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Policy, Data, Oversight Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

OPM Fact Sheet - COVID-19 Excepted Service Hiring Authority

What is the COVID-19 Governmentwide Hiring Authority?

OPM has authorized the use of excepted-service, temporary appointments under 5 CFR 213.3102(i)(3) to address the need for hiring additional staff in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

What positions can be filled under this Authority?

  • Any positions needed in direct response to the effects of COVID-19.

What makes this Schedule A authority different than competitive hiring?

  • No Public notice (posting on is required; however, agencies may use USAJOBS, advertise the open position, and pursue other appropriate recruiting activities.
  • Agencies must follow procedures in 5 CFR part 302, Employment in the Excepted Service.
  • It allows agencies to make temporary appointments for one year which may be extended for up to 1 additional year (if need be).

Are employees hired under this Authority eligible for benefits?

Yes. Employees hired under the authority may be eligible for the following benefits:

  • Federal Employees Health Benefits
  • Federal Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Accounts

Please contact your agency Benefits Officer to confirm eligibility.

What limitations apply to the use of Schedule A authority?

  • The authority expires March 31, 2021 - No new appointments may be made after this date. However, individuals appointed prior to March 31, 2021 may remain employed for the duration of his or her employment.
  • Appointments made prior to March 31, 2021, may be extended beyond that date.
  • Agencies are reminded to meet any collective bargaining obligations, including applicable provisions of agency collective bargaining agreements.
  • Agencies must have excepted service policies in place prior to using this or any excepted service authority, which governs the process for receiving/processing applications; making qualification determinations; making selections; and the application of veterans’ preference.
  • These hires are subject to the same suitability/background investigation process as other applicants.
  • When documenting the SF-50 “Notification of Personnel Action” for such appointments use “W9R/Sch. A, 5 CFR 213.3102(i)(3)” as the first authority and “W9C” as the final authority.
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