Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: February 8, 2019
Sub-content Accordion

General Information

The HIRE Vets Medallion Program recognizes employers for their efforts to recruit, employ, and retain our Nation’s veterans. President Donald J. Trump signed the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans (HIRE Vets) Act of 2017 into law in May 2017. The Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) administers the HIRE Vets Medallion Program. 

The HIRE Vets Medallion Award is the only veterans hiring award at the federal level. Its criteria allow for the highest level of recognition for employers who are committed to veteran careers, including recruiting, employment, and retention. These employers set an example for other employers of the importance of prioritizing and encouraging successful veteran hiring and retention. The award signals to veterans that an employer is committed to and supports our Nation’s heroes.

Applications will open January 31, 2019, at www.hirevets.gov. Applicants will complete the application form, provide chief executive officer or chief human resources officer attestation, and submit it electronically. The application period will close on April 30, 2019.

HIRE Vets Medallion Awards will be awarded by employer size: large employer awards for employers with 500 or more employees, medium employer awards for employers with more than 50 but fewer than 500 employees, and small employer awards for employers with 50 or fewer employees. Within each of the three employer categories, there are two levels of awards: platinum and gold. Information on the criteria for HIRE Vets Medallion Awards can be found on this FAQ page.

The HIRE Vets Medallion Program, as implemented by the Final Rule, recognizes and encourages employers to hire and retain our nation’s veterans and enables employers to use the award offered through the program to attract more veteran employees as well as additional business.  The Final Rule lays out the process, timelines and procedures for employers to apply for the HIRE Vets Medallion Award; the criteria for the award; the award fee structure; and explains how the Department will review the applications, verify the information provided, and determine and notify the winners of the award.  

The VETS published this Final Rule as required by the HIRE Vets Act.  This Final Rule implements the HIRE Vets Medallion Award Program to recognize those employers, big and small, who have sought to employ and retain our nation’s veterans. Such employers are strong examples to other employers of the importance in prioritizing and encouraging successful veteran hiring and retention. 

The Final Rule is available via the Federal Register

There is a fee to apply for the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, which is used to cover the costs associated with carrying out the HIRE Vets Act. The fee for large employers is $495 per applicant, the fee for medium employers is $190 per applicant, and the fee for small employers is $90 per applicant. 

Please visit www.hirevets.gov and subscribe to the HIRE Vets Medallion Program topic list. You may also email hirevets@dol.gov or contact the Program Office at 202-693-4745.  

Be sure to check www.HIREVets.gov for social media and web sharing graphics, tools and widgets or follow @VETS_DOL on twitter using #HireVets for ongoing updates and details.

Applying for the Award

VETS will solicit applications no later than January 31 of each calendar year for the HIRE Vets Medallion Award to be awarded.  VETS will stop accepting applications on April 30 of each calendar year for the Awards. 

Once the program is initiated, interested employers will be able to access the application form via the HIRE Vets website, accessible from www.hirevets.gov.  Applicants will complete the application form and submit it electronically.  The Final Rule also contains information about reasonable accommodations. 

Yes. VETS will recognize employers based on the EIN (Employer Identification Number), as described in 26 CFR 301.7701-12, used to furnish an IRS Form W-2 to an employee.

However, in the case of

  • an agent designated pursuant to 26 CFR 31.3504-1,
  • a payor designated pursuant to 26 CFR 31.3504-2, or
  • a Certified Professional Employer Organization recognized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 7705, the employer shall be the common law employer, client, or customer, respectively, instead of the entity that furnishes the IRS Form W-2.

In addition to the three exceptions described above, an employer that does not have an EIN should leave that application field (item 2) blank.

Application Fees
Small Employer Fee
$90.00
Medium Employer Fee
$190.00
Large Employer Fee
$495.00

All applicants must submit the appropriate application processing fee for each application submitted.  Payment of this fee must be made electronically through the U.S. Treasury pay.gov system.  Once a fee is paid, it is nonrefundable, even if the employer withdraws the application or does not receive a HIRE Vets Medallion Award.

VETS suggests that all employers who have submitted applications also submit their application fee payment by April 30, but it will consider reviewing applications for which payment occurred shortly after the deadline.

You cannot receive a refund, either in full or in part, of your application fee payment. Once a fee is paid, it is nonrefundable, even if you choose to withdraw your application or your application is denied.

Eligibility

All organizations that employ at least one employee are eligible to apply for the HIRE Vets Medallion Program. The HIRE Vets Medallion Program uses the definition of employer found in the HIRE Vets Medallion Program regulations. The Final Rule defines an employer as any person, institution, organization, or other entity that pays salary or wages for work performed or that has control over employee opportunities, except for the Federal Government or any State or foreign government. The definition of employer includes local governments and Tribal governments.

