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BUREAU OF HUMAN RESOURCES
HUMAN RESOURCES POLICY AND PRACTICES MANUAL

5.1 VETERANS PREFERENCE

Maine law (reference 5 MRSA, §7054) provides that an additional five or ten points be added to the passing civil service (that is, in the classified service) examination score of veterans meeting certain eligibility requirements for open competitive selection processes1.  In certain situations, the spouse, widow, widower, or parent of an eligible veteran may also be eligible for a five-point or ten-point veterans preference. Please carefully review the criteria listed below. Applicants who have questions about veterans preference should contact the Bureau of Human Resources at (207) 624-7761.

It is important to note that the veterans preference provided in Maine law applies to both competitive jobs (centralized registers, with applicants certified by the Bureau of Human Resources for specific vacancies) and direct hire jobs (recruitment and selection delegated to an agency). In the case of open competitive direct hire jobs, agencies must apply the veterans preference to the passing scores of direct hire candidates unless all of the candidates are being interviewed. (When all candidates are interviewed, the "preference" has no meaningful effect.)

1 It is important to note that the veterans preference law applies only to open competitive scores for jobs in the classified service. Veterans preference is not applied in cases when a position is filled on an “agency promotional” (current agency employees only) or a “statewide promotional” (current state employees only) basis, nor does veterans preference law apply to jobs in the unclassified service.

PREFERENCE FOR A VETERAN

ELIGIBILITY FOR THE FIVE-POINT VETERANS PREFERENCE:

  • The veteran must have served on full-time active duty for at least 90 consecutive days in the Armed Forces. (Active duty for training, such as that required by National Guard or Reserve components, is not counted as part of the 90-day service requirement for the five-point preference.)
  • The veteran must have been separated (discharged or released from continuous active duty) under honorable conditions. Veterans preference will not be applied while an applicant is on active duty.
  • The veteran has not already used a five-point preference to secure a position in Maine State Government.
  • Documentation required for the 5-point veterans preference with each application:
    • DD Form 214. (If a DD Form 214 is not available, other official documents may be substituted for review on a case-by-case basis. Substitution may delay processing of the preference.)

 ELIGIBILITY FOR THE TEN-POINT VETERANS PREFERENCE:

  • The veteran must have served on full-time active duty for at least 90 consecutive days in the Armed Forces. (Active duty for training, such as that required by National Guard or Reserve components, is not counted as part of the 90-day service requirement for the ten-point preference.)
  • The veteran must have a service-connected disability of 10% or more.
  • The veteran must currently be receiving compensation, a pension, or disability retirement for this disability. (The veteran may receive both a military service retirement pension and compensation for disability and still qualify for the ten-point preference.)
  • The veteran must have been separated under honorable conditions.
  • The ten-point preference may be used more than once for open competitive selection processes .
  • Documentation required for the 10-point veterans preference with each application:
    • DD Form 214. (If a DD Form 214 is not available, other official documents may be substituted for review on a case-by-case basis. Substitution may delay processing of the preference.)
    • A statement of disability from the Veterans Administration or service branch. (Depending on individual circumstances, other forms of certification of a service-connected disability will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Substitution may delay processing of the preference.)

PREFERENCE FOR WIDOWS, WIDOWERS, SPOUSES, AND PARENTS OF VETERANS

Under certain circumstances, the widow, widower, spouse, or parent of a veteran may be entitled to veterans preference. Applicants in one of the categories listed below are strongly encouraged to contact the Bureau of Human Resources at (207) 624-7761 when claiming veterans preference as a widow, widower, spouse, or parent of a veteran. Prior notification will facilitate the proper application of veterans preference provided by law.

The information needed to determine if a widow or widower of a veteran is entitled to a five-point veterans preference includes:

  • The military service record of the veteran for whom the claim is based meets the requirements given for five-point preference, generally DD Form 214. (If a DD Form 214 is not available, other official documents may be substituted for review on a case-by-case basis. Substitution may delay processing of the preference.)
  • Declaration that the widow or widower has never remarried.

The widow or widower of an eligible veteran is entitled to the 5-point preference even if the veteran on whom the claim is based has previously used a five-point preference to secure a position in Maine State Government.

The information needed to determine if a widow or widower of a veteran is entitled to a ten-point veterans preference includes:

  • The military service record of the veteran for whom the claim is based meets the requirements given for a ten-point preference, generally DD Form 214. (If a DD Form 214 is not available, other official documents may be substituted for review on a case-by-case basis. Substitution may delay processing of the preference.)
  • Documentation that the veteran for whom the claim is based lost his or her life under honorable conditions while serving on active duty (without regard to length-of-service) or that the veteran on whom the claim is based died as a result of a service-connected disability incurred at any time.
  • Declaration that the widow or widower has never remarried.

The information needed to determine if the spouse of a disabled veteran is entitled to the ten-point preference in lieu of the veteran includes:

  • The military service record of the disabled veteran for whom the claim is based meets requirements for ten-point preference by reason of disability, generally DD Form 214. (If a DD Form 214 is not available, other official documents may be substituted for review on a case-by-case basis. Substitution may delay processing of the preference.)
  • Documentation that the disability prevents the disabled veteran from gaining employment along the general lines of his or her usual occupation.
  • A statement of disability from the Veterans Administration or service branch. (Depending on individual circumstances, other forms of certification of a service-connected disability will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Substitution may delay processing of the preference.)

The spouse may claim these extra points in place of a claim by the disabled veteran. Both cannot be eligible for a ten-point preference at the same time.

The law does not limit the number of times the ten-point preference can be used by the spouse .

A determination that the parent of a veteran is entitled to a veterans preference is complex and must be determined on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please contact the Bureau of Human Resources: (207) 624-7761.

RIGHT TO REOPEN OPEN COMPETITIVE EXAMINATIONS

Maine law also provides that certain veterans and family members may apply for, and reopen, an open competitive examination during the life of an eligible register resulting from a published announcement. (Reference 5 MRSA, § 7055) This benefit may be exercised by:

  • Veterans with a compensable service-connected disability;
  • spouses of disabled veterans who qualify for 10-point preference described herein;
  • unmarried widows or widowers of deceased veterans who qualify for the 10-point preference described herein;
  • mothers and fathers, who are widowed, divorced, separated, or whose wives or husbands are permanently and totally disabled, of veterans who died while in the active service of the Armed Forces during any war, or who died as a result of service-connected disabilities.

In addition, if no eligible register resulted from a published announcement, applicants described above may file an application for and reopen an open competitive examination within 3 years of the closing date of the published announcement, provided that the applicant had not previously made application for the examination under conditions of the published announcement. Applicants who wish to exercise the right to open a competitive examination should contact the Bureau of Human Resources at (207) 624-7761. Prior notification will facilitate the correct application of the law concerning the rights of veterans, and certain family members, to reopen a competitive examination.

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