Serving Veteran Spouses
American Bar Association’s (ABA) Military and Veterans Legal Center
The ABA Military and Veterans Legal Center brings together all of the ABA entities, programs, and projects focused on legal services for military personnel, veterans, and their families, and provides access to all of these ABA resources to both the public as well as legal professionals.
Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, (SP-15)
The Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, (SP-15) is an employment form from the federal agency, Office of Personnel Management. Veterans and relatives of veterans (spouses, widows/widowers, and mothers) can use this form to claim veteran preference when applying for jobs with the federal government.
Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA)
This group provides free or low-cost programs to support veteran spouses with childcare services, child development programs, early learning classes, health and wellness services, and more.
CalVet Department of Veterans Services
CalVet Department of Veterans Services is committed to ensuring all Veterans have access to and receive the benefits they have earned without regard to sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability. The Minority Veterans Division promotes the use of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, programs, and services. They advocate on behalf of veterans by identifying gaps in services and by making recommendations to improve service. They support and initiate activities that educate and sensitize the public to the unique needs of our Veterans with disability and accessibility needs.
Department of Defense Spouse Education and Career Opportunities
The Department of Defense’s Spouse Education Career Opportunities (SECO) program offers veteran spouses the use of government-sponsored career and education resources, networking opportunities, and collaboration with employment counselors. SECO also partners with the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) and My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) scholarship program.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
HUD’s mission is to give every person and family access to a safe, secure, and affordable home including ensuring fair and equal access to housing for all Americans, regardless of their disability or accessibility need. HUD is working to promote, strengthen, and create opportunities for inclusion in its federal programs and regulations.
Department of Labor (DOL)
Department of Labor (DOL) offers the following programs and services:
- DOL VETS: Military Spouses-Employment
- DOL VETS: Military Spouse Interstate License Recognition
- Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) helps veterans reach their full potential. VETS mission is to prepare American’s veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses for meaningful careers.
- Transition Assistance Program (TAP): This program provides information, tools, and training to ensure service members and their spouses are prepared for the next step in civilian life.
- Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG): This program provides federal funding, through a formula grant, to 54 SWAs to hire dedicated staff to provide individualized career and training-related services to veterans and eligible persons with significant barriers to employment and to assist employers in filling their workforce needs to with job-seeking veterans.
- Employment and Training Administration (ETA): The ETA administers federal government job training, apprenticeship and worker dislocation programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs, and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems.
- American Jobs Centers (AJCs) and Career One Stops: Located in all states and territories, the network of nearly 2,500 AJCs provides a wide array of employment-related services.
- Veterans’ Employment & Training Service (VETS). The mission of VETS is to prepare America’s veterans, service members, and their spouses, for meaningful careers, provide them with employment resources and expertise, protect their employment rights, and promote their employment opportunities. The VETS provides an online portal designed specifically for military spouses.
- Transition Employment Assistance for Military Spouses and Caregivers (TEAMS). TEAMS is a series of DOL employment workshops that extend the Department’s Transition Assistance Program to assist military spouses and caregivers as they plan and prepare for their job search in pursuit of their employment goals. All TEAMS workshops are instructor-led virtual training, provided at a variety of times, to meet the needs of individuals stationed throughout the world.
- Off-Base Transition Training (OBTT). This pilot program is an opportunity earned through service for veterans, veterans currently serving in the National Guard and Reserve, and their spouses to take control of their career through workshops to help meet their employment goals. OBTT offers the opportunity for the client to move their career forward.
- National Veterans’ Training Institute (NVTI): NVTI provides specialized training and professional skills enhancement for veterans’ service providers’ staff. Focusing primarily on training individuals who help veterans secure long-term employment, NVTI is committed to ensuring those who are tasked with this critical responsibility have the knowledge and tools necessary to perform their jobs effectively.
