Veterans Priority of Service Policy

Issuance No: P12
Issuance Date: December 3, 2019
Subject: Veterans Priority of Service Policy

The purpose of this policy is to clarify the priority of service for veterans in WIOA Title I programs and services in accordance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Training and Employment Guidance Letters (TEGLs), policies of the Missouri Office of Workforce Development (OWD), and the Northwest Workforce Development Board (NW WDB).

According to Department of Labor (DOL) TEGL 3-15, veterans and eligible spouses receive priority of service for all DOL-funded job training programs, which include WIOA programs. However, as described in TEGL 10-09, when programs are statutorily required to provide priority for a particular group of individuals, priority must be provided in the following order:

  • First – to veterans and eligible spouses who are also included in the groups given statutory priority for WIOA Adult formula funds.  This means that veterans and eligible spouses who are also recipients of public assistance, other low-income individuals, or individuals who are basic skills deficient would receive first priority for services provided with WIOA adult formula funds.  The NW WDB developed a “Determining Basic Skills Deficiency” policy and notes which instruments will be used to assess basic skills deficiency (see NW WDB Administrative and Program Procedures P8 on the NW WDB website []). 
  • Second – to non-covered persons (that is, individuals who are not veterans or eligible spouses) who are included in the groups given priority for WIOA Adult formula funds.
  • Third – to veterans and eligible spouses who are not included in WIOA’s priority groups.
  • Last – to non-covered persons outside the groups given priority under WIOA.

Veterans Qualification:

A veteran is a person who served at least one day in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released there from conditions other than dishonorable.  Active service includes full-time Federal service in the National Guard or a Reserve component.  This definition of “active service” does not include full-time duty performed strictly for training purposes (i.e., that which often is referred to as “weekend” or “annual” training), nor does it include full-time active duty performed by National Guard personnel who are mobilized by state rather than Federal authorities, such as mobilization in response to events such as natural disasters).

Eligible Spouse Qualification (must meet one of the qualifications below):

  • A spouse of any veteran who died or has a service-connected disability; or
  • A spouse of any member of the Armed Forces serving on active duty who, at the time of application for priority, is listed in one or more of the following categories and has been so listed for a total of more than 90 days:
    • Missing in action; or
    • Captured in the line of duty by a hostile force; or
    • Forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power; or
  • A spouse of a veteran who has a total disability resulting from service-connected disability, as evaluated by the Department of Veteran Affairs; or
  • A spouse of any veteran who died while a disability was in existence.

The processes for identifying covered persons will not require verification of the status of an individual as a covered person at the point of entry unless they immediately undergo eligibility determination and enrollment in a program.  Covered person may be enrolled and given immediate priority and then be permitted to follow-up subsequently with any required verification of his/her status as a covered person.  If the Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) and/or Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) staff is available, and eligible veteran or eligible spouse requests assistance from the DVOP/LVER, a local process has been developed for notifying the DVOP/LVER that such person has requested assistance.

Priority of Service will be ensured by:

  • Identifying veterans and other covered persons using the acceptable documentation;
  • Coordinating service delivery, outreach, employer and all other related activities with Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) and Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) staff;
  • Identifying employers who are interested in hiring veterans;
  • Promoting job fairs for veterans and eligible spouses; and
  • Assisting veterans and eligible spouses before other customers.

WIOA Title I staff will cooperatively with Wagner-Peyser, Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) and Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists to encourage additional referrals to the WIOA programs for veterans.