Employment – Veterans -Miscellaneous Benefits of Federal Government Employment to Veterans

Employment – Veterans -Miscellaneous Benefits of Federal Government Employment to Veterans

In addition to receiving benefits in hiring and reductions in force, qualifying veterans, known as preference eligibles, receive many other benefits in federal government employment. These benefits include the restriction of some federal jobs to preference eligibles, lifetime eligibility for reinstatement, and the receipt of certain noncompetitive appointments. To be eligible, veterans must have served in the Armed Forces in active duty and have received either an honorable or a general discharge. Additional criteria must be met, as well. These are discussed in detail in a separate article.

Restricted Jobs

Some federal government jobs may only be filled by employees eligible for veterans’ preferences if those employees are available to do the work. Specifically, jobs for guards, elevator operators, messengers, and custodians, whether filled through competitive examinations or through outside the register procedures, are restricted to preference eligibles.


Veterans who are eligible to receive preference in federal government employment and who served in either career appointments or career-conditional appointments have lifetime reinstatement eligibility within the competitive service. To take advantage of this benefit, a preference eligible must be qualified for the position, and if the position either has more promotion potential or is at a higher grade level than his or her former position, he or she must compete for the position in the agency’s merit promotion plan. Spouses and mothers of veterans who qualify for derived preferences can also take advantage of this benefit.

Affirmative Action

Two affirmative action programs are available to benefit veterans: Veterans Recruitment Appointments and disabled veterans appointments. Veterans Recruitment Appointments are available to Vietnam era veterans, allowing them to be appointed to service in the federal government without competing. The second program applies only to certain disabled veterans. Under that program, agencies must form their own affirmative action plans for these veterans and must consider them for employment and promotion using the merit system rules, for example.

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