Veterans Preference and Pension Status

The NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is the agency that determines veterans preference for hiring in New Jersey civil service and veteran status for New Jersey civil service pension plans.

Veterans Preference for Hiring in New Jersey Civil Service

War period veterans who pass state civil service examinations are given absolute preference over nonveterans when applying for state, county and municipal employment. Absolute preference is not extended to promotions, but if a veteran ranks highest on a promotional certification, a non-veteran cannot be offered the appointment before the veteran. Veterans with service-connected disabilities (at least 10%) who pass civil service examinations are given preference over other veterans and non-veterans for state, county and municipal employment.

Spouses, widows, widowers and the parents of disabled or deceased veterans are eligible under specific circumstances.

Eligibility -
Veterans who are eligible meet one of the following categories:

~ World War II: September 16, 1940 - December 31, 1946; Korea: June 23, 1950-January 31, 1955; or Vietnam: December 31, 1960 - May 7, 1975. The active duty service during these three wars does not have to be "in country" or "in combat." Merchant Marines from World War II are eligible.

~ a veteran who served at least 14 days in a combat zone during any one of the following:
---- Lebanon Crisis: July 1, 1958-November 1, 1958
---- Lebanon peace keeping mission: September 26, 1982-December 1, 1987
---- Grenada peace keeping mission: October 23, 1983-November 21, 1983
---- Panama peace keeping mission: December 20, 1989-January 31, 1990
---- Persian Gulf-Operation Desert Shield/Storm: August 2, 1990-February 28, 1991
---- Somalia Operation Restore Hope: December 5, 1992-March 31, 1994
---- Operations Joint Endeavor and Joint Guard in the Republic of Bosnia or Herzegovina:November 20, 1995-June 20, 1998
---- Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti: September 19, 1994 - March 31, 1995
---- Operation Enduring Freedom on or after September 11, 2001
---- Operation Iraqi Freedom: March 19, 2003 - present Combat zone qualification is most frequently indicated by the receipt of an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

~ a veteran with a service connected disability of at least 10 percent. The veteran must have received the disability during service in one of the wars or operations listed above, although the veteran need not meet either the 90 days of active duty requirement or 14 days in combat zone requirement. A service connected disability is indicated by federal Veterans Administration service connected compensation being received or entitlement to receive, a U.S. military
medical board finding or retirement from active military service with a disability rating of 10 percent or more. Current proof of disability is required.

Family members who are eligible:
~ spouse of a disabled veteran. The veteran must be eligible for civil service veterans preference as a disabled veteran (see qualifications above), not be employed in a New Jersey civil service jurisdiction and agree to waive the preference for the duration of the spouse's employment.
~ a disabled (see qualifications above) veteran's surviving spouse who has not remarried. A copy of the Death Certificate is required with the "Veterans Preference Claim" form.
~ surviving spouse of veterans who died while on active duty in the U.S. Military service. A copy of the Report of Casualty is required with the "Veterans Preference Claim" form.
~ Gold Star Parent - parent of a veteran who died while on active duty in the U.S. Miliary service. A copy of the Report of Casualty is required with the "Veterans Preference Claim" form.

To Apply -
Use "Civil Service Veterans Preference Claim Form" - NJDMAVA Form 05A-1. See Appendix J for a copy of the form.

To claim veterans preference, file the claim form with a copy of your separation papers (DD Form 214.) Mail the form to the NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Bureau, PO Box 340, Trenton, NJ 08625-0340. You must obtain a veterans preference from NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs BEFORE applying for a job or a test.

Contact -
For information call Veterans Benefits Bureau at 609-530-6954 or or visit any state Veterans Service office listed in Appendix A or the One-Stop Career Centers listed in Appendix C.