Q&A Session – Veterans Preference on SF50


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


On an SF50, which veterans can check yes on box #26 (Veterans Preference)?


Box #26 on a SF-50 may only be checked off as “yes” generally if a civilian employee is both retired from the military (your question states that you are not) and satisfies at least one of the three following conditions:

  1. The retirement was caused by an injury or disease endured directly from armed conflict or war;
  2. The employee has less than 20 years of full-time active duty service, excluding periods of active duty for training; or
  3. The employee has been continuously employed in one of the following since November 30, 1964 and without a break in service of more than 30 days: the executive branch of the federal government; in the competitive service position in another branch of the federal government; or in another position designated with RIFs coverage.

Those who retired at the rank of major or above (or equivalent) may only be considered a preference eligible with special RIF rights (and Box #26 can be checked of as “yes”) if they are a disabled veteran and either: (1) meet one of the three conditions above; or (2) are at least 60 years old and are eligible for certain retirement pay.

Disclaimer: Ask a Lawyer publishes information on this website for informational purposes only. Information on this website is intended – but not promised, guaranteed, or warranted – to reflect correct, complete and current developments. In addition, the contents of the website do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the attorney. Information from this website is not intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based on information on this website without seeking specific legal advice about your particular circumstances. No attorney-client relationship between you and Ask a Lawyer’s author is created by the transmission of information to or from this site.


About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

1 Comment

  1. I served in the US Navy on board the USS Iowa from 1983 – 1987, 88-89 (reserve).
    In 1987, I left the Navy with an Honorable discharge after completing 4 years of initial service in the Navy.

    I know I can’t check Veterans’ Preference for disability, since I have not shown any qualifications for disability, but
    Can I check block 26 on the SF-50?

Leave A Reply