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Still No Word on the Spouse Hiring Preference Change

If you're a military spouse who is still hoping to find employment with the Defense Department after your last PCS, you were probably excited to hear about a change to hiring rules included in a law last year.

The hiring rule, known as military spouse hiring preference or "PPP-S," gives military spouses who relocated to a new duty station with their service member a special "in" for Defense Department jobs. In the past the preference was capped at two years after the date on which the military member's orders to the new location were processed. The new rule removes those caps. 

But what the change didn't state is whether or not that cap removal is retroactive to spouses whose preference expired before the law was signed on December 23, 2016. For example, if your preference expired on December 22, do you still qualify or not? To make matters worse, military spouses across the country told me different stories about how the change was being used. In Nevada a spouse was able to use it retroactively. In Alabama, a spouse was told it was not retroactive. 

Military officials told me in March that they were waiting for the Office of Management and Budget, which has oversight on hiring preference rules, to make a decision about whether or not the change is retroactive. 

And as of July 10, they are still waiting. 

In the meantime, spouses who want to be hired under the change but don't know whether or not they qualify continue to wait for help. It's always nice to be unemployed thanks to bureaucracy, right? Way to support spouse employment, guys.

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