55-b/c Program -
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to take a test?
You will not need to take a written civil service test or examination to qualify for a position. However, you will need to meet the minimum qualifications for the job, and you might also need to take additional tests, depending on the position. For example, some jobs require a candidate to pass a physical ability test or a language proficiency test. You are still encouraged to take civil service examinations, which can lead to more job opportunities with the State.
How do I find a job?
Upon receiving your 55-b/c eligibility letter, a candidate should create a user ID and password on the 55-b/c Recruitment Resources Portal.
To increase your opportunities for employment with New York State through competitive examination, you can:
- Review our examination announcements
- Sign-up to receive email notification for announcements of upcoming examinations
- Access current job openings
- Visit the Glossary Of Titles - Inquiry Tool
- Schedule an appointment with the Department of Labor's One-Stop Career Services Center
What types of positions are available through these programs?
Agencies use the 55-b/c Program to fill entry-level positions. 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.
Entry-level positions are defined as any position/title for which an open-competitive examination is held and any existing promotion list has been exhausted.
A candidate must:
- Possess the minimum qualifications for the selected title as established by the Department of Civil Service
- Meet the applicable minimal mental and/or physical requirements for the job (with a reasonable accommodation, if necessary)
How do I get appointed?
Review current vacancies open to the general public online. When you review a specific job or vacancy, confirm you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. If you meet the qualifications and are interested in applying, follow the instructions on the "contact" tab in the vacancy announcement. When you submit your resume and letter of interest to the hiring agency, be sure to include a copy of your 55-b/c eligibility letter.
What are my promotion opportunities if I am appointed under this program?
Under Civil Service Law, employees appointed under Section 55-b or Section 55-c have the same opportunities to take promotion examinations as employees in the competitive class.
Who are "war time" 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 for the 55-c Program if they served during "time of war." Civil Service Law defines time of war to include the following:
- Vietnam War: February 28, 1961 - May 7, 1975
- 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
- Hostilities in the Persian Gulf: August 2, 1990 - the date on which hostilities end
Recipients of the expeditionary medals of the Army, Air Force, 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 during a time of war, veterans must be certified as having a qualifying condition by Employee Health Service at the Department of Civil Service. Eligibility is based on the degree of functional limitation. A qualifying condition need not be service-connected.
A veteran who has received a Purple Heart Medal or who has a disability rating of at least 10 percent, as assigned by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, is automatically deemed eligible for the 55-c Program.