For the purposes of this regulation, VETS will recognize employers based on the EIN (Employer Identification Number), as described in 26 CFR 301.7701-12, used to furnish an IRS Form W-2 to an employee. Finally, there are some exceptions to the definition of employer for certain agents, payors, and Certified Professional Employer Organizations, as detailed further in the Final Rule and in the definition of “employer” in the “What definitions apply to this program?” FAQ on this page

Please review the Program Criteria table, available at hirevets.gov, to determine which award your employer is eligible for. The table illustrates what the requirements are for each award level for your company’s employer size. If you start completing the platinum level application and realize that your employer is not eligible for that level of award, you may delete that application and complete the gold level application instead. However, you should carefully review the requirements for each award level before beginning any application.

There are three different categories of the HIRE Vets Medallion Award:
(1) Large Employer Awards for employers with 500 or more employees;
(2) Medium Employer Awards for employers with more than 50 but fewer than 500 employees; and
(3) Small Employer Awards for employers with 50 or fewer employees.
(The correct category of Award is determined by the employer’s number of employees as of December 31 of the year prior to the year in which the employer applies for an Award.)

Within each Award category, there are two levels of Award:
(1) A Gold Award; and
(2) A Platinum Award.

The criteria for recognition vary by level (platinum or gold) and employer size (large, medium, or small). More details about the criteria and application process are found on this FAQ page and in the Final Rule.

Medium and small employers may satisfy the veteran employee requirement by completing either (1) the hiring criterion fields or (2) the retention criterion and veteran employee percentage criterion fields. Please choose one of these two options before completing the application, as the application will prevent you from completing both.

Former employees who have left an organization completely before being hired back (rehires) do count as new hires. However, current employees who are “hired” or promoted to a new position within the same organization (internal hires) do not count as new hires.

Yes. Employers who participated in the Program Demonstration are eligible to apply for the 2019 program. 


More generally, employers may apply annually.

No, a Federal, State, or foreign government may not apply. The Final Rule defines an employer as any person, institution, organization, or other entity that pays salary or wages for work performed or that has control over employee opportunities, except for the Federal Government or any State or foreign government. The definition of employer includes local governments and Tribal governments.

An independently owned franchise or a subsidiary may apply for its own award separate from its franchisor or parent company. See the definition of “employer” in the “What definitions apply to this program?” FAQ for more information about what entities may be eligible to apply for an award.

Yes. Specific hiring requirements do differ among the large, medium, and small employer sizes. For example, an employer applying for a small platinum award may satisfy this requirement by illustrating that either (1) veterans constitute not less than 10 percent of all employees hired during the prior calendar year or (2) the employer has retained not less than 85 percent of the veteran employees hired during the calendar year preceding the preceding calendar year (2 calendar years prior to the calendar year in which the application is submitted) for a period of at least 12 months and on December 31st of the year prior to the year of the application, at least 10 percent of the employer’s employees were veterans. More details about the criteria and application process are found on this FAQ page and in the Final Rule.

Applicants for certain awards – medium platinum, medium gold, and small platinum – must choose which combination of integration assistance requirements to satisfy. For example, a small platinum award applicant must pick which two of the five integration assistance requirements to complete. Please review the Program Criteria table, available at hirevets.gov, before completing the application. The Program Criteria table illustrates the available choices that satisfy the program criteria.

Your response must describe how your employer satisfies the relevant integration assistance criteria – a link to your employer’s website cannot take the place of that description, and a response containing only a link will be deemed inadequate. If in your response, in addition to a description of the integration assistance provided by your employer, you would like to provide a link to information on your employer’s website that is of potential interest to VETS, please feel free to do so.

No, a leadership program does not need to be provided exclusively to veterans in order to satisfy the leadership program criterion. For example, an employer could satisfy this criterion by offering a program to enhance leadership skills to all employees as long as veteran employees may participate. The primary concern for this criterion is that veterans have the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills and not that such programs only benefit veterans. 

No, not all large employers (those with 500 or more employees) must have a dedicated human resources professional for veterans. Section 1011.115 of the Final Rule established an exemption for certain large employers from the dedicated human resources professional requirement. Large employers who employ 5,000 or fewer employees need not have a dedicated human resources professional to support the hiring and retention of veteran employees. A large employer with 5,000 or fewer employees can satisfy the criterion at § 1011.100(b)(7) of the Final Rule by employing at least one human resources professional whose regular work duties include supporting the hiring, training, and retention of veteran employees. 

In order to meet this criterion, an employer must pay each of its employees serving on active duty in the United States National Guard or Reserve an amount that, in combination with the employee’s active duty pay, is enough to achieve a combined level of income at least equal to the employee’s salary prior to undertaking active duty. To continue to satisfy this criterion, the employer must maintain this level of pay for as long as the employee is activated in the United States National Guard or Reserve.

A recognized postsecondary credential is awarded in recognition of an individual's attainment of measurable technical, industrial, and/or occupational skills necessary to obtain employment or advance within an industry or occupation. These skills generally are based on standards developed or endorsed by employers or industry associations.
The types of organizations and institutions that award recognized postsecondary credentials include:

  • a program that has been approved by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to offer education benefits to veterans;
  • community colleges, proprietary schools, and all other institutions of higher education that are eligible to participate in Federal student financial aid programs;
  • a professional, industry, or employer organization (e.g., National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certification) or product manufacturer or developer (e.g., recognized Microsoft Information Technology certificates) using a valid and reliable assessment of an individual's knowledge, skills, and abilities;
  • a public regulatory agency that awards a credential upon an individual's fulfillment of educational, work experience, or skill requirements that are legally necessary for an individual to use an occupational or professional title or to practice an occupation or profession (e.g., State-licensed asbestos inspector); and
  • a State educational agency or a State agency responsible for administering vocational and technical education within a State.

