Special Hiring Authorities & Non-Competitive Hiring Programs

There are hundreds of programs that provide status, preference, or Special Hiring Authorities. Please find a list of various government programs (not all provide status, preference, or Special Hiring Authorities) as well as a broader discussion of these programs. Information and links regarding some of the programs which provide status, preference, or Special Hiring Authorities are listed below.

Special Hiring Authorities & Pathways to Federal Employment

Veterans & Transitioning Service Members

For Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Veterans and transitioning service members are encouraged to apply to federal positions due to the number of special hiring authorities they are eligible to utilize.

Transitioning Service Members: May apply to federal positions up to 120 days out from their transition date (EAS, ETS, Separation, Retirement, etc.), though will need a Statement of Service signed by their commander.

Veterans are encouraged to look into the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Readiness & Employment Program, that offers paid programs and give veterans much needed on the job training, and experience. For more information on the SFFEB’s own VR&E program, check out our internship opportunities on our Internships, Scholarship Programs, & Leadership Opportunities page. 

Special Hiring Authorities for Veterans, Transitioning Service Members, and Certain Military Spouses

  • Veteran’s Recruitment Appointment (VRA): Can be used to appoint to positions up to GS-11 or equivalent without having to compete for the position. Can be converted to a career or career-conditional appointment after two years of successful performance. Can be used to fill temporary (not to exceed 1 year) or term (more than 1 year but not to exceed 4 years) positions. Can be done without a list of eligible candidates for the position, however, candidate must meet the basic qualification requirements for the position. Veterans preference applies. Eligibility: Disabled Veterans; or, Veterans with active duty during a war, or during time when a campaign badge is authorized; or Veterans who received an Armed Forces Services Medal; or recently separated Veterans (typically within the last three years) AND who separated under honorable conditions.
  • 30% or More Disabled Veteran Appointment: Any Veteran with a 30% or more service-connected disability to be hired without competition. If disabled, candidate will initially receive a noncompetitive, time-limited appointment of more than 60 days. Can be converted to a career or career-conditional appointment based on successful performance. No grade restrictions for opportunity under this authority. Eligibility: Disabled Veterans who retired from active military service with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more; and disabled Veterans rated by the VA as having a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more.
  • Schedule “A“ Appointing Authority: Allows agencies to hire eligible Disabled Veterans and or persons with disabilities, who have a severe physical, psychological or intellectual disability to be hired without competition. Can be appointed without going through the typical recruitment process of posting a vacancy announcement, and without hiring managers posting and publicizing the position. Can be used to appoint an eligible Disabled Veteran to any position (temporary or permanent) and at any grade level. Can be converted to a career or career-conditional appointment after two years of successful service. Eligibility: Veterans who can show proof of disability documented by a licensed medical professional, licensed Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist, or Federal or State agency, or certification of job readiness for the job applied for from a licensed medical professional or VA vocational rehabilitation special (NOTE: Any disability or injury that would qualify a disabled veteran to the 30% of More Disabled Veteran Appointment, would also qualify them for a Schedule A appointment).
  • Military Spouses (Certain Categories): Authorizes the non-competitive appointment of certain military spouses to positions in the competitive service. Agencies must adhere to the requirements of their career transition assistance plans (CTAP) and their interagency career transition assistance plans (ICTAP) before filling positions through this hiring authority. Eligible spouses who meet OPM qualifications standards may be hired into temporary or term positions at the discretion of the hiring agency under this authority. Eligibility: Those who are relocating with their service-member spouse as a result of permanent change of station (PCS) orders; spouses of service members who incurred a 100% disability because of the service member’s active duty service, or spouses of service members killed while on active duty (all require documentation).