The 29 Best Recession Proof Jobs To Have In 2023

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

The economy can be volatile and unpredictable, so getting a recession-proof job clearly has its benefits. The ability to have job security during economic downturns can provide peace of mind and keep you on a good financial trajectory. This list of the best jobs to have in a recession will give you some ideas if you're looking for a career that's stable no matter how the market is doing! Healthcare Professional. Whether you're a physician, a nurse, or a hospital administrator, your job is safe during a recession. No matter the state of the economy, healthcare is an essential service. In fact, these jobs are even more crucial during economic turmoil. Economic worries result in increased stress factors. As a result, many people have a higher risk of experiencing health problems. Those who provide... Read more

Record pay increase for Veterans receiving VA compensation benefits

By news.VA.gov | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2023, Reprinted with permission

It's that time of year again. VA is increasing compensation payment rates based on the latest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) announcement. Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, Veterans and beneficiaries who receive VA compensation benefits will see an 8.7% increase in their monthly payments—the largest increase in over 30 years. The annual COLA increase is tied to the Social Security rate change and is based on the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, measures the average changes in cost for urban goods and services. The Department of Labor takes a snapshot of the costs of a select group of goods and services and compares those costs to the previous year. When there is an increase, those receiving benefits see a boost in their monthly payments for the upcoming year.... Read more

17 Good Questions To Ask A Recruiter In 2023

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Knowing the best questions to ask recruiters can make your job search simpler and save time for everyone involved. But a lot of job-seekers aren't sure how to approach recruiters when it comes to finding out information about a company or position. Fortunately, we've put together this list of questions to make the process easy. Give it a read before your next talk with a recruiter! Can you provide more information about the interview process? Preparing for what lies ahead in the hiring process is always a good thing. If you're seeking job opportunities from multiple companies, you need to know how to plan your interview strategy. It's also crucial to understand the hiring timeline. For example, some companies will go through several rounds of interviews that could take weeks... Read more

Wrap Up: VA hosts PACT Act Week of Action to inform Vets and survivors about new health care and benefits

By news.VA.gov | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2023, Reprinted with permission

President Biden signed the PACT Act into law on Aug. 10, and, between Dec. 10-17, VA hosted more than 120 events across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to inform Veterans, their families and survivors about the PACT Act and to encourage them to apply for the health care and benefits they have earned. During the week, VA hosted more than 120 PACT Act Week of Action events across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. At the events, Veterans applied for benefits, got screened for toxic exposures, enrolled in VA health care, and learned more about what the PACT Act could mean for them and their families. President Biden summed up the Week of Action at a PACT Act Town Hall at the Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III National Guard/Reserve Center in New Castle,... Read more

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The 29 Best Recession Proof Jobs To Have In 2023

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

The economy can be volatile and unpredictable, so getting a recession-proof job clearly has its benefits. The ability to have job security during economic downturns can provide peace of mind and keep you on a good financial trajectory.

This list of the best jobs to have in a recession will give you some ideas if you're looking for a career that's stable no matter how the market is doing!

Healthcare Professional

Whether you're a physician, a nurse, or a hospital administrator, your job is safe during a recession. No matter the state of the economy, healthcare is an essential service. In fact, these jobs are even more crucial during economic turmoil.

Economic worries result in increased stress factors. As a result, many people have a higher risk of experiencing health problems.

Those who provide elective medical procedures might see a dip in demand. But for everyone else, their jobs tend to be quite recession-proof. Even supporting positions like janitors and receptionists have good job security.

Federal Employee

If you work for the federal government, economic troubles are less of an issue. Sure, disagreements in congress can lead to budgetary disputes and government shutdowns. But for the most part, these are some of the best jobs to have in a recession.

Governments still need to function regardless of how the economy is doing. Whether it's the Department of Motor Vehicles or facilities in your local town hall, those jobs matter. If you work in the military, you might even find opportunities for growth despite relative stagnation everywhere else.

Law Enforcement

Here's another job that's absolutely necessary during tough economic times. If history has anything to show, crime rates tend to go up during recessions. People go to great lengths to get by.

Pair that with high unemployment rates, and crime is bound to increase.

Police officers, investigators, and other law enforcement jobs are paramount for keeping the peace. Like other government jobs, funding is usually secure, so there's no need to worry about the effects of a recession.

