By Debbie Gregory.
The Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers or UCX program provides benefits for eligible former military personnel.
With approximately 40,000 active duty service members retiring each year, a significant number of them are in need of employment, who have not yet found work. They may be eligible for UCX based upon the amount of their military retirement pay and the limits in the state in which they are filing. Additionally, former members of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are covered under the program.
While not everyone will qualify, you can guesstimate if you might be eligible by determining the maximum benefit amount in your state and comparing it to the amount of your military retirement pay. If your military retirement pay is near or more than the amount of unemployment benefits for your state, you probably won’t qualify.
In cases where military retirement pay is delayed for some reason, you should be eligible for unemployment in the interim.
If you are actively seeking employment, you can apply in the state where you have applied for unemployment benefits, which is usually the state where you are physically living. This rule may be different than the rules for non-military related unemployment compensation.
You will need your Social Security card, your DD214, a resume, and documentation of your retirement income (Retiree Account Statement.)
If you apply for and receive unemployment benefits, you are usually required to physically remain in the state where you are receiving benefits and search for employment.
If you are unemployed and still have your GI Bill benefits, you may want to consider using the Basic Housing Allowance or BAH to cover your living expenses while you are attending school to attain a degree or learn a vocation.
You might also want to consider the VA’s Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW). The VOW program extends vocational rehabilitation benefits for twelve (12) months for veterans who’ve completed the VA vocational rehabilitation program and have run out of initial unemployment benefits.
At the end of the day, you have earned these benefits and served our nation. We thank you.