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Veterans Outreach

Special Appointing Authorities

Veterans appointing authorities can bring qualified Veterans to the Forest Service and speed the selection process. This section presents guidelines for:

Types of Veterans' Preference

To hire an eligible Veteran under VRA:

  • Step 1: For positions up to a GS-11 (the promotion potential of the position is not a factor), determine if the candidate is eligible under this authority.

    The following individuals are eligible for a VRA appointment:

    • Disabled Veterans
    • Veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during a war declared by Congress, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized;
    • Veterans who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a military operation for which the Armed Forces Service Medal was awarded; and
    • Veterans separated from active duty within the past 3 years.

    There is no minimum service requirement, but the individual must have served on active duty, not active duty for training. (NOTE: For Veterans who have less than 15 years of education, there is a training or education requirement.)
  • Step 2: Subject to Veterans' preference, appoint any VRA eligible who meets the qualifications requirements for the position. No announcement is required.
  • Applying Veterans' Preferences: If an agency has two or more VRA candidates and one or more is a preference-eligible Veteran, the agency must apply the Veterans' preference procedures in 5 CFR part 302.

30 Percent or More Disabled Veterans

To hire a 30 Percent or More Disabled Veteran:

  • Step 1: Determine if the candidate is eligible under this authority. A VA letter or military discharge papers substantiating the service-connected disability is required.
  • Step 2: Appoint an eligible, disabled Veteran who meets the qualifications for the position to a temporary appointment of more than 60 days or to a term appointment. You may convert the appointment, without a break in service, to career or career-conditional at any time during the temporary or term appointment. Veterans' preference does not apply and no announcement is required.

Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA)

Agencies must allow eligible preference eligibles and certain Veterans to apply for positions announced under merit promotion procedures when the agency is recruiting from outside its own workforce. Veterans may be hired through the competitive process using the steps summarized below.

  • Step 1: Consider the strategic benefit in filling the position using Veterans and transitioning service members.
  • Step 2: Determine recruiting strategy. Consider posting announcement at Veterans Transition Centers or with Veterans organizations.
  • Step 3: Announce the vacancy on USAJOBS.
  • Step 4: Consider VEOA applicants with other status candidates.
  • Step 5: Determine the most qualified candidates. Determine which applicants are qualified, rate them based on their qualifications, and issue a selection certificate in accordance with the agency merit promotion plan.
  • Step 6: Select a candidate. If a VEOA eligible is selected, he/she is given a career-conditional or career (as appropriate) appointment.

Job Seekers with Disabilities

Federal agencies fill jobs two ways, competitively and non-competitively. Persons with disabilities may apply for jobs filled either way. People who are selected for jobs must meet the qualification requirements for the jobs and be able to perform the essential duties of the jobs with or without reasonable accommodation.

Jobs Filled Competitively

Jobs that are filled competitively are advertised through USAJOBS. Each job advertisement contains instructions on how to apply. Approximately 16,000 jobs are available each day.

USAJOBS contains two ways to complete an application: The Federal Job Search and Application Form, OF-612, and the Online Resume Builder. In addition to this basic application, most advertisements require applicants to submit additional statements about their qualifications for the job.

Applicants can register to receive an email every day that matches the type of job they are interested in obtaining. The email notification lasts for 120 days. Applicants can renew their email registration before it expires.

Jobs Filled Non-competitively

People with Mental Retardation, Severe Physical Disabilities, or Psychiatric Disabilities and have documentation from a licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional certified by a state, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory to practice medicine); a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (i.e., state or private); or any Federal agency, state agency, or agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits may apply for non-competitive appointment through the Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) hiring authority. Applicants with documentation may apply directly to agencies' Selective Placement Coordinators or equivalent to be considered for jobs. Applicants should send a resume plus the pertinent documentation to the Selective Placement Coordinator or equivalent.

Appointment Authorities

The Federal Government has a special Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) appointing authority for persons with Mental Retardation, Severe Physical Disabilities, or Psychiatric Disabilities.

Disabled veterans may also be considered under special hiring programs for disabled veterans with disability ratings from the Department of Veterans Affairs of 30% or more.

Proof of Disability and Certification of Job Readiness

Eligibility for appointment under this Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) authority consists of two parts:

  1. Proof of Disability: An individual wishing to be hired under this Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) authority must provide proof he or she is indeed an individual with mental retardation, severe physical disability, or psychiatric disability. This proof must be provided to the hiring agency before an individual can be hired.

    This proof may be in the form of documentation obtained from licensed medical professionals, state or private vocational rehabilitation specialists, or any Government agency that issues or provides disability benefits.
  2. Certification of Job Readiness: An individual hired under this authority must be ready to perform the job for which they are being considered. This certification is a statement that the individual is likely to succeed in the performance of the duties of the position for which he or she is applying. For instance, the certification of job readiness for an individual applying for a position as an Administrative Assistant or an Accountant may state that the "individual is likely to succeed performing work in an office environment."

    This certification of job readiness may be obtained from the same individuals that provided the proof of disability. The certification may be on the same documentation as the proof of disability or it may be a separate document.

    In situations where an individual has the proof of disability documentation, but not the certification of job readiness, hiring agencies have the discretion to place an individual on a temporary appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) to determine an individual's job readiness.

Contact Information

USDA Forest Service
Albuquerque Service Center
Human Resources Management
4000 Masthead Street NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
(877) 372-7248 (Option 2)