Are you Eligible for the New Disabled Veteran Leave Program?

The Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015 recently took effect for certain newly hired federal employees. OPM has provided a fact sheet about who is eligible for this leave program and how to use it.

Under the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015, certain federal employees are granted additional leave (known as Disabled Veteran Leave) to be used in conjunction with treating a service connected disability.

The law went into effect for new employees hired on or after November 5, 2016. In conjunction with the enactment of the legislation, the Office of Personnel Management recently released a fact sheet with details about how the new leave program works. The fact sheet covers topics such as employees who are and are not eligible for the leave program, crediting of Disabled Veteran Leave and how to request and use the leave.

According to OPM, these are the requirements for an employee to be eligible for Disabled Veteran Leave:

  • Be in the civil service (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105);
  • Be covered by the disabled veteran leave statute at 5 U.S.C. 6329;
  • Be a veteran as the term is defined in 38 U.S.C. 101(2);
  • Have a service-connected disability (as the term is defined in 38 U.S.C. 101(16)) rating of 30 percent or more—as determined by VBA;
  • Be hired (as that term is defined 5 CFR 630.1303) on or after November 5, 2016; and
  • Be subject to a leave system for which leave is charged for absences.

Employees who are not eligible are as follows:

  • Employees not covered under 5 U.S.C. 2105 (such as employees of Department of Defense nonappropriated fund instrumentalities);
  • Employees not covered by a leave system (such as those with intermittent work schedules or leave-exempt Presidential appointees); and
  • Employees under leave systems that are governed by an independent statutory authority (such as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees).

For complete details about the new Disabled Veteran Leave entitlement, see the Disabled Veteran Leave fact sheet on OPM’s website.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.