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Home » Veterans’ Preference and Special Hiring Authorities

Veterans’ Preference and Special Hiring Authorities

Narrator: The federal government values the skills and experience that Veterans bring to the workplace. For that reason, Veterans who meet certain criteria receive special consideration when seeking federal employment. This special consideration is called Veterans’ Preference.

It’s important to note that not all Veterans are eligible for Veterans’ Preference. Only those who:

  • Were discharged under honorable or general conditions
  • Became disabled during their military service
  • Or served during specific time periods

Veterans’ Preference has two categories: 5 point and 10 point.

Veterans with 5 point preference must have served on active duty during specific dates. And they don’t have any service-connected disabilities.

Veterans who qualify for 10 point preference have service-connected disabilities or were awarded the Purple Heart.

How do Veterans prove eligibility in these two categories? The most important document is the DD214, the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. If claiming 10 point preference, Veterans need to submit the SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veterans’ Preference, to document any disabilities.

Veterans who qualify for Veterans’ Preference may be appointed ― without competition from other job seekers-―-to some positions. This is called direct hiring.

To qualify Veterans for direct hire, federal hiring managers use specific guidelines…

Joe: I served in the Army for 15 years. An injury during my last deployment forced me to retire from active duty service. The Army and Department of Veterans Affairs rate my injuries as a 30% service-connected disability. Am I eligible for Veterans’ Preference?

Narrator: With proper documentation, Joe can be appointed to a position at any grade level through direct hiring.

Veterans, like Joe, who seek preference as 30% or More Disabled are eligible if they:

  • Retired from active military service with a service-connected disability rating of 30% or more; OR
  • Have a rating by the Department of Veterans Affairs showing a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more

Nancy: I have a disability and am able to perform the duties of many federal positions. Would I be eligible for Veterans’ Preference?

Narrator: With proper documentation, Nancy may qualify for Schedule A Appointing Authority. This provision allows for Veterans with severe physical, psychological or intellectual disabilities to be placed in federal positions.

Veterans must provide documented proof of disabilities from an authorized agent.

They must also present documents that certify Veterans Job Readiness and the ability to perform the job’s duties.

Eligible Veterans:

  • Are disabled OR
  • Served on active duty during a war declared by Congress OR
  • Served on active duty in a campaign or expedition for which a badge has been authorized OR
  • Participated in a military operation for which the Armed Forces Service Medal was awarded OR
  • Separated from active duty within the past three years

Veterans’ Preference is a powerful hiring tool that can help Veterans enter the federal workforce. Veteran job seekers are encouraged to visit w-w-w dot VA for Vets dot VA dot gov to learn more.

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