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Frequently Asked Questions Employment

  • OPM expanded the types of entities from which an agency may accept proof of disability and certification of an applicant's job readiness. Agencies may accept proof and certification from a licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional duly certified by a State, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory, to practice medicine); a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (i.e., state or private); or any Federal agency; State agency, or agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits.
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  • Yes. Students in both programs are eligible for promotion. However, the Nature of Action Code (NOAC) for students in the Student Temporary Employment Program is actually a conversion to a new appointment (at the higher grade level) while keeping the current NTE date. Even though the actual nature of the action is a conversion to a new appointment, a GS employee is entitled to an increase in pay of at least two steps (about 6 percent) upon placement in a higher graded position without a break in service. A WG employee is entitled to an increase in pay of at least one step (about 4 percent). See 5 CFR § 213.3202(a)(12) and 213.3202(b)(15).
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  • Students in the Student Temporary Employment Program, provided they have completed one year of current continuous service, are in tenure group 3; Students in the Student Career Experience Program are in tenure group 2. See 5 CFR § 351.502, 5 CFR § 213.3202(a)(14) and 5 CFR § 213.3202(b)(19).
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  • Students are appointed under Schedule B, 5 CFR § 213.3202. This is the appointment authority regardless of the type of academic program.
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  • There is no single civil service "test" covering all civil service positions. To apply for many Federal jobs you do not have to take a traditional paper and pencil test. The vacancy announcements on the USAJOBS website will indicate if a specific written test is necessary. Otherwise, you should refer to the vacancy announcement to obtain information regarding how qualifications and abilities are evaluated
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  • In establishing the Student Educational Employment Program, OPM intended, generally that students always be either attending classes, working at the agency, or both. However, agencies may use their discretion to permit a break in program during which time a student is neither attending classes nor working. The student would be placed on leave without pay (LWOP) during this time.
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  • An intermittent schedule is appropriate only when the nature of the work is so sporadic and unpredictable that a regularly scheduled tour of duty cannot be scheduled in advance. In establishing the Student Educational Employment Program, OPM did not intend to have STEP or SCEP students working on intermittent schedules. Students may work full- or part-time schedules, however, as best meets their needs and the needs of the agency
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  • Yes. Although the Federal Employees Part-Time Career Employment Act of 1978 defines part-time as from 16 to 32 hours a week, 5 CFR § 340.202(b) permits agencies to allow employees in tenure group 1 or 2 to perform regularly scheduled work of from 1 to 15 hours per week. Students in the Student Career Experience Program are in tenure group 2. The Act does not cover employees in tenure group 3 so students in the Student Temporary Employment Program (tenure group 3) may work any number of hours acceptable to all parties.
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  • Upon satisfactory completion of course requirements.
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  • Health and life insurance coverage for Federal employees depends on the type of appointment an employee has and the expectation of substantial employment during the year. Students in the Student Temporary Employment Program are considered temporary employees and are generally not entitled to these benefits. However, once students have been continuously employed for a year without a break in service exceeding 5 days, they may enroll in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, but they would have to pay 100 percent of the premium (i.e., both the employee and government share). There is no provision for temporary employees to be eligible for life insurance coverage. Students in the Student Career Experience Program are eligible for both health and life insurance coverage as long as they are expected to be employed under this appointment authority for at least one year and are expected to be in a pay status for at least one-third of the total period of time from the date of their initial appointment to the date of the completion of the program. Cost of premiums is split between the employee and the agency, as for all permanent employees. (See 5 CFR § 870.202 for life insurance and 5 CFR § 890.102 for health benefits.)
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