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Veterans' Preference

CBP is committed to supporting the employment of veterans and provides a hiring preference to eligible veterans.

At the Department of Homeland Security Veterans Recruitment and hiring event CBP recruiters speak with veterans who expressed interest in the jobs available within the CBP team in Washington D.C.
At the Department of Homeland Security Veterans
Recruitment and hiring event CBP recruiters speak
with veterans who expressed interest in the jobs
available within the CBP team in Washington D.C.
Photo by James Tourtellotte.

Preference consists of giving qualified, eligible veterans and advantage over others when recruiting under competitive external procedures, i.e. announcements open to anyone in the general public. Depending on the position being filled, veteran applicants may be placed ahead of other candidates in a ranking category. 

CBP will provide preference at the point of selection to eligible veterans who were discharged or released from military service under honorable conditions and must be eligible under one of the preference categories listed on the Office or Personnel Management (OPM) website or on the Standard Form 50, Notification of Personnel Action

To determine eligibility, please use the Department of Labor's Veteran Preference Advisor

Types of Preference

The most common types of veterans' preference claimed by applicants are 5-Point Preference (TP), 10-Point Compensable Disability Preference (CP), 10-Point 30 Percent Compensable Disability Preference, (CPS), 10-Point Disability Preference (XP) and 10-Point Derived Preference (XP). Visit the OPM website to determine if you qualify for any other types of veterans' preference.

5-Point Preference (TP)
Five points are added to the passing examination score or rating of a veteran who served:

  • During a war; or
  • During the period 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; or
  • During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992; or
  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom;  or
  • In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference.

10-Point Compensable Disability Preference (CP)
Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of a veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10 percent but less than 30 percent. 

10-Point 30 Percent Compensable Disability Preference (CPS)
Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of a veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more. 

10-Point Disability Preference (XP)
Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:

  • A veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the Department of Veterans Affairs but does not qualify as a CP or CPS; or
  • A veteran who received a Purple Heart.

10-Point Derived Preference (XP)
Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of spouses, widows, widowers, or mothers of veterans as described on the OPM website. This type of preference is usually referred to as "derived preference" because it is based on service of a veteran who is not able to use the preference.

Both a mother and a spouse (including widow or widower) may be entitled to preference on the basis of the same veteran's service if they both meet the requirements. However, neither may receive preference if the veteran is living and is qualified for federal employment.

Claiming Veterans' Preference

To claim veterans' preference, you will be prompted to indicate that you are a veteran during your application in USAJOBS. When you indicate that you are a veteran, you will also be asked to upload supporting documentation, which varies based on the preference type that you are claiming.

  • 5-Point Preference: DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, Member 4 Copy
  • 10-Point Preference: DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, Member 4 Copy and supporting documentation as listed on Standard Form 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran's Preference. Veterans with a service-connected disability must also submit a Veterans Affairs Disability Award Letter dated 1991 or later.
  • Currently Serving on Active Duty in the U.S. Armed Forces: A Statement of Service from your unit identifying the branch of service, period(s) of service, campaign badges or expeditionary medals earned, the date you will be separated or be on approved terminal leave, and that you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions. If you submit a statement of service at this stage, your preference will be verified by a DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, Member 4 Copy upon separation from the military.
Last modified: 
January 12, 2021