Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization
Vets First Verification Program
8 a.m.–6 p.m. (EST)
The Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-461) provides the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with unique authority for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) set-aside and sole source contracts.
A new hierarchy for open market procurements places highest priority with SDVOSBs first, then VOSBs. They are followed by certified HUBZone firms, 8(a) participants, and certified Woman-Owned Small Businesses (in no particular order of precedence), all other small businesses, and finally, full and open competitions (unrestricted). This procurement authority, and its subsequent implementation, is a logical extension of VA’s mission to care for our Nation’s Veterans. VA refers to this program as the Veterans First Contracting Program. See VA Acquisition Regulation Part 808, Required Sources of Supplies and Services for priorities in purchasing and procurement.
The Vets First Verification Program ensures that set-aside funds are awarded to legitimate firms owned and controlled by Veterans and Service-disabled Veterans. During Verification, the Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) verifies SDVOSBs/VOSBs according to the tenets found in Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 74 that address Veteran eligibility, ownership, and control. In order to qualify for participation in the Veterans First Contracting Program, eligible SDVOSBs/VOSBs must first be verified.
As part of the MyVA Verification Process, applicants move through five stages: Pre-Qualification*, Intake, Pre-Application Review, Assessment, and Decision.
Start Verification »
*This is an optional preparatory stage. Taking advantage of Pre-Qualification resources may significantly reduce processing time and ensure positive outcomes.
Verification Guides and Popular Resources
- Initial Verification Application Guide - Learn about 38 CFR Part 74 and how to apply for Verification.
- Preparing for Verification - Consider these fundamental elements before submitting a Verification application.
- What documents do I need to apply? - Learn what documents are required to apply for Verification.
- Reverification Process Fact Sheet - Read more about the Reverification process.
- Average Application Processing Time - View the average application processing time of Verification applications over the last three months.
Verification Webinars and Town Halls
CVE hosts recurring training sessions on various aspects of the Verification process. Consult the list of upcoming webinars and town halls to register for a session that will best address your current or future Verification status.
View the list of Verification Webinars and Town Halls »
Verification Assistance Program
The Verification Assistance Program provides support and resources to SDVOSBs/VOSBs interested in applying for the Vets First Verification Program. Aid is available during every step of the application process to prevent and reduce Verification denials.
Verification Assistance Counseling Program
Verification Assistance Counselors
VA trains and certifies Verification Assistance Counselors through its Verification Assistance Counseling Program. Under this program, counselors are trained to provide application assistance to SDVOSBs/VOSBs that are interested in becoming verified. VA-certified Verification Assistance Counselors work with applicants to:
- Offer insight regarding 38 CFR Part 74
- Review a firm’s business model
- Assist owners with resource tools
- Review documents for application submission
Counseling services are available at Procurement Technical Assistance Centers/PTACs throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam at no cost. Veteran business owners are encouraged to contact a counselor in the state where their business is licensed or permitted to operate.
Find a Verification Assistance Counselor in your area »
Verification Assistance Counselor Certification
VA continues to offer its “Understanding the MyVA Verification Process” training series to certify Verification Assistance Counselors across the United States. The course presents an integrated approach to learning about CVE internal processes, Verification policy and regulation, and how to navigate the Vets First Verification Program application process. PTAC Counselors who are interested in becoming VA-certified may register to receive a self-paced certification DVD. To register, contact CVE at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-632-5995. Certification is issued when a counselor has demonstrated comprehensive understanding by passing a final assessment.
Laws and Regulations
- 38 CFR § 74 - VA Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Guidelines
- 38 U.S.C. §§ 8127 - Contracting Goals and Preferences
- 38 U.S.C. §§ 8128 - Contracting Priority
- VA Procurement Policy Memorandum 7/25/2016
- VA Acquisition Circular
CVE Standard Operating Procedure
- Standard Operating Procedure (September 2015)
VA Moves Against Non-Compliant and Fraudulent Firms
CVE has established a process to report firms alleged to be non-compliant with one or more of the regulatory requirements for the Vets First Verification Program. Learn about the reporting process »
The VA Office of Inspector General is committed to protecting the rights of SDVOSBs/VOSBs by vigorously investigating and seeking prosecution of those who commit fraud against Veterans. CVE does not process allegations related to fraud or acquisition violations. If you desire to allege a firm is fraudulent, please submit a complaint via the VA OIG Hotline.