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A Guide to Veterans
Preference in State Government

Explanation of Survey Questions

  1. A civil service/merit system is a hiring system based on state law. The civil service/merit system sets a uniform standard of hiring and retention. Factors such as test scores, previous work experience and skills and abilities are primarily considered. This system is used in part to guard against political favoritism and to ensure that the most qualified candidates are appointed to positions.
  2. "Preference" means that a qualified veteran receives additional points to an earned test score. Preference in placement will go to a veteran if the veteran has a higher score or when a veteran and a non-veteran are otherwise equally qualified for the job.
  3. Some states impose time limitations on how long a veteran may use veterans' preference.
  4. With most states, the additional points for veterans' preference are added on after the veteran has received a passing score on the exam (i.e.-if a passing score is 70 and the veteran receives a 65, the veteran will not receive the additional 5 points).
  5. Non-disabled veterans are generally awarded 5 points, and sometimes more.
  6. In most states there is a policy of granting 5 additional veteran preference points to a disabled veteran's score(i.e.-while a non-disabled veteran may receive 5 points, a disabled veteran will receive 10 points). The survey found awarded points ranged from 5 to 19.
  7. An eligible list is a ranked list of all those candidates who have met the basic eligibility requirements to be considered for the relevant position. Veterans who do not earn a passing score on their test may not be placed on an eligible list.
  8. A few states, such as Alaska, Illinois, Maine, and New Jersey implement promotion policies which include veteran status as ranking criterion for promotion, along with seniority, education, and other factors.
  9. A certificate of eligible is a list of those candidates with the top ranking scores on a qualifying test,, or a numerical rating system that assess points for education, experience, skills and abilities. A certified list is used by agency officials to schedule interviews and make final selections for hiring. The survey found that the number of names referred to an appointing (hiring) official varied from 3 to 10.
  10. In 13 states, Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Washington, appointing authorities are required to provide written justification to a veteran when the veteran is passed over for selection in favor of a less qualified non-veteran.
  11. In certain government jobs, such as police officer or fireman, there are age limitations which specify the maximum age for entry into the profession. Age requirements may adversely affect some veterans, particularly military retirees due to their long term service. Because of these disadvantage, some states provide exceptions to age requirements for veterans in some jobs, usually on a case-by-case basis.
  12. Reduction-in-Force (RIF) is an option used by government agencies to eliminate and/or downgrade positions for reasons such as reorganization, lack of work, shortage of funds, or the exercise of certain reemployment rights. In 20 states, veterans get preference in retaining their jobs during a RIF.
  13. This question is designed to determine which states will count some or all of a veterans military service toward retirement in their state civil service or Merit System. The survey found that the majority of states count some military service. These states do no: Delaware, Indiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.
  14. A majority of states surveyed indicated that certain positions may only be filled by veterans' preference eligibles, this includes positions filled under the Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists and Local Veteran Employment Representatives (LVER) programs. Veterans hired under these two programs work for their state employment service. Their primary mission is to counsel with and find jobs and training opportunities for other veterans.
  15. None of the states surveyed limited their preference to only those individuals who entered military service from their state. Preference is therefore available to any legitimate veterans seeking a job, without regard to one's resident state at the time of application.
  16. Special appeal rights are a means of redress for a veteran who feels he/she was improperly passed over for an appointment or promotion or was improperly separated from one's position Special appeal rights also may be used to specifically address a perceived violation of one's veterans preference. The means of appeal may include but is not limited to, a written request for review by one's supervisor, an internal hearing (within the agency) before a review board, or an external hearing before a review board of non-agency members. Ten (10) states responded that a special appeal right exist for veterans.
  17. A Governor's statement of goals and objectives for jobs training is essentially the mission statement which addresses how the Governor expects job training and placements to function and what it is expected to accomplish. When a Governor includes veterans' jobs and training and placement in his statement, this is an indication that veterans' employment is a priority. The great majority of states responding indicated veterans employment is a priority of their State's Chief Executive.

National Veterans Employment Assistance Service


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