Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Veterans' Preference

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What Preference Does For You

Eligible veterans can receive preference in Appointments:
Preference in appointments increases the likelihood that eligible veterans will receive federal civilian appointments.
Eligible veterans can receive preference during a Reduction in Force (RIF):
Preference in RIF increases the likelihood that eligible veterans will keep their federal civilian appointments.
What Preference Does Not Do For You

Preference helps eligible veterans get a federal civilian job, but once the veteran becomes a federal employee his/her Veterans' Preference will not help him/her change federal jobs.
For example, a current federal employee who also happens to be a preference eligible veteran will not get preference for a promotion over non-veterans competing for the same promotion.
When Veterans' Preference Applies: Permanent Appointment, Temporary Appointment, Term Appointment and Overseas Limited Appointment.

When Veterans' Preference Does NOT Apply: Promotion, Reassignment, Change to Lower Grade/Level/Band, Transfer and Reinstatement.

Eligibility Requirements for Preference

Veteran must be discharged (released) from active duty in the Armed Forces under honorable conditions.

"Active Duty" is full time duty in the Armed Forces.
  • Reservists only receive credit for active duty for training, but not weekly or monthly assemblies or drills.
  • National Guard duty must be active duty in the service of the United States under title 10 USC, or under a call by the President or Secretary of Defense.
"Armed Forces" are the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
  • Military retirees at or above the rank of major or lieutenant commander (pay grade O-4) are not eligible for preference in appointment unless they are disabled veterans. (Reservists who will not begin drawing military retired pay until age 60 are exempt from this restriction).
  • Active duty for training in the Reserves or National Guard qualifies as "active duty" for preference purposes only if the veteran is disabled.
Types of Veterans' Preference

There are two types of veterans' preference: 5-Point and 10-Point preference. Veterans must meet the additional eligibility criteria for one of these types of preference to be considered "preference eligible." Veterans who meet the eligibility criteria for both types of preference are 10-Point veterans.
5 Point Veterans' Preference

In addition to the basic eligibility rules, to be eligible for 5-point preference the veteran must have served:
  • During a war
  • During the period 28 Apr 1952 - 01 Jul 1955
  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after 31 Jan 1955 and before 15 Oct 1976
  • During the Gulf War (02 Aug 1990 through 02 Jan1992)
  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning 11 Sep 2001, and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law as the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • 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).
10 Point Veterans' Preference

There are four types of 10-point preference. In addition to the basic eligibility rules outlined previously:
1) 10-Point Compensable Disability Preference (CP)
To be eligible, the veteran must have served at any time and have a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10 percent but less than 30 percent.
2) 10-Point 30 Percent Compensable Disability Preference (CPS)
To be eligible, the veteran must have served at any time and have a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.
3) 10-Point Disability Preference (XP)
To be eligible, the veteran must have served at any time and have a present serviceconnected 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 veteran received a Purple Heart.
4) 10-Point Derived Preference (XP)
May be given to the widow, widower, mother and/or spouse of a veteran who is unable to use the preference due to a service-connected disability or death:
  • Both the mother and the spouse/widow/widower may receive preference based on the same veteran's service if they meet the requirements.
  • None of the above can receive Derived Preference is the veteran is both living and qualified for Federal employment.
Veterans' Preference in Competitive Examining

Preference eligibles are given an edge in competitive examining. Competitive Examining is a recruitment method used to attract applicants from outside the federal civilian ranks. Candidates compete against each other based on the rating of their résumé/application.

Veterans' Preference eligibles are given consideration over non-preference eligibles when selections are made (except when the recruitment is for a professional or scientific position at pay grade GS-09 or higher).
  • Applicants with veterans' preference are listed ahead of other applicants in the same quality group.
  • The hiring official cannot select someone off a competitive examining referral list who does not have veterans' preference if there is a preference-eligible veteran in the same quality group unless the hiring official has appropriate grounds to bypass the veteran.
What 10-Point Preference Does For You
  • 10 point preference eligibles can apply to competitive examining vacancies at any time, even if the vacancy announcement has closed to new applications! If there is no immediate opening, the agency must retain the application in a special file for referral on future vacancies for up to 3 years. Call or email the Point of Contact (POC) listed on the vacancy announcement for more information.
  • Preference-eligible veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10%, and who meet or exceed the minimum qualifications of the vacancy, are referred at the top of the BQ group ahead of other preference eligibles and non- eligibles in the same group except for scientific or professional positions at the pay grade GS-09 level or higher.
OPM's VetGuide is the single most important reference for determining Veterans' Preference.

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