Can Husband and Wife Both Qualify for Veterans' Priority?

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Can Husband and Wife Both Qualify for Veterans' Priority?

Postby LoriE-Z » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:41 pm

Q: A husband (disabled veteran) and wife (eligible spouse of a veteran) both apply to SCSEP. The disabled veteran clearly receives veterans' preference and priority of service. Is the wife (eligible spouse) given preference over other non-veteran applicants?

Also, is there a general rule against working with a married couple at the same time?
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Can Husband and Wife Both Qualify for Veterans' Priority?

Postby charteroakadmin » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:47 am

A: The rules on Veterans' Priority of Service do not distinguish between veterans and eligible spouses of veterans. Both are considered covered persons and both receive priority over non-covered persons. Among covered persons, veterans do not rate higher than eligible spouses; however, covered persons with a other priorities of service rate higher than covered persons without other priorities of service. The SCSEP guidance of October 2, 2009 states:
    How is priority of service applied in SCSEP? To obtain priority, a covered person must first meet the statutory eligibility requirements for SCSEP. Grantees must determine each individual’s covered person status and apply priority of service as described below:
    • Covered persons who meet at least one other statutory SCSEP priority must receive the highest priority for SCSEP services.
    • Covered persons who do not meet other statutory SCSEP priorities must receive priority for services before all non-covered persons.
    • Non-covered persons who meet other statutory SCSEP priorities must receive services over those non-covered persons who do not meet any statutory priority criteria.
Note that there is a detailed, limited definition of eligible spouse. Since you state that the husband is a disabled veteran, the only way the wife can be a covered person is if the husband "has a total disability resulting from a service-connected disability, as evaluated by the Department of Veterans Affairs." The other ways for a spouse to be eligible based on a veteran's disability all require the veteran to be deceased.

There is no prohibition on enrolling both spouses at the same time. However, you should generally assign them to different host agencies. See Topic 18 of the Community Service Assignment Form Guide in the Data Collection Handbook.
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