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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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I have found information on disable veterans being able to apply to federal jobs after the application process has already closed or to get a non-competitive appointment.

Anyone have any experience or information on this?

I understand the the point system advantage, this is something completely different. 

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Special Noncompetitive Appointing Authorities for Veterans

Veterans' Readjustment Appointment (VRA)

The VRA is a special authority by which agencies can appoint an eligible veteran without competition. The candidate does not have to be on a list of eligibles, but must meet the basic qualification requirements for the position. The VRA is a convenient method of appointment for both the agency and the veteran. However, use of the authority is entirely discretionary and no one is entitled to a VRA appointment.

Service Requirements

You must have served on active duty for a period of more than 180 days all or any part of which occurred after August 4, 1964; (February 28, 1961, for those who actually served in Vietnam) AND received other than a dishonorable discharge.

Active duty is full-time duty in the Armed Forces, other than active duty for training.

You do not need to serve more than 180 days of active duty if you were discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.

Reserve and Guard members do not need to serve more than 180 days of active duty if (1) they were ordered to active duty under sections 12301 (a), (d), or (g); 12302; or 12304 of title 10, United States Code, and (2) their active duty was during a period of war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge is authorized. (For VRA eligibility, the term "period of war" includes Desert Storm/Shield, beginning August 2, 1990 and ending November 30, 1995.)

Qualification Requirements

You must meet the prescribed qualification requirements for the position, except that any written test requirement may be waived.

Military service is considered qualifying for positions at the GS-3 and below grade levels. Appointees to positions above the GS-3 grade level must meet qualification requirements, however agencies may waive any written test requirement.

Veterans' Preference Applies

When two or more VRA applicants are preference eligibles, the agency must apply veterans' preference as required by law. (While all VRA eligibles have served in the Armed Forces, they do not necessarily meet the eligibility requirements for veterans' preference under section 2108 of title 5, United States Code.)

Time Limit

By law, eligible Vietnam-era veterans -- those who served on active duty between August 5, 1964, (February 28, 1961, for those who actually served in Vietnam) and May 7, 1975 -- qualify for 10 years after their last discharge or separation from active duty.

Eligible post-Vietnam-era veterans (i.,e., who first began serving after May 7, 1975) qualify for 10 years after the date of their last discharge or release from active duty, or until December 31, 1999, whichever is later.

Eligible veterans with a service-connected disability of 30% or more have no time limit.

Training Requirement

If you are selected for a VRA and have less than 15 years of education, you must agree to participate in a training or educational program established by the agency.

Grade Level of Jobs That Can be Filled

Agencies can use the VRA authority to fill positions up through the GS-11 grade level and positions at the equivalent level under other pay systems, i.e. wage grade. The promotion potential of a position is not a factor.

Conditions of Employment

Veterans' Readjustment Appointments are in the excepted service. After 2 years of substantial continuous service in a permanent position under a VRA, your appointment will be converted to the competitive service, providing your performance has been satisfactory. (Veterans can also be given temporary or term appointments non-competitively using the VRA authority. The appointments are time-limited and do not lead to career jobs.)

How to Apply

You contact the Federal agency personnel office where you are interested in working to find out about VRA opportunities. Agencies recruit candidates and make VRA appointments directly.


Federal agencies have the authority, by law (section 3112 of title 5, United States Code), to give noncompetitive appointments to any veteran who has a service-connected disability of 30% or more. Like the VRA, this authority is discretionary with the agency. Unlike the VRA, however, there is no grade limitation.

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible you must be a disabled veteran who has a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more and the disability must be officially documented by the Department of Defense or the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Conditions of Employment

You must serve initially under a temporary appointment not limited to 60 days or less. After successfully performing on such a temporary appointment, the Federal agency may convert you to a permanent position.

Conditions of Qualifications

You must meet all qualification requirements for any position to which you are appointed. This could include the requirement to achieve a passing score on a written test.

How to Apply

Contact the Federal agency Personnel office where you are interested in working to find out about opportunities. Agencies recruit candidates and make appointments directly. As a part of your application package, you will need a copy of a letter dated within the last 12 months from the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense certifying receipt of compensation for a service-connected disability of 30% or more.

Disabled Veterans Enrolled In VA Training Programs

Disabled veterans eligible for training under the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) vocational rehabilitation program may enroll for training or work experience at an agency under the terms of an agreement between the agency and VA. The veteran is not a Federal employee for most purposes while enrolled in the program, but is a beneficiary of the VA. The training is tailored to individual needs and goals so there is no set length. If the training is intended to prepare the individual for eventual appointment in the agency (rather than just work experience), the U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must approve the training plan. Upon successful completion, the veteran will be given a Certificate of Training showing the occupational series and grade level of the position for which trained. This allows any agency to appoint the veteran noncompetitively for a period of 1 year. Upon appointment, the veteran is given a Special Tenure Appointment which is then converted to Career-Conditional with OPM approval.

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Well, you might be able to get a job at your local VAMC mopping the floor with such an appointment.

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So this program is out there, does it ever comes into play....???? I am about to retire after 23 years of service. I have already started my VA claim. At a minimum I will be at 50% due to my Sleep Apnea. I have other issues also, to include Diabetes Type II and some other minor medical issues. After a stressful last few years of military life, I just want a job I can come to work and do a 9 to 5 so to speak. Will Voc Rehab help me find a job or I might as well do it myself. I am already throwing out resumes to various agencies (i.e. VA, Border Patrol). Just wondering if that don't pan out if I can rely on Voc Rehab at all.

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Please, that VRA program is nothing but talk. It's who you know to get a job in the Fed.Govt. I tried it many times. No Help....................................

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I have found information on disable veterans being able to apply to federal jobs after the application process has already closed or to get a non-competitive appointment.

Anyone have any experience or information on this?

I understand the the point system advantage, this is something completely different.

The postal service hires disabled vets as custodians all the time. If you want a job that the most difficult part of the day is to show up the PO is for you.

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