Veterans Service Representative

US Department of Veterans Affairs - Saint Paul, MN3.9

Full-time
Duties
Summary
As a Veterans Service Representative (VSR) you will work in the Pension Management Center on veterans benefits claims and provide comprehensive services to America's veterans and their families. The VSR explains benefit programs and entitlement criteria, conducts interviews, identifies issues, gathers relevant evidence, adjudicates claims, and inputs data necessary to generate the award and notification letter to the veteran describing the decision and the reason for it.

Responsibilities
Serve as a primary contact for the veteran and his/her representative or advocate, and as the decision-maker for compensation or pension claims.
Explain the full range of veterans' benefits and all related programs.
Make determinations as to eligibility for the type of benefit sought and fully analyze, develop and request required evidence for certain claims requiring a rating decision.
Decide the necessity for and type of examinations, reexaminations or opinions in order to determine the existence of or to evaluate disabilities resulting from disease or injury.
Develop comprehensive requests for examinations/opinions in order to ensure that appropriate evidence is received from which to adjudicate the claim.
Prepare correspondence to members of Congress and special interest groups on case assignments and other "controlled" correspondence.
Rotate through the Cross-Functional, Intake Processing Center, Direct Contact, Appeals, and Quality Review teams in order to gain experience in all aspects of the Transformation Initiative.
Utilize various electronic data processing (EDP) systems for inputting data related to claims adjudication, processing, monitoring and correspondence preparation.
Act as an advocate for veterans and their beneficiaries in their dealings with other VA elements and organizations that affect their claims.
Travel Required
Occasional travel - Occasional travel.

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
10

Job family (Series)
0996 Veterans Claims Examining

Requirements

Requirements
Conditions of Employment
You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this job.
Selectees are subject to a background/suitability investigation.
Selective Service registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
A probationary period may be required.
Mandatory 6-week consecutive training session.
Mandatory overtime may be required.
Occasional evening and weekend work may be required.
VSR Skill Certification required at the grade GS-10 level.
Must meet the requirements as stated for the Pathways Recent Graduates Program.
Qualifications
This position is being filled under the Pathways Recent Graduate Program. This program is designed to allow recent graduates to enter VA in career positions that emphasize long-term training and development. Successful applicants are placed in a dynamic developmental program with potential to lead to a civil service career in the Federal Government. The program lasts for one year or more. You can find more information about specific opportunities with the Pathways Recent Graduates Program by clicking here

To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

To qualify, you must meet both Recent Graduates Eligibility requirements and Minimum Qualifications for the position.

Recent Graduate Program Eligibility Requirements :
The Pathways Recent Graduates Program is open to recent graduates who are legally permitted to work in the U.S. To be eligible, you must have completed, within the previous two years, a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree, or certificate from a qualifying educational institution. Veterans unable to apply within two years of receiving their degree, due to military service obligation, have as many as six years after degree completion to apply. Upon completion of the Pathways Program, the selectee may be converted to a permanent competitive service position contingent upon meeting program requirements and the needs of the agency.

Specialized Experience: To qualify, applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade (GS-05) in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. This would be experience interpreting regulations and applying laws required to explain, evaluate and recommend determinations of eligibility to claimant requests for services and benefits. Specialized experience is defined as work that involves (1) Requesting relevant medical or administrative evidence to make eligibility determinations; (2) Analyzing medical evidence, benefit and/or legal evidence to identify and recognize required actions for claim development; and (3) Experience explaining program benefit entitlements and requirements.

OR

Applicants may substitute education for the experience required in order to qualify at the grade GS-7 level in the following ways:

Undergraduate Degree with Superior Academic Achievement . If you possess an undergraduate degree in any field from an accredited college or university AND you meet one of the following Superior Academic Achievement provisions, you may qualify in full for this position without any experience where you:
a. Ranked in the upper 1/3 of your college class or major subdivision; or
b. Earned election to a national scholastic honor society that meets the requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies other than freshman honor societies; or
c. Earned a grade point average (GPA) of 2.95 or higher on a 4.0 scale based on all completed undergraduate courses, or all undergraduate classes completed during the final two years; or earned a GPA of 3.45 or higher on a 4.0 scale based on all completed undergraduate courses in your major, or all undergraduate courses in your major, completed during the final two years.

