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Frequently Asked Questions Employment

Disability Employment

  • Under the new 5 CFR 213.3102(u) appointing authority, a hiring agency may make:
    • Under the 5 CFR 213.3102(u) Schedule A appointing authority regulations, an agency may make a temporary appointment when:
      • The agency determines that it is necessary to observe the applicant on the job to determine whether the applicant is able or ready to perform the duties of the position. When an agency uses this option to determine an individual's job readiness, the hiring agency may convert the individual to a permanent appointment in the excepted service whenever the agency determines the individual is able to perform the duties of the position; or
      • The work is of a temporary nature.
    • A temporary appointment of an individual who provides proof of a disability and certification of job readiness, when the duties of the position do not require it to be filled on a permanent basis. (Refer to 5 CFR 213.104 for the definition of temporary appointment)
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  • The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued final regulations pertaining to the Schedule A Hiring Authority for the appointment of intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities.  This final rule removes the requirement for a certification of job readiness.  To learn more, refer to http://chcoc.gov/transmittals/TransmittalDetails.aspx?TransmittalID=5333
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  • 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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  • Applicants with disabilities must have an intellectual disability, a severe physical disability or a psychiatric disability; have proof of the disability; and meet all required qualifications for the position.
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  • Reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that allows an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job functions, or enjoy equal access to benefits available to other individuals in the workplace. Agencies are required by law to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship to the agencies. In addition, Executive Order 13164 requires Federal agencies to develop written procedures for providing reasonable accommodation. For more information on reasonable accommodation, refer to the reasonable accommodation policy for your particular agency, the Reasonable Accommodation section in the HR Professionals chapter of this website, and the EEOC.
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  • Under the new 5 CFR 213.3102(u) appointing authority, a hiring agency may also, in addition to the temporary appointments identified in the question above, make:
    • A time-limited appointment of an individual who provides proof of disability, when the duties of the position do not require it to be filled on a permanent basis. (Refer to 5 CFR 213.104 for the definition of time-limited appointment.)
    • A permanent appointment of an individual who provides proof of disability.  Note to hiring agencies: the intent of Executive Orders 12125 and 13124 is to permit these deserving individuals (upon meeting the requirements) to obtain civil service competitive status which is obtained through conversion to the competitive service rather than remaining in the excepted service.
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  • OPM provides information about the application process at www.opm.gov/disability/appempl_3-11.asp.  There are several other application options available to applicants with disabilities.  For example:
    • Competitive Appointments.  Many applicants with disabilities find employment through standard competitive procedures in the same manner as individuals without disabilities.  (www.usajobs.gov)
    • Student Employment Programs.  This program helps Federal employers find the right people to fill current and future hiring needs.  It also gives students the opportunity to get hands-on experience.  This program has two major components – the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) and the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP).  (www.usajobs.gov/students.asp)
    • Federal Career Intern Program.  This program is designed to help agencies recruit and attract exceptional individuals into a variety of occupations.  It was created under Executive Order 13162, and is intended for positions at grade levels GS-5, 7, and 9.  In general, individuals are appointed to a 2-year internship.  Upon successful completion of the internships, the interns may be eligible for permanent placement within an agency.  (www.opm.gov/careerintern/)
    • Veterans Appointments.  There are a number of authorities available to assist veterans who are seeking, or wish to change, Federal employment including, Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA), 30% or More Disabled Veterans Program, and Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) appointments.  See OPM's VetGuide at http://www.opm.gov/veterans/vetguide.pdf [208 KB]
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  • The Federal Register has posted the new regulation on the Federal Register website at http://origin.www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/ and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has posted it on its website at www.opm.gov/fedregis and www.opm.gov/disability. OPM provided notification to Federal agencies through the Chief Human Capital Officer Council.
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  • Agencies should use this hiring authority for a number of good reasons:
    • Individuals with disabilities are a source of excellent applicants.
    • No public notice is required. This may shorten the time to hire a well qualified candidate
    • It can support an agency's Career Patterns initiative. Technological advances and growing emphasis on telework may dovetail with the needs of many applicants with disabilities.
    • Agencies don't have to clear surplus employees lists prior to using the appointing authority.
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  • An agency may noncompetitively convert to a career or career-conditional appointment in the competitive service an employee who has completed 2 years of satisfactory service under this authority. Satisfactory service is service that begins with a non-temporary (e.g., permanent or indefinite) 5 CFR 213.3102(u) appointment. (Refer to 5 CFR 315.709)
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