nd.gov - The Official Portal for North Dakota State Government
North Dakota: Legendary. Follow the trail of legends

Resources

The veterans' postwar trust fund is a permanent trust fund of the state of North Dakota and consists of moneys transferred or credited to the fund under this chapter and other laws. Investment of the fund is the responsibility of the state treasurer who shall invest the fund only in those legal investments authorized by section 21-10-07. All income received from investments is to be utilized only for programs of benefit and service to veterans or their dependents, and all income earned in a biennium is appropriated to the administrative committee on veterans' affairs on a continuing basis in the following biennium and not in the biennium the income is earned for expenditure on these programs as authorized by law.
The board of county commissioners of each county of the state of North Dakota shall appoint, employ, and pay, on a full-time or part-time basis, an officer to be known as a county veterans' service officer. The veterans' affairs commissioner may work directly with county veterans' service officers. An individual may serve as a county veterans' service officer in more than one county. The appointment must be made with the prior advice of the commissioner of veterans' affairs, and in accordance with veterans' preference as provided in section 37-19.1-02. By August 1, 2011, all county veterans' service officers must be accredited by the national association of county veterans' service officers. It is the duty of the county veterans' service officer to become acquainted with the laws, both state and federal, enacted for the benefit of returning servicemen and servicewomen to assist such returning members of the armed forces in the presentation, proof, and establishment of such claims, privileges, and rights as they have.
 
It also is the duty of the county veterans' service officer to actively cooperate with and to coordinate the activities of the state and federal agencies within the county which the officer serves to facilitate their operation and ensure promptness in the solution of the problems concerned with the reestablishment of returning servicemen and servicewomen in civilian pursuits. A county veterans' service officer may not serve as a conservator for an individual who is receiving benefits or services from the department of veterans' affairs or the United States department of veterans' affairs, except if the individual is the spouse or an immediate family member of the officer, or unless the conservator is appointed by the county under chapter 11-21.
The county veterans' service officer must be paid such monthly salary for full-time or part-time work as the board of county commissioners deems commensurate with the needs of the situation, together with actual living expenses when absent from the officer's established office upon official business in an amount not exceeding that allowed to state officials, upon itemized statements submitted by the officer and supported by sub vouchers or receipts as provided by section 21-05-01 and the officer's actual transportation expenses, which may not exceed the amounts provided by section 54-06-09, and must be in itemized form showing the mileage traveled, the days when and how traveled, and the purpose thereof, verified by the officer's affidavit and supported by sub vouchers or receipts as provided by section 21-05-01.
A veterans' home must be maintained at the city of Lisbon in the county of Ransom.
The object of the veterans' home is to provide basic care as defined under chapter 23-09.3 and long-term care as defined under chapter 23-16 for:
 
1. All veterans as defined in section 37-01-40 and all honorably discharged soldiers of the North Dakota national guard who heretofore or hereafter may become permanently disabled from any cause while in line and discharge of duty.
 
2. The spouses and surviving spouses of those mentioned in subsection 1 if they meet the requirements for admission under section 37-15-10.

The general supervision and government of the veterans' home is vested in the administrative committee on veterans' affairs.

The general supervision and government of the veterans' home is vested in the administrative committee on veterans' affairs.

The appointment, qualifications, term of office, and salary of the administrator of the veterans' home must be as prescribed in section 37-18.1-03. The administrative committee on veterans' affairs may designate the administrator as commandant of the veterans' home if the administrator is an honorably discharged veteran.
The administrator of the veterans' home shall appoint all necessary subordinate officers of the home. In the appointment of the officers, the preference afforded by chapter 37-19.1 must be given to those persons who qualify for the preference. The administrator shall fix the compensation of all subordinate officers, subject to legislative appropriation, and any officer may be removed by the administrator for inefficiency or misconduct.
1. An applicant may not be admitted to the veterans' home unless the applicant is a bona fide resident of this state preceding the applicant's application for admission. The residency requirement may be waived if the applicant served in a North Dakota regiment or was accredited to this state.
 
2. The spouse or surviving spouse of those mentioned in subsection 1 of section 37-15-02 may be admitted upon the same footing as the veteran.
 
3. An individual may not be admitted to the home until that individual has made formal application and furnished the proof that is required by the home and the application has been approved by the board of admissions of the home.
 
