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The Benefits of Using Disabled Veterans in Healthcare

The Benefits of Using Disabled Veterans in Healthcare

The adage that “Good help is hard to find” has never been more true than it is today, particularly as it relates to medical staffing. A healthcare staffing crisis that was growing slowly before the pandemic has accelerated rapidly since, leading to long wait times, difficult transitions and reduced quality of care. 

Many hospitals have employed creative means of bringing their staffing needs in line with availability. Tasks are streamlined, workloads are combined and new methods of patient care are employed to make the best use of what personnel are available. 

But sometimes, streamlining and creative solutions just can’t close the gap. Hospital staffing is a complex issue, often requiring specific skill sets and flexible availability that doesn’t lend itself to last minute hires or long term employment.

Fortunately, there is a population of labor who have flexible availability, moderate to low hiring demand, and often training in various types of skilled labor. 

If your hospital needs to utilize temporary staffing, consider seeking out disabled veteran temporary staffing


Temporary Hiring: Covering Peaks of Activity 

Temporary hiring is a great option if certain departments of your hospital have semi-predictable peaks of activity. The trouble is that good workers often find something else to do when they are laid off between peaks, making it necessary to find new hires every time a need arises.

The trick to successfully utilizing temporary hiring on a long term basis is to find people who are capable of filling the role with competence and reliability, but who don’t have an immediate need to keep up full time employment. For such a labor force, disabled veterans are excellent candidates.


Disabled Veterans: An Underutilized Resource

When many people hear the words “disabled veteran” they might imagine someone in a wheelchair or with a missing hand, but the term is much broader than this image would suggest. In addition to amputees, the category can include people with impaired hearing, reduced joint mobility in one or more limbs, or other impairments that, while challenging, do not stop these brave men and women from performing well in various tasks. 


Veterans Know How To Show Up and Work

During their time in the military, veterans were acclimated to being reliable, punctual and competent. From Basic Military Training they were taught the importance of taking care of the tools of their trades, tending to personal grooming and managing their time. They are also not strangers to bureaucracy, changing plans, and other inevitabilities of working in a large organization. 

The advantages don’t end there. Veterans have experience working with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds, and with forming strong team bonds with their coworkers, however temporary the arrangement. Many have been through some form of leadership training and all know how to follow orders. 

If you are having a hard time attracting temporary labor, and are finding that your temporary hires are not returning the next time you have need of them, maybe it is time to reach out to the local veteran community. 


Veterans Thrive on Short Term Employment

Depending on the level of their disability, veterans are compensated by the military on a monthly basis. While this income isn’t generally enough to live on, it does provide a foundational level of solvency that lets them be flexible in when and where they work. 

Veterans with physical impairments like a bad back may be able to put in a few days of work at a time before needing to rest for a week or so; depending on your temporary staffing needs this rhythm of work and rest could fit very well with your hospital’s requirements.

Veterans Are Often Trained in Skilled Labor

While some servicemembers specialize in areas that involve mainly firearms, ordnance and combat, there are at least as many who work the trades within the military. 

Professional Trades Opportunities

Plumbing, HVAC and electrical workers are needed on every base, as are mechanics, engineers and janitors. 

Medical Personnel Opportunities

In addition there are many fields that overlap with civilian medical professions, from medics to dental hygienists. While these personnel may need additional training in order to be licensed to work equivalent jobs in the private sector, they will still be potentially helpful in a hospital setting. Orderlies and even janitors who know their way around an injury or illness and can lend a hand in a moment of crisis are invaluable to a hospital’s function. 

Office Work Job Openings

Finally, if there’s one thing in which the military excels, it is the production of paperwork. When hospital  records departments become swamped and temporary help is needed, it is easy to find disabled veterans who know their way around a filing cabinet and an excel sheet. 


Veteran Hiring Incentives

There are many practical reasons to hire veterans, but are you aware that there are also tax incentives to hire disabled veterans? 

The US government, grateful to its military members for their sacrificial service, incentivizes civilian organizations to hire disabled veterans under some circumstances. 

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit rewards employers who hire from groups who face employment challenges, including disabled military veterans. 

Who Qualifies For the Tax Credit?

There are several categories of veterans who's hiring qualifies the employer for tax breaks under WOTC. 

Temporary & Part Time Unemployment

Hiring a veteran who has been unemployed for a minimum of four weeks in the previous year grants eligibility for savings under the WOTC. When hiring on a temporary basis the advantages of this quickly become apparent, as the times when the veteran is temporarily unemployed add up to four weeks and the tax credit comes into effect thereafter.

