Veterans Get Boost as
Obama Signs Tax Credits Into Law
November 24, 2011
President Barack Obama delivered a
clear message today when he signed two new tax credits into law to
increase the hiring of military veterans and wounded warriors.
“For businesses out there, if you are hiring, hire a veteran,” he said.
“It's the right thing to do for you, it's the right thing to do for
them, and it's the right thing to do for our economy.”
In August, Obama called on Congress to enact tax credits, included in
the American Jobs Act, that will help to get unemployed veterans back to
“While we've added more than 350,000 private-sector jobs over the last
three months, we've got 850,000 veterans who can't find work,” the
president said. “And even though the overall unemployment rate came down
just a little bit last month, unemployment for veterans of Iraq and
Afghanistan continued to rise.”
Obama said “that isn’t right,” and he lauded veterans as the “best that
America has to offer.”
“They are some of the most highly trained, highly educated, highly
skilled workers that we have,” he said. “If they can save lives on the
battlefield, then they can save a life in an ambulance.
“If they can manage convoys moving tons of equipment over dangerous
terrain,” he continued, “they can manage a company’s supply chain. If
they can track millions of dollars of assets in Iraq, they can balance
the books of any company here in the United States.”
Obama noted the United States has benefitted “enormously” from veteran’s
service abroad and would benefit greatly from their service at home.
“And that’s why, under my direction, the federal government has already
hired more than 120,000 veterans,” he said.
Obama praised First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice
President Joe Biden, for their efforts in the “Joining Forces” campaign,
which has secured pledges from private-sector companies to hire 135,000
more veterans and military spouses.
“Today, we’re giving those businesses just one more reason to give
veterans a job,” he said.
The president also credited Congress for the legislation. “Today,
because Democrats and Republicans came together, I’m proud to sign those
proposals into law,” he said. “And I urge every business owner out there
who’s hiring to hire a veteran right away.”
Obama pledged continued support to the nation’s veterans and wounded
“So to our veterans, know that we will stand with you as long as it
takes for you to find a job,” he said. “And to our businesses, let me
say again, if you are hiring, hire a veteran.”
The Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides businesses that hire unemployed
veterans with a credit of up to $5,600 per veteran, and the Wounded
Warriors Tax Credit offers a credit of $9,600 per veteran for businesses
that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities.
Under the Recovery Act, employers who hired certain unemployed veterans
were eligible for a tax credit of up to 40 percent of the first $6,000
of wages, for a maximum credit of $2,400 for veterans who had been
unemployed at least four weeks. This credit expired at the end of 2010.
For employers who hire veterans unemployed for longer than six months, a
new credit of 40 percent of the first $14,000 of wages, up to $5,600,
will be applied.
Wounded Warrior Tax Credit will double the existing tax credit for
long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities. A new
credit of 40 percent of the first $24,000 of wages, up to $9,600, will
apply for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities
who have been unemployed longer than six months.
The law will maintain the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit of up to
$4,800 for veterans with service-connected disabilities.
The new tax incentives continue an ongoing effort to ease unemployment
among veterans. A White House statement released today notes that in
August the president challenged the private sector to hire or train
100,000 veterans or military spouses by the end of 2013.
With the help of Joining Forces,, the statement says, more than 1,500
private-sector companies have stepped up so far to employ more than
18,000 veterans and spouses and have committed to hiring 135,000
veterans and spouses by the end of 2013.
“Hire a veteran today,” Obama said at the signing ceremony. “They will
make you proud, just as they've made this nation proud.”