4. When a member of the home who is not eligible for veterans' administration hospitalization and care becomes unable from any cause to care for oneself under rules adopted by the veterans' home governing board for the admission and care of members in the home, the member becomes a charge of the county of residence at the time of admission. An individual may not gain or lose legal residence by reason of residence in or being a member of the veterans' home.
If the veterans' home is full and a waiting list for admission is necessary, further admission to the veterans' home must be according to priorities for admission to the facility appropriate to the different levels of care that are provided by the veterans' home. The priorities for admission must be established by rule as provided under chapter 28-32.
All lands granted by the United States or by this state for the veterans' home are set apart for the support of the home. The proceeds from the sales of these lands are pledged as a perpetual fund for the use and benefit of the home.
The state accepts the conditions imposed by an Act of Congress, entitled "An act to provide aid to state or territorial homes for the support of disabled soldiers and sailors in the United States, approved August 27, 1888", and the various amendments thereto.
The state treasurer shall receive and receipt for all money which may become payable to this state by reason of the acceptance of the Acts of Congress as provided in section 37-15-12. The state treasurer shall deposit such money to the credit of the veterans' home operating fund for the use and benefit of the veterans' home.
A special fund, to be known as the veterans' home operating fund, must be maintained in the state treasury. Moneys arising from the interest received on money derived from the sale of lands appropriated for the support of the home and from the rental of these lands, moneys received from the United States for the support and maintenance of the home, and all other moneys, income, and collections of public funds arising from any other source or endeavor of the home, except as provided for in section 37-15-21, must be placed in the veterans' home operating fund for the use and maintenance of the veterans' home.
1. The veterans' home governing board may establish fees to be paid by members of the veterans' home. The fees must be based on the adjusted income of each member, but may not exceed forty-nine percent of the average daily per member cost. The fees must be set under a formula determined by the veterans' home governing board and designed to assure dignity and equity in the charge. The veterans' home governing board may reconsider its action establishing fees, amend or rescind the fees, or reinstate fees previously rescinded. The administrator of the veterans' home shall collect monthly any fees levied.
 
2. As used in subsection 1, "adjusted income" means all moneys received from any source, including social security benefits, less amounts received or expended as follows:
 
a. Moneys expended by the member for hospitalization due to illness or injury.
b. Moneys expended by the member for other medical care or treatment, or for required medicines.
c. Such other receipts or expenditures as the veterans' home governing board may permit to be deducted in individual cases.
 
3. All moneys received as a result of charging the fees authorized by subsection 1 must be deposited in the veterans' home operating fund.
All moneys withdrawn from the veterans' home operating fund must be withdrawn in accordance with chapters 54-14 and 54-44.1.

If a member of the veterans' home dies leaving property of the value of three thousand dollars or less, the administrator immediately shall take charge of the property. If within forty-five days of the date of death a valid claim of any heir or devisee is not made for the property and an application or petition has not been filed for issuance of letters of administration, the administrator shall convert the property into cash without probate or other proceedings and make payment first toward reasonable funeral expenses and second toward reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last illness of the decedent.

If any cash remains, the administrator shall deposit the cash with the state treasurer who shall credit it to the veterans' home operating fund. The administrator shall make a report of the administrator's action to the administrative committee on veterans' affairs. The report must be audited by, and included in the records of, the committee.

If a member of the veterans' home dies leaving property in excess of three thousand dollars in value not disposed of by will, the administrator is entitled to letters of administration for the estate. The administrator shall apply to the proper court for letters of administration, qualify as administrator, and distribute and dispose of the estate. If a valid claim is not made to the estate by the heirs or the next of kin of the deceased member for a period of one year after the granting of letters of administration, the residue of the estate must be deposited with the state treasurer for the benefit of the veterans' home operating fund.
Upon becoming administrator of any estate under section 37-15-17, the administrator of the veterans' home is not required to give bond and may not charge or receive any compensation for the administrator's services as administrator of the estate. The district court serving the county where the administration proceedings are conducted may not allow any charge or fee in connection with the administration proceedings other than the actual disbursements of the administrator.
The administrator of the veterans' home may submit a biennial report to the governor and the secretary of state in accordance with section 54-06-04
The administrator for and in behalf of the veterans' home may accept and expend funds from any source, including federal or private sources and donations, gifts, or bequests offered or tendered to, or for the benefit of, the veterans' home to be used to benefit the veterans' home. All moneys received or accepted must be used for the specific purposes for which they were given or donated. This authority applies and is retroactive to any or all gifts, donations, or bequests already tendered, offered, or made.
 
