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The Benefits of Hiring Disabled Veterans as Seasonal Workers for the Holidays

The Benefits of Hiring Disabled Veterans as Seasonal Workers for the Holidays

 

The holiday season is truly the most wonderful time of the year for those looking for a job. While the retail sector is the biggest employer of seasonal workers (684,700 in the fourth quarter of 2013), the transportation and logistics and wholesale trade sectors are also big seasonal employers (173,100 and 10,800 in the same period, respectively).

Finding qualified workers is difficult. Hiring disabled veterans as seasonal workers is a great way to meet your high customer demand and receive several benefits, such as tax credits. Let’s discuss what those benefits are and where you can find disabled veterans looking for jobs.

Qualified Workforce

The main benefit of hiring our servicemen and servicewomen during the busy holiday season is that they are ready to hit the ground running. Our armed forces have a culture built for mission accomplishment in mind. I prepare business professionals for the GMAT exam (standardized admissions exam used by most graduate-level business schools around the world). From my personal experience, I have met several veterans, all of whom possess outstanding management experience.

Here is one clear example: a Navy officer with a service-connected disability had been mainly in charge of all maintenance onboard a submarine for several years. Not only had he brokered hundreds of jobs per upkeep period, he had also completed many of those jobs while the submarine was in operation at sea. If he was able to lead a team of 130 sailors to complete a submarine battery change while at sea, he is more than capable of leading your logistics team of 100+ employees.

Hiring veterans for their skillset is certainly the main reason to consider employing past service members. After all, veterans tend to have ingrained leadership talents, are trained to make decisions on the spot, respect punctuality and know the meaning of hard work. There are also different tax credits available for companies who employ disabled veterans.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)

This federal tax credit is available to employers that hire veterans entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability, who either are hired within one year of discharge or release from active duty, or have been unemployed for at least six months of the year ending on the hiring date.

The maximum tax credit for hiring a veteran with a service-connected disability within one year from leaving service is 40 percent of the first $12,000 of wages (up to $4,800) for for-profit business owners. On the other hand, the maximum tax credit for hiring a disabled veteran, who has been unemployed for at least six months, is 40 percent of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for for-profit employers.

To get the process started for the WOTC, you and your employee need to fill out IRS Form 8850 and submit either the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration form 9061 or form 9062 to your local state Work Opportunity Tax Credit coordinator for certification.

For more details, the IRS provides an online list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

Special Employer Incentives (SEI)

Through this vocational rehabilitation and employment program from the Department of Veterans Affairs, you can receive reimbursement of up to 50 percent of a veteran’s salary during the Special Employer Incentives program to cover:

  • Expense for cost of employee instruction
  • Loss of production due to employee training
  • Necessary equipment and supplies to complete employee training

The Special Employer Incentives program typically lasts up to six months, which aligns well with the nature of seasonal hiring. However, there is the opportunity for continued employment for successful veterans. For more details, visit http://www.benefits.va.gov/VOW/ or call 1-800-827-1000.

Tax Credits for Repurposing of Facilities

The IRS provides two additional tax benefits for eligible small businesses that incur expenses from hiring disabled veterans.

First, the Disabled Access Credit (IRS form 8826) provides qualifying small businesses a tax benefit for complying with applicable access requirements for their disabled hires under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Keep in mind that access expenditures are those that remove any barriers that prevent a business from being accessible to or usable by individuals with disabilities, including equipment and qualified interpretation.

Second, the Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction enables businesses of any size to claim a deduction of up to $15,000 per year for large qualified expenses that need to be capitalized. You can learn more about this tax deduction by reading IRS Publication 535.

The IRS points out that any business can claim both the Disabled Access Credit and the Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction in the same tax year, as long as that business meets the requirements of both sections.

Where to Find Disabled Veterans for Hire

Ready to start hiring disabled veterans? Here are some great places to get started:

  • Hire Heroes USA: Headquartered in Georgia, this organization provides an average of 60 weekly confirmed hires and has close to 3,000 job-ready veterans and spouses on its job board.
  • Job Accommodation Network (JAN): Here you can discover free consulting services to find and recruit disabled veterans across different industries.
  • One-Stop Career Center: This site from the Department of Labor lists state on-site employment offices across the country. For example, I was able to find One-Stop Career Center and two Affiliate One Stops in my zip code. These career centers have local veteran and disabled veteran employment outreach programs already in place.
  • HireVeterans.com: With over 500,000 plus unique visitors, this site is a great place to post your listings to maximize submissions from qualified applicants.
  • Wounded Warrior Project: Through its Warriors to Work employment program, the Warrior Wounded Project can help you connect with qualified candidates.

Bottom Line

According to the veterans’ benefits department director of Paralyzed Veterans of America only about 15 to 20 percent of disabled veterans served by this organization are hired by small businesses.

Given the many benefits, including available tax credits and refunds for necessary training and accommodation, savvy business owners would benefit from hiring more servicemen and servicewomen this holiday season.

Do you hire disabled veterans? Tell us about your business in the comment section below.

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Kabbage Team

The Kabbage Team is here to not only fund the small business loans you need, but to help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at content@kabbage.com.

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