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Special Hiring Authorities for Family Members

The Gold Star Fathers Act of 2015 became effective on January 7, 2016 and amends section 2108(3)(F) and (G) of Title 5, United States Code, by expanding preference eligibility from the “mother” of a deceased or disabled veteran who is unable to use his or her preference, to the “parent” of that service member.

Family Member Appointing Authorities are not an entitlement. Knowing about these authorities and identifying your eligibility will enhance your job search. Check vacancy announcements, which should clearly state Who May Apply.

As the spouse, widow/widower, or parent of a veteran you may be eligible 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." Both a parent and a spouse (including widow or widower) may be entitled to apply on the basis of the same veteran's service if each meets the requirements applicable to a parent and a spouse, respectively.

Veterans Employment Opportunity Act of 1998

Veterans Employment Opportunity Act of 1998, as amended (VEOA) is a competitive service appointing authority that can only be used when filling permanent, competitive service positions. It cannot be used to fill excepted service positions. It allows preference eligibles to apply to announcements that are only open to so called "status" candidates, which means "current competitive service employees."

If you are a family member entitled to derived preference, you are a preference eligible and can apply under this authority. You must provide acceptable documentation of your preference or appointment eligibility. If claiming 10–point preference, you will need to submit a Standard Form (SF-15) (Fillable PDF file) [1.22 MB], Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference.

Family members must first be eligible for derived preference in order to be considered for appointment under VEOA.

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.

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.

Military Spouse Noncompetitive Appointing Authority

The Military Spouse Noncompetitive Appointing Authority allows agencies to appoint certain military spouses without using traditional competitive examining procedures. Agencies can choose to use this authority when filling competitive service positions on a temporary (not to exceed 1 year), term (more than 1 year but not more than 4 years), or permanent basis. The authority does not entitle spouses to an appointment over any other applicant– it is used at the discretion of an agency.

In accordance with revised 5 U.S.C. 3330d(b), the head of an agency may now appoint noncompetitively: the spouse of a member of the armed forces on active duty, the spouse of a 100 percent disabled member of the armed forces, or the spouse of a deceased member of the armed forces. Learm more about the eligibility criteria.

Related Content

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Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference

If claiming 10 point preference, you will need to submit a Standard Form (SF-15), "Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference."

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