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Special Hiring Authorities

Special Hiring Authorities

Veterans appointing authorities can bring qualified veterans to the forefront and speed up the selection process. These special authorities represent a few of many appointing authorities that agencies may use as authorized. Veterans are not entitled to appointment under any of these authorities, but knowledge that an agency intends to consider candidates pursuant to such an authority may enhance a veteran’s chances to be considered.

 

 

 

 

Special Hiring Authorities:
  • Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA)
  • 30% or More Disabled Veteran
  • Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998, as amended (VEOA)
  • Schedule A Appointing Authority for People with Certain Disabilities
Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA)

(38 U.S.C. 4214; 5 CFR Part 307, 752.401 (c)(3))

Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA) is an excepted authority that allows an agency to non-competitively appoint an eligible veteran. If you:

  • Served during a war or are in receipt of a campaign badge for service in a campaign or expedition; OR
  • are a disabled veteran, OR
  • are in receipt of an Armed Forces Service Medal (includes the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal)for participation in a military operation, OR
  • are a recently separated veteran (within 3 years of discharge), AND
  • Separated under honorable conditions (this means an honorable or general discharge).

You can be appointed under this authority at any grade level up to and including a GS-11 or equivalent. This is an excepted service appointment. Upon satisfactory completion of 2 years of substantially continuous service, you will be converted to the competitive service. If an agency has two or more VRA candidates and at least one is preference eligible, the veterans' preference procedures of 5 CFR, part 302 of OPM’s regulations must be applied when using the VRA authority.

Agencies may also use VRA to fill temporary (not to exceed 1 year) or term (more than 1 year but not to exceed 4 years) positions. If you are employed in a temporary or term position under VRA, you will not be converted to the competitive service after 2 years. There is no limit to the number of times you can apply under VRA, as long as you meet the definition of a covered veteran under applicable law.

You must provide acceptable documentation of your preference or appointment eligibility. The member 4 copy of your DD214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," is preferable. If claiming 10 point preference, you will need to submit a Standard Form (SF-15 (PDF file)), "Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference."

30 Percent or More Disabled Veterans

(5 U.S.C. 3112; 5 CFR 315.707, 316.302, and 316.402)

The 30% or More Disabled Veteran authority allows an agency to non-competitively appoint any veteran with a 30% or more service-connected disability. You are eligible if you:

  • 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.

This authority can be used to make temporary (at least 60 days but not to exceed 1 year) or term (more than 1 year, but not more than 4) appointments in the competitive service. There is no grade level restriction. There is no requirement that you be converted to a permanent position, but an agency has the authority to convert such a position to a permanent position if it chooses to do so.

The agency would first place you on a time limited appointment of at least 60 days and could then convert that appointment to a permanent appointment at management's discretion. When the authority is used to meet a time-limited need, however, you will not be converted to a permanent appointment.

You must provide acceptable documentation of your preference or appointment eligibility. The member 4 copy of your DD214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," is preferable. If claiming 10 point preference, you will need to submit a Standard Form (SF-15 (PDF file)), "Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference."

Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA)

5 U.S.C. 3304, 3330; 5 CFR 213.3202 (n) and 335.106

The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998, as amended (VEOA) provides preference eligibles and certain eligible veterans the opportunity to compete for certain positions announced under an agency’s merit promotion procedures. It applies only when the agency is filling a permanent, competitive service position and has decided to solicit candidates from outside its own workforce. It allows eligible veterans and preference eligibles to apply to announcements that would otherwise be open to so called "status" candidates, i.e., "current competitive service employees and certain prior employees who have earned competitive status."

To be eligible to be considered pursuant to VEOA appointment, your latest, discharge must be issued under honorable conditions (this means an honorable or general discharge), AND you must be either:

  • a preference eligible (defined in title 5 U.S.C. 2108(3)), OR
  • a veteran who substantially completed 3 or more years of active service under honorable conditions.

When agencies recruit from outside their own workforce under merit promotion procedures, their announcements must state VEOA is applicable. As a VEOA eligible you are not subject to geographic area of consideration limitations. When applying under VEOA, you must rate and rank among the best qualified applicants, overall, to be considered for appointment. The preference conferred, in this case, is the opportunity to compete; the statute confers no entitlement to be selected ahead of non-preference eligible candidates. Your veterans' preference does not apply to internal agency actions such as promotions, transfers, reassignments and reinstatements.

Current or former Federal employees meeting VEOA eligibility can apply. However, current employees applying under VEOA are subject to time-in- grade restrictions like any other General Schedule employee.

"Active Service" under VEOA means active duty in a uniformed service and includes full-time training duty, annual training duty, full-time National Guard duty, and attendance, while in the active service, at a school designated as a service school by law or by the Secretary concerned.

"Preference eligible" under VEOA includes those family members entitled to derived preference.

You must provide acceptable documentation of your preference or appointment eligibility. The member 4 copy of your DD214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," is preferable. If claiming 10 point preference, you will need to submit a Standard Form (SF-15 (PDF file)), Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. Military Spouse Appointing Authority (Executive Order 13473 and 76 FR 54071)

Schedule A Appointing Authority for People with Certain Disabilities

The Schedule A appointing authority for people with certain disabilities, 5 CFR 213.3102(u), is an excepted service authority that agencies can use to appoint individuals, including veterans who have a psychiatric, intellectual or severe physical disability. An agency's vacancy announcement will generally inform you whether the agency intends to consider candidates under this authority. To be eligible, you must: Show proof of your disability. Documentation may be from any licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional certified by a State, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. Territory to practice medicine), a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (i.e., State or private), or any Federal or State agency, or agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits; The above documentation may be combined in one letter or you can provide it in separate letters.

A sample letter (PDF file) can be found on the OPM website. Agencies can use this authority, at their discretion, to appoint you at any grade level and for any job (time-limited or permanent) for which you qualify. Appointments filled under 5 CFR 213.3102(u) are considered to be exempt from the normal veterans’ preference procedures of 5 CFR part 302. After 2 years of satisfactory service, the agency may convert you, without competition, to the competitive service.

There is no limit to the number of times you can apply under this authority.

OPM encourages job-seeking veterans to seek consideration under all the hiring authorities for which they are eligible, in addition to claiming their preference under the competitive examining process (if applicable).

FDA’s Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC): Leslie Dantzler (SpecialProgram@fda.hhs.gov)

Additional Resources: www.fedshirevets.gov (List of all Special Hiring Authorities)