The only stipulated agreements treated as violations of USERRA or VEVRAA for purposes of the HIRE Vets Medallion Program are those that contain an admission that the employer violated either USERRA or VEVRAA.

Section 1011.120 of the Final Rule provides specific information about an employer’s eligibility following violations of certain labor laws, but generally it includes violations that occurred in the previous calendar year and in the current calendar year in which the employer is applying, up until the issuance of an award.

You are not required to describe efforts by your employer to support the veteran and military community that fall outside of the award criteria, and it will not factor into decisions about which employers receive awards. However, responses to this optional question on the application will help VETS learn more about the variety of efforts that employers are undertaking in this area. Sharing information about these efforts will enable VETS to shine a light on practices that may serve as models of support for veterans and their families.

Employers should allow adequate time to properly review and compile the required information outlined in the Final Rule before beginning the application process. The application form for each award level includes an estimate of how long it will take to complete that form. Applicants can register and begin the application, and return to complete the application at a later date.

Section 1011.120 of the Final Rule provides specific information about an employer’s eligibility following violations of specific labor laws, but generally includes violations that occurred in the previous and current calendar year in which the employer is applying. 

Definitions which apply are found in the Final Rule.

Account/Application Management

To delete your current draft (not submitted) application, go to the Dashboard page and click the Delete button for that application. The Dashboard page is the first page you see after logging in to your account. If you are currently working on this application, click the Return to Dashboard link near the top of the page or the Dashboard link in the top navigation menu to reach the Dashboard page. After clicking the Delete button, you must confirm deletion of the application. Please note that once you delete an application, you can no longer edit or submit it. Once you have confirmed the deletion, you can start a new application from the Dashboard page.

Once you have confirmed the deletion of your current draft (not submitted) application, you can start a new application from the Dashboard page. The Dashboard page is the first page you see after logging in to your account. See the “How do I delete my draft (not submitted) application?” FAQ on this page for information about deleting an application.

To withdraw your submitted application, go to the Dashboard page and click the Withdraw button for that application. The Dashboard page is the first page you see after logging in to your account. You may withdraw your application at any time from the date of submission through October 10th. Please note that withdrawing an application will prevent you from submitting another application during the same program year.

If you have not received an email with instructions for completing your account setup, check the junk or spam folders of your email account, contact your IT (information technology) department regarding messages from unknown senders placed in quarantine, and add noreply@hirevets.gov to your list of approved or acceptable senders. If you continue to have issues, please contact hirevets@dol.gov for further assistance. 

If the link to set your account password does not work, please email hirevets@dol.gov so that we may assist you.

If your application is returned for revision and you have questions about what to do, please email hirevets@dol.gov or call 202-693-4745 so that we may assist you.

Yes, the form requires the attestation of an executive (chief executive officer, chief human resources officer, or equivalent official) that the information on the form is accurate and true before submitting an application.

Receiving and Use of the Award

It is unlawful for any employer to publicly display a HIRE Vets Medallion Award, in connection with, or as a part of, any advertisement, solicitation, business activity, or product-
(a) for the purpose of conveying, or in a manner reasonably calculated to convey, a false impression that the employer received the Award through the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, if such employer did not receive such Award through the HIRE Vets Medallion Program; or
(b) for the purpose of conveying, or in a manner reasonably calculated to convey, a false impression that the employer received the Award through the HIRE Vets Medallion Program for a year for which such employer did not receive such Award.

DOL will notify each tentatively approved applicant by email in October noting the employer is eligible to receive the HIRE Vets Medallion Award. Awardees will receive an additional notice by email following the official announcement of award recipients.

Employers who did not meet the criteria will also be notified by email in October that they were not eligible to receive the HIRE Vets Medallion Award. There will be no public announcement or notice regarding employers who did not receive an award.

An award recipient will receive a certificate stating the year of the award. Recipients will also receive a digital image of the medallion for their use, including as part of an advertisement, solicitation, business activity, or product.

DOL will notify each employer of the outcome of their application in October, and award recipients will receive their HIRE Vets Medallion Awards in November. DOL will announce the names of award recipients in November, at a time to coincide with Veterans Day. 

VETS will notify employers who will receive HIRE Vets Medallion Awards no later than October 11 of each calendar year for the Awards to be awarded in November of that calendar year.  VETS will also notify applicants who will not be receiving an Award at that time

Additional Information

Follow @VETS_DOL on Twitter and spread the word by using the hashtag #HIREVets. For ongoing updates, visit www.hirevets.gov and subscribe to the HIRE Vets Medallion Program topic list here

Employers may also visit www.hirevets.gov, email hirevets@dol.gov, or call 202-693-4745.