CounselorsEmpowerACA Government Affairs Blog

The ACA Government Affairs team strives to keep the counseling community connected with important legislative news, updates, and announcements that affect the profession. Questions? Want to get involved in our advocacy efforts? Email us at 


Dec 20, 2016

New Law Creates More Opportunities for LPCs to Serve Veterans

This legislation contained a number of provisions relating to the health and well-being of our veterans, and it also concentrated on the delivery of that care. The key provision for the counseling community contained in H.R. 6416 authorized the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to hire Licensed Professional Counselors that have a doctoral degree.

Some of you are aware that when Congress authorized the VA to hire LPCs in 2006, the VA claimed that the new law did not give them the authority to hire an LPC who possessed a doctoral degree. In the rare occasions when the VA has announced job openings for LPCs, only those possessing a Master’s degree were deemed eligible for consideration. This new law corrects this nonsensical barrier that has been in place for 10 years.

VA facilities will now have the ability to open more positions to qualified LPCs who wish to serve our nation’s veterans and treat the invisible wounds of war. Our country loses approximately 22 veterans a day to suicide, and many more veterans struggle to make the transition to civilian life after serving our nation in uniform. More mental health clinicians means more veterans will get the treatment they deserve.

While we still have many legislative goals that we will continue to work toward, it is important to take note of this particular victory. It is especially important to recognize that members of ACA have been advocating for this specific issue to be resolved for more than five years. This provision was only included and signed into law due to the tireless and faithful efforts of ACA members who took the time to advocate for it by calling, emailing, and in some cases making a personal visit to their representatives in Washington. Without those efforts, we would never have been able to achieve this. Congratulations to all of you who participated in our advocacy campaigns—once again you have made a huge difference and helped to promote the counseling profession.

Contact Name

Contact Title

Contact Email

Contact Phone

Related Info


  1. 2 Karen 09 Jan
    Unfortunately, we still have VA's such as the Ralph H Johnson VAMC in Charleston, SC who still do not hire LPCs except to do research.  Hopefully, this law in the future should be for all VAs to begin to hire LPCs.

    Air Force Veteran and Mental Health Counseling Student
  2. 1 joyce Simon 11 May
    I work at the Providence VA where LPMHC are not hired, despite the law passed in 2006 and standards for these position developed in 2010.  PVAMC is not hiring  master degree or a doctoral  degree prepared therapists.
     Are the individual VA HR departments allowed to determine who they hire, at this VA it is only Social Workers.
    How can hiring of LPMHC be established? Is it HR who establishes these positions, or do the individual services establish these positions?  No one seems to know what the process is including the Chief of HR and the staff of HR.
      Appreciate any feedback you can give me
    Thank you
       Joyce Simon


  1. RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
    RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
    Toolbar's wrapper 
    Content area wrapper
    RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
    It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
    Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
    RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.

Join/Renew NOW!