Department of Labor and Regulation

Title - Veterans' Services

Veterans Preference

Several levels of government give veterans preference in employment.

Federal Government Employment

When applying for federal employment, honorably separated men and women of the Armed Forces, and veterans' widows (or widowers), spouses and mothers are entitled to certain benefits. Preference points (either five or 10) are added to passing grades earned in examinations for entrance into federal employment.

Thus, veterans and other eligible persons receive preference, but are not guaranteed employment. If you have questions, complaints or concerns regarding preference in federal employment, contact the South Dakota State Director of Veterans' Employment and Training (DVET) at 605.626.2325.

State and Local Government Employment

South Dakota defines an eligible veteran as:

Eligible veterans receive preference for appointment, employment and promotion at all levels of government, including state, county and city. At the state level, eligible applicants are automatically added to the interview list after the top qualified persons have been determined.

They may not be disqualified by their age, by loss of a limb or by any other physical impairment which is not incapacitating. However, they must have the qualifications to do the job in question. A veteran disabled due to a service-connected cause is given preference over a non-disabled veteran.

Unmarried Spouse of Deceased Veteran

The unmarried spouse of an eligible veteran who died while in service, or died later from a service-connected cause, is entitled to the same preference as an eligible veteran, provided the spouse has the qualifications to do the job in question.

Spouse of Disabled Veteran

If a disabled eligible veteran is unable to exercise his or her right to a veteran employment preference due to the disability, the veteran's spouse is entitled to the same preference, provided the spouse has the qualifications to do the job in question.


Marcia Hultman, Secretary
700 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501-2291
Tel. 605.773.3101
Fax. 605.773.6184