Senate Poised to Approve Veterans Benefits

In a rare display of bipartisanship, the Senate is poised to approve modest legislation that would offer job training services and incentives for employers to hire veterans. The measure includes tax credits of up to $9,600 for companies that hire disabled veterans who have been jobless for six months or more, as well as enhanced job training and counseling for veterans.

Unemployment among veterans who served since the attacks of September stands at 12 percent, or 240,000 vets, more than three percent higher than the national average. Overall, more than one million veterans are unemployed.

“For too long, we’ve patted our veterans on the back for their service and then pushed them out in the job market,” said Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester, who filed the legislation on Nov. 9. “It’s shameful that so many veterans can’t find work. The Senate needs to pass this plan as soon as possible.”

In addition to the $9,600 tax credit for hiring disabled vets, the legislation would also provide a tax credit of up to $5,600 for companies that hire veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, as well as a $2,400 credit for veterans who are unemployed for more than four weeks, but less than six months.