Firefighter

Firefighters provide a valuable public service, and their work is necessary even in economic downturns. Fires are becoming increasingly common with climate change. Pair that with more vacant buildings, and it's a recipe for disaster.

That's why firefighters make our list of the best recession-proof jobs. Fire departments get their funding from taxes and municipal funds. It's not directly tied to economic performance, and public service jobs like this usually receive high funding priority.

Hospice Worker

Hospice care is another crucial job that doesn't wait for economic conditions to improve. There's no way to stop time or put someone's declining health on pause. As a result, hospice care is a field with excellent job security even in a recession.

Hospice care is unique to traditional healthcare. Contrary to popular belief, it's not just for the elderly. It involves taking care of anyone with advanced illness approaching the end of their lives.

Hospice workers provide special care, and the skills involved are always in high demand.

Developer

Developers typically work in the IT space, creating software and maintaining systems crucial to our developed world. The pandemic showed that even if the world stops, sound technology and reliable communications are a must-have.

Developers might experience a shift in job focus during a recession. Publishers are less keen on investing in new creative projects, but developers are still needed for existing software.

They might spend their time refining features and working on back-end maintenance to keep things running smoothly.

Public Utility Worker

If you've ever experienced a natural disaster, you know how crucial public service workers are to a functioning society. We're talking about the folks who work on electrical lines, sewage systems, natural gas distribution, etc.

Without these people working around the clock, we wouldn't have the daily services we rely on. Things could get dangerous, and society as we know it would crumble. For this reason, these are recession-proof jobs that will always be relied on.

Pharmacist

People still need their medications, and pharmacists play an essential role in this. While a recession will decrease the demand for non-essential drugs, it can increase the demand for medicines that treat anxiety, stress, and other conditions caused by economic struggles.

Pharmacists work with physicians to administer the prescriptions people need to stay healthy. They're deeply entrenched in the healthcare system and are often a more constant part of people's lives than physicians.

Actuary

An actuary is someone who analyzes risks. They use tons of data to determine how risky potential investments are, helping businesses make crucial decisions that support the bottom line. They're a big part of the financial side of doing business.

As you can imagine, actuaries are in high demand during a recession. They're actually on our list of the best six-figure jobs! When the economy is in the dumps, every move a company makes comes with inherent risks.

Actuaries guide organizations in the right direction and can play a significant role in helping them come out of recessions without too much harm.

Insurance

It doesn't matter whether you're an appraiser, underwriter, or sales agent. Insurance is an industry with some of the best recession-proof jobs you can find.

Insurance providers typically experience a hit during recessions. Few people are working, and more people put their insurance at the bottom of the priority list.

However, insurance is necessary for most people. Homeowners need insurance to maintain their mortgages. Meanwhile, drivers need it to hit the road.

The insurance industry stays relatively busy despite economy-driven changes.

Divorce Attorney

Unfortunately, divorces are very common during a recession. Money is one of the biggest points of contention among couples. When economic struggles are unavoidable, disputes are bound to happen.

The data about divorce rates are split, but there's no denying that economic pressure plays a role in couples splitting.

Divorce lawyers have nothing to worry about during a recession. Even if there's no noticeable tick in divorce rates, people certainly don't stay together just because of a recession.

Car Mechanic

Auto shops might notice a decrease in elective work and major repairs during a recession. But, there are some things drivers can't avoid.

For example, they can't drive without faulty brake pads or a broken transmission. Many people rely on their vehicles to get to work, so it's an expense they must stomach even if money is tight.

On top of all that, people are less inclined to buy new cars during a recession. As a result, the number of older vehicles on the road increases, making the need for simple repairs go through the roof.

Debt Management Professional

Here's another unfortunate reality of recessions. People go into debt and have trouble paying it back. Many end up maxing out credit cards to stay afloat.

Meanwhile, those with existing debt might have to look into management services to make paying it off a little easier.

Debt management professionals work with lenders to negotiate better interest rates and more manageable terms. They can work magic in helping people restructure their debt. Due to this surge in demand, debt management is a great recession-proof job.

Physical Therapist

You can consider physical therapists as part of the more giant healthcare umbrella. While they don't diagnose or treat conditions like doctors do, they play a significant role in helping patients recover.

