Currently, the program has an annual budget of $261 million and employs about 250 federal workers. The proposed change has no budgetary impact since the money and employees would merely move under the DVA.

While this seems like a common sense approach, passage of the bill is doubtful since there is no sister legislation currently proposed in the Senate. The hearing on the bill, HR 4072, is scheduled on March 8 before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Rep. Marlin Stutzman is also supporting more minor changes to legislation aimed at military transitions. Military transitions have long been the source of negative press for the DOD with veterans citing that the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) inadequately prepares servicemembers for employment as civilians.

Congressman Stutzman’s proposal would remove transition assistance from the traditional DOD template to an off-base solution in some states. His proposal would grant a temporary contract to private companies that would provide transition assistance in states with higher than average veteran unemployment.

Government Coordination is Usually Good

Historically, even within the DVA, the right hand never knows what the left hand is doing. Regardless, by moving the VETS program under the DVA umbrella, the government will eventually realize savings and obtain increases in efficiency. However, at first, this move could create yet another layer of bureaucracy that could increase difficulties in benefits delivery, at least in the short term.

Congressman Miller and Congressman Stutzman are correct in looking to provide common sense solutions to problems of benefits delivery. With adequate coordination, both proposals could benefit veterans by combating veteran unemployment.

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  1. I read through the comments posted by our Veterans. I empathize with them. Although I am NOT a Vet but my child is the son of a Vet who disowned him. Too, I am a disabled civil servant that had to live on $550. a month for two years until an attorney won social security benefits for me. Plenty do I understand not having those who have the authority to do good and do right and lawfully submit to you what is your own! Soldiers, this why I am compelled to invite you and the executive decision maker to come to the table where we can give you information on how and where access to “unlimited” financial resource that is ongoing and profitable to your cause. Will you accept our invitation to take a “look”?

    email me or call to schedule your webinar today. 718-954-5198. Blessed To Be A Blessing.

  2. Hello,
    I have been on Home Oxygen for 2 years due to exposures in Desert Storm.I have been fighting the VA for 20 years for Desert Storm Sydrome. I am so fed up w/their bulls__t. I applied for Social Security Disability, from start to finish only took 9 weeks w/a decision rating of 100%. VA is screwing Vets. Nothing should be put in their hands that other gov’t agencies do-point blank.

  3. I disagree with Gary Owen and think placing the transition back to civilian life in the Department of Veteran Affairs Hands will only make them more responsible and more importantly, accountable to the people. If,.? Handled correctly.
    The VA has enjoyed the unaccountability of returning vet back to civilian life for the last sixty years (at least!) because it was not their responsibility to see that vets got back to work once released back to civilian life. No matter what you hear about leadership skills being in tremendous need in the workplace, the employment office is no place to send men and women who’s only skills are working on trucks, tanks and aircraft or training in the infantry mos.’ Other military trained skills are good but usually have few or no applications without certification and licensing in the real world . And although the military might offer certification and or licensing in some fields, they don’t go out of their way to make it known to the soldiers, sailors. airman, coastie’s and or marines who may need them as a civilian.
    If we can hold the VA responsible for seeing that the men and women who serve get back to work, or at least have the realistic skills to do so, then the current piles of red tape and other trouble with transition may lessen to a degree. Unless we continue to want to have to delve deep into this tangle searching out the particular form for you particular situation, we have to make it their job to ease the transition process.
    I realize that the VA is currently no place to rely on when it comes to your employment after ETS, though some services are available. Probably more now than when I got out in 89. But it is a long overdue responsibility that they have been passing on to other organizations after tours of duty are over. It would be like hiring a plumber in to finish the electrician’s unfinished work?
    Lets face it people. The entire organization needs to be revamped down to the very core of it’s operational workings and set in order! Baby steps are the rule of thumb as far as changes to VA benefits are concerned but it is a matter of three steps forward and two back. Sometimes four or five back!? Any changes have to be major to receive the public support necessary to keep the dial directed towards the individuals who want to make it tough on vets who come seeking benefits. But if we make it their job to see that vets get back to work after ETS then it’ll be another handle vet have to grasp when they risk drowning in the tough civilian workplace.

  4. I have been a combat wounded disabled Viet-Nam Veteran since 1968. I have worked as a Veterans Advocate for many years. As a 100% disabled Vet I disagree. Putting ANYTHING in the hands of DVA would be not only a mistake….. it would be just another Slap in the face for men and woman that served our country in an ALL Voulenteer military. “SIR…. NO SIR” Let that bill DIE a quiet death in the house.
    7th CAVALRY
    Delta RECON (lrp)

  5. That’s great. The DVA can’t manage the comp and pension portion of their department in a timely fashion. I have an appeal from 2008 that has not even made it out of the regional office in the Tampa St. Pete area. All we need is a broken system with their hands on more taxpayers money. Wish we could identify the current problems and fix them instead of creating more long term debt and problems.

  6. Good People: 02-27-12
    For too many years VA doctors HAVE NOT TAKEN THE WORD OF OUR PERSONAL DOCTORS. Also claims filed thru state VA offices are not responded as in my personal case for as much as six months with replies like we are still working on your claim..
    Question? What wood happen if a non VA doctor wanted to help a wounded soldier on the battle field or the VA hospital.????
    The VA is controlled by 535 congressional representatives that could act to be sure that veterans come first before anyone else in this country PERIOD!
    I feel all veterans should revolt and strike in order to make our congress people understand.
    Thank you for reading my written voice for all of our precious veterans.

    Frank Spruce

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