- Customized Employment: Customized Employment is a strategy within Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). It is a process for achieving competitive integrated employment or self-employment through a relationship between employee and employer that is personalized to meet the needs of both. Customized employment is a universal strategy that benefits many people, including people with disabilities who might not have found success through other employment strategies. The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) helps American Job Centers incorporate customized employment services into their offerings.
- Military Spouse Fact Sheet: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WB/mib/WB-MilSpouse-factsheet.pdf
- Off-Base Transition Training (OBTT): OBTT is a program offered by the U.S. Department of Labor in their Veterans’ Employment and Training Service division. OBTT helps veterans build their brand, refine their resumes, and take steps to plan their career.
- Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA): VEVRAA is a law that prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against protected veterans and requires employers take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain these individuals.
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA): WIOA is landmark legislation which became law on July 22, 2014. WIOA is “designed to strengthen and improve our nation’s public workforce system and help get Americans, including youth and those with significant barriers to employment, into high-quality jobs and careers and help employers hire and retain skilled workers.” Its main goal is to help job seekers acquire gainful employment and to match employers with skilled workers. This partnership helps companies and hiring organizations to be competitive in the global marketplace. WIOA is the first legislative reform pertaining to the workforce since the late 1990s.
Department of Veterans Affairs
- Adapted Housing Grants: Adapted Housing Grants from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) offers housing grants for veterans and service members with certain service-connected disabilities so they can buy or change a home to meet their needs and live more independently. Changing a home might involve installing ramps or widening doorways. To check eligibility and how to apply, visit:
https://www.va.gov/housing-assistance/disability-housing-grants/how-to-apply/ and https://www.va.gov/housing-assistance/disability-housing-grants/
- Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) CHAMPVA: If a veteran client doesn’t qualify for TRICARE, they may be able to get health insurance through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA). Through this program, the cost of some health care services and supplies are covered by VA via cost-sharing. This service is typically available to spouses of veterans who have been rated permanently and totally disabled for a service-connected disability, surviving spouses of veterans who died from a service-connected disability, or surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty.
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC): Surviving spouses, children, or parents of a service member who has died in the line of duty, or the survivor of a veteran who died from a service-related injury or illness may be able to get this tax-free monetary benefit.
- Health Care for Re-entry Veterans Services and Resources (HCRV): HCRV is a program designed to promote success and prevent homelessness among veterans returning home after incarceration. Some of the services included are outreach, referrals, and short-term case management.
- How to Apply for a Discharge Upgrade: Answer a series of questions to get customized step-by-step instructions on how to apply for a discharge upgrade or correction. If your application goes through and your discharge is upgraded, you’ll be eligible for the VA benefits you earned during your period of service.
- Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC): Resource for veteran spouses or other family members who act as caregiver of veterans with a VA disability rating (individual or combined) of 70% or higher. If veterans qualify for these services, them and their families can expect to receive help with regards to their health and well-being, everyday personal needs (like feeding, bathing, and dressing), and safety, protection, or instruction in their daily living environment.
- Survivor’s and Dependents’ Educational Assistance: VA resource to learn about the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program. If you’re the child or spouse of a Veteran or service member who has died, is captured or missing, or has disabilities, you may be able to get help paying for school or job training through the DEA program—also called Chapter 35. Find out if you’re eligible for this benefit.
- VA Benefits for Family Members: As the spouse or dependent child of a Veteran or service member, you may qualify for certain benefits, like health care, life insurance, or money to help pay for school or training. As the survivor of a Veteran or service member, you may qualify for added benefits, including help with burial costs and survivor compensation. If you’re caring for a Veteran, you may also be eligible for support to help you better care for the Veteran—and for yourself. Find out which benefits you may qualify for and how to access them.
- VA Community Resource and Referral Centers (CRRCs): CRRCs provide veterans who are homeless and at risk of homelessness with one-stop access to community-based, multiagency services to promote permanent housing, health and mental health care, career development and access to VA and non-VA benefits.
- VA Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers: We recognize the important role of family caregivers in supporting the health and wellness of Veterans. Find out if you may be eligible and how to apply for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC).
