Workers with Disabilities Program (55-c)

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.

It is a priority of New York State to find opportunities in employment in State government service for qualified veterans of the armed forces of the United States. New Yorkers prize ability, without regard to disability.

Section 55-c of the New York State Civil Service Law permits the Civil Service Commission to designate 500 positions normally filled through competitive examination to be filled through the appointment of qualified wartime veterans with disabilities.

Who are "wartime" veterans?

Veterans of the armed forces of the United States who served on a full-time active duty basis, other than for training purposes, are eligible if they served during "time of war." The Civil Service Law defines time of war to include the following:

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

Recipients of the expeditionary medals of the armed forces, Navy or Marine Corps are also eligible. Eligible service during earlier wars is also defined in the law.

Who are "veterans with disabilities?"

In addition to having served on active duty during one of the designated times of war, veterans must have a disability certified by the Employee Health Service (EHS) of the Department of Civil Service to be eligible for the 55-c Program. The certification is based on the degree to which the disability limits function. To establish this, the veteran may be required to undergo a physical examination, at no cost, by an EHS physician or an outside consultant. A qualifying disability does not need to be service-connected.

Section 55-c was amended in 2004 to make automatically eligible any veteran who has received the Purple Heart medal or who has a disability rating assigned by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs of at least 10 percent.

How does the 55-c Program work?

State agencies may request conversion of an entry-level, competitive class position to a non-competitive 55-c position in order to hire an eligible, qualified veteran. Entry-level positions are those that are filled only through open-competitive examinations. The applicant must meet the minimum qualifications for the position but will not be required to take an examination.

Eligible veterans are not guaranteed State employment and are not placed on a hiring list. Participation by State agencies is encouraged but not required. Many personnel directors find the program offers them greater flexibility and use it as an alternative means of hiring highly qualified candidates.

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

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

Veterans: If you do not have your form DD-214 available, your application may be expeditated and processed as a 55-b applicant. However, once you obtain your DD-214 and meet the criteria as a War Time Veteran your status/file will be changed to 55-c.

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