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Veterans Hiring Programs

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Veterans Hiring Preference

Veterans hiring preference gives eligible veterans preference over others on competitive lists of eligible candidates and applies to permanent and temporary appointments in the competitive and excepted services of the executive branch.  Preference does not apply to positions in the Senior Executive Service or to executive branch positions for which Senate confirmation is required.

Preference applies in hiring from civil service examinations conducted by Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and agencies under delegated examining authority, for most excepted service jobs including Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA), and when agencies make temporary, term, and overseas limited appointments. Veteran preference does not apply to promotion, reassignment, change to lower grade, transfer, reinstatement or direct hire announcements.

The following preference categories and points are based on 5 U.S.C 2108 and 3309 as modified by length of service requirement in 38 U.S.C 5303A(d).

 

0-Point Preference Sole Survivorship Preference (SSP)

This is a relatively new category was established for veterans released or discharged from a period of active duty from the armed forces, after August 29, 2008, by reason of a “sole survivorship discharge.”

Under the sole survivorship preference, the individual (1) does not receive veterans’ preference points as other preference eligibles do when the “rule of 3” is applied; (2) is entitled to be listed ahead of non-preference eligibles with the same score on an examination, or listed ahead of non-preference eligibles in the same quality category when agencies are using category rating; (3) is entitled to receive the same pass over rights as other preference eligibles; and (4) is entitled to credit experience in the armed forces to meet the qualification requirements for federal jobs.

No points are added to the passing score or rating of a veteran who is the only surviving child in a family in which the father or mother or one or more siblings:

  • Served in the armed forces; and
  • Was killed, died as a result of wounds, accident, or disease, is in a captured or missing in action status, or is permanently 100% disabled or hospitalized on a continuing basis (and is not employed gainfully because of the disability or hospitalization), where the death, status, or disability did not result from the intentional misconduct or willful neglect of the parent or sibling and was not incurred during a period of unauthorized absence.

 

5-Point Preference (TP)

Five points are added to the passing examination score or rating of a veteran who served:

  • During a war; or
  • During the period April 28, 1952, through July 1, 1955; or
  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976; or
  • During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992; or
  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom; or
  • In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia and Haiti, qualifies for preference.

A campaign medal holder or Gulf War veteran who originally enlisted after September 7, 1980, (or began active duty on or after October 14, 1982, and has not previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty) must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty.  The 24-month service requirement does not apply to 10-point preference eligibles separated for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or to veterans separated for hardship or other reasons under 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.

 

10-Point Compensable Disability Preference (CP)

Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:

  • A veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10% but less than 30%.

 

10-Point 30% Compensable Disability Preference (CPS)

Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:

  • A veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30% or more.

 

10-Point Disability Preference (XP)

Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:

  • A veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the Department of Veterans Affairs but does not qualify as a CP or CPS; or
  • A veteran who received a Purple Heart.

 

10-Point Derived Preference (XP)

Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of spouses, widows, widowers or mothers of veterans as described below.  This type of preference is usually referred to as "derived preference" because it is based on service of a veteran who is not able to use the preference.

Both a mother and a spouse (including widow or widower) may be entitled to preference on the basis of the same veteran's service if they both meet the requirements.  However, neither may receive preference if the veteran is living and is qualified for federal employment.

Acceptable documentation of your preference or appointment eligibility must be provided at the time of the application.  This should include the member 4 copy of your DD214, “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty”.  If claiming 10 point preference due to disability, the letter from the Veterans Administration declaring your percentage of disability.

If claiming derived preference, you will need to submit a Standard Form SF15, “Application for 10 Point Veterans’ Preference.

For more information about veterans’ preference, please visit OPM’s FedsHireVets website.