Support of Families
Various programs support the families of Veterans. Significant efforts are underway to determine the best approaches to support physical, mental, and educational needs of military families.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
In some cases, veterans and military families may experience situations mandating temporary leave from employment. Should these circumstances transpire, FMLA1 entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.
Two provisions to the FMLA pertain to military family members. Both provisions apply to the families of members in both the active duty and reserve components of the Armed Forces.2
- Qualifying Exigency Leave permits military family members to take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave during any 12-month period to address issues that arise during a military member’s deployment to a foreign country, such as attending military sponsored functions, making appropriate financial and legal arrangements, and arranging for alternative childcare.
- Military Caregiver Leave allows family members of a covered service member to take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave during a single 12-month period to care for the service member who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty on active duty.
National Resource Directory (NRD)
The National Resource Directory (NRD) is a partnership among the Departments of Defense (DOD), Labor (DOL) and Veterans Affairs (VA). The information contained within the NRD comes from federal, state, and local government agencies; veterans service and benefit organizations; non-profit and community-based organizations; academic institutions; and professional associations that provide assistance to wounded warriors and their families. It provides access to services and resources at the national, state, and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation, and community reintegration, and includes benefits and compensation, education and training, employment, family and caregiver support, health, homelessness assistance, housing, transportation, travel, volunteer opportunities and other services and resources. The NRD’s Veterans Job Bank connects unemployed veterans to job openings with companies that want to hire them. The partnership between leading job search companies enables employers to tag job postings for veterans. It launched with more than 500,000 job listings, and includes employer and job board job postings, tagged on their own websites. To learn more, visit
http://www.nationalresourcedirectory.gov/ and http://www.nationalresourcedirectory.gov/home/veterans_job_bank.
The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), National Guard Bureau and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) created the VetCorps program to focus on reintegration and helping returning veterans and their families access critical services and support they need, ranging from social, mental, and physical health services to housing and employment assistance. VetCorps recruits up to 100 full-time veterans for AmeriCorps and AmericaCorps Vista members and places them with community organizations. To learn more, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/newsroom/releases_detail.asp?tbl_pr_id=2050.
Virtually Enhanced Transition Assistance Program (VTAP)
The DOD redesigned the online component of TAP, creating a Virtually Enhanced Transition Assistance Program (VTAP). Launched in early 2011, VTAP first provided a limited release of an online DOD Career Decision Toolkit and TAP Virtual Learning Seminars, which offer virtual resources enabling users to tailor their transition experiences. Although the virtual learning opportunities are primarily being marketed to service members, military spouses and family members are allowed to participate in online sessions and utilize the site’s resources. VTAP is currently in its beta release and is being provided for demonstration purposes only. DOD is also modernizing TurboTap.org and is working to engage service members through social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. To learn more, visit
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA):
1 U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. (n.d). Family and Medical Leave Act. Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/index.htm
2 Internal Revenue Service. (2012, March 27). Expanded work opportunity tax credit available for hiring qualified veterans. Retrieved from http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=253949,00.html.