The veterans' home may establish and maintain its own local fund to administer moneys received under this section. All interest, rent, or income from moneys or property received under this section must be deposited in the veterans' home operating fund unless by the terms of acquisition the moneys are required to be maintained in a different manner.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the veterans' home may purchase or arrange for independent third-party telephone services.
There is hereby established a department of veterans' affairs under the supervision and control of a commissioner known as commissioner of veterans' affairs, hereinafter referred to as the commissioner.
It is the duty of the commissioner to coordinate agencies or instrumentalities of the state set up to render service and benefits to returning veterans; to have charge of and implement programs and benefits authorized by statute; to assist or represent veterans or their widows, administrators, executors, guardians, or heirs, in processing claims; to advise and assist veterans in taking advantage of the provisions of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 [Pub. L. 78-346; 58 Stat. 291], or any similar or related measures afforded by the federal government; to provide counties with recommended qualifications and standards for county veterans' service officers; to assist counties with training of county veterans' service officers; to provide county veterans' service officers with educational materials; to assist county veterans' service officers in the performance of their duties; to disseminate information; and to do any and all things necessary and proper for the purpose of carrying out the intent and purposes of this chapter.
The commissioner shall have a seal of office and may administer oaths and take acknowledgments in connection with the prosecution of any claim for compensation, hospitalization, insurance, or other aid or benefits. The commissioner may certify to the correctness of any document or documents which may be submitted in connection with any such application.
The commissioner is hereby authorized and empowered to establish within the department a claims division, a loan division, a field division, and such other divisions as from time to time may become necessary to carry out the purposes of the chapter; to appoint such assistants as may be necessary; and to prescribe regulations and rules of procedure.
The appointment, qualifications, term of office, and salary of the commissioner must be as prescribed in section 37-18.1-03. The commissioner must be allowed such amounts for travel, clerkhire, and expenses as may be prescribed from time to time by legislative appropriations.
The office of the commissioner shall be located in the same city as the principal office of the veterans' administrator for this state. If the veterans' administrator is removed from the state, such commissioner's office must be located in the state capitol.
All records and papers pertaining or relating to veterans which are transmitted by the United States government to the department of veterans' affairs must be kept and maintained by said department under the following provisions and conditions:
 
1. All records and papers of the department are to be utilized in the manner to best serve the public interest, but the veteran's right of privacy as to information pertaining to the veteran's military or naval service and to confidential information contained in the veteran's application for benefits will be respected.
 
2. All reports of investigation made by employees of the department or at the direction of the department for official departmental purposes are for the use of the commissioner and the commissioner's staff only. Materials and information which disclose the investigative techniques of the department or the identity of confidential informants and material received in confidence by representatives of the department will not be released.
 
3. Records pertaining to any application for benefits, whether pending or adjudicated, will be deemed confidential and no disclosure therefrom will be made except in the circumstances and under the conditions set forth in this chapter, and any person making application for benefits must hereinafter be referred to as the applicant.
 
4. An applicant may not have access to official department records concerning the applicant, but information from official records may be disclosed to an applicant or the applicant's duly authorized representative as to matters concerning the applicant.
 
5. "Duly authorized representative" is defined as any person authorized in writing by the applicant to act for the applicant, or the applicant's legally constituted representative if the applicant is incompetent or deceased. If for proper reason no such representative has been or will be appointed, the applicant's spouse, an adult child, or if the applicant is unmarried, either of the applicant's parents shall be recognized as the duly authorized representative of the applicant.
 
6. Medical information may be disclosed as follows:
 
a. Except as otherwise required by law, information contained in medical records on file shall be disclosed to the resident on request.
b. Information contained in medical records of residents and beneficiaries pertaining to medical history, diagnosis, findings, or treatment may be disclosed directly to physicians and hospitals for treatment, payment, and health care operations, and as otherwise authorized by law. This information is to be treated as confidential information. This information also may be disclosed without the consent of the resident or the resident's personal  representative when a request for the information is received from the veterans' administration, the United States public health service, the superintendent of a state hospital, a commissioner or head of a state department of mental hygiene, or head of a state, county, or city health department and the disclosure is required by law, or for the purpose of treatment, payment, or department and the disclosure is required by law, or for the purpose of treatment, payment, or health care operations
 
7. Information contained in loan files may be made available to any party having an interest in such loan transaction upon approval by the director or pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the director. 
 
8. Information contained in department files required for official purposes by any agency of the United States government or by any agency of the state of North Dakota, or by any law enforcement or public welfare agency of any North Dakota county or municipality may be furnished in response to an official request, written or oral, from such agency. The requesting agency must be asked to specify the purpose for which such information is to be used.
 
9. Subject to the limitations of any other law, members of the legislative assembly may be furnished such information contained in department files as may be furnished such information contained in department files as may be requested for official use.
 
