It now appears that the billfold-sized proof of veteran status which was supposed to be distributed to vets this year will not be ready until 2017. The new ID card is intended to be a substitute for discharge papers (form DD-214). Proof of veteran’s status is necessary when applying for VA and other federal benefits and when claiming veteran’s preference when applying for a federal job. Furthermore when it wrote the law, Congress also recognized a broader, monetary benefit to veterans saying "goods services, and promotional activities are often [offered] by public and private institutions to veterans who demonstrate proof of service in the military, but it is impractical for a veteran to always carry [a DD-214] to demonstrate such proof."
The law was signed by President Obama on July 20 and was supposed to be effective 60 days later. One VA staffer quoted by the website military.com said "VA has missed that deadline and will not provide a definite implementation date for the when the program will be up and running. The committee has been pushing VA on implementation but the department seems to be punting it to the next administration.” He added, “VA has told House lawmakers is that the rule-making process -- including drafting the procedures, getting public comment and approval from the Office of Management and Budget -- is expected to take a year or longer. VA currently estimates the program will be implemented in 2017."