In November 2015, the United States Postal Service employed over 113,000 veterans. Military veterans and their mothers, spouses, widows or widowers are given preference during the hiring process and can earn extra Veterans Preference Points depending on their military history. Maintenance Custodian jobs are even reserved for veterans.
Thinking of going from the military to USPS? Then you need to know how Veteran Preference Points work.
How does Veterans Preference work?
As a military veteran, you are not certain of automatically getting a job at the USPS. You still need to pass the exam related to the job you’re applying for. In most cases, that will be the postal exam 473, but if you’re applying for a Maintenance Custodian job, that will be postal exam 916.
Once you’ve passed the required exam, you’re automatically given USPS Veterans Preference over other applicants just because you’re a veteran. But there’s more. As a veteran, you can earn Veterans Preference Points. The more points you get, the better your chances of being hired are.
But what do you need to do to get these veterans points? And how do you apply as a veteran? We’ll go over that in what follows.
Applying for the USPS as a military veteran
If you’re a veteran applying for the USPS, you need to provide proof of military service when you submit your application. In concrete, this means that you need to supply DD Form 214 (Certificate of Discharge from Active Duty), or another official document that states you are to be discharged or released from active military duty under honorable conditions no later than 120 days after submission of the document during the application process.
Aside from that, you also need to submit proof for every veterans’ preference qualification you want to claim points for.
Both your application as a veteran and your claim for veterans’ preference points will be examined by the Human Resources department of the USPS during the hiring process.
Veterans Preference Points
There are three different veteran’s preference point categories that each consist of different qualifications a veteran (or the veteran’s widow, widower, spouse or mother) can claim:
- no-points preference: the veteran is recognized as such, but does not get any extra points for the hiring process
- USPS 5-point preference: the veteran qualifies to get an extra five points veteran’s preference during the hiring process
- USPS 10-point preference: the veteran qualifies to get an extra ten points veteran’s preference during the hiring process
How to get Veterans Preference Points
A full list of requirements that need to be met to get either no-point, five-point or ten-point preference can be found on the United States Postal Service website.
We’ve summarized the requirements below.
1. Requirements for no-point preference
No-points preference is given to any veteran who was honorably discharged or released from military duty after August 29, 2008 because he/she was a “sole survivor” – the only surviving child in a family in which the father, mother, or the sister(s) or brother(s) served in the army and
- was killed.
- is held captive.
- is considered missing.
- is permanently 100% disabled or hospitalized.
Also, none of these may have been the result of intentional misconduct or willful neglect of the relative and occurred during a period of unauthorized absence.
On top of that, it must be possible to assume that the sole survivor would have stayed in service for at least 24 months if his service hadn’t been ended by the sole survivorship.
Lastly, he or she must have served in one of the following situations:
- during a war.
- between April 28, 1952 and July 1, 1955.
- for more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, between January 31, 1955, and October 15, 1976.
- during the Gulf War from August 2, 1990 until January 2, 1992.
- for more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, between September 11, 2001 and August 31, 2010.
- in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized.
2. Requirements for 5-point Veterans Preference
A veteran is granted 5 Veteran’s Preference Points if he/she served for at least 24 months, was honorably discharged or released and served under the same circumstances listed above for no-point preference.
3.Requirements for 10-point Veterans Preference
Ten-point preference is either given to disabled veterans or to the mothers, spouses, widows or widowers or veterans, in which case it’s called “derived preference”.
A veteran who was honorably released or discharged from military service can get ten-point preference if he/she has
- a compensable service-related disability of more than 30%.
- received a Purple Heart.
- a service-related disability or receives compensation, disability retirement benefits or pension from the military or the Department of Veteran Affairs, but doesn’t meet the requirements above.
Spouses of disabled veterans
The spouse of a veteran can get ten-point preference if
- the veteran was honorably discharged or released.
- the veteran has a service-related disability that prevents him from maintaining a federal position in the line of his usual work if
– he/she has been declared 100% disabled or unemployable by the military or the Department of Veterans Affairs.
– had to quit or couldn’t obtain a civil service or other position because of his/her disability.
Widows or widowers of veterans
Widows or widowers of veterans can get ten-point preference if they didn’t divorce the veteran or remarried (or if they remarried and later annulled that marriage) and if
- the veteran served between April 28, 1952 and July 1, 1955 or in a campaign of expedition for which a campaign medal has been given.
- the veteran was honorably discharged or released from military or died while on active duty, if the cause of the veteran’s dead would not have lead to dishonorable discharge and if the veteran has served in one of the situations also required for the no-point and five-point veterans’ preference.
Mothers of veterans
Mothers of veterans can receive ten-point veterans’ preference if
1) she’s the mother of a veteran who died under honorable conditions while on active duty during a war or during the period April 28, 1952, through July 1, 1955, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized and she is or was married to the father of the veteran and
- she lives with her totally and permanently disabled husband (either the veteran’s father or her husband through remarriage); or
- she is widowed, divorced, or separated from the veteran’s father and has not remarried; or
- she remarried but is widowed, divorced, or legally separated from her husband when she submits the veteran preference claim.
2) she is the mother of a living disabled veteran if the veteran was honorably discharged or released and is permanently and totally disabled because of a service-related injury or illness, the mother is or was married to the father of the veteran, and
- lives with her totally and permanently disabled husband (either the veteran’s father or her husband through remarriage); or
- is widowed, divorced, or separated from the veteran’s father and has not remarried.
- has remarried, but is widowed, divorced, or legally separated from her husband when she claims preference.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways veterans and their close relatives can obtain Veterans Preference Points, but it’s important to know the requirements and be able to provide proof for the preference you claim.
On the USPS website you can also find a list of proof you need to submit to qualify for veteran’s preference.