State Jobs Go to Disabled Veterans Under New York’s 55-c Program

Veterans with disabilities seeking employment in New York state should be aware of the Governor’s Programs to Hire Persons/Veterans with Disabilities, also known as the “55-c Program.”

Section 55-c of the New York State Civil Service Law allows the Civil Service Commission to fill up to 500 entry-level state employment positions with qualified disabled wartime veterans. These positions would normally be filled through a competitive examination process, but for qualified 55-c applicants, no written or oral examinations are required. However, a medical evaluation may be necessary to certify your eligibility for the program.

“Wartime veterans” refers to veterans of any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces who served full-time active duty during a designated time of war. These designated periods are:

Vietnam War

February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975

Persian Gulf Conflict

August 2, 1990 – the date upon which such hostilities end

Hostilities in Lebanon

June 1, 1983 – December 1, 1987

Hostilities in Grenada

October 23, 1983 – November 21, 1983

Hostilities in Panama

December 20, 1989 – January 31, 1990

Eligibility for the program also requires that the applicant have a disability certified by the Employee Health Service (EHS) of the Department of Civil Service. The veteran may be required to undergo a no-cost physical examination by an EHS physician or an outside consultant. The disability need not be service-related in order for the veteran to qualify.

Recipients of Purple Heart medals and those who have been assigned a disability rating of at least 20 percent by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs automatically qualify for the program.

Disabled veterans seeking State employment are encouraged to apply for 55-c eligibility. Visit to download an application or call the NY Department of Civil Service toll-free at 866-297-4356 if you have any questions.

For more information on elder law or veterans benefits, visit


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