What is Schedule A? Schedule A is a special hiring authority used by federal agencies, in order to hire individuals with disabilities noncompetitively. What this means is that federal agencies are not required to post a position competitively, in order to hire a person with disability who has a Schedule A letter. Normally, jobs are advertised to the general public through job vacancy announcements. However, if an agency identifies a candidate with a disability, who is qualified for the job they wish to fill, and has a Schedule A letter, they do not have to advertise the job. This hiring authority is the process our federal customers use when hiring candidates through Bender Consulting Services.
A Schedule A letter has two parts. The first part states that the individual qualifies as meeting the definition of having a disability. The second part states that the individual is work ready or likely to be successful if they are offered a job. For example, if the applicant is seeking an administrative or accounting position, the letter may state that the individual “is likely to succeed performing work in an office environment.”
How do I know if I qualify for Schedule A? To be eligible for Schedule A noncompetitive hiring, you must be able to meet the definition of being a person with a disability. This means that you must have a severe physical, cognitive, or emotional disability; even if your disability is currently controlled by medications or if you make use of assistive devices, you are legally still considered an individual with a disability (i.e., an individual with epilepsy whose seizures are able to be controlled through medication, or a person who has cochlear implants). Additionally, all veterans with a disability rating of 30% or higher qualify for Schedule A.
How do I obtain a Schedule A letter? A Schedule A letter can be obtained by a state vocational rehabilitation office, the veteran’s administration, or from a licensed physician. The letter must be written on official letterhead and must state that you meet the definition of being a person with a disability and that you are able to perform the essential functions of the type of job you are seeking, with or without accommodations. Please contact us for a sample letter.
What if I am not currently registered with my state office of vocational rehabilitation? You do not have to be a current client of vocational rehabilitation in order to receive a Schedule A letter. You should contact your local office and explain that you are seeking federal employment and that you will need a Schedule A letter. They will advise you on what information they will need.