Injuries don't stop because of a recession. As a result, the work of a physical therapist is always in high demand. Patients need therapists to get back on their feet and return to work.

IT Professional

IT experts have some of the best job security of any modern profession, especially with more and more of the world shidting to an online space. People had to rely on robust networks to communicate with family, shop for groceries, and work remote jobs.

As you can imagine, the demand for experienced IT professionals skyrocketed!

No matter the state of the world and economy, there's no going backward in our digital world. As a result, IT professionals are great jobs to have in a recession. On top of that, this is a great job for introverts.

Bankruptcy Lawyer

Unfortunately, bankruptcies are more common during a recession. People lose their jobs, exhaust savings, and have no choice but to declare bankruptcy. It's a sad reality that many must face.

Bankruptcy lawyers can help people navigate the complex process. They handle the legal side of things and can even negotiate better terms for their clients.

It's not just the lawyers who have job security in a recession. Bankruptcy law is complex, so paralegals, assistants, and anyone else who works for an attorney benefits from job stability.

Public Transit Worker

While many have no choice but to rely on their vehicles to get to work, those who live in areas with public transportation will change the way they commute during a recession. Public transit usage tends to climb during these times since it's cheaper than buying gas and it eliminates the headache of finding parking.

Anyone working in the public transit system likely has a good recession-proof job. That includes bus drivers, conductors, ticketing staff, and maintenance teams.

Funeral Home Director

It doesn't matter whether we're in an economic recession or an economic boom. People still pass away.

During tough economic times, families might forgo fancier ceremonies and flashy caskets, but the need for funerals remains. Surviving families still grieve, and there's always a need for burial plots, cremation urns, and wakes.

Funeral directors might see a decline in overall profits due to less demand for pricier options, but their services will still be needed.

Vet

Studies of past recessions showed that veterinarians do relatively well during these times of economic decline. Many vet clinics have no issues staying in business.

Some pet owners have to make the tough decision to forgo traditional care. But things like pet insurance are becoming more common. Not only that, but low-cost treatments are necessary for many jurisdictions.

For example, many cities require pet vaccinations. Some apartments also require flea medications and other treatments only available from vets.

Delivery Worker

Believe it or not, delivery workers actually have a fairly recession-proof job. Why? It all comes down to stores shifting their priorities to online platforms.

It's expensive to run a brick-and-mortar store. The last recession killed many popular brands, so retailers are eager to move their operations online. With every order comes a need for delivery workers to take it to its final destination!

Online shopping used to be exclusive to clothes and fancy electronics. But now, you can find everything from meal prep kits to your typical groceries. Delivery workers make it easy for retailers to tap into the online market while keeping the business afloat.

Teacher

There are obviously pros and cons to being a teacher these days, but job security during a recession is a clear plus! As long as children and adult learners are looking to expand their knowledge, teachers are a must.

Even as home learning becomes more prevalent, there's still a need for educators. It's not just the grade school teachers, either. College-level professors are in demand as more people try to improve their skills and job prospects.

Mental Health Professional

Mental health providers offer a valuable service during a recession.

Any economic downturn can wreak havoc on the general public's mental health. Life gets more challenging, stress factors are more prevalent, and anxiety becomes a genuine threat to the population's well-being. Mental health providers are there to help people work things through.

Attitudes toward mental health have changed significantly in the last couple of decades. It's no longer taboo, and more people view it as an indispensable priority than ever before.

Correction Officer

Correction officers work in the prison system. They can also act as probation officers, sit on parole boards, etc.

Prisons continue with business as usual when recessions occur. People still serve out their sentences and go through the prison system. Everything operates normally.

In fact, you could make the case that correction officers are one of the most recession-proof jobs on this list. Like we mentioned earlier, crime rates increase during recessions, leading to a higher demand for correctional workers.

Grocer

Many businesses have no choice but to shut their doors during a recession. We've seen it in the past. Even well-established brands aren't safe.

But one type of retailer has more job security during a recession than others. Everyone needs groceries. That's one constant that doesn't go away. Prices might go up, and people might have to spend less.

However, food is still a necessity! So whether you're a manager or a grocery store cashier, you likely won't be hit by the recession in the same way that other professions are.

Judiciary Professionals

Like correctional officers, those who work in the judiciary system tend to have very safe and recession-proof jobs. Courts must proceed regardless of the economic state. Both criminal and civil courts march on.

