Veteran's Corner

  
  

What is USERRA

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA, 38 U.S.C. §§ 4301 – 4335) is a federal law intended to ensure that persons who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, Reserves, National Guard or other “uniformed services:” (1) are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service; (2) are promptly reemployed in their civilian jobs upon their return from duty; and (3) are not discriminated against in employment based on past, present, or future military service. The federal government is to be a “model employer” under USERRA. See 38 U.S.C. § 4301.


USERRA clarifies and strengthens the Veterans' Reemployment Rights (VRR) Statute by protecting civilian job rights and benefits for veterans, members of reserve components, and even individuals activated by the President of the United States to provide Federal Response for National Emergencies. USERRA also makes major improvements in protecting service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive U.S. Department of Labor assistance in processing claims of noncompliance.

Throughout its history, the United States government has enacted legislation protecting the men and women who serve in times of armed conflict. During the Civil War,Congress passed legislation protecting service members from legal proceedings they could not attend due to their military commitment. Congress passed the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act during World War I as a means of offering similar protections to service members fighting in Europe. Shortly before the United States entered World War II, Congress passed the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940.

The rationale behind the law lay partly in providing a means for drafted individuals to return to their jobs at the cessation of hostilities. After the war, the United States Supreme Court upheld the spirit of the law’s protections in Fishgold v. Sullivan Drydock 328 U.S. 275,284 (1946) when it held that the Act allowed the reemployment of an employee drafted to fight in World War.  For more information about USERRA click here About USERRA




Special Earnings for Military

 

Since 1957, if you had military service earnings for active duty (including active duty for training), you paid Social Security taxes on those earnings. Since 1988, inactive duty service in the Armed Forces reserves (such as weekend drills) has also been covered by Social Security.

 

Under certain circumstances, special extra earnings for your military service from 1957 through 2001 can be credited to your record for Social Security purposes. These extra earnings credits may help you qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of your Social Security benefit.

 

Special Extra Earnings for Military Service

 

Special extra earnings credits are granted for periods of active duty or active duty for training. Special extra earnings credits are not granted for inactive duty training.

 

If your active military service occurred:

From 1957 through 1967, we will add the extra credits to your record when you apply for Social Security benefits.

From 1968 through 2001, you do not need to do anything to receive these extra credits. The credits were automatically added to your record.
After 2001, there are no special extra earnings credits for military service.

 

How You Get Credit For Special Extra Earnings

 

The information that follows applies only to active duty military service earnings from 1957 through 2001. Here's how the special extra earnings are credited on your record:

 

Service in 1957 Through 1977

You are credited with $300 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay.

 

Service in 1978 through 2001

For every $300 in active duty basic pay, you are credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year. If you enlisted after September 7, 1980, and didn't complete at least 24 months of active duty or your full tour, you may not be able to receive the additional earnings.  Click here for details.

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