Disabled veteran leave rules explained

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — On Aug. 5, 2016, the Office of Personnel Management issued final regulations to implement the newly created “disabled veteran leave” category. Established under the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015 (Wounded Warriors Act), disabled veteran leave will be available to any federal employee hired on or after Nov. 5, 2016, who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more. 

Disabled veteran leave is available as a one-time benefit during a 12-month period beginning on an eligible employee’s “first day of employment” and may not exceed 104 hours for a regular full-time employee. Disabled veteran leave can only be used for undergoing medical treatment of a qualifying service-connected disability, which was incurred or aggravated in the line of active duty.

Eligible employees must be “hired” on or after Nov. 5, 2016. Current federal employees who were hired before Nov. 5, 2016, are not eligible for disabled veterans leave. OPM regulations define the term “hired” to include: 

• Newly hired with no previous federal service

• Reappointed with at least a 90-day break in service

• Military reservists or members of the National Guard who return to duty in their civilian positions after a period of military service

For additional information, visit http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title05/5cfr630_main_02.tpl.