Veterans' Preference in State Civil Service
WHAT IS VETERANS’ PREFERENCE?
Applicants who pass civil service examinations required for appointment to positions covered by the State’s Merit System receive additional benefits in recognition of their military service. These benefits commonly are referred to as veterans’ preference. The authority for veterans’ preference in Pennsylvania government employment is contained in The Act of August 1, 1975 (P.L. 233, No. 92), as amended, in Title 51 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, "Military and Veterans Code."
HOW DO I APPLY FOR VETERANS’ PREFERENCE?
Applicants claiming veterans’ preference must submit the following documents with their application:
a. A photocopy of service discharge, DD Form 214 or other military document(s) showing date of entry, successful completion of basic training, character of service and completion of the military service commitment.
b. Widows and Widowers. A photocopy of spouse’s service discharge DD Form 214 or other military document(s) showing date of entry, successful completion of basic training, completion of the military service commitment, character of service and a certified copy (not a photocopy) of the death certificate of spouse.
c. Spouses of Disabled Veterans. A photocopy of spouse’s service discharge, DD Form 214 or other military document(s) showing date of entry, successful completion of basic training, completion of the military service commitment, character of service, a Department of Veterans Affairs letter dated within the past six months verifying that the veteran is receiving compensation for a service connected disability and a signed statement from the disabled veteran showing social security number and agreeing to transfer credit to spouse.
These documents need to be submitted to establish your claim and create your record. Originals should NOT be submitted as documents cannot be returned. You may be required to present originals if copies are unreadable or if needed to prove authenticity.
IS VETERANS’ PREFERENCE TRANSFERABLE?
Yes. A disabled veteran may assign his or her preference to a spouse by submitting the documentation listed in C under “HOW DO I APPLY FOR VETERANS’ PREFERENCE”. The preference may be recovered by the disabled veteran if the spouse is not on a current civil service list with veterans’ preference or is not currently employed in a civil service position achieved as a result of veterans’ preference.
HOW IS VETERANS’ PREFERENCE APPLIED TO CIVIL SERVICE TESTS?
a. Veterans, qualified widows and widowers of veterans and spouses of disabled veterans who pass civil service appointment tests, receive ten points added to their final score. They must pass the test before points are awarded.
b. Applicants who take a civil service examination BEFORE being honorably discharged from their military service commitment will never be entitled to receive an additional ten points added to that test score. However, upon completing their commitment and being honorably discharged, they will immediately become eligible for preference as a veteran. If such applicants thereafter retest or take other examinations successfully, they will receive both the ten additional points and preference.
c. Applicants entitled to veterans’ preference who are among the top three available candidates on certifications have mandatory preference in appointment over non-veterans.
d. Applicants entitled to veterans’ preference on a civil service list may be appointed regardless of their rank on the list.
IS VETERANS’ PREFERENCE USED FOR PROMOTIONS?
Veterans’ preference does NOT apply to promotions. However, current civil service employees holding less than full-time or permanent employment in intermittent, seasonal, wage, part-time, emergency and temporary positions continue to receive veterans’ preference. In addition, applicants appointed to emergency, temporary, provisional or qualifier status will also continue to receive veterans’ preference.
IS VETERANS’ PREFERENCE USED FOR FURLOUGH PURPOSES?
Certain periods of military service are counted in computing seniority used for furlough purposes if a reduction in the work force becomes necessary.