- VA DoD eBenefits: eBenefits is a joint VA/DoD web portal that provides resources and self-service capabilities to Veterans, Service members, and their families to research, access and manage their VA and military benefits and personal information. eBenefits uses secure credentials to allow access to personal information and gives users the ability to perform numerous self-service functions. It also provides a list of links to other sites that provide information about military and Veteran benefits. It is an essential way for Veterans, Service members, and their families to receive access to and service from VA and DoD. https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/about/feature?feature=va-letters
- VA Education Benefits for Survivors and Dependents: Find out if you’re eligible for VA education benefits for dependents and survivors (also called Chapter 35 benefits). If you’re a dependent spouse or child—or the surviving spouse or child—of a Veteran, you may qualify for Chapter 35 benefits or job training through a GI Bill program. https://www.va.gov/education/survivor-dependent-benefits/
- VA Locator for State Departments: Provides information on how to find a state National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA) by state or territory. NASDVA is comprised of the State Directors and in some cases, Commissioners of Veterans Affairs in each state of the U.S. as well as the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Although each state is unique, with its own traditions, programs, and resources, they are united by a common goal to make a difference in the lives of our veterans and their families.
- Vet Centers Bereavement Counseling: Bereavement counseling (also sometimes called “grief counseling”) provides assistance and support for people going through emotional and psychological stress after the death of a loved one. Bereavement counseling includes a broad range of transition services, including outreach, counseling, and referral services to family members. If you’re the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a service member who died while serving our country, you may qualify for bereavement counseling through VA Vet Centers. https://www.vetcenter.va.gov/Bereavement_Counseling.asp
- Vet Centers Eligibility: Offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, vet centers provide counseling services to veterans. “Our services are also available to family members when their participation would support the growth and goals of the veteran or service member. We also offer bereavement services to family members of veterans who were receiving Vet Center services at the time of the veteran’s death, and to the families of service members who died while serving on active duty.
- Veteran Coffee Socials enhance communication and foster bonds among veterans, their spouses, and others in the community. They are a place to meet friends, find resources, and have fun with other veterans and community members.
Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families. DAV is dedicated to empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. They ensure veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them, fighting for the interests of American’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill, and educating the public about the great sacrifice and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life.
DoD Priority Placement Program for Military Spouses
DoD program specifically supporting veteran spouses, which preferences veteran spouses for federal jobs within the United States. Although this program does not ensure a job for every veteran spouse, it does open doors for veteran spouses that meet the program requirements and are qualified for the job.
DoD Shared List
DoD Shared List is a user- friendly database where qualified job seekers with disabilities, who are eligible for employment under the Schedule A Hiring Authority, can post their resume and credentials to be considered for priority employment with the Federal Government.
Easter Seals Blog
eVetRecs – Request Veteran Records
eVetRecs – Request Veteran Records is an online system where you can make a new request to obtain a veteran’s records or to check the status of an existing request.
Family Support offers services led by licensed clinical staff for all military families, including veteran and active-duty service members, their spouses, and children.
Families are invited to engage with our support staff to address their emergency and long-term needs for financial assistance, counseling referrals, and connection to services offered by collaborating partners.
Feds Hire Vets
Feds Hire Vets is a federal government program. Managed by the Office of Personnel Management, Feds Hire Vets is a single site for federal employment information for veterans, transitioning military service members, their families, and federal hiring officials.
Families Over Coming Under Stress (FOCUS)
This group focuses on helping military families develop skills to overcome challenges that are common among military families.
Hiring Our Heroes
Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) recognizes that military spouses’ careers are impacted by their service members’ military service. That’s why every HOH event and program is open to military and veteran spouses as well as military caregivers.