10. A county veterans' service officer may be permitted to inspect records pertaining to any application for benefits in which the officer's office may be directly involved upon he condition that only such information contained therein as may be properly disclosed will be disclosed by the officer only to the applicant or if the applicant is incompetent, to the applicant's legally constituted representative
 
11. When records pertaining to any application for benefits are requested for use in any judicial proceedings, they will be released only upon service of a proper subpoena and upon the condition that they will be returned upon conclusion of such proceedings.
 
12. Addresses of applicants from department records will not be furnished, person to whom it may not be furnished, the person making the request will be informed that correspondence enclosed in an unsealed envelope showing no return address, with the name of the addressee thereon, and bearing sufficient postage to cover mailing costs will be forwarded by the department. At the time the correspondence is forwarded, the department's return address will be placed on the envelope. If undelivered mail is returned to the department, the original sender will be notified thereof, but the envelope will be retained by the department. In no event will letters be forwarded for the purposes of debt collection, canvassing, or harassment.
 
13. Separation documents evidencing service in the armed forces of the United States will be considered confidential and privileged, anything contained in Subsections 4 through 10 notwithstanding. Examination of such records will will be limited to authorized employees of the department and information entered thereon will be disclosed only to interested governmental agencies for the purpose of assisting veterans and their dependents to obtain the rights and benefits to which they may be entitled.

 

The department of veterans' affairs may accept and expend funds from any source, including federal or private sources, to be used to assist veterans or qualified veterans' spouses in obtaining assistance and to pay other expenses authorized by law incurred in carrying out programs of benefit and service for resident North Dakota veterans as authorized by the administrative committee on veterans' affairs with the approval of the emergency commission. However, all interest earnings from the veterans' postwar trust fund received by the department of veterans' affairs from the administrative committee on veterans' affairs are appropriated to the department on a continuing basis.
The department of veterans' affairs may receive from the United States such records of veterans as the United States may wish to turn over to the department of veterans' affairs and same shall keep and maintain the records as provided in this chapter.
An employee of the department of veterans' affairs may not serve as a conservator for an individual who is receiving benefits or services from the department, except if the individual is the spouse or an immediate family member of the employee.
There is hereby created an administrative committee on veterans' affairs, which, for purposes of this chapter, must hereinafter be referred to as the committee. The committee must consist of three ex officio nonvoting members and fifteen voting members. The adjutant general, the center director of the veterans' administration, and the executive director of job service North Dakota are the ex officio nonvoting members who shall serve in an advisory capacity to the committee. On or before June 20, 1971, the American legion, the veterans of foreign wars, the disabled American veterans, the veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, (amvets), and Vietnam veterans of America, incorporated, shall each prepare a list containing the names of six persons qualifying as veterans under the provisions of section 37-01-40, for appointment as voting members of the committee. On or before July 1, 1971, the governor shall select fifteen nominees, three from each list, five of whom must be appointed to a term of three years, five of whom must be appointed to a term of two years, and five of whom must be appointed to a term of one year, or until their successors are appointed and qualified. On or before the twentieth day of June in each year, beginning in the year 1972, each of the above-listed nominating organizations shall submit a list containing the names of two persons who qualify as veterans under the provisions of section 37-01-40, to the governor for appointment or reappointment as voting members of the committee. On or before the first day of July in each year, beginning in the year 1972, the governor shall select one nominee from each list, a total of five nominees, to fill expiring terms of voting members of the committee. Each such appointment must be for a term of three years, or until a successor is appointed and qualified. All terms begin on the first day of July and end on the thirtieth day of June in the year specified. In case of the inability or failure of any voting member of the committee to serve, the governor shall appoint another member from a list of two persons qualifying as veterans under the provisions of section 37-01-40, submitted by the nominating organization represented by the member who was unable or failed to serve. Such appointments must be made for the remainder of the unexpired term.
A chairman and a secretary of the committee must be appointed by the governor from among the voting membership of the committee. Such appointment must be made annually, with the term of office to begin on the first day of July of the year specified and to end on the thirtieth day of June of the following year. Meetings of the committee must be held upon the call of the chairman, at such times and places as may be selected by the chairman, and upon due notice to committee members by the secretary. Meetings must also be called by the chairman upon the written request of any four voting members of the committee. A majority of the members of the committee is required for a quorum, and a majority of the members present voting in favor thereof is required for any action.
The committee is responsible for organization, policy, and general administration of all veterans' affairs in the state of North Dakota. It has the following powers and duties:
 
1. The chairman and secretary of the committee, acting jointly, shall appoint a seven-member governing board for administration of the veterans' home, from within or outside the committee, subject to ratification of a majority vote of the committee, and shall establish term lengths for service on the governing board. The governing board has all ordinary powers required of a governing board, including the power to establish qualifications for and selection of an administrator and to establish an appropriate salary structure, subject to limitations of legislative appropriation. The administrator serves at the pleasure of the governing board.
 
