More on the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 (H.R. 674)
On 1 December 2011, we reported on the tax incentives for employers of P.L. 112-56, signed into law on 21 November 2011, as it seemed at the time the most significant part of the act and had grabbed all the attention, but what about the other major provisions? Below are five of possible individual interest:
1. Makes the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for the first time mandatory for service members leaving active duty within a year of enactment of the act. In addition to requiring other agencies to cooperate with the Department of Labor, it places an additional requirement on the Department of Defense to conduct and provide to the Department of Labor individualized assessment for each departing service member of those “civilian positions available through military experiences.”
2. Allows service members to formally apply for federal employment (an appointment to a position) up to 120 days prior to discharge in an effort expedite transition.
3. Provides for enhancing a previous efforts on licensing and credentialing standards intended to match civilian jobs with military skills by way of a demonstration project. [This provision seems partly fuddled or behind the times in light of the requirement in item 1.]
4. Provides on 1 June 2012 disabled veterans with up to one year of additional VA vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits if the individual has exhausted his/her rights to unemployment benefits under state law.
5. Provides up to 100,000 veterans between the ages of 35 and 60 with up to one year of additional Montgomery GI Bill benefits after 1 July 2012 for the purpose of “retraining” with the following additional conditions:
a. You must be a fulltime student
b. Courses are conducted at a community college or technical school
c. Training leads to an associate degree or a certificate (or other similar evidence of the completion of the program of education or training)
d. Training is for a high-demand occupation, as determined by the Commissioner of Labor Statistics
As of 16 January 2012