Regarding the Superior Academic Achievement provisions, if more than 10% of your undergraduate course work (credit hours) was taken on a pass/fail or similar basis, you can qualify only on the basis of your class standing or membership in an honor society. If you qualify based on your education, you must include a copy of your college transcript along with your application. If you are selected for the position, an official college transcript will be required when you begin work.

OR

Graduate Education . You may present with at least one full academic year of graduate level education that demonstrates you possess the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to satisfactorily perform the work. One year of full-time graduate education is normally determined by the school you attended. If that number cannot be determined, then 18 semester hours should be considered equivalent to one academic year of graduate study. Part-time graduate education is creditable on a pro-rata basis. If you qualify based on your education, you must include your college transcript along with your application. If you are selected for the position, an official college transcript will be required when you begin work.

OR

Applicants may combine graduate level education and specialized experience to qualify for the position. If you have some, but not all, of the graduate education AND some specialized experience as described above, you may still qualify by combining the amount of creditable education and experience that you do have. To do so, first calculate the percentage of qualifying education you have as a percentage of the education required. Next, calculate the percentage of specialized experience you have as a percentage of the experience required. Then, add the two percentages. The total percentage must equal at least 100% for you to qualify for the position at the grade GS-7 level. For example, an applicant who has 9 semester hours of graduate education (i.e., 50% of graduate education required) and 6 months of acceptable specialized experience (i.e., 50% of the experience required) would satisfy the qualification requirements for the position. If you qualify based on a combination of graduate education and specialized experience, you must submit a copy of your official or unofficial college transcript with your application.

Note : Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience that you document, including volunteer experience.
Education
A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Only education or a degree recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from an accredited college, university, school or institution may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must include a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for your education.

Additional information
Work Schedule: Regular office hours; Alternate work schedules may be available after training.

Promotion Potential: The incumbent may be promoted without further competition after meeting time-in-grade and specialized experience requirements. The career progression pattern for this position, in 52 week increments at each grade level, is GS-7, to GS-9, to GS-10. Grade GS-10 is the full-performance level. Upon achieving the GS-10 level, the incumbent will be required to take the VSR Skills Certification exam. Selection at a lower grade level does not guarantee promotion to the full performance level.

Physical Requirements: The work is sedentary. Typically the employee may sit comfortably to do the work. However, there may be some walking, standing, bending and carrying of light items such as papers and books. No special physical demands are required to perform the work. The Department of Veterans Affairs makes reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.

Receiving Service Credit for Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees credit for their job-related non-Federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation and be found well-qualified for this vacancy. A well-qualified candidate is defined as meeting all of the minimum qualification standards and eligibility requirements as well as possessing skills that clearly exceed the minimum qualifications requirements for this position. A well-qualified candidate will score 90 or above within the assessment portion of this vacancy. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility can be found here

Placement Policy: The posting of this announcement does not obligate management to fill a vacancy or vacancies by promotion. The position may be filled by reassignment, change to lower grade, transfer, appointment or reinstatement. Management may use any one or any combination of these methods to fill the position.

Notice to Applicants: It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. Information about an individual's employment experience will be used only to determine the person's qualifications and to assess his or her relative level of knowledge, skill and ability. Although an individual's personal conduct may be relevant in any employment decision, including conduct during periods of unemployment or evidence of dishonesty in handling financial matters, financial difficulty that has arisen through no fault of the individual will generally not in and of itself be the basis of an unfavorable suitability or fitness determination.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

In describing your experience please be clear and specific. We will not make assumptions regarding your experience. Applicants who do not fully address in their resume the specialized experience needed for the position (as described in the announcement) will not be referred for consideration.

If you are referred for further consideration you will be rated on the following competencies (knowledge, skills and abilities) based on your application for this position:

1. Ability to interpret and apply established guidelines, regulations and procedures in order to determine claimant eligibility for services and benefits.

