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Employment -- Question & Answer Listing  
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Question / Answer

Question:
Are there employment limitations if I am drawing Social Security Disability benefits?

Answer:
There are a number of special rules, called "work incentives," that allow you to continue drawing Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits while you work on a regular basis. In general, the more income you earn, the less cash benefits you will receive. However, it is recommended that you contact your local Social Security office for specific details on this benefit.

Question:
Can I operate my own business in my on-post quarters?

Answer:
To increase employment opportunities for military spouses, home-based businesses are permitted in military family housing. However, some restrictions apply. Individuals wishing to engage in commercial activities in government furnished quarters should submit a written request to the installation commander for authorization to do so. Commanders must consider issues such as local government licensing requirements, potential government liability, overseas Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA), host nation business practices, and prospective advertising practices before granting approvals. Additionally, commanders may not authorize commercial activities in family housing areas that jeopardize military community tranquility, harmony among neighbors, or safety.

Question:
How can I contact my Soldier?

Answer:
Your Soldier should be able to provide you with a contact number while in garrison (at home station) or you can contact the post operator at the military community in which your Soldier is stationed and provide him/her with your Soldier’s organization (e.g., Alpha Co., 1/41 Inf. BN). Communication is a little more complex if your Soldier is deployed. However, even in times of conflict nowadays, Soldiers often have access to the Internet, if telephone contact is not readily available. There are several free email services you can use, and access to computer resources is usually available for family members on military installations. Check with your local Army Community Service (ACS), Family Readiness or Assistance Centers, or your local libraries for further assistance. The Department of the Army recommends using Army Knowledge Online (AKO) email for communicating with your Soldier as it provides a secure interface. All Soldiers (to include Reserve Component Soldiers) are authorized AKO accounts and family members/friends of full-account holders can obtain Guest Accounts. You can also set up an email account through GIMail, which is a Web Based email service for DEERS-verified Department of Defense employees (military and civil service, Active Duty, Guard, and Reserves) and their family members. The Army Postal System (APO) manages the delivery of mail to and from Soldiers overseas and when deployed. So, letters and care packages are always another option. Note that there are often restrictions on the type of items that can be sent to Soldiers in certain parts of the world.

Question:
How can I determine the types of resources I need to support a new business and how can I obtain those resources?

Answer:
The type of resources you need to start your business is dependent on the type of business itself. You need to do a lot of research about your area of interest and develop a business plan to outline your needs, your operational policies, and your strategy for success. Consult the Small Business Administration (SBA) district office in your area or their website. The U.S. Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration also has some information on self-employment on their website as well.

Question:
How do I go about negotiating my salary and benefits?

Answer:
Whether you are trying to negotiate with a perspective employer or your current employer about your salary or benefits, make sure you have a good understanding of what people with your qualifications and experience are getting for this type of position. This is not an easy thing to pinpoint, but there are many resources available such as books and employment counselors and job comparison websites. Once you know this, approach your employer with confidence and be prepared to justify your requests for a higher salary or increased benefits by outlining your previous accomplishments (include quantifiable data such as dollars you saved the company or time saved by practices you established) and what it is your employer can expect of you to warrant better entitlements.

Question:
How important is employee networking?

Answer:
Employee networking groups promotes professional development, offers mentoring opportunities, strengthens diversity culture within a firm, increases the sense of belonging within an organization, and often opens up new career opportunities. Networking, both inside your organization and in other settings such as professional associations and social functions, is an excellent way to meet people and open doors to new career opportunities.

Question:
What are some of the different types of resumes and how should I determine which format to use?

Answer:
There are a number of formats you can use when developing a resume such as a chronological resume that lists your work experience/achievements by date. A functional resume groups your key skills, accomplishments, and qualifications regardless of where they have occurred in your career. The chronological resume is best for individuals who have had steady employment. If you have gaps in your employment history, the functional resume may work better for you. You may opt to choose a combination of the two formats. There are many resources available to help you develop a resume. The counselors at the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) office can offer some assistance in this are. Their services are free and available to service members, retirees and their family members.

Question:
What are the tax implications for self-employed persons?

Answer:
There are a number of tax issues to consider as a self-employed individual such as paying self-employment tax, which is a social security and Medicare tax for individuals who work for themselves. You may also have business expenses to keep track that will need to be documented when you file income taxes. There are a number of resources such as books, professional tax advisors, websites, etc., that can provide information on tax implications for the self-employed.

Question:
What is the Employment Readiness Program?

Answer:
The purpose of the Army Community Service (ACS) Employment Readiness program is to assist families with the challenges associated with searching for jobs, particularly as they are impacted by their mobile lifestyles. The Employment Readiness program can provide helpful information during the job search process, including resume development and employment resource links.

Question:
What is the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)?

Answer:
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is in place to protect National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers when mobilized and away from their civilian jobs.
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