There are many roles within the judiciary system. In addition to judges, there are clerks, bailiffs, and sheriffs. Organizations that are adjacent to the judiciary system benefit, too. These include bail bond companies and bounty hunters.

Accountant

We've all heard the saying: "Nothing is certain in this world but death and taxes."

The latter is where accountants come in. An accountant is responsible for managing money. They help people do taxes, make smart financial decisions, and move money around.

While the economy might provide fewer opportunities to flourish economically, you still need to do taxes and stay on top of what you have. Accountants do just that, making their jobs secure even during recessions.

Social Worker

Social workers are the unsung heroes of society. They help people overcome problems at home. Whether that's drug abuse or child neglect, they're there to help families.

Unfortunately, these problems can get worse during recessions. With the economic stress surrounding every move, people get angry and lash out at their children or spouses. We need social workers to deal with that fallout.

This profession operates in the public sector. Social workers are government employees, so they have the same job security as other tax-funded positions.

Senior Caregiver

Senior caregivers address an important need in our society. Seniors require special care and deserve to age with dignity in a safe and comfortable place. Whether at a retirement village or home, seniors often need help from experienced caregivers.

Caregivers include everyone from nurses and orderlies to cooks and cleaners. Most assisted living roles are secure no matter what's happening with the economy. There are always seniors who need help living, which makes experienced caregivers a recession-proof job.

Real Estate Investor

Real estate investors have many opportunities to expand during a recession. However, there are inherent risks.

Investors who rent out their properties might experience trouble. Rental default is common, and eviction rates climb. Evictions are an expensive route to go, so some landlords will suffer.

But even still, the job is full of opportunity. People will always need places to live!

Investors with a steady portfolio of income-producing properties can use the sudden rise in foreclosures to snatch up new investments at bargain prices. It's a great way to grow once the economy stabilizes.

Conclusion

This list of the best recession-proof jobs should serve as a great starting point for anyone interested in a career that will thrive even when others cannot. It can also give you some ideas for others that might appeal to you as well!

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Record pay increase for Veterans receiving VA compensation benefits

By news.VA.gov | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2023, Reprinted with permission

It's that time of year again. VA is increasing compensation payment rates based on the latest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) announcement. Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, Veterans and beneficiaries who receive VA compensation benefits will see an 8.7% increase in their monthly payments—the largest increase in over 30 years.

The annual COLA increase is tied to the Social Security rate change and is based on the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, measures the average changes in cost for urban goods and services. The Department of Labor takes a snapshot of the costs of a select group of goods and services and compares those costs to the previous year. When there is an increase, those receiving benefits see a boost in their monthly payments for the upcoming year.

If you are receiving disability compensation benefits from VA, you can use VA disability compensation benefit rates tables to find your current monthly payment amount.

Which VA benefits increase?

This increase affects VA disability compensation, which provides monthly tax-free payments to Veterans who got sick or injured while serving in the military or whose service made an existing condition worse. If you have a physical ailment or mental health condition that developed during or after service, you may be eligible for disability compensation.

Beneficiaries who receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) will also see an increase in their payment amounts. DIC provides a surviving spouse, child or parent of a service member who died in the line of duty, or the survivor of a Veteran who died from a service-related injury or illness, with a tax-free monetary benefit.

Recipients of special benefit allowances, which include automobile allowance, clothing allowance and Medal of Honor pension, will also see an increase in benefit payments.

When to expect the increase?

You should see the increased compensation amount starting with your January 2023 payment. If you do not see a difference in the amount, contact the VA regional office near you or call 800-827-1000.

If you have questions about applying for disability benefits or need assistance filing a claim, VA-accredited representatives are available to assist you free-of-charge. To find VA-accredited attorneys, claims agents or Veterans Service Organizations representatives, visit va.gov/ogc/accreditation.asp.

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17 Good Questions To Ask A Recruiter In 2023

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Knowing the best questions to ask recruiters can make your job search simpler and save time for everyone involved. But a lot of job-seekers aren't sure how to approach recruiters when it comes to finding out information about a company or position.

Fortunately, we've put together this list of questions to make the process easy. Give it a read before your next talk with a recruiter!

Can you provide more information about the interview process?