2. The chairman and secretary of the committee jointly shall appoint a subcommittee to be responsible for supervision and government of the department of veterans' affairs. Once appointed, a subcommittee member may continue to serve as long as the member remains a voting member of the committee, unless removed from the subcommittee by joint action of the committee chairman and secretary. A member of the subcommittee may not serve on the governing board of the veterans' home. Each nominating organization listed in section 37-18.1-01 must have at least one voting member nominated by the organization serving on the subcommittee. The subcommittee shall select by majority vote of the members a chairman to preside for the term of one year.
 
3. The committee shall appoint the commissioner of the department of veterans' affairs. The commissioner must be a bona fide resident of the state, and must qualify as a veteran as defined in section 37-01-40. The commissioner serves at the pleasure of the committee. The committee shall determine the salary paid to the commissioner of the department of veterans' affairs within the limits of legislative appropriation. The commissioner of veterans' affairs shall serve as the executive secretary for the subcommittee. The commissioner has no vote in the affairs of the subcommittee.
 
4. The committee shall, under recommendation from the board or the subcommittee, present any matters needing attention and action to the appropriate board, commission, agency, or department of the state, and the North Dakota veterans' coordinating council.
 
5. The committee shall assure compliance with applicable federal and state laws in the administration of both the department of veterans' affairs and the North Dakota veterans' home and shall exercise its responsibilities in all things necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter in regard to organization, policy, and general administration of the agencies served and involved in the conduct of veterans' affairs. The board governing the veterans' home and the subcommittee governing the department of veterans' affairs shall conduct an annual performance evaluation of the administrator and commissioner, respectively, with the evaluation presented to the committee. The board and subcommittee shall create and implement a strategic plan for the veterans' home and the department of veterans' affairs, respectively. The board and the subcommittee annually shall report as to the status of the respective strategic plan to the committee. After receiving a report, the committee shall submit the report to the governor.
Committee members may not receive any compensation for the performance of their official duties. Voting members may be reimbursed for travel expenses and meals and lodging expenses in connection with their official duties at the same rate and in the same manner as are elected officials and employees of the state, with payment to be made by the department of veterans' affairs and the veterans' home to each of their respective subcommittee members incurring the expenses. The payment must be made by warrant-check drawn by the office of management and budget upon the submission of a proper voucher to it, signed by the commissioner of veterans' affairs or the administrator of the veterans' home, as the case may be.
There is hereby created an administrative committee on veterans' affairs, which, for purposes of this chapter, must hereinafter be referred to as the committee. The committee must consist of three ex officio nonvoting members and fifteen voting members. The adjutant general, the center director of the veterans' administration, and the executive director of job service North Dakota are the ex officio nonvoting members who shall serve in an advisory capacity to the committee. On or before June 20, 1971, the American legion, the veterans of foreign wars, the disabled American veterans, the veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, (amvets), and Vietnam veterans of America, incorporated, shall each prepare a list containing the names of six persons qualifying as veterans under the provisions of section 37-01-40, for appointment as voting members of the committee. On or before July 1, 1971, the governor shall select fifteen nominees, three from each list, five of whom must be appointed to a term of three years, five of whom must be appointed to a term of two years, and five of whom must be appointed to a term of one year, or until their successors are appointed and qualified. On or before the twentieth day of June in each year, beginning in the year 1972, each of the above-listed nominating organizations shall submit a list containing the names of two persons who qualify as veterans under the provisions of section 37-01-40, to the governor for appointment or reappointment as voting members of the committee. On or before the first day of July in each year, beginning in the year 1972, the governor shall select one nominee from each list, a total of five nominees, to fill expiring terms of voting members of the committee. Each such appointment must be for a term of three years, or until a successor is appointed and qualified. All terms begin on the first day of July and end on the thirtieth day of June in the year specified. In case of the inability or failure of any voting member of the committee to serve, the governor shall appoint another member from a list of two persons qualifying as veterans under the provisions of section 37-01-40, submitted by the nominating organization represented by the member who was unable or failed to serve. Such appointments must be made for the remainder of the unexpired term.

1. "Agency" or "governmental agency" means all political subdivisions and any state, including any state agency, board, bureau, commission, department, officer, and any state institution or enterprise authorized to employ individuals either temporarily or permanently.

2. "Chief deputy" means the individual who is appointed by an elected or appointed official under express statutory authority to hire a chief deputy and who is authorized to act on behalf of that official. The term does not include an individual appointed to a position that must be filled under a competitive personnel system.
 
