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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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  • Searching for job opportunities on USAJOBS® is very easy.  To search for jobs, select “Search Jobs” from the USAJOBS home page or go to http://jobsearch.usajobs.gov

    At the job search page, you can:  

    1) Search Jobs by "Location", "Job Category", "Salary range", "Pay Grade", and/or 'Search Keyword'; or
    2) Select a more refined search from the specialty search options at the top of the page including "Agency", "Series", "Senior Executive" or "Advanced".

    If you are looking for a particular position, use the "Keyword Search" box to indicate the specific position or location of interest  Additional tips for keyword searching can be found at:  http://jobsearch.usajobs.gov/help/index.asp?ma=keyword_tips
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  • The following is a list of some examples of documents agencies may accept as proof of an intellectual disability, severe physical disability or psychiatric disability. Ultimately, it is the agency's choice what type(s) of documentation will be acceptable:
    • Statements or letters on a physician's/medical professional's letterhead stationary.
    • Statements, records or letters from a Federal Government agency that issues or provides disability benefits.
    • Statements, records or letters from a State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency counselor.
    • Certification from a private Vocational Rehabilitation or other Counselor that issues or provides disability benefits.

    As the regulation is implemented and used by agencies, this list may grow to include other types of certification. OPM will issue additional guidance to agencies on what constitutes "appropriate documentation" on an "as needed" basis.

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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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  • 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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  • OPM has delegated most of its examining authority for competitive service positions to agencies. This authority includes making qualification determinations for agency jobs. The hiring agency evaluates your application against OPM-issued minimum qualification requirements (e.g., related work experience, education, licensure, if required) to determine your eligibility for the advertised position.
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  • The area of consideration describes the individuals from whom the agency will accept applications to compete for the position. It may be a broad or a limited group of individuals. The area of consideration may also be referred to as “Who May Apply” within the vacancy announcement. If you are not within the area of consideration and you are not eligible for a non-competitive or special hiring authority, the agency will not consider your application.
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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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  • If you have questions regarding a position to which you are applying or to find out the status of your application, please speak to the point-of-contact listed for each job opportunity announcement  (JOA).  The contact information can be found at the lower portion of the JOA and also on the floating menu located on the right hand side.  If the JOA has closed and no longer appears on the USAJOBS® website, you can contact the human resources office of the hiring agency for additional information and assistance.

    If you are looking for a way to contact the agency headquarters, please visit http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/Federal/All_Agencies/index.shtml.

     

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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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