Preparing for what lies ahead in the hiring process is always a good thing. If you're seeking job opportunities from multiple companies, you need to know how to plan your interview strategy. It's also crucial to understand the hiring timeline.

For example, some companies will go through several rounds of interviews that could take weeks. Some may even require a security clearance that could take months. All of that information is critical.

Recruiters are usually more than willing to provide this information. Generally, they'll talk about the rough timeline, when you can expect to hear back, etc. They may even give you the names and LinkedIn profiles of the people you'll be talking to.

How long has the job been open?

This is one of the best questions to ask recruiters because it provides valuable insight. It's about reading between the lines and getting a good idea of what to expect.

If the position is newly opened, you may be one of the first people interviewing for it. That could be a good thing, but it could also indicate that the hiring manager is in the early stages of fielding candidates. As a result, it might be a while until they make an official offer.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, a job available for several months could be a red flag. It could indicate that several other applicants passed on the offer, or it might mean that the hiring manager is indecisive or looking for something super specific.

How would you describe the company culture?

It's easy to get a rough idea of the type of work you'll do when looking at a job description. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's the right fit for you.

Company culture matters, and it could be the thing that makes or breaks your success. Incompatible work styles could make you feel miserable every day if it's not a good match.

For example, some work cultures are all about the grind. Alternatively, you could walk into a more relaxed environment that's looser than what you're used to. Either way, this is all information you need to know to decide if the hiring process is worth pursuing. It's an important question to ask recruiters (or at least ask at the end of an interview).

What does a normal day look like for this job?

This is another question to ask recruiters that provides more insight than it might seem at face value. Recruiters may not know everything about a position, but they likely have a decent amount of information they can share. Every bit counts.

Their answer could unveil more about the day-to-day operations. It could give you a glimpse of how your work-life balance might be. You may even learn about ongoing projects or the types of people you'll interact with regularly.

What skills are needed in order to succeed in this role?

A job posting gives you some idea of what hiring managers are looking for, but it rarely paints the entire picture. Here's where you get to learn more about the position and the types of qualifications you might need to succeed.

This is a good question to ask a recruiter because it will help you determine how qualified you are to apply for this position and whether it's something you want to pursue. Even if you don't have every necessary skill at the moment, you can use this information to be strategic about your interview and resume. Highlight the most relevant skills and make sure you stand out as an applicant (and consider doing some additional training to develop the skills you don't have).

Why is this position open?

You might not think the past is irrelevant, but learning everything about this position makes a big difference. Asking this question to recruiters can give you helpful information about what you're walking into and the organization itself.

For example, you may learn that the organization is moving in another direction, and you'd be responsible for that transition.

There's a lot to learn about the role dynamics, and asking this question can give you the insight you need.

Has this role been created, or would I be filling an existing position?

If you're lucky enough to apply for a newly created role, you don't have any shoes to fill. However, there are still standards to meet. This question can help you learn about company expectations.

It encourages the recruiter to tell you why the position was created and what the company expects to gain from it. Are there clear definitions for this role, or is there flexibility to mold it how you see fit? That information matters and can change your entire approach when it comes to trying to land the job.

What are some of the common career tracks for individuals in this job?

Ideally, you don't want to stay in the same position forever. At some point, you'll want to advance your career. How does this position fit into that plan?

Asking about what former employees go on to do after leaving this role tells you a lot (this also made our list of questions to ask at a career fair).

You can learn about what skills you obtain in this role, what you can do with it afterward, and how it fits into the bigger picture. It also unveils some information about the company, such as whether they like to promote from within or if they treat this position as more of a transitory role.

Can you provide more information about the position?

This is a fairly broad question to ask recruiters, but that's by design. The goal here is to learn as much as possible about what type of job you're trying to land. A job posting only provides so much information.

There are many nuances to every open position. This is your chance to gain more insight.

Recruiters usually have a good grasp of the job and can provide more detailed information. The answer you get may lead to other questions. It's a great way to get the conversation rolling while learning everything you need to know.

What is the expected interview dress code?

First impressions matter with job interviews. How you dress could create a lasting impact on what interviewers think of you. The last thing you want is to underdress or overdress.

If a company is relaxed and doesn't "do" suits and ties, dressing to the nines could make you look like the wrong fit for the company culture. The opposite applies to showing up in jeans and a tee for an interview at a super formal company. This is a good question for interviewers because they will usually be able to steer you in the right direction if they have experience with the company you'll be applying to.