3. "Competitive personnel system" means a system that rates applicants for a position using an objective set of skills, knowledge, abilities, behaviors, or other  characteristics required for the position.
 
4. "Disabled veteran" means a veteran who is found to be entitled to a service-connected disability rating as determined by the United States veterans' administration.
 
5. "Justifiable cause" means grounds for action that are in accord with sufficient reason that can be justified or defended as correct. Justifiable cause not to hire a veteran must be something specific to that individual which renders the individual unsuitable for the position.
 
6. "Political subdivision" means counties, cities, townships, and any other governmental entity created by state law which employs individuals either temporarily or permanently.
 
7. "Private secretary" means the individual who is appointed by an elected or appointed official under express legal authority to hire a private secretary or administrative assistant and who is authorized to handle correspondence, keep files, schedule appointments, and do other clerical work of a more personal and confidential nature for that official, but does not include an individual appointed to a position that must be filled under a competitive personnel system.
 
8. "Veteran" means a North Dakota resident who is a wartime veteran as defined in subsection 2 of section 37-01-40.

1. Veterans are entitled to preference, over all other applicants, in recruitment and selection processes by governmental agencies, provided that such veteran is a United States citizen at the time of application for employment. Veterans qualified for preference may not be disqualified from holding any position with an agency because of physical or mental disability, unless the disability renders them unable to properly perform the duties of the position applied for. To receive veterans' preference, an applicant must submit the following documentation:

a. An applicant claiming veterans' preference shall provide a copy of report of separation DD-214.
b. An applicant claiming disabled veterans' preference shall provide a copy of report of separation DD-214 and a letter less than one year old from the veterans' administration indicating the veteran's disability status.
c. An applicant claiming veterans' preference as an eligible spouse of a deceased veteran shall provide a copy of the marriage certificate, the veteran's report of separation DD-214, and the veteran's death certificate.
d. An applicant claiming disabled veterans' preference as an eligible spouse of a disabled veteran shall provide a copy of the marriage certificate, the veteran's report of separation DD-214, and a letter less than one year old from the veterans' administration indicating the veteran's disability status.
 

2. When a veteran applies for employment to a position that is not being filled through a competitive personnel system, the officer, board, or person whose duty it is to employ an individual to fill the available position shall investigate the qualifications of the veteran. If the veteran is found to possess the qualifications required for the position applied for, whether educational or by way of prior experience, and is physically and mentally able to perform the duties of the position applied for, the officer, board, or person shall employ the veteran. A disabled veteran is entitled to a preference superior to that given other veterans under this section, which preference must be accorded in the manner provided in this section. If the group of eligible individuals includes either veterans or disabled veterans, the employing authority of that particular agency or governmental agency shall make a selection for the available position as follows:

a. A disabled veteran is first entitled to the position and, in the absence of justifiable cause, documented in writing, for not making that selection, must be so employed. If the list includes two or more disabled veterans, then the employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing. A disabled veteran from the group of eligible individuals is first entitled to the position and, in the absence of justifiable cause, documented in writing, for not making that selection, must be so employed.

b. If the group of eligible individuals does not include one or more disabled veterans and consists only of veterans, then the employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing. A veteran from the group of eligible individuals is first entitled to the position and, in the absence of justifiable cause, documented in writing, for not making that selection, must be so employed.

c. If the group of eligible individuals includes nonveterans and veterans, but not disabled veterans, then the employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing. A veteran from the group of eligible individuals is first entitled to the position and must be employed unless there is justifiable cause that is documented in writing for not employing that veteran.
 

3. When a veteran applies for employment to a position that is being filled through a competitive personnel system, the officer, board, or person whose duty it is to employ an individual to fill the available position shall investigate the qualifications of the veteran. If the veteran is found to possess the qualifications required for the position applied for, whether educational or by way of prior experience, and is physically and mentally able to perform the duties of the position applied for, the officer, board, or person shall employ the following:

a. No distinction or discrimination may be made in the administration of the competitive personnel system examination because the applicant may be a veteran.

b. Upon receipt of proof required in subsection 1, on a one hundred point scale, the examiner shall add five points for a veteran and ten points for a disabled veteran to the examination grade of the applicant. The total is the veteran's examination score. If a scale other than a one hundred point scale is used, the examiner shall add five percent of the scale used for a veteran and ten percent of the scale used for a disabled veteran to the examination grade of the applicant. The total is the veteran's examination score.

c. The employing authority shall designate a prescribed number of eligible individuals to be considered from the top number of the group of eligible candidates in rank order, from highest to lowest, based on the applicant's final score. The employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing.

