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Am I Entitled to the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA)?

I am a retired honorable discharged Air Force Reservist. I have a 5 point preference for spending time overseas in a military Campaign. Am I entitled to the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA)?

Editor’s note: Our special thanks to Nancy Segal of Solutions for the Workplace, LLC for providing the answer to this question.  

Q: I am a retired honorable discharged Air Force Reservist. I have a 5 point preference for spending time overseas in a military Campaign. So it is a campaign medal with 5 points.

Am I entitled to the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA)? I did not serve 3+ years. Would I be a preference eligible? I don’t want to do anything illegal.

A: Only those who have 3 or more years of active duty service are eligible to apply under VEOA. Someone who is VEOA eligible should apply as a STATUS applicant but they do not receive any “points.” Points are only considered on a delegated examining / all citizens certificate—points do not count on status or merit promotion certificates.

VEOA eligibility does not make you a preference eligible since VEOA eligibility does not require giving that person preference. Only people who get points (5 or 10) are considered preference eligible.

Although it is probably more than you want to know, it is possible to be both VEOA eligible and preference eligible.

With less than 3 years of active duty service, you are NOT VEOA eligible. However, since you receive points, you ARE a preference eligible.

So, bottom line, you are a preference eligible and you do receive 5 points.

Nancy H. Segal
Solutions for the Workplace, LLC

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.