Blumenthal Joins Bipartisan Call for Veterans Employment Tax Credit

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today announced that he is supporting and cosponsoring the bipartisan VETs Jobs Bill that would reinstate a tax credit for businesses that hire veterans who have left the service within the last five years. In addition, the bill would simplify the process for employers accessing the tax credit and for service members looking to prove their veteran status.

“Courageous men and women have served and sacrificed, and they deserve a pay check instead of an unemployment line,” said Blumenthal. “The unemployment rate for our veterans remains far too high and I am proud to join in this bipartisan effort to increase veterans’ job opportunities and provide resources to them and their families.”

Nationwide, the unemployment rate among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans averaged 11.5 percent in 2010, up from about 7 percent in 2008. This number is even higher for young veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 years old. The Department of Labor estimates that at least 1 in 5 young veterans are unemployed.

The VETs Jobs Bill, or Veterans Employment Transition Act, introduced by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), reinstates a tax credit that expired in 2010 and aims to provide financial incentives for employers who make a commitment to hiring veterans. The tax credit is worth up to $2,400 per veteran hired. 

In addition, the bill makes it easier for employers to receive the tax credit by eliminating bureaucratic hurdles and simplifies the process for veterans seeking to document their service. Currently, the process of becoming a certified veteran is lengthy and the VETs Jobs Bill would allow discharge papers to be shown to allow employers to qualify for the credit.

Other co-sponsors of the VETs Jobs Bill include Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). The VETs Jobs Bill is supported by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the National Guard Association, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

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