Looking for help now?
Contact your local Health Safety & Work Life Regional Practice or CG SUPRT 24/7/365.


Reinstatement is the reemployment of a former career or career conditional employee into the Federal government.

  • There is no time limit on the reinstatement of a veterans’ preference eligible or a former career employee (employee who has acquired career tenure by completing 3 years of substantially continuous creditable service). A nonpreference eligible who has not attained career tenure normally can only be reinstated within 3 years of the date of his/her earlier separation. Reinstatement eligibility may be extended by certain activities that occur during the 3-year period after separation from the employee’s last career or career-conditional appointment. Examples of these activities are:
    • Federal employment under a temporary, term, or similar appointment.
    • Federal employment in an excepted, non-appropriated fund, or Senior Executive Service position.
    • Federal employment in the legislative and judicial branches.
    • Active military duty terminated under honorable conditions.
    • Service with the District of Columbia Government prior to January 1, 1980 (and other service for certain employees converted to the District's independent merit system).
    • A substantially full-time training course in any educational institution of recognized standing when the agency finds that the proposed appointee acquired valuable training or experience for the position to be filled.
    • A period of overseas residence of a dependent who followed a Federal military or civilian employee to an overseas post of duty.
  • An individual with reinstatement rights can be noncompetitively placed in a position at a grade equal to or lower than the grade they previously held. A reinstatement eligible can also apply and compete along with merit promotion candidates for a position at a higher grade than they previously held. If selected, the applicant would be reinstated to the Federal Service.