Policy Chapters and Sections

Service Priorities

Chapter: 5 Section: 6
Effective Date: 7/1/2015
Expiration Date: Continuing
Published Date: 12/8/2021 12:34:10 PM
Status: Current
Version: 3

Tags: Eligibility

Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), priority requirements under the Adult and Dislocated Worker programs are given to individuals with connections to the military.

  1. Veterans and eligible spouses continue to receive priority of service for all USDOL-funded job training programs, which include WIOA programs.
  2. A veteran who is eligible or spouse of an eligible veteran who is entitled to receive priority of service is a person who has served at least one (1) day in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released from service under any condition other than a condition classified as dishonorable is a covered person.
    1. This definition includes Reserve units and National Guard units activated for Federal Service.
    2. Please reference TEGL 10-09 for further discussion on who is a covered person under these provisions and how to determine the status of veterans and their eligible spouses.
  3. Local areas must establish written policies and procedures to ensure priority for the populations described above for participants served in the WIOA Adult program, for eligibility determinations.
  4. Exiting service members and their spouses may be treated as dislocated workers under the following guidance.
    1. Under TEGL 22-04, service members exiting the military, including, but not limited to, recipients of Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Military members (UCX), generally qualify as dislocated workers.
      1. Dislocated Worker funds under Title IB can help separating service members to enter or reenter the civilian labor force. Generally a separating service member needs a notice of separation, either a DD-214 from the Department of Defense, or other appropriate documentation that shows a separation or imminent separation from the Armed Forces qualifies as the notice of termination or layoff, to meet the required dislocated worker definition.
      2. Additionally, in most instances an individual will have to be eligible for or exhausted entitlement to unemployment compensation in order to receive dislocated worker services.
      3. In the case of separating service members, because they may be on a terminal leave from the military, it may make sense to begin providing career services while the service member may still be part of the Active Duty military, but has an imminent separation date.
      4. It is appropriate to provide career services to separating service members who will be imminently separating from the military, provided that their discharge will be anything other than dishonorable.
      5. Lastly, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) policy generally dictates that a separating service member meets the dislocated worker requirement that an individual is unlikely to return to his or her previous industry or occupation.
    2. Regarding military spouses, WIOA expands the definition of dislocated workers to include military spouses who have lost employment as a direct result of a relocation to accommodate a permanent change in duty station of the spouse.
      1. Military spouses may also qualify if they are a dependent spouse of a member of the Armed Forces on active duty whose family income is significantly reduced, as determined by the State or local area, because of a deployment, a call or order to active duty, a permanent change of station, or the service-connected death or disability of the service member.
      2. Military spouses also can qualify if they are unemployed or underemployed and are experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment as defined under WIOA.

WIOA Section 3 - Definitions

USDOL (TEGL) No. 22-04, Change 1, Serving Military Spouses as Dislocated Workers under the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker Formula Grant (September 28, 2007)

USDOL Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 22-04, Serving Military Service Members and Military Spouses under the WIA Dislocated Worker Formula Grant (March 22, 2005)

USDOL Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL)No. 10-09, Implementing Priority of Service for Veterans and Eligible Spouses in all Qualified Job Training Programs Funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) (November 10, 2009)

USDOL Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 19-16, Guidance on Services provided through the Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Wagner-Peyser Act Employment Service (ES), as amended by title III of WIOA, and for Implementation of the WIOA Final Rules (March 01, 2017)

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