Gold star spouses and spouses of 100 percent disabled veterans have been given preferencial, non-competitive hiring treatement by the federal government since September 2009. That means that if those spouses met the minimum requirements for most federal jobs, they could be given it without going through a long, complicated hiring process in which they were vetted against other potentially more qualified candidates.
But the rule only gave them special status for two years following their spouses death or "disabled" ruling. For many sposues in those circumstances, two years was simply not enough time to get back into the work force. Who can say how long it should take for someone going through such a hard thing as caring for a disabled spouse or grieving to get back in the workforce?
Fortunately, the government has decided to change the rule and has completely removed the time limit. Now those spouses can land those jobs whenever their hearts desire, no matter how long their spouse has been gone or disabled.
The government said over the 2010 fiscal year almost 890 spouses were hired under the agreement. With the restriction removed even more should be able to apply and find work.
It's awesome (and, not to mention, completely right) that these unique spouses be given such a huge hiring advantage by the federal government. It would be wonderful to see some small (though not nearly as great) hiring preference also extended to average military spouses.