Veterans Employment Opportunities Act

This information applies to hiring for positions at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Please see for information about veterans’ preference in hiring at executive branch agencies.

What is the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998?

The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA), as amended, applies certain rights and protections related to veterans' hiring and retention preferences to covered employees in the legislative branch. In accordance with the VEOA and the Congressional Accountability Act, CBO offers preference to veterans in hiring and in retention during any reductions in force (layoffs).

Does the VEOA cover all positions at CBO?

The VEOA covers all positions at CBO except for management positions. Management positions are excluded because they are, for this purpose, equivalent to positions in the Senior Executive Service, which is excluded under the Congressional Accountability Act's application of the VEOA.

How do I know whether the VEOA covers a particular CBO position?

The "How to Apply" section of every CBO job announcement indicates whether the VEOA covers the position.

Who qualifies for preference in CBO hiring under the VEOA?

To receive veterans' preference in a CBO hiring process, an applicant must be "preference eligible," as defined in 5 U.S.C. §2108(3)(A)–(G). This generally includes:

  • Individuals who have separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after serving on active duty in the armed forces during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized or during particular defined periods;
  • Disabled veterans;
  • The mother, spouse, or unmarried widow or widower of certain veterans; and
  • Service members who qualify for veterans status and who are able to certify that they expect to be discharged or released under honorable conditions from active duty service in the armed forces within 120 days of certification.

Retired members of the armed forces are generally excluded from those who receive veterans’ preference in hiring at CBO unless they qualify as disabled veterans or retired below the rank of major (or its equivalent).

How does CBO apply veterans' preference for eligible applicants?

In general, CBO does not numerically rate or rank applicants for covered positions. Instead, CBO considers eligibility for veterans' preference as an affirmative factor in evaluating alternative qualified applicants. That is, if the agency determines that a qualified applicant who meets the minimum qualifications for a position is preference eligible, CBO will consider that status a positive attribute along with such factors as more experience, better performance in school, additional relevant education or training, and better references from previous employers.

How do I claim eligibility for veterans' preference?

You will be invited to identify whether you are eligible for veterans' preference and to provide supporting documentation for that identification during the online application process for a covered position. Identifying yourself as a veteran or as preference eligible is entirely voluntary. However, you will not be able to receive veterans' preference in the hiring process if you choose not to identify yourself as eligible for such a preference in a timely manner. If you decline to identify yourself as preference eligible, you will not be subject to any adverse treatment, but CBO will not consider you eligible to receive veterans' preference.

What type of supporting documentation should I submit?

You should submit CBO's Veterans' Preference Eligibility Form along with the documents necessary to support the type of preference you are claiming. See the second page of CBO's Veterans' Preference Eligibility Form for a list of the specific documentation required for most types of claim.

How should I submit my eligibility form and supporting documents to CBO?

You should complete and sign CBO's Veterans’ Preference Eligibility Form and email it, along with supporting documentation, to However, documents submitted by email may not be secure, so please remove confidential personal identifying information (such as your Social Security number and birthdate).

Will CBO keep my eligibility form and supporting documentation confidential?

CBO will use your eligibility form and supporting documentation solely to determine your eligibility for veterans' preference in accordance with the VEOA. The agency will keep those documents and any related information you provide confidential.

CBO will also keep confidential an applicant's status as a disabled veteran and any information regarding an applicant's disability that CBO obtains, including his or her medical condition and history. Moreover, CBO will collect, maintain, and use such information in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as made applicable to CBO by section 102(a)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (2 U.S.C. §1302(a)(3)).

How do I know whether CBO received my eligibility form and supporting documents?

CBO will send you an email to confirm that we have received your eligibility form and supporting documentation. We will also contact you if we need more information to determine your eligibility for veterans' preference.

How will CBO advise me of the determination about my eligibility for veterans' preference?

In general, CBO will inform you of the determination about your eligibility for veterans' preference by email.

How can I appeal CBO's determination regarding my eligibility for veterans' preference?

If you wish to contest CBO's adverse determination of your eligibility for veterans' preference, you may file a written appeal with the CBO human resources director at or contact the Human Resources office at (202) 226-2628. You are encouraged to provide additional documentation or information to support your appeal. You may also contest an adverse determination of your preference eligibility by contacting the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights.

How should I proceed if I am concerned that my rights under the VEOA have been violated?

An applicant for a covered position who believes that his or her rights under the VEOA, as applied to CBO, have been violated may file a written complaint with CBO's human resources director at He or she may also contact the Human Resources Office at (202) 226-2628. An applicant may also contact the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights.

Applicants may request more information on CBO's VEOA policy by emailing