Ask Asa: Veterans' Benefits, Unemployment Benefits Extensions
If you are unemployed, you know it's a jobless jungle out there. To help you navigate the unemployment terrain, NY1 Employment reporter Asa Aarons has answers to some viewers' questions.
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Veterans' Employment Benefits
Charise Herbert of New York, who was recently honorably discharged from the military and is job hunting, writes: We paid our dues serving in Iraq putting our lives on the line. What do we do now?
Charise, first you need to take full advantage of a number of benefits many people know little about. Since the Civil War, veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces have been given some degree of preference in appointments to federal jobs. It was revised after World War II and with the The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998. It's not so much as a reward for being in uniform, but rather a way to help make up for the economic loss suffered by those who served.
Your status as a veteran might give you an instant 5-point advance when taking some government employment tests. That can turn your 95 percent result into a 100 percent result, and possibly cinch the job.
It's not a guarantee of a job but it certainly can help you through the employment process.
The regulations are way too numerous to be reprinted here, but go to the website of the government's Office of Personnel Management at www.opm.gov/veterans for more information. Also check out www.usajobs.gov for more opportunities.
Remember that different rules apply to different veterans who served at different times. Study the regulations carefully.
Extended Unemployment Benefits
If you are one of the thousands of New Yorkers entering this new year without a job, it's a good idea to check on the status of your benefits.
Two weeks ago, Congress approved legislation to extend the eligibility dates for benefit extensions. As a result, those who exhaust their benefits by mid-February may be able to move them up a tier.
New York State now provides 73 additional weeks of unemployment benefits, as well as the usual 26 weeks of regular benefits. Study the rules at www.labor.state.ny.us.
If you have an employment story, a job, a new interview technique, or something you want to share with those looking for work or those doing the hiring, contact Asa Aarons at email@example.com.