Additionally, if a veteran was unemployed for a minimum of six of the last twelve months, the new employer’s qualification for WOTC will begin immediately upon their hiring.

SNAP Eligibility

If the veteran or a family member is eligible for SNAP, WOTC savings apply. 

Stacking Eligibilities

If a disabled veteran falls into two or more of the above categories, the tax savings under the WOTC may be considerably more substantial. 

Other Tax Credits

In addition to the WOTC there are other applicable credits that can make hiring disabled veterans a good financial move. 

Wounded Warrior Tax Credits

Hiring a veteran disabled by a service-related injury within one year of his or her discharge from the military qualifies the employer for a tax credit of 40% of the first $24000 in wages.

Wounded Warrior Tax Credits also incentivize hiring disabled veterans who have been unemployed for at least six of the last 12 months.

In addition, tax exempt organizations can be credited against social security taxes for hiring veterans eligible under Wounded Warrior incentives. 

SEI Programs 

Special Employer Incentive programs can help reimburse training and equipment cost when eligible disabled veterans are brought onto staff. They can also reimburse up to half the veteran’s salary for the first six months on the job.


Finding & Hiring Disabled Veterans

There are lots of reasons to hire disabled veterans for temporary staffing. If an employer decided to go this route, how would they begin? 

Finding Veterans to Hire 

If you aren’t sure where to start, contact your Regional Veteran’s Employment Coordinator. These workers with the US Department of Labor maintain databases of veterans who are looking for work and can help you get in touch with a veteran who has the skills that you require in order to fill your temporary position. 

To contact your local employment coordinator, go to the US Department of Labor webpage dedicated to hiring veterans and choose your regional office from the list.  

The page also has a PDF download of the DOL Employer Guide to Hiring Veterans, which is full of important information on how to take full advantage of the strengths of US military veterans, as well as how to receive the full benefit of incentives.

Taking Advantage of Employer Tax Incentives

When you hire a disabled veteran for your staffing needs, you become eligible for substantial tax incentives. But in order for these incentives to be applied you will need to complete the necessary paperwork.

WOTC: Necessary Documentation

If you plan to claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit you will need to complete pre-screening and certification before hiring, and then fill out forms at tax time. 

Employee Pre-Screening

Under WOTC the employee must be pre-screened to ensure eligibility for the credit. The employee and employer must fill out Form 8850 on or before the date of the job offer in order to qualify. It’s important that this pre screening be completed prior to the job offer being made, to signify that the employer is hiring the employee specifically in order to hire within the group targeted by the WOTC. 

For questions regarding Form 8850, contact your local State Workforce Agency. 

Tax Forms & Claims

At tax time the employer will have to fill out forms in order to claim the WOTC and other credits.

Employer Business Taxes

If your hospital is a taxable business you will need to file forms 5884 and 3800,

Qualified Tax Exempt Employers

If your hospital is tax exempt, filing Form 5884-C will allow you to claim part of the veteran’s income against the employer’s share of social security tax due on their income. 


Helping Vets Find Qualified Employment

For all the practical reasons to hire disabled veterans, there are also many intangible reasons to do so. Our brave veterans gave up a lot to serve.

Many return to find reintegration difficult and discouraging. They struggle to belong and need a new purpose.  A job in a healthcare setting can provide that for them.

Build the Reputation As a Community Fixture

Whatever your hospital’s business model, a reputation for helping the community’s valued veteran community is an asset that shouldn’t be lightly dismissed. When your hiring practices reflect values like patriotism and honor, the local population begins to take your side. 

A HIRE Vets Medalion or a page of your website devoted to describing your veteran hiring policies will send a clear message to the public that your hospital is committed to ensuring that these heroes have a fulfilling role in your organization. 

HireVets Medallion 

This is the only federal level award for organizations and institutions that hire veterans.

To qualify you will need to have a minimum percentage of new or retained employees be veterans, and have some amount of veteran integration assistance such as a leadership program or pay differential program.  You can learn more about this medallion here.


A Potential Victory For Everyone

When you identify your hospital’s staffing needs and find that temporary staffing can play a crucial role in fulfilling them, many possibilities suddenly arise in your hospital’s future. Such a diverse, flexible and qualified labor pool as that provided by disabled veterans will allow you to confidently overcome the challenges presented by a changing workforce, bringing stability, competence and leadership.

Reinforce your hospital’s local reputation as a lynchpin of the community and at the same time take advantage of tax incentives by finding disabled veterans to fill your temporary staffing needs today. 

Advance your career. Change your life. - HospitalCareers