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Special Hiring Authorities for Military Spouses and Family Members

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.

Military Spouse Noncompetitive Appointing Authority

Executive Order 13473, dated September 28, 2008, authorized the noncompetitive appointment of certain military spouses to competitive service positions. This 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.

As a military spouse you may be eligible under this authority if your active duty military spouse: 1) receives a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move; 2) has a 100% disability rating; or 3) died while on active duty. Each of these categories has different eligibility criteria that must be met.

Active Duty Spouse PCS

As a military spouse you must:

  1. Be authorized to relocate with the service-member on the PCS orders; and
  2. Actually relocate to the new duty station.

Note: Military spouses can only be appointed within the reasonable daily commuting distance of the new duty station. A relocating spouse of a member of the Armed Forces remains eligible for noncompetitive appointment under this section for the duration of the spouse’s relocation to the permanent duty station of the member. You will be asked to provide a copy of the PCS orders. Also, the military spouse who is PCSing with a military member that is retiring or separating is not eligible under this authority unless he/she meets one of the other two criteria outlined below.

Based on 100% Disability

As a military spouse, you may be eligible to be considered under this authority if:

  1. The military member was retired under Chapter 61 of title 10, United States Code with a 100% disability rating from the military; or
  2. Was released from active duty and has a disability rating of 100% from the Department of Veterans' Affairs or the military department.

Note: There is no geographic limitation under this category. You will be required to provide documentation of your spouse's disability.

Based on Service Member's Death

  • As the military spouse, you may be eligible if the military member was killed while on active duty (it does not have to be combat related), and you have not remarried.

Note: There is no geographic limitation in this category. You will be required to provide documentation on the death of the spouse and your marital status at the time of death.

Special Note: Military Spouse Preference is a Department of Defense authority applicable to positions being filled both in the continental United States and at overseas locations. Agencies are not required to use this hiring authority, nor does it take precedence over the use of other appointment mechanisms. For more information contact your local Department of Defense civilian personnel office.

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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 veterans 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), Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference.

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

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