2. Knowledge of automated systems and applications.

3. Ability to manage priorities.

4. Ability to communicate verbally.

5. Ability to communicate in writing.

You may also be asked to submit additional job related information, which may include responses to the identified areas of knowledge, skill and ability; and/or completion of a work sample; and/or an interview. Your resume and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or further consideration for employment.

After the vacancy announcement has closed we will review applications to ensure that qualification and eligibility requirements are met. During our review, if your resume and application package does not support your questionnaire answers, we may adjust your rating accordingly.

After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. During our review, if your resume and application package does not support your questionnaire answers, we will adjust your rating accordingly.

Note : Candidates eligible for veterans' preference will be placed ahead of other candidates. Additionally, preference eligibles who have a documented compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent, and who meet the minimum qualification requirements, will automatically be referred for consideration ahead of ALL other candidates. When a referral certificate (or list) is issued to the employing office, applicants will be notified of their status via email (if provided). Referred applicants may in turn be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants will receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made. Referral of candidates will be made in the following order:

First Group: Compensably disabled veterans only (CP and CPS ratings - 10% or greater).

Second Group: Other 10 point preference eligibles (XP, etc.).

Third Group: Veterans with 5 point (TP) preference.

Fourth Group: 0 point preference eligibles (SSP).

Fifth Group: Candidates without veterans' preference.

Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required
No

Required Documents

Required Documents

Resume

Your resume may be submitted in any format, however, we strongly recommend using the USA Jobs resume builder because it fully addresses all of the information required on Federal resumes.
For qualifications determinations your resume must reflect hours worked per week, the inclusive dates of employment, and the level of your experience. If your resume does not reflect this information you may not receive credit for the experience.
If you submit more than one copy of your resume, we may review only the most recent version. The latest timestamp will be used to determine which version of your resume is "most recent." It is your responsibility to check the status and timestamp of all documents you submit as part of your application. In general we would advise that you submit only one comprehensive version of your resume that you have determined best represents your qualifications.
If your resume includes a photograph or other inappropriate material or content, we will not use it to make eligibility and qualification determinations, and as a result you may not be considered for this vacancy.

Applicants claiming veterans' preference must also submit:
A legible copy of your DD Form 214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," showing all dates of service, as well as character of service (Honorable, General, etc.). The member 4 copy of your DD Form 214 is preferable. Copies of DD-214's can be requested here
Current active duty members must submit a signed statement of service from their commander dated within the last 120 days that reflects their expected discharge date, their release from active duty under honorable conditions, any medals awarded, and the timeframe of their service so that eligibility may be determined and credit duly given.
Veterans claiming 10 point preference must also submit an SF-15 and all documents indicated on the form as proof of type of preference. This includes a VA letter supporting your disability claim with the overall percentage listed.
If you are unsure as to whether you qualify for veterans' preference, please consult the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans' Preference Advisor here
Transcripts
If you are basing all or some of your qualifications on education or if a degree is required for the position, a transcript must be included as part of your application package.
An unofficial transcript may be submitted, however, it must reflect the course names, levels, credits earned, grades received, and degree conferred if you have completed your degree requirements.
Your transcript must reflect the degree conferred date if you are substituting a degree for experience.
If you are claiming superior academic achievement (SAA) you submit transcript(s) to demonstrate it. The requirements for superior academic achievement can be viewed here
A photocopy of your degree is not acceptable in lieu of a transcript.
An official transcript will be required at a later date if you are selected for the position.
Whenever possible it is preferable that you submit copies of official transcripts. Unofficial transcripts may lack essential information necessary for a full evaluation of your qualifications.

Applicants claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must also submit:
Certification of expected separation, reduction-in-force separation notice, or notice of proposed removal; and your most recent performance evaluation; and an SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position you will be separated from; or
Worker's compensation separation (agency certification of inability to place employee and notification of separation or a separation SF-50); or
Disability annuity termination (notification from OPM of disability annuity termination and separation SF-50 of the last position held); or
Military reserve or National Guard technician special disability retirement annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456 (certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard bureau and separation SF-50 of the last position held).
Failure to submit any of the above mentioned required documents may result in loss of consideration due to an incomplete application package. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents have been submitted. You will not be contacted for additional information.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

Benefits

Benefits
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits .

Review our benefits

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.