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US Postal Service: Benefits for Military Veterans

If you are a military veteran, did you know that you have an edge when it comes to applying for US Postal Service jobs? Federal law provides for hiring preferences to be given to eligible military veterans. This means that they are considered for a job before the non-veterans—provided that they pass the postal battery exam for the position that they are applying for.

Eligible military veterans have the advantage of getting 5 to 10 points added to their passing test score, greatly increasing chances that they will move up ahead of the other applicants in the register of candidates who are eligible to be interviewed. The importance of these additional points on your test score cannot be underestimated. If your original score on the test is 85 and you are eligible for 10 preference points then your total test score becomes 95. This will put you ahead of the others and increase your chances of getting interviewed.

Another benefit that military veterans enjoy when it comes to looking for Postal Service employment opportunities is that there are positions that are specifically for them alone. Custodial maintenance jobs are restricted to preference eligible military veterans, according to Postal policy. To be considered for this job, veterans must take and pass the postal exam 916.

Postal exam 916 is composed of four sections: 1) Vocabulary & Reading; 2) Basic Safety; 3) General Cleaning; and 4) Following Written Instructions. It’s a common sense test which basically tests your knowledge of the things that you are supposed to know when performing your job in the event that you become a custodial maintenance worker of the USPS. The main job of someone in this capacity is to clean and maintain postal buildings and grounds.

According to federal agencies—the Postal Service included—the following military veterans or relatives or veterans will receive 10 preference points:

  • Honorably separated veteran who served at any time and has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more
  • Honorably separated veteran who served at any time and has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10 percent but less than 30 percent
  • Purple Heart recipient
  • Honorably separated veteran who qualifies as a disabled veteran because you served on active duty in the Armed Forces at any time, and have a present service-connected disability or are receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, but do not qualify for the above 10 point entitlements
  • Spouse of other than a dishonorably discharged veteran who is disqualified for a federal position along the general lines of his or her usual occupation because of a service-connected disability
  • Widow or widower of other than a dishonorably discharged veteran and not divorced from the veteran, has not remarried, or the remarriage was annulled, and the veteran either served between April 8, 1952 and July 10, 1955 or during a war, campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge is authorized and awarded to the veteran
  • Widow or widower of a veteran and not divorced from the veteran, or the marriage was annulled, and the veteran died while on active duty that included service as described immediately above under conditions that would not have been the basis for other than an honorable or general discharge
  • Mother of a living disabled veteran , and the veteran was separated with an honorable or general discharge from active duty performed at any time and was permanently and totally disabled from a service-connected injury or illness; and the mother (1) is or was married to the father of the veteran, and lives with her totally and permanently disabled husband (either the veteran’s father or her husband through remarriage); or (2) is widowed, divorced, or separated from the veteran’s father and has not remarried; or (3) remarried but is widowed, divorced, or legally separated from her husband when she claims the preference

Meanwhile, the following are scheduled to get 5 preference points:

  • Veteran discharged with an honorable or general discharge who served during a war
  • Veteran discharged with an honorable or general discharge who served during the period of April 28, 1952 through July 1, 1955; OR for more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955 and before October 15, 1976
  • Veteran discharged with an honorable or general discharge who served on active duty (not for training) during the Gulf War from August 2, 1990 through January 2, 1992
  • Veteran discharged with an honorable or general discharge who served on active duty (not for training) for more than 180 consecutive days, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law as the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • Veteran discharged with an honorable or general discharge that served in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized and awarded to the veteran

If you are unsure about your military veteran eligibility status and how many preference points you are scheduled to get, make sure to ask the US Postal Service and/or the US Department of Veterans Affairs.