4. This section does not apply when the position to be filled is that of an administrative head of a department required by law or the chief deputy or private secretary of an elected or appointed official. Temporary committees and individual or group appointments made by the governor or legislative assembly are also excepted from the provisions of this section. If an exempt position is advertised, the advertisement must state that veterans' preference does not apply to the position being advertised.

5. An employee of a state agency is not eligible for preference when applying for a different job within the same state agency or other state agencies. An employee of a political subdivision is not eligible for preference when applying for a different job within the same political subdivision.

1. Veterans are entitled to preference, over all other applicants, in recruitment and selection processes by governmental agencies, provided that such veteran is a United States citizen at the time of application for employment. Veterans qualified for preference may not be disqualified from holding any position with an agency because of physical or mental disability, unless the disability renders them unable to properly perform the duties of the position applied for. To receive veterans'  preference, an applicant must submit the following documentation:
 
a. An applicant claiming veterans' preference shall provide a copy of report of separation DD-214.
b. An applicant claiming disabled veterans' preference shall provide a copy of report of separation DD-214 and a letter less than one year old from the veteran administration indicating the veteran's disability status.
c. An applicant claiming veterans' preference as an eligible spouse of a deceased veteran shall provide a copy of the marriage certificate, the veteran's report of separation DD-214, and the veteran's death certificate.
d. An applicant claiming disabled veterans' preference as an eligible spouse of a disabled veteran shall provide a copy of the marriage certificate, the veteran's report of separation DD-214, and a letter less than one year old from the veterans' administration indicating the veteran's disability status.
 
2. When a veteran applies for employment to a position that is not being filled through a competitive personnel system, the officer, board, or person whose duty it is to employ  an individual to fill the available position shall investigate the qualifications of the veteran. If the veteran is found to possess the qualifications required for the position applied for, whether educational or by way of prior experience, and is physically and mentally able to perform the duties of the position applied for, the officer, board, or person shall employ the veteran. A disabled veteran is entitled to a preference  superior to that given other veterans under this section, which preference must be  accorded in the manner provided in this section. If the group of eligible individuals  includes either veterans or disabled veterans, the employing authority of that  particular agency or governmental agency shall make a selection for the available position as follows:
 
a. A disabled veteran is first entitled to the position and, in the absence of justifiable cause, documented in writing, for not making that selection, must be so employed. If the list includes two or more disabled veterans, then the employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing. A disabled veteran from the group of eligible individuals is first entitled to the position and, in the absence of justifiable cause, documented in writing, for not making that selection, must be so employed.
b. If the group of eligible individuals does not include one or more disabled veterans and consists only of veterans, then the employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing. A veteran from the group of eligible individuals is first entitled to the position and, in the absence of justifiable cause, documented in writing, for not making that selection, must be so employed.
c. If the group of eligible individuals includes nonveterans and veterans, but not disabled veterans, then the employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing. A veteran from the group of eligible individuals is first entitled to the position and must be employed unless there is justifiable cause that is documented in writing for not employing that veteran.
 
3. When a veteran applies for employment to a position that is being filled through a competitive personnel system, the officer, board, or person whose duty it is to employ an individual to fill the available position shall investigate the qualifications of the veteran. If the veteran is found to possess the qualifications required for the position applied for, whether educational or by way of prior experience, and is physically and mentally able to perform the duties of the position applied for, the officer, board, or person shall employ the following:
 
a. No distinction or discrimination may be made in the administration of the competitive personnel system examination because the applicant may be a veteran.
b. Upon receipt of proof required in subsection 1, on a one hundred point scale, the examiner shall add five points for a veteran and ten points for a disabled veteran to the examination grade of the applicant. The total is the veteran's examination score. If a scale other than a one hundred point scale is used, the examiner shall add five percent of the scale used for a veteran and ten percent of the scale used for a disabled veteran to the examination grade of the applicant. The total is the veteran's examination score.
c. The employing authority shall designate a prescribed number of eligible individuals to be considered from the top number of the group of eligible candidates in rank order, from highest to lowest, based on the applicant's final score. 
d. The employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing.
 
4. This section does not apply when the position to be filled is that of a superintendent of schools, teacher, administrative head of a department required by law, or the chief deputy or private secretary of an elected or appointed official; the chancellor and vice chancellors of the board of higher education; and presidents or executive deans, vice presidents, assistants to the president, provosts, instructors, and athletic team coaches of board institutions. Temporary committees and individual or group appointments made by the governor or legislative assembly are also excepted from the provisions of this section. If an exempt position is advertised, the advertisement must state that veterans' preference does not apply to the position being advertised.
 
