OPM Helping to Extend Hiring Preference to More Veterans
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Apr. 1, 2005 The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is working to make veterans' preference for federal jobs available to more veterans, including a new revised application that allows federal agencies to accept veterans' disability letters.
The revised Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, Standard Form 15, is being posted directly on OPM's Web site so agencies immediately can accept Veterans Affairs Department letters of disability, officials said. Agencies, OPM examining offices and agency appointing officials use the online application to evaluate claims for veterans' preference on applications for government jobs.
The new revisions to the veterans' preference form bring it in line with VA policy, which generally considers disability letters issued since 1991 as proof of a permanent disability.
To further encourage veterans into the federal system, OPM also is continuing its Veterans' Invitational Program, visiting military bases and medical centers to explain veterans' preference and outline the procedures for applying for federal jobs. Upcoming visits are planned for Cherry Point, N.C.; Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.; Fort Sam Houston and Fort Bliss, Texas; and Fort Lee, Va., officials said.
OPM Acting Director Dan G. Blair, who announced the initiatives earlier this week, said they reflect OPM's "strong emphasis on the rights of veterans, including employment opportunities."
"We must ensure those who are eligible for veterans' preference receive the benefits to which they are entitled," he said.
Veterans of the armed forces have received some degree of hiring preference for federal jobs since the Civil War.
Today's law, reflected in Veterans' Preference Code of 1944, as amended, and in Title 5 of the U.S. Code, ensures that veterans who are disabled or served on active duty in the military during certain specified time frames or campaigns receive preference in hiring from competitive lists of eligible applicants. It also gives these veterans preference in keeping their jobs during reductions in force.
The purpose of veterans' preference, officials explained, is to recognize the economic loss suffered during military service, restore veterans to a favorable competitive position for government jobs, and acknowledge the debt owed to disabled veterans.
More details about veterans' preference are posted on the OPM Web site.