5/21/2020  Dean Phelps
Veterans’ Preference is a benefit that is gives qualifying veterans preference during the hiring process within the federal government. This legal benefit for veterans applies to veterans who are disabled or who served in the Armed Forces during specific time periods.

It’s important to understand that veterans’ preference does not guarantee job placement for veterans within the federal government. This is why it’s so important to understand how veterans’ preference works and to know your eligibility within the system.

According to title 5, United States Code, Section 2108 (5 USC 2108) veterans’ preference eligibility can be based on dates of active duty service, receipt of a campaign badge, receipt of a Purple Heart, or a service-connected disability. (From Feds Hire Vets) It’s key that you understand that not every member of active duty service qualifies for veterans’ preference.

Based on the information provided on the Feds Hire Vets and Veterans’ Preference Information websites, the following stipulations determine if you are eligible for veterans’ preference.

  • You must be discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions.
  • You must have been discharged under an honorable or general discharge.
  • According to the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, a veteran who believes he/she will be entitled to veterans’ preference when discharged can apply for a position before the formal discharge. Under VOW, if the veteran can provide a certificate that he/she expects to be discharged from active duty under honorable conditions within 120 days, the veteran is then eligible for veterans’ preference.
  • Retired members of the armed forces are only included within the veterans’ preference eligibility if disabled or if retired below the rank of major (or equivalent).

We urge you to visit the Veterans’ Preference Information website and take advantage of the Veterans’ Preference Advisor to determine if you are eligible for this hiring preference.

For veterans seeking employment, there are three levels of eligibility within veterans’ preference: (Based on information from Feds Hire Vets)

  • 0 Point Preference: if you were released or discharged from a period of active duty from the armed forces, after August 29, 2008, by reason of being the only surviving child in which the father for mother or one or more siblings:
    1. Served in the armed forces, and
    2. Was killed, died as a result of wounds, accident, or disease, is in a captured or missing in action status, or is permanently 100 percent disabled or hospitalized on a continuing basis (and is not employed gainfully because of the disability or hospitalization), where
    3. 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.

Note: No points are added to the passing score or rating of 0 point preference eligible, but you are entitled to be listed ahead of non-preference eligible veterans with the same score on an examination, or in the same quality category.

  • 5 Point Preference: if your active duty service meets any of the following:
    1. 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
    2. During the Gulf War, between August 2, 1990 and January 2, 1992, OR
    3. 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
    4. Between April 28, 1952 and July 1, 1955 OR
    5. In a war, campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal or badge has been authorized.
  • 10 Point Preference: if you served at any time, and you:
    1. Have a service connected disability, OR
    2. Received a Purple Heart.

There are five basic groups of veterans’ preference eligible veterans:

  • CPS: disability rating of 30% or more (10 points)
  • CP: disability rating of at least 10% but less than 30% (10 points)
  • XP: disability rating less than 10% (10 points)
  • TP: preference eligible with no disability rating (5 points)
  • SSP: sole survivorship preference (0 points)

It’s key that you take advantage of the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Preference Advisor to determine your eligibility. It is worth your time to use this tool to determine your eligibility with veterans’ preference.

Our focus at Veteran’s Employment is on finding employment for veterans – men and women like you who have served Americans are now looking for ways to contribute and make positive change. Contact us with any of your questions about employment for veterans and the veterans’ preference program – we are here to help you.