Opportunities for Veterans

“When you take off the uniform, we will serve you as well as you've served us - because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they need when they come home.”
Barack Obama

At Social Security we offer several career options for people who have proudly served our country. With so many diverse career fields available in our agency, your solid military experience and willingness to selflessly serve can avail you a rewarding career in public service.

To learn more about opportunities for veterans, visit FedsHireVets.gov, or select a topic below.

Special Hiring Authorities

These are the special hiring authorities designed specifically for veterans:

Veterans Preference

Veterans Preference

Veteran’s preference gives eligible veterans preference in hiring. Preference is given in competitive appointments as well as special noncompetitive appointments. Only veterans discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions are eligible for veterans’ preference.

There are basically three types of preference eligible:

  • Disabled, regardless of the rating (10 point preference)
  • Non-Disabled (5 point preference) and
  • Sole survivorship preference (0 Preference)

The preference eligible are divided into five basic groups:

  • CPS - Disability rating of 30% or more (10 points)
  • CP - Disability rating of at least 10% but less than 30% (10 points)
  • XP - Disability rating less than 10% (10 points)
  • TP - Preference eligibles with no disability rating (5 points)
  • SSP – Sole Survivorship Preference (0 points)

For more information on the types of Veterans’ preference, visit the Feds Hire Vets Veterans’ Preference web page.

Veterans Recruitment Act (VRA)

Veterans Recruitment Act (VRA)

VRA allows for the appointment of eligible veterans, without competition from non veterans. This hiring authority can be used for positions up to GS-11 or equivalent. Veterans are hired under excepted appointments to positions that are otherwise found in competitive service. After the individual satisfactorily completes 2 years of service, the veteran may be converted non-competitively to a career or career-conditional appointment.

Eligibility under the VRA hiring authority applies to any of the following veterans:

  • Disabled veterans; or
  • Veterans who served in active duty in the Armed Forces during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized; or
  • Veterans who, while serving on active duty in the armed forces, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces Service Medal was awarded; or
  • Recently separated veterans (within 3 years); and
  • Separated from the Armed Forces under honorable or general discharge.

If you are interested in applying for employment under this special hiring program, please visit OPM's Veterans Employment Initiative.

30 Percent or More Disabled Veterans

30 Percent or More Disabled Veterans

The 30 Percent or More Disabled Veterans authority enables the appointment of an eligible candidate to any position for which he or she is qualified without competition. Unlike the VRA, there is no grade-level limitation. Initial appointments are time-limited, lasting more than 60 days; however, individuals can be non-competitively converted to a permanent status at any time during the time-limited appointment.

Eligibility applies to the following categories:

  • Disabled veterans who were retired from active military service with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more; OR
  • Disabled veterans rated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as having a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more

If you are interested in applying for employment under this special hiring program, please contact us at DCHR.OPE.Veterans.Employment@ssa.gov.

Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA)

Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA)

This flexibility gives preference eligible and certain eligible veterans access to jobs that otherwise only would have been available to status employees. In VEOA appointments, preference eligible and veterans are not accorded preference as a factor, but they are allowed to compete for job opportunities that are not offered to other external candidates. A VEOA eligible who is selected will be given a career or career-conditional appointment.

VEOA eligibility applies to the following veterans:

  • A preference eligible or Veteran separated from the Armed Forces after 3 or more years of continuous active service under honorable conditions or who were released shortly before completing a three year tour.

For more information go to FedsHireVets Special Hiring Authorities web page.

Disabled Veterans Enrolled in a VA Training Program

Disabled Veterans Enrolled in a VA Training Program

Disabled veterans eligible for training under the Veterans Administration (VA) vocational rehabilitation program may enroll for training or work experience at an agency under the terms of an agreement between the agency and VA. While enrolled in the VA program, the veteran is not a Federal employee for most purposes, but is a beneficiary of the VA.

Training is tailored to the individual's needs and goals, so there is no set length. If the training is intended to prepare the individual for eventual appointment in the agency rather than just provide work experience, the agency must ensure that the training will enable the veteran to meet the qualification requirements for the position.

Upon successful completion, the host agency and VA give the veteran a Certificate of Training showing the occupational series and grade level of the position for which the veteran trained. The Certificate of Training allows any agency to appoint the veteran non-competitively under a status quo appointment which may be converted to career or career conditional at any time.

For more information go to FedsHireVets Special Hiring Authorities web page.

Additional Information

Success Stories

Success Stories

Read inspiring success stories featuring Veterans here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What determines whether I am eligible to claim 5-point or 10-point preference?

You are a 5 point preference eligible if your active duty service meets any of the following:

  • Served during a war
  • In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized

You are a 10 point preference eligible if you served at any time, and you:

  • have a service connected disability, OR
  • received a Purple Heart

If you are still unsure on your ability to claim veterans' preference eligibility, you may also visit the Department of Labor's Veterans' Preference Advisor.

Who determines eligibility for veterans' preference?

Congress determines eligibility for veterans' preference through laws outlined in title 5, United States Code, Section 2108 ( 5 USC 2108). However, the Federal agency to which a veteran applies for employment will adjudicate claims for veterans' preference.  The agency will outline the information it needs in order to adjudicate claims for veterans' preference

Does veterans' preference apply to appointments made under VEOA?

No. veterans' preference does not apply to appointments using VEOA.

Where can I find the Standard Form (SF)-15 to submit as part of my application package?

A fillable SF-15 can be found on OPM's website.

Is there a limit to the number of times I can use my veterans' preference when applying for Federal jobs?

No.  There is no limit on how many times you can apply and claim an entitlement to veterans' preference.  However, it is important to remember that veterans' preference does not apply when the agency is using merit promotion procedures to fill a position.

I am currently on active duty and will not get my DD 214 until I am separated or retired. Is there any other official documentation that I can submit with an application package in lieu of the DD 214 to verify that I am eligible for veterans’ preference or one of the special hiring authorities for veterans?

Yes – You can request a Statement of Service through your Military Personnel Office.  The Statement of Service will need to list your dates of military service, character of service, and expected date of separation.  If you have been awarded a service-connected disability rating from your branch of military service, include the disability rating in your Statement of Service.

The job posting that I am applying to indicates that I must submit proof of my service-connected disability rating. What do I send as proof of my service-connected disability?

You can request a letter certifying that you have a service-connected disability from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  To request the letter call VA at 1-800-827-1000. 

Are there any Veteran representatives within Federal agencies that I can contact for job information within their organizations?

Yes – Veteran Employment Program Offices (VEPO) are located at 24 Federal agencies in the Executive Branch of Government. These offices are responsible for promoting Veterans' recruitment, employment, training and development, and retention within their respective agencies. Veterans are encouraged to contact these offices for specific information on employment opportunities in those agencies. A complete listing of Federal agency VEPO's is located on the Feds Hire Vets website.

I am a student veteran. How do I find out about student internships and employment offered within the Federal Government?

Please visit the USAJOBS website for information. Additionally, individual agency websites may list student employment opportunities.