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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Become a PMF

Eligibility

Veterans' Preference

To be entitled to preference, a veteran must meet the eligibility requirements in Section 2108 of Title 5, United States Code. For more information on veterans' preference and their application in Federal employment refer to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's (OPM's) Vet Guide at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/veterans-services/vet-guide/. In addition, veterans may visit FedsHireVets, the one-stop resource for Federal veteran employment information. 

NOTE: On August 29, 2008, the Hubbard Act was enacted as Public Law 110-317. The Hubbard Act amended the eligibility categories for veterans' preference purposes by adding subparagraph (H) to 5 U.S.C. 2108(3). Subparagraph (H) establishes a new veterans' preference eligibility category for veterans released or discharged from a period of active duty from the armed forces, after August 29, 2008, by reason of a "sole survivorship discharge." The Hubbard Act defines a "sole survivorship discharge" as the separation of a member from the armed forces, at the request of the member, pursuant to Department of Defense policy permitting the early separation of a member who is 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.

Under the new sole survivorship preference, the individual (1) does not receive veterans' preference points as other preference eligibles do when the "rule of 3" is applied; (2) is entitled to be listed ahead of non-preference eligibles with the same score on an examination, or listed ahead of non-preference eligibles in the same quality category when agencies are using category rating; (3) is entitled to receive the same pass over rights as other preference eligibles; and (4) is entitled to credit experience in the armed forces to meet the qualification requirements for Federal jobs.

OPM will be implementing changes to its guides that list the various forms of veterans' preference to indicate that the sole survivorship designation should be "Sole Survivorship Preference" or "SSP." During the PMF application process, applicants will be asked if they can claim veterans' preference. The additional SSP preference category will be asked under a separate question.

If claiming veterans' preference during the application process, applicants should follow the instructions provided in the announcement for submitting supporting documentation. Applicants claiming veterans' preference may continue to submit supporting documentation (e.g., letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) after the application announcement closes, as identified under the application timeline. To submit such documents after the closing, send an email to pmfapplication@opm.gov and we will arrange for you to be able to log into your application account and upload directly, or you may use the Fax Cover Sheet to fax directly to us. The fax cover sheet can be found under the Become A PMF\Resources webpage.

The following are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding veterans' preference and documentation:

1. What types of supporting information can be submitted when claiming Veterans' Preference?
Applicants must submit information which documents the veteran's dates of military service, separation under honorable conditions and any service connected disability (if applicable). Acceptable forms of supporting documentation include:

Documentation of Service and Separation under Honorable Conditions -

  • DD-214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty"
  • Honorable or general discharge certificate
  • Certificate of transfer to Navy Fleet Reserve, Marine Corps Fleet Reserve, or enlisted Reserve Corps
  • Orders of transfer to retired list
  • Report of separation from a branch of the Armed Forces
  • Certificate of service or release from active duty, provided honorable separation is shown
  • Official statement from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that honorable separation took place
  • Official statement from the Military personnel records center that official records show that that honorable separation took place

Documentation of Service Connected disability -

  • Standard Form (SF 15) application for 10-point Veterans' Preference
  • An official statement, dated 1991 or later, from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or branch of the Armed Forces, certifying to the present existence of the veteran's service connected disability
  • An official citation, document, or discharge certificate, issued by a branch of the Armed Forces, showing the award to the veteran of the Purple Heart for wound or injuries received in action
  • An official statement or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces, showing that the retired service man was retried because of permanent service connected disability or was transferred to the permanent disability retirement list
  • An official statement, dated 1991 or later, from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs certifying that the veteran is receiving a nonservice-connected disability pension

2. What is a DD-214?
A DD-214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty", is issued to military members upon separation from active service. It contains information about the veteran's dates of military service and separation.

3. I lost my DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, how can I obtain a copy?
A copy of the DD-214 and other military service records can be obtained from the National Archives. Visit http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records for additional information.

4. What is the Standard Form (SF 15) application for 10-point Veterans' Preference?
The SF 15 is used by Federal Agencies and OPM examining offices to adjudicate individuals' claims for veterans' preference in accordance with the Veterans' Preference Act of 1994. The form also includes instructions.

5. Where can I find more information about Veterans' Preference?
For more information on veterans' preference and their application in Federal employment refer to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's (OPM's) Vet Guide at
http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/veterans-services/vet-guide/. In addition, veterans may visit FedsHireVets, the one-stop resource for Federal veteran employment information.

Finalists with Adjudicated Veterans' Preference

The on-line lists of Finalists have preference categories clearly identified that are viewable by registered agency users on the PMF website. Additionally, the list of Finalists on the public PMF website will indicate "Yes" for those Finalists whose veterans' preference claim was favorably adjudicated. 

If a Finalist is a veteran and he/she expresses an interest in working for an agency, that agency must apply the provisions of section 302 of Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, when selecting and appointing candidates. For purposes of the PMF Program, "expresses an interest" means that the Finalist has applied to an agency's posted announcement for  consideration for appointment to a specific position. This does not mean an agency must contact each veteran on the list of Finalists. 

Each applicant pool is unique. The applicant pool consists of those Finalists who applied for a posted position. 

If the agency selects a non-veteran Finalist over a preference eligible veteran Finalist it must prepare a written justification as to why the veteran Finalist did not meet the criteria for the position. Decisions must be qualifications driven and based on the specific requirements detailed in the position. The written justification accomplishes two objectives:

  1. Veteran Finalists are entitled, upon request, to obtain a copy of the reasons they were passed over in favor of a non-veteran Finalist. The written justification is intended to satisfy that obligation and thus should be written with the expectation that the veteran Finalist who was passed over may request to review it.
  2. Additionally, if OPM officials audit the agency's PMF process, the written justification serves as documentation that veteran Finalists who was part of the agency applicant pool for said position received proper consideration.

Application of veterans' preference during the appointing agency's selection process is the responsibility of the appointing agency. All Federal Agencies are aware of veterans' preference and must have procedures in place to consider in their selection process. Veteran Finalists may review the Vets Guide for more information.

UPDATED:  09-30-2013