Changes to Veterans' Preference

By on February 26, 2013 in Human Resources, News

The Office of Personnel Management has issued new guidance to agencies on applying Veterans’ Preference.

On August 29, 2008, the Hubbard Act was enacted as Public Law 110-317.  The Hubbard Act, which was passed in August 2008, amended the eligibility categories for veterans’ preference purposes.  It establishes a new veterans’ preference eligibility category for veterans released or discharged from active duty from the armed forces, after August 29, 2008, with a “sole survivorship discharge.”

A “sole survivorship discharge” is defined 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 served in the armed forces and was killed or 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).

Also, the death, status, or disability cannot be the result of 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.

The Office of Personnel Management will be implementing changes to its guides listing the various ways in which veterans’ preference is implied. The revised guides will  indicate that the sole survivorship designation should be “Sole Survivorship Preference” or “SSP.”

© 2016 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.


About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources.

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  1. msgrowan says:

    OPM has never had the reputation of being a nimble, agile organization; instead it has always tended to move with all deliberate glacial speed, and has demonstrated this trait yet again.  However, even by OPM standards, taking about four and one-half years to implement the Hubbaard Act passed in  August 2008 is a bit much.  even then, Mr. Berry’s memo to the CHCOs indicates that operational guidance of a procedural nature is still to follow.  One would have thought that thr Hubbard Act’s main sponsors and veterans’ groups at least would have followed up long before now to shake OPM out of its comatose state, but apparently not.  Whether the delay was at all influenced by the fact that the legislation was passed under the aegis of the predecessor Bush administration (you may recall that he’s the guy who’s to blame for all the evil in the world, according to his successor) is unknown, but with OPM due to play a major role in implementing Obamacare (this being somewhat frightening, given OPM’s past record of debacles in the civil service retirement application processing and USAJOBS 3.0 projects among others), it is to be doubted that OPM will be as slothful when it comes to that particular initiative (indeed, see OPM’s proposed regs issued on 12/5/12 intended to do just that).

  2. HRguru says:

    4 years later?