Workers with Disabilities Program (55-b)

The Governor's Programs to Hire Persons/Veterans with Disabilities consist of two specialized programs. These programs are coordinated efforts to place individuals with disabilities in entry-level State jobs. No initial written or oral examinations are required for appointment. You must however, submit a formal application and a medical evaluation may be necessary for program certification.

Section 55-b of the New York State Civil Service Law authorizes the New York State Civil Service Commission to designate up to 1,200 positions normally filled through competitive examination to be filled through the appointment of qualified persons with disabilities. (Section 55-c authorizes the designation of up to 500 positions in the non-competitive class to be filled by qualified wartime veterans with disabilities.) In general, an entry-level position that is filled only through an open-competitive examination (one open to the public) may be used for a 55-b or 55-c appointment.

What are the requirements to be eligible for the Program?

To become eligible for the program, you must be certified by the Employee Health Service (EHS) of the New York State Department of Civil Service. Eligibility is based on the degree of functional limitation and employment history. You may be required to undergo a physical examination by an EHS physician. Generally, you will be advised of your eligibility within two weeks of submitting your complete application and medical statement.

How do I get appointed?

State agencies may request conversion of an entry-level, competitive class position to a non-competitive position for 55-b appointment. In order to seek 55-b employment, you may apply directly to the State agencies of interest to you. You should send the agencies a copy of your eligibility letter, your resume and a cover letter that describes your qualifications and the types of positions that interest you.

State agencies are not required to participate in this program. However, many personnel directors find that the 55-b Program offers them greater flexibility and use it as an alternative means of hiring highly-qualified candidates.

Will I be required to take a test for a 55-b appointment?

No. You will be evaluated on the basis of your qualifications and interviews; you will not be required to take an examination.

However, 55-b and 55-c candidates are encouraged to take Civil Service examinations as this will increase your opportunities for employment.

What are my promotional opportunities if I am appointed under
Section 55-b?

Under Civil Service Law, employees appointed under Section 55-b have the same opportunities to take promotion examinations as employees in the competitive class.

How do I apply for eligibility under Section 55-b?

You may apply by completing:
55b/c Application Packet [PDF]
55b/c Application Packet [DOTX]

Please return forms, along with a resume and a copy of a recent medical statement signed by your physician. The documentation must clearly state the nature of your disability and the extent of your functional limitations. To obtain an application and information packet, click on the link above or you may call or write the New York State Department of Civil Service (see below). The completed application and medical statements should be submitted to this same address.

New York State
Department of Civil Service
55 b/c Program
Albany, NY 12239

Please contact us with any questions at 518-233-3118 or toll-free at 1-866-297-4356 or by e-mail.