Federal Authorities for Veteran Employment

There are many federal directed special authorities for veterans that will enhance your job search opportunities. Below are a few of these authorities with links to more information about them.

OPM LogoSchedule A
While Schedule A is not only for veterans, it is an authority that can be used for veterans with severe physical, psychological, or intellectual disabilities under 5 CFR 213.3102(u).

Feds Hire Vets LogoVeterans’ Recruitment Appointment
Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment (VRA) is a special authority that can be used for any pay grade up to and including a GS-11 or equivalent. Some of the basic criteria that must be met include, but are not limited to:

  • are in receipt of a campaign badge for service during a war or in a campaign or expedition; OR
  • are a disabled veteran, OR
  • are in receipt of an Armed forces Service Medal for participation in a military operation, OR
  • are a recently separated veteran (within the last 3 years), AND
  • separated under honorable conditions (this means an honorable or general discharge), you are VRA eligible.

Using VRA for appointments is considered to be an excepted service appointment. Once you have successfully completed two years of employment, you can then be changed to the competitive service. You will receive Veterans’ preference when you apply for positions under the VRA authority.

You can apply and be appointed under the VRA authority as many times as you want; there is no limit.

Veteran’s Employment Opportunity Act of 1998
The Veteran’s Employment Opportunity Act of 1998, as amended (VEOA) is a special authority that can be used to fill permanent and competitive service positions only. This authority will allow you as a veteran to apply to positions that are listed as only being open to “status” candidates (AKA “current competitive service employees”).

To be considered eligible for an appointment under this authority, you must have been discharged from the military under honorable conditions. This means that you received either a general discharge or an honorable one, and you must be eligible under one of the items listed below:

  • 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 this authority, you are not restricted by geographical areas of consideration limitations. You still need to rank among the most qualified when applying under VEOA when compared to current employee applicants. However, it is important to remember that this type of preference is not considered for such activities as promotions, reassignments, transfers, or reinstatements.

Disabled Veteran
Disabled veterans with a rating of 30% or more are able to be appointed to positions non-competitively and with no grade level restrictions.

To be eligible you must have:

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

There are no grade restrictions under this authority. This authority allows for hiring of veterans for permanent positions, term positions, (greater than 1 year, but not to exceed 4), and temporary (not to exceed 1 year).

If you are hired under this authority to a permanent position, you will be on what is called a limited appointment for the first sixty (60) days before being converted to a permanent appointment. This conversation is not automatic and is at the discretion of the management. If you are hired under this authority into a temporary or term appointments, you will not be converted to a permanent position.

Whichever of these authorities you decide you apply under, you will always need to provide the appropriate documentation of justify your granting of one of these preferences or appointments. The member 4 copy of your DD214, “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty,” is preferable. If you will be claiming 10 point preference, you will also need to submit a Standard Form (SF-15 [152 KB]), “Application for 10-point Veterans’ Preference.”

Teresa Agostino

Teresa Agostino

Originally from Canada, Terri moved to the US at 16 and joined the Army Reserves at 17. She went active Army in 1991, and spent almost 2 years in Iraq as a program analyst for the Army Corps of Engineers. She currently works for the VA as an Accounts Management Supervisor. Terri has her MBA in HR management.
Teresa Agostino

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