Disabled veterans hired into the federal civilian workforce after Nov. 5 will receive help to attend medical appointments through a new leave program.

Disabled Veterans Leave is a new benefit where up to 104 hours of leave may be given to any new federal employee who has a service-connected disability of more than 30 percent.

"This rule ensures the Federal Government supports our Service members who have sacrificed their own health and well-being to serve our country. We know this is something they need," said Beth Cobert, the acting director of the Office of Personnel Management in a release. "We want these veterans to have sufficient leave during their first year of Federal service in order to take care of any medical issues related to their service-connected disability."

DVL is a one-time benefit limited to 12 months. The benefit will not carry over after the time period expires. Veterans hired after Nov. 5 that are later determined to be 30 percent disabled may apply for DSL. The start date for eligibility in such cases is 12 months after the Veterans Administration claim is filed.

The benefit is not solely for those who served on active duty -- those who served the reserves or National Guard are also eligible. Reservists and Guardsmen become eligible for DVL once they return to civilian employment.

Army Maj. John Cummings, a labor relations specialist for the South Carolina National Guard, characterized DVL as giving the services "another tool in our kit to help take care of veterans."

Unfortunately, DVL is not retroactive, employees may qualify for the leave if they have been out of federal service for more than 90 days. If a veteran still has leave once they are rehired, the leave balance will be deducted from the DVL. The amount of DSL a veteran receives will be offset by their current sick leave balance.

Service members already have wide range of options available to help employees receive medical care including sick leave, annual leave, Family and Medical Leave Act and donated leave.

"We want to take care of our Soldiers," Cummings added. "I am glad we are given this tool."

(Information in the article provided by Fort Jackson's Civilian Personnel Advisory Center)