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Veterans Preference Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

VETERANS’S PREFERENCE FORMS

Veterans’ Preference Certification FDVA form VP-1

Current US Armed Forces Florida National Guard FDVA form VP-2

Unremarried Widow or Widower Certification FDVA form VP-3

VETERANS’ PREFERENCE IN APPOINTMENT

Q: Who now qualifies for Veterans’ Preference?

Effective June 27, 2016, groups of individuals are eligible for Veterans’ Preference. The groups eligible for Veterans’ Preference (VP) are as follows:  

55A-7.008 Persons Eligible for Appointment Preference.

The following persons shall be eligible to receive preference in appointment pursuant to Section 295.07, F.S.:

(1) Disabled veterans who have served on active duty in any branch of the United States Armed Forces and who:

(a) Have a presently existing service-connected disability which is compensable under public laws administered by the DVA; or

(b) Are receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension by reason of public laws administered by the DVA and the Department of Defense.

(2) The spouse of any person:

(a) Who has a total and permanent service-connected disability and who, because of this disability, cannot qualify for employment; or

(b) Who is missing in action, captured in line of duty by a hostile force, or forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power.

(3) A wartime veteran as defined in Section 1.01(14), F.S., who has served in active duty during a specified wartime period for at least 1 day in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized, including any armed forces expeditionary medal or the global war on terrorism medal, or during one of the specified periods of wartime service; however, active duty for training is not allowed for eligibility.

(4) The unremarried widow or widower of a veteran who died of a service-connected disability.

(5) The mother, father, legal guardian, or unremarried widow or widower of a member of the United States Armed Forces who died in the line of duty under combat-related conditions, as verified by the Department of Defense.

(6) A veteran as defined in Section 1.01(14), F.S., who has served in active duty as specified; however, active duty for training is not allowed for eligibility.

(7) A current member of any reserve component of the United States Armed Forces or the Florida National Guard.

Rulemaking Authority 295.07(2) FS. Law Implemented 295.07(1), (3) FS. History–New 3-30-88, Formerly 22VP-1.008, Amended 2-12-90, 6-21-92, 6-11-08, 6-27-16.

Q: What Character of Discharge must be on the DD214 in order to get Veterans’ Preference?

55A-7.007 General Eligibility for Appointment and Retention Preference.

Rule Chapter 55A-7, F.A.C., sets forth procedures for providing preference and priority in the employment selection and retention practices of agencies of the State and its political subdivisions as defined in Section 1.01(8), F.S., applying such rules to those certain servicemembers, veterans, spouses and family members of servicemembers and veterans specified in Section 295.07(1), F.S., who:

(1) Have not been classified by any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States as a deserter; or

(2) Have not received a discharge under less than honorable conditions upon separation from the Armed Forces.

(3) Have not been designated as exempt pursuant to Section 295.07(4), F.S.

Rulemaking Authority 295.07(2) FS. Law Implemented 295.065, 295.07(4), 295.123 FS. History–New 3-30-88, Formerly 22VP-1.007, Amended 12-27-98, 6-27-16.

Q: What about if a numeric system is not used?

55A-7.011 Employment Preference When Numerically Based Selection Process Is Not Used.

(1) When open positions are not filled based upon examination scores or numerically-based selection, and are not among the exempt positions described in Section 295.07(4), F.S., Veterans’ Preference in appointment, employment, and retention requires that a preference-eligible applicant be given special consideration and priority at each step of the selection process.

(2) Preference-eligible applicants who meet the minimum qualifications for the open position shall be considered for selection and shall be granted an interview in all cases.

(3) When two equally-qualified preference-eligible applicants are considered for an open position, selection preference shall be awarded first to paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection, and second to paragraphs (c) through (g) of this subsection:

(a) Those disabled veterans who possess the minimum qualifications necessary to discharge the duties:

  1. Who have served on active duty in any branch of the United States Armed Forces, have received an honorable discharge, and have established the present existence of a service-connected disability that is compensable under public laws administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs; or
  2. Who are receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension by reason of public laws administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and the United States Department of Defense.

(b) The spouse of a person who has a total disability, permanent in nature, resulting from a service-connected disability and who, because of this disability, cannot qualify for employment, and the spouse of a person missing in action, captured in line of duty by a hostile force, or forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power who possesses the minimum qualifications necessary to discharge the duties.

(c) A wartime veteran as defined in Section 1.01(14), F.S., who has served at least 1 day in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized, including any armed forces expeditionary medal or the global war on terrorism medal, or during one of the specified periods of wartime service.

(d) The unremarried widow or widower of a veteran who died of a service-connected disability.

(e) The mother, father, legal guardian, or unremarried widow or widower of a member of the United States Armed Forces who died in the line of duty under combat-related conditions, as verified by the Department of Defense.

(f) A veteran as defined in Section 1.01(14), F.S.

(g) A current member of any reserve component of the United States Armed Forces or the Florida National Guard.

(4) At each stage of the hiring process, if a preference-eligible applicant meets minimum qualifications necessary to discharge the duties of the position, he or she will advance to the next step in the public employer’s selection process.