MilConnect Portal is an online location where service members can request their DD214, DD215, Report of Separation, or other release papers. The milConnect portal is available online at: https://milconnect.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect/
Military.com has compiled a link on their website titled “Your 2021 State Veterans Benefits.” State benefits range from free college and employment resources to free hunting and fishing licenses for veterans. Most states also offer tax breaks for their veterans and specialized license plates, some states even provide their veterans with cash bonuses just for serving in the military. Each summary page also has a link directly to the specific State Department of Veterans Affairs, be sure to check it out. For more information about Military.com’s listing of state veteran benefits, visit:
Military OneSource provides personalized support and care for military spouses, this group focuses on providing veteran spouses with practical and proven information, connecting them with experts who can help, and providing additional resources and tools to enable spouses to ultimately procure the help they need
Military Spouse—Military Life
The MilSpouse Roadmap is an interactive tool that outlines three common career pathways: entrepreneurship and self-employment, remote work, and reskilling and upskilling – it provides specific steps, suggestions and resources to help the military spouse along the way.
National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH)
NDVH provides hope for survivors by answering the call to support and shifting power back to people affected by relationship abuse.
National Resource Directory
National Resource Directory is a searchable database of resources vetted for service members, veterans, family members, and caregivers.
National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP)
NVLSP is a national nonprofit organization that has worked since 1981 to ensure that the government delivers to our nation’s 22 million veterans and active duty personnel the benefits to which they are entitled because of disabilities resulting from their military service to our country.
Project New Hope is a New England–based, military-affiliated, resource hub that finds and delivers the wellness resources needed by veterans, servicemembers, their families, and full units that have deployed together. Their network of support allows them the ability to identify and align the appropriate support by wrapping services and resources around the entire family. 2021 initiatives include no-cost retreats for PTS, TBI, MST, LGBTQ+, women veterans, and caregivers.
Service Members, Veterans, and their Families Technical Assistance Center (SMVF-TA). The DHHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) SMVF-TA Center provides technical assistance support to state and territory, military and civilian interagency teams working to strengthen behavioral health systems that assist service members, veterans, and their families.
Social Security Administration
For information about how to get a new or replacement Social Security card, visit: https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/
Strengthening America’s Military Families
Report of the Joining Forces Interagency Policy Committee-September 2021
Protocol for Implementing Priority of Service for Veterans and Eligible Spouses provides the definition of an eligible spouse.
Nonprofit organization that provides educational assistance for military children and spouses.
Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA)
(USFSPA) was enacted into law by Congress in 1982. USFSPA offers some financial protection to certain former spouses of servicemembers. For example, USFSPA allows states to divide military disposable retired pay as marital property upon divorce. It also allows some former spouses (through a court order) to be awarded a share of military retired pay, either from the member or by direct payment from DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and to obtain medical care and certain other benefits.
Vet Guide for HR Professionals
Explanation of veteran and spouse preference for federal employment.
Veteran Service Officers (VSO)
VSO offers free services to help veterans write and submit benefits claims to the VA. The VSO helps veterans gather the information that supports their claims. Once the claim is filed, they will help veterans track the claim through the system. They can also help veterans file appeals for denied claims.
Veteran Spouse Network
The Veteran Spouse Network facilitates a community of peer support for military and veteran spouses and committed partners, providing opportunities to engage and connect to helpful resources and a community of support.
Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) Program
The VTC model is based on the drug and mental health courts that have existed for nearly 30 years. Unlike traditional criminal courts, the primary purpose of a VTC is not to determine whether a defendant is guilty of an offense, but rather to ensure that the defendant receives treatment to address unmet clinical needs. For more information regarding the VTC, visit https://justiceforvets.org/what-is-a-veterans-treatment-court/
Veteran Spouse Resiliency Group (V-SRG)
This group seeks to provide a support group and safe haven for those who want to connect with other veteran spouses to receive support and advice, or simply a listening ear.
Virginia Veteran and Family Support (VVFS)
VVFS understands that change in life causes stress for veterans and their families. To support those undergoing major changes, VVFS provides a website full of resources addressing employment, health care, housing, substance abuse, and other potentially stressful issues that veteran families may be experiencing.