Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Julia Brownley’s (D-CA) bill to ensure that veterans with service-connected disabilities – regardless of age – can prepare for, find, and maintain meaningful careers.

As the co-chair of the House Democratic Caucus’s Reinvesting in Our Returning Heroes Task Force, Congresswoman Brownley introduced the Reduce Unemployment for Veterans of All Ages Act as part of the Task Force’s veterans jobs agenda. Her bill would lift the arbitrary 12-year time limit on when veterans with service-connected disabilities can participate in the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program. VR&E helps veterans obtain employment through job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and skills coaching. In FY 2017, 90 percent of veterans who achieved rehabilitation from an employment plan had a job in the prior year. Veterans who successfully completed the program also earned $18,000 more in individual income than those who did not complete the program.

“Our nation’s veterans – especially those who come home with the wounds of war – deserve access to all the resources they need to succeed in the 21st Century economy,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “Our servicemembers gain invaluable experience and technical skills during their time in uniform, and we need to do more to ensure, regardless of age, that they can succeed in the job market and have the dignity of supporting themselves and their families. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to get this important bill signed into law.”

Brownley’s legislation is supported by the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Her bill was incorporated into the Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William ‘Bill’ Mulder Transition Improvement Act, which passed the House today.

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