Does this job have the option for remote work?

Remote work is becoming increasingly common around the world, so it's perfectly reasonable to ask about this policy. It is a deal-breaker for many people!

Think about your preferred work environment. The answer to this question could help you decide if you want to continue or back out of the hiring process.

Many companies these days offer hybrid work policies that allow you to spend some time working remotely and some time in the office. Get all the clarity you need to ensure that this is the job for you.

How quickly does the company want to fill this job?

Finding a job can be just as demanding as having one. The only difference is that you're not getting paid for the former!

This question to ask a recruiter will help you understand the urgency of the hiring process. Companies that need it filled ASAP are more inclined to have fewer interviews. They may make an offer quickly, ushering you through the onboarding process faster (or being more willing to negotiate when it comes to salary and benefits).

If that's the case, you may want to prioritize this interview over others. Companies that aren't pressed for time may take months to extend an offer. That would tell you it's important to keep looking for other opportunities as well as this one.

How long have you been working with this company?

This is a good question to ask recruiters, even though it sometimes catches them off guard.

A recruiter that has worked with a particular company for a while can provide more insight into the culture and the interview process. Maybe they've worked with the hiring manager for years and can give you some tips on how to leave a positive impression.

They can also tell you about managerial styles, workplace culture, benefits, and more. They're you're "in" with this organization, so don't be afraid to ask these questions.

What qualities are you looking for in a new hire?

We're not talking about hard skills and base qualifications here. Every hiring manager looks for soft skills that could make or break an individual's success in this position.

For example, they might look for someone who can take charge, solve complex challenges, and be proactive enough to get work done as quickly as possible. Or, they may want someone who goes with the flow and is easy to collaborate with on important projects.

The answer to this question can put you ahead of the curve and give you the information you need to plan your interview response.

What is the salary range for this position?

Of course, you'll want to ask about the salary. There's nothing worse than going through an entire interview process to realize that the pay is well under what you expect. Avoid that disappointment and ask this question upfront.

Some recruiters are hesitant to provide an answer. Don't worry: There's no need to negotiate (that comes later).

The goal here is to have a better idea of whether the salary fits your expectations or not. Depending on the answer, you could even use what you learn as leverage if you get a job offer.

Do you know anything about the team I'll be working with and how they operate?

If this job requires you to work closely with a team, it's important to ask this question to the recruiter you're working with. The answer will shed more light on your daily operations and the work culture as a whole.

There's a good chance that you'll walk into an already established team. Can you fit in, and what will your day-to-day be?

Ask about the team size, the direction it's headed in, and more. You can also inquire about past or present projects it's working on.

What is the hiring manager like?

As you probably know, the recruiter is not the person who is directly responsible for hiring you. That falls onto the hiring manager. They will interview you and oversee the entire hiring process.

Getting to know a little more about them can come in handy. Not all recruiters have a working relationship with hiring managers. But if this one does, they may have enough insight to tell you about their inner workings.

They can provide tips on how to impress, warnings about what to expect, and other relevant information you want in your back pocket.

Most of these questions work best for internal recruiters (recruiters who are employees of the company hiring). You can ask some of these questions if you are talking to a 3rd party recruiter (someone who works for a recruiting firm or outside business), though they may not have enough information to answer.

Conclusion

Being familiar with the best questions to ask interviewers will come in handy when it's time to talk. By the time you're done with your conversation, you should have plenty of helpful information to aid you moving forward!

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Wrap Up: VA hosts PACT Act Week of Action to inform Vets and survivors about new health care and benefits

By news.VA.gov | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2023, Reprinted with permission

President Biden signed the PACT Act into law on Aug. 10, and, between Dec. 10-17, VA hosted more than 120 events across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to inform Veterans, their families and survivors about the PACT Act and to encourage them to apply for the health care and benefits they have earned.

During the week, VA hosted more than 120 PACT Act Week of Action events across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. At the events, Veterans applied for benefits, got screened for toxic exposures, enrolled in VA health care, and learned more about what the PACT Act could mean for them and their families.