(5) If, at any step in the selection process, a determination is made that the preference-eligible applicant is not qualified to advance to a subsequent step in the selection process, a higher level of management having authority to overturn the initial determination shall review such determination to ensure that the determination was correct.

(6) Appointments to positions subject to collective bargaining agreements are to be made from the appropriate register or employment list in accordance with these augmented ratings.

Rulemaking Authority 295.07(2) FS. Law Implemented 295.085 FS. History–New 3-30-88, Formerly 22VP-1.011, Amended 2-12-90, 7-12-93, 12-27-98, 12-28-04, 6-11-08, 6-27-16.

Q: What documents must be shown in order to claim Preference:

55A-7.013 Documentation of Preference Claim.

(1) An applicant who believes he or she is entitled to Veterans’ Preference in employment shall indicate such preference on the application form.

(2) The applicant claiming preference is responsible for providing required documentation at the time of making an application for a vacant position, or prior to the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

(3) Documentation for all applicants shall include a Veterans’ Preference Certification, FDVA form VP-1, (Click here for FDVA form VP-1) incorporated by reference and the following:

(a) Veterans, disabled veterans, and spouses of disabled veterans shall furnish a Department of Defense document, commonly known as form DD-214 or military discharge papers, or equivalent certification from the DVA, listing military status, dates of service and discharge type.

(b) Disabled veterans shall also furnish a document from the Department of Defense, the DVA, or the Department certifying that the veteran has a service-connected disability.

(c) Spouses of disabled veterans shall also furnish either a certification from the Department of Defense or the DVA that the veteran is totally and permanently disabled or an identification card issued by the Department; spouses shall also furnish evidence of marriage to the veteran and a statement that the spouse is still married to the veteran at the time of the application for employment; the spouse shall also submit proof that the disabled veteran cannot qualify for employment because of the service-connected disability.

(d) Spouses of persons on active duty shall furnish a document from the Department of Defense or the DVA certifying that the person on active duty is listed as missing in action, captured in line of duty, or forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power; such spouses shall also furnish evidence of marriage and a statement that the spouse is married to the person on active duty at the time of that application for employment.

(e) The mother, father, legal guardian, or unremarried widow or widower of a deceased veteran shall furnish a document from the Department of Defense showing the death of the service member while on duty status under combat-related conditions or the DVA certifying the service-connected death of the veteran. The mother, father, or legal guardian shall provide evidence of familial relationship, such as a birth certificate. The unremarried widow or widower of a deceased veteran shall furnish a document from the Department of Defense or the DVA certifying the service-connected death of the veteran, and shall provide evidence of marriage, such as a marriage certificate, and certification that the spouse has not remarried by providing a completed Certification of Unremarried Widow or Widower, FDVA form VP-3, incorporated by reference and found at here for FDVA form VP-3.

(f) The current member of any reserve component of the United States Armed Forces shall provide a completed Certification of Current Member of Reserve Component of the United States Armed Forces or The Florida National Guard, FDVA form VP-3, incorporated by reference and found at here for FDVA form VP-3, signed by an immediate military supervisor, in addition to the FDVA form VP-1 (Click here for FDVA form VP-1). The current servicemember of any active component of the United States Armed Forces who is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service under honorable conditions no later than 120 days after the date that a Statement of Service certification or letter is prepared by the armed forces, shall be treated as a preference-eligible applicant. These documents may be provided in lieu of a DD-214 or other documentation which may not be available until active service has ended.

Rulemaking Authority 295.07(2) FS. Law Implemented 295.065, 295.07, 295.11 FS. History–New 3-30-88, Formerly 22VP-1.013, Amended 2-12-90, 7-12-93, 12-27-98, 6-11-08, 6-27-16.

Q: How many days does an individual have to file a complaint?

55A-7.016 Enforcement of Preference.

(1) When a preference-eligible applicant receives notice of a hiring decision from an employer, and believes that he or she was not afforded employment preference in accordance with applicable Florida law and regulation, he or she may file a written complaint requesting an investigation to the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Division of Benefits and Assistance, 9500 Bay Pines Blvd., Room 214, St. Petersburg, Florida 33708.

(2) Such complaint shall be filed within 60 calendar days from the date that the notice is received by the preference-eligible applicant pursuant to Sections 120.569 and 120.57, F.S. The time periods specified in this rule may extend the time periods set forth in Chapter 120, F.S., in order to benefit preference-eligible persons and to accommodate the challenges of obtaining federal government records. The day of receipt will be presumed to be the date on the employer’s letter plus 5 calendar days for mail unless the applicant provides proof that the applicant received the notice earlier.

(3) Prior to filing a complaint, it is the responsibility of the preference-eligible applicant to contact the designated Human Resources or other contact person at least one time after 45 days have passed from the final date for submitting an application or the interview date, whichever is later in time, if the applicant has not received notice of a hiring decision.

Rulemaking Authority 295.07(2) FS. Law Implemented 295.11, 295.14 FS. History–New 3-30-88, Formerly 22VP-1.016, Amended 2-12-90, 7-12-93, 12-27-98, 6-11-08, 6-27-16.

For further information please go to: http://floridavets.org/benefits-services/veterans-preference/

 

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