ABOUT THE WOTC
The WOTC (Work Opportunity Tax Credit) is a national program from the US government with the objective of creating job opportunities for American veterans. It was first introduced on August 20, 1996, during the 104th Congress. When companies hire veterans that qualify for the WOTC, they will receive a tax credit. This gives veterans huge leverage in today’s job market. There are currently 5 different WOTC categories a veteran can qualify for, based on certain criteria. One is the period the veteran has been unemployed. Another factor refers to whether the veteran has a service-connected disability or if the veteran is a member of a family under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. You must match at least one of the following criteria shown below to qualify for the WOTC veteran program.
WOTC VETERAN CATEGORIES
A veteran that meets one of the following conditions is considered to be a qualified veteran:
- A disabled veteran entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability hired not more than one1-year after being discharged or released from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
- A disabled veteran entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability who is unemployed for a period totaling at least six months (whether or not consecutive) in one -year period ending on the hiring date.
- Unemployed for a period totaling at least 6 months (whether or not consecutive) in the one1-year period ending on the hiring date.
- Unemployed for a period totaling at least 4 weeks (whether or not consecutive) but less than 6 months in the one1-year period ending on the hiring date.
- A member of a family receiving assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (food stamps) for at least 3 months during the first 15 months of employment.
If you think you will not qualify for the WOTC veteran categories above, there are more categories that you could qualify for.
WHAT THE WOTC CAN DO FOR YOU
Employers are always looking into the job seekers’ qualifications first, so if you qualify for the WOTC and you are the right candidate for the job, your chances of being hired will increase. This gives you as a veteran enormous advantage on the job market. In addition, many American companies are committed to hiring US veterans first.
HOW TO PRE-QUALIFY FOR THE WOTC
During the WOTC pre-screen process, you need to answer some Yes or No questions. By doing this, you will be able to see if you pre-qualify or not. If you do, you can have the “WOTC qualification” icon on your profile. This way, the employers will see what WOTC category you belong to. This process is not final, however, as you and the employer need to fill out form 8850 the day before or on the day you are being hired. To see if you pre-qualify, you can use the pre-screen form.
Get ready for the next steps by entering services you may have acquired under the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) program and other VA training and career assistance programs. Make a successful transition from the military to civilian life and receive the necessary training to prosper in your future career. Every employer should consider hiring veterans. They have the character, skills and strength a company is looking for. If you do not qualify for any WOTC category, do not feel discouraged. Thousands of companies are constantly looking to hire veterans, regardless of their WOTC status. Get tips from our career advice and start searching for veteran jobs.