President Biden summed up the Week of Action at a PACT Act Town Hall at the Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III National Guard/Reserve Center in New Castle, Delaware, saying, "Passing the PACT Act was the first step of making sure that we leave no one behind. I'm urging all Veterans of these decades of war to enroll in the VA health care to get screening for toxic exposure and to promptly file your claim."

Secretary McDonough added, "There are millions of Veterans and survivors across America who are eligible for new health care and benefits, and we will not rest until every one of them gets what they've earned. That's what this PACT Act Week of Action is all about: educating Veterans, their families and survivors—and encouraging them to apply today."

Highlights from the PACT Act Week of Action

  • Veterans getting the health care and benefits they deserve: During the Week of Action, more than 160,000 Veterans were screened for toxic exposures. Additionally, nearly 15,000 Veterans applied for PACT Act-related benefits—a nearly 40% increase over the previous week. In total, since President Biden signed it into law Aug. 10, more than 200,000 Veterans have applied for PACT Act-related benefits and more than 820,000 Veterans have received the new toxic exposure screenings, with nearly 39% reporting a concern of exposure.
  • Veteran Advocates participating in the Week of Action: Countless leaders and Veteran advocates across the country participated in or promoted the Week of Action, including President Biden, Vice President Harris, Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, Secretary McDonough, Deputy Secretary Remy, VA Chief of Staff Tanya Bradsher, Members of Congress, Veteran Service Organizations, state directors of Veterans Affairs, local elected officials, VA public servants, Jon Stewart, and many more. As a part of that effort, a bipartisan group of more than 85 Members of Congress (and their staffs) either promoted the event on social media or participated in events themselves; Representative Rueben Gallego, an Iraq War Veteran, got screened for toxic exposures.
  • President Biden delivering remarks on the PACT Act: President Biden spoke about our nation's sacred obligation to Veterans and their families, his Unity Agenda, and the PACT Act; his full remarks can be read here and viewed here. The President was preceded and introduced by Senator Carper, the last Vietnam Veteran serving in the U.S. Senate.
  • Secretary McDonough delivering remarks on the five things Veterans need to know about the PACT Act: Secretary McDonough also spoke at the Week of Action event, focusing his remarks on the 5 things that Veterans and their families need to know about the PACT Act. His full remarks can be read here and viewed here.
  • Jon Stewart releasing a PACT Act Public Service Announcement (PSA): Jon Stewart, who advocated for the passage of the PACT Act, posted a Week of Action video urging Veterans and their families to apply for the PACT Act benefits they've earned.
  • Media covering the Week of Action: The Week of Action generated approximately 1,700 news articles and nearly 3,300 broadcast items about the PACT Act.
  • Social media buzzing about the Week of Action: #PACTAct trended on Twitter, and the Week of Action helped drive a 75% increase in "PACT Act" google search interest week-over-week and a nearly 70% increase in PACT Act chatter on social media.
  • Veterans visiting the website: va.gov/PACT received 580,000 visitors during the Week of Action, a 17% increase over the previous week. The website is VA's one-stop-shop website for Veterans and survivors to learn about and apply for PACT Act-related care and benefits.
  • Veterans calling VA to learn more about the PACT Act: VA's call center (1-800-MYVA411) received more than 26,000 calls about the PACT Act during the Week of Action, a 10% increase over the previous week.
  • VA launching new PACT Act Videos: VA released several new PACT Act videos, including a General PSA, a PACT Act Benefits PSA, and videos from the perspective of a Veteran, a doctor and a caregiver. These videos are a part of VA's nationwide, targeted PACT Act advertising campaign, which is currently running across TV, streaming, radio, podcasts, YouTube, Google, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, Military Times, Military.com, USA Today, RallyPoint and more.
  • VA releasing PACT Act materials in 10 languages: At the beginning of the week, VA released PACT Act flyers and information in 10 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

The PACT Act Week of Action is just one component of VA's nationwide PACT Act Veteran outreach campaign, which is the largest coordinated outreach campaign in VA history. The campaign has one goal: ensuring every eligible Veteran and survivor gets the PACT Act-related health care and benefits they have earned.

The PACT Act is the largest expansion of Veteran health care and benefits in decades. VA encourages all eligible Veterans and survivors to apply for their earned PACT Act-related health care and benefits now. Veterans and survivors can apply or learn more about the PACT Act by visiting VA.gov/PACT by calling 1-800-MYVA411.

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