What is SF-15?
Standard Form 15, SF-15, or Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, is a form that federal agencies and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) use for the verification of an individual’s eligibility for veteran’s benefits, in accordance with the Veterans’ Preference Act of 1994.
The Veterans’ Preference Act of 1994 is a United States federal law, requiring the federal government to favor returning war veterans when hiring new employees. The act attempts to recognize the veterans’ service, sacrifice, and skills.
Veterans and their relatives may file SF-15. While in general, veterans use the form for employment purposes, they can also use it to claim benefits for service-related disabilities and physical and psychological injuries and diseases, among other things. Congress determines the eligibility for the preferences for a veteran under the United States Code; thus, the applying veterans must indicate the type of preference in the form.
To be eligible for veterans’ preference, an individual must meet specific qualifications. The purpose of the SF-15 is the confirmation of this eligibility. An individual may be eligible for a 10-point preference if he or she has a present service-connected disability rated at 10% or more; is receiving disability compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension; received a Purple Heart; and is a spouse or mother of a veteran who died in service or is unfit or incapable to work due to a service-connected disability.
A 5-point preference may be eligible for a veteran who served on active duty during a war, armed conflicts declared by Congress as war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized.
In addition, when applying for federal jobs, not all veterans are deemed preference eligible for the purpose of federal civilian employment, according to Section 2108, of Title 5 of U.S. Code. As a guideline, for a veteran to be qualified, he or she has served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States during a war, in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized, or received an honorable or general discharge from military service, or expects to be discharged or released from active duty in the Armed Forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after applying for a position. If he or she is a retired veteran, with a rank higher than 0-4, he or she is not qualified for preference, unless he or she is disabled or a reservist who will not begin drawing military retired pay until age 60. In addition, unless the veteran is disabled, active duty for training for National Guard or Reserve soldiers does not qualify as “active duty” for preference.
How to Fill Out SF-15?
SF-15 is a two-page document that requires the information of the person applying for preference and a veteran’s personal information. It also has a section to indicate a veteran’s preference claim.
Person Applying for Preference
- Name asks for the applicant’s full legal name.
- Home address asks for the applicant’s full residential address.
- Veteran’s name asks for the veteran’s full legal name as it appears on Service Records.
- Periods of service asks for the veteran’s branch of service, the date he or she entered active duty, and if applicable, the date he or she was separated or released from active duty.
Type of 10-Point Veterans’ Preference Claimed
- This section contains checkboxes to indicate a veteran’s preference claim. Some boxes have questions that require answers. Every veterans’ preference has required documentation, for a more detailed relevant to documentation, you may refer to the second page of SF-15.
Box 1 asks if the veteran is currently working.
Box 2 asks the veteran’s present occupation if he or she is currently working.
Box 3 asks the veteran’s occupation before military service if there was any.
Box 4 asks the veteran’s military occupation at the time of separation.
Box 5 asks if the veteran has been employed or is currently employed by the Federal civil service or D.C. Government.
Box A asks for the most recent or current title and grade of the position of the veteran.
Box B asks for the name and address of the veteran’s agency.
Box C asks for the dates of employment.
Box 6 asks if the veteran has resigned from, been disqualified for, or separated from a position in the Federal civil service or D.C. Government along the lines of his or her occupation due to a service-connected disability.
Box 7 asks if the veteran is receiving a civil service retirement pension. If yes, provide the Civil Service annuity (CSA) or Federal employee retirement annuity number.