Why Do Job Applications Ask If You’re A Veteran?

When filling out job applications, there are a number of standard questions you can expect. There’s one you’ll frequently see, though, which may warrant further explanation. Why do employers ask about your veteran status?

We’ll answer that question below. As well, we’ll explain how to determine whether or not you’re a protected veteran.


In order to understand why employers ask about your veteran status, we need to look at the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). Essentially, this act is designed to ensure that veterans aren’t discriminated against in the job market. 

VEVRAA was originally created in the wake of the Vietnam War due to the negative bias that those veterans faced.

Despite the name, you’re likely covered by the act if you served in the military, even if you served after the Vietnam War. These protections were expanded in 2014, and since then veteran unemployment rates have actually become lower than civilian rates.

Employers who are contracted by the federal government for projects totalling $100,000 or more are required to comply with VEVRAA, which makes it especially relevant for veterans in the construction industry. 

There are a number of things employers are required to do to ensure VEVRAA compliance, but for the purpose of this question, it’s important to note that employers have specific benchmarks which they need to be looking at to determine whether they’re successfully onboarding and retaining veteran workers.

What Is Protected Veteran Status?

VEVRAA covers veterans who are disabled or recently-separated, as well as veterans who received a service medal.

It also covers veterans who served during wartime. This means that if you served in the military at any point during or after August 1990, you are protected under VEVRAA because you served while the United States was at war.

Please note that spouses are also protected by VEVRAA. This has only been clarified recently, which means that military spouses who previously thought they were not covered should check again.

Medical Talent – Strengthening America’s Workforce

Medical Talent is a veteran-owned people company. This perspective allows us to understand how military experience best translates into the civilian workforce.

Whether you are ready to speak with us about great work opportunities, or you just have questions and need help navigating through your career search, Medical Talent is here for you.

This article is part of a series on Strengthening America’s Workforce.

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