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Guide for Federal Job Seekers with Disabilities

Guide for Federal Job Seekers with Disabilities

U.S. Office of Personnel Management, By Valerie Lipow, Kim Isaacs, Allan Hoffman, Ryck Lent Monster Contributing Writers

Government Job Seekers with Disabilities: Overview

Job Seekers with Disabilities

Federal agencies fill jobs two ways, competitively and non-competitively. Persons with disabilities may apply for jobs filled either way. People who are selected for jobs must meet the qualification requirements for the jobs and be able to perform the essential duties of the jobs with or without reasonable accommodation.

Jobs Filled Competitively

Jobs that are filled competitively are advertised through USAJOBS. Each job advertisement contains instructions on how to apply. Approximately 16,000 jobs are available each day.

USAJOBS contains two ways to complete an application: The Federal Job Search and Application Form, OF-612, and the Online Resume Builder. In addition to this basic application, most advertisements require applicants to submit additional statements about their qualifications for the job.

Applicants can register to receive an email every day that matches the type of job they are interested in obtaining. The email notification lasts for 120 days. Applicants can renew their email registration before it expires.

Jobs Filled Non-competitively

Jobs that are filled competitively are advertised through USAJOBS. Each job advertisement contains instructions on how to apply. Approximately 16,000 jobs are available each day. USAJOBS contains two ways to complete an application: The Federal Job Search and Application Form, OF-612, and the Online Resume Builder. In addition to this basic application, most advertisements require applicants to submit additional statements about their qualifications for the job. Applicants can register to receive an email every day that matches the type of job they are interested in obtaining. The email notification lasts for 120 days. Applicants can renew their email registration before it expires.

Appointment Authorities

People with Mental Retardation, Severe Physical Disabilities, or Psychiatric Disabilities and have documentation from a licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional 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 may apply for non-competitive appointment through the Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) hiring authority. Applicants with documentation may apply directly to agencies’ Selective Placement Coordinators or equivalent to be considered for jobs. Applicants should send a resume plus the pertinent documentation to the Selective Placement Coordinator or equivalent.

Proof of Disability and Certification of Job Readiness

Eligibility for appointment under this Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) authority consists of two parts:

1. Proof of Disability: An individual wishing to be hired under this Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) authority must provide proof he or she is indeed an individual with mental retardation, severe physical disability, or psychiatric disability. This proof must be provided to the hiring agency before an individual can be hired.

This proof may be in the form of documentation obtained from licensed medical professionals, state or private vocational rehabilitation specialists, or any Government agency that issues or provides disability benefits.

2. Certification of Job Readiness: An individual hired under this authority must be ready to perform the job for which they are being considered. This certification is a statement that the individual is likely to succeed in the performance of the duties of the position for which he or she is applying. For instance, the certification of job readiness for an individual applying for a position as an Administrative Assistant or an Accountant may state that the “individual is likely to succeed performing work in an office environment.”

This certification of job readiness may be obtained from the same individuals that provided the proof of disability. The certification may be on the same documentation as the proof of disability or it may be a separate document.

In situations where an individual has the proof of disability documentation, but not the certification of job readiness, hiring agencies have the discretion to place an individual on a temporary appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) to determine an individual’s job readiness.

Finding a Position

In addition to competing for a position by applying through a vacancy announcement, the Federal Government’s Selective Placement programs include a special hiring authority for hiring people with Mental Retardation, Severe Physical Disabilities, or Psychiatric Disabilities.

You may apply for employment directly to agencies, which may use this authority to streamline the appointment of people with disabilities. If you are interested in being considered under this special authority, and have proof of disability from a licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional 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, you should contact the Federal agency where you wish to work. Ask for the Selective Placement or Disability Employment coordinator or their equivalent.

Certain veterans may also be considered under special hiring programs for disabled veterans with disability ratings of 30% or more. Your Department of Veterans Affairs vocational rehabilitation counselor should be able to provide you with additional information about this process.

Government Job Seekers with Disabilities: Overview | Agency Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC) | Don’t Let Disabilities Get in the Way of Getting the Job | Innovations for People with Disabilities in the Workplace | Reasonable Accommodation in Government Jobs | Frequently Asked Questions About Employment Discrimination | Government Resources for the Employment of Workers with Disabilities | Resources for Learning About Disabilities

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