Federal Careers

I’m a Veteran, So Why Don’t I Get “Points?” Veterans’ preference, as most of your know, is used in federal hiring. However, not all veterans receive “points” and points to do not apply in all federal hiring situations. Let’s look a couple of situations where veterans’ preference does not count:

  • Veterans’ preference is not applicable for internal promotions, reassignments, and other personnel actions regarding existing federal employees. Veterans preference points apply only in announcements that are open to all citizens / all sources / delegated examining. If you are applying for positions open to status applicants or are being reassigned from one position to another, there is no consideration of veterans’ preference.
  • If you are applying for a position using your Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) eligibility, there is no consideration of veterans’ preference points. When you apply under VEOA, you are applying as a “status” applicant, and as noted above, veterans’ preference points are not considered for status postings.
  • You are not eligible for veterans’ preference points. Former military members at O-4 and above do not receive “points” unless they have been given a disability rating by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • You received a dishonorable discharge. Only veterans discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions are eligible for veterans’ preference. This means you must have an honorable or general discharge.
  • You are a “retired member of the armed forces.” Unless you have a disability rating OR you retired below the rank of major or its equivalent, you are not eligible for points.
  • You are applying for a position in the excepted, rather than the competitive service. Not all positions in the excepted service apply veterans’ preference points (although many do). If you are applying for a position in the excepted service that is exempt from 5 CFR 302, veterans preference does not apply.
  • You did not service during certain designated periods. If you do NOT meet the following, you are eligible for points (unless you have a service connected disability or received a Purple Heart):
    – 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
    – During the Gulf War, between August 2, 1990 and January 2, 1992, OR
    – 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
    – Between April 28, 1952 and July 1, 1955 OR
    – In a war, campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal or badge has been authorized.
  • You have 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 a family in which the father or 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.

Still not sure? Use the Department of Labor’s Veteran’s Preference Advisor which can be found at: http://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/vets/vetpref/mservice.htm.