5. An employee of a state agency is not eligible for preference when applying for a different job within the same state agency or other state agencies. An employee of a political subdivision is not eligible for preference when applying for a different job within the same political subdivision.

 

1. The unremarried spouse of a veteran who died while in service, or later died from a service-connected cause or causes, is entitled, if the person is otherwise qualified, to the employment preference given to a veteran under section 37-19.1-02 in the manner provided therein.
 
2. The spouse of a disabled veteran, who has a one hundred percent service-connected disability as determined by the department of veterans' affairs, or who has an extra-schedular rating to include individual unemployability that brings the veteran's total disability rating to one hundred percent as determined by the department of veterans' affairs, is, if the disabled veteran is unable to exercise the veteran's right to a veteran's employment preference due to the veteran's disability, entitled, if the person is otherwise qualified, to the employment preference given to a veteran under section 37-19.1-02 in the manner provided therein.

1. If a veteran, or a qualified veteran's spouse, hereafter known as the applicant, is not given the preference provided in section 37-19.1-02 or 37-19.1-03, the applicant, within fifteen calendar days after notification by certified mail that employment has been refused, may request a hearing as provided in subsection 3. The notification from the employer must include the reasons for nonselection, inform the applicant of the right to an appeal hearing, inform the applicant of the requirement that the request for a hearing must be filed by certified mail within fifteen calendar days after the notification, inform the applicant that a request for an appeal hearing must be made to the commissioner of veterans' affairs at the included commissioner's mailing address, and inform the applicant that if the applicant requests an appeal, the applicant must mail a copy of the request for an appeal hearing to the employer or employing agency.

The applicant's request for a hearing must be in writing, must include a copy of the employer's notification that employment has been refused, and must be mailed to the commissioner of veterans' affairs by certified mail. A copy of the written request must be mailed to the employer or employing agency by certified mail. The applicant is entitled to immediate employment in the position for which application was originally made, or an equivalent position, together with backpay and benefits from the date the appointment should have been made less amounts otherwise earnable through due diligence, if the hearing officer finds in favor of the applicant.

2. Any person who has exercised the right to an employment preference under this chapter, and who, within one year after exercise of that right:

a. Is discharged;

b. Has had compensation reduced; or

c. Is otherwise subject to action by the employing agency designed to cause the veteran or qualified veteran's spouse to resign or quit employment, is entitled to a hearing if the person believes that the employing agency took any of the above-described action due to the exercise of employment preference. The hearing must be held before a hearing officer as provided in subsection 3. If the hearing officer finds that the employing agency took any of the actions described in subdivision a, b, or c due to the person's exercise of the right to an employment preference, the hearing officer shall order the employing agency to cease and desist from such action or to reinstate the veteran or qualified veteran's spouse. The request for a hearing under this subsection must be in writing addressed to the commissioner of veterans' affairs. The request for a hearing must identify the employer or employing agency that took any action described in subdivision a, b, or c and describe the action taken. A copy of the written request must be mailed to the employer or employing agency. The request, addressed to the commissioner of veterans' affairs and the copy to the employer or employing agency, must be made by certified mail within fifteen calendar days after any action described in subdivision a, b, or c is taken by the employing agency.

3. Within fifteen calendar days after receiving a request from an applicant or person under subsection 1 or 2, the commissioner of veterans' affairs may request the director of the office of administrative hearings to designate a hearing officer to hear the grievance arising under subsection 1 or 2. The commissioner shall notify the employer or employing agency that a request for a hearing has been made. The office of administrative hearings is entitled to be reimbursed by the employer or employing agency for all hearing officer services rendered and expenses incurred in performing these duties. The hearing officer shall hold the hearing within thirty calendar days after the hearing officer request is received by the director of the office of administrative hearings. Notwithstanding the time limitation, the hearing officer may postpone or continue the hearing for good cause, at the request of a party. At the hearing, both parties may be represented by counsel.

If the hearing is requested pursuant to subsection 1, the employing agency has the burden of proving that the veteran or the qualified veteran's spouse did not possess the qualifications required for the position. If the hearing is requested pursuant to subsection 2, the employing agency has the burden of proving that any action which was taken was not taken because of exercise of the right to an employment preference. The hearing officer shall issue findings of fact, conclusions of law, and an order within fifteen calendar days after the hearing is concluded, briefs filed, and arguments closed. The order is binding on both parties, subject to appeal.

4. Any party aggrieved by the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order of the hearing officer may appeal in the manner provided for in chapter 28-32, except that the appellant need not execute an undertaking.

Pages