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Employment rights for veterans with disabilities

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, publishes a guide titled, "Veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)" which contains information for veterans about the employment rights of individuals with disabilities.

According to government statistics, between October 2001 and February 2008, more than 30,000 veterans serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and surrounding duty stations have been wounded in action.  Many of them have lost a hand or limb or been severely burned or blinded. Others have been diagnosed with hearing loss, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and other service-connected disabilities.  Despite their injuries, many veterans who leave active duty are able to work.

At least two federal laws provide important protections for veterans with
disabilities: The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and the ADA.

This short guide answers questions that veterans with service-connected disabilities may have about the protections they are entitled to when they seek to return to their former jobs or look to find their first, or new, civilian jobs. 

Among the specific questions addressed are the following:
- How does USERRA differ from the ADA?
- I was severely injured during active duty but don’t think of myself as “disabled.” How do I know if I am protected by the ADA?
- Is an employer required to hire me over other applicants because I have a service-connected disability?
-  Do I have to disclose an injury or illness that is not obvious during an interview or indicate on a job application that I have a disability?
-  What types of reasonable accommodations may I want to request for the application process or on the job?
-  Where can I find more information on USERRA and the ADA?

The guide also explains changes or adjustments that veterans may need, because of their injuries, to apply for or perform a job or to enjoy equal access to the workplace.  Finally, this guide includes resources on where veterans can find more information about the employment rights of individuals with disabilities.

You can view the guide by clicking here.

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