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Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2024


The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) serves in the VBA Regional Office, Out-based office locations, VetSuccess On Campus school sites, or Integrated Disability Evaluation System military installation. VRCs provide and coordinate a wide range of rehabilitation counseling & case management services to Veterans with disabilities & other eligible individuals.

Learn more about this agency


  • Accepting applications
  • Open & closing dates

    07/02/2024 to 07/12/2024

  • Salary

    $59,966 - $113,047 per year

  • Pay scale & grade

    GS 9 - 12

  • Help


    2 vacancies in the following locations:

  • Remote job


  • Telework eligible

    Yes—as determined by the agency policy.

  • Travel Required

    Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

  • Relocation expenses reimbursed


  • Appointment type


  • Work schedule


  • Service


  • Promotion potential


  • Job family (Series)

    0101 Social Science

  • Supervisory status


  • Security clearance


  • Drug test


  • Position sensitivity and risk

    Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

  • Trust determination process


  • Announcement number


  • Control number





Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRCs) provide and coordinate a wide range of rehabilitation, counseling, and case management services to disabled veterans and other eligible individuals. The purpose, objectives, services, and outcomes are developed by the VRC during the evaluation. The program's primary focus will be on helping the veteran find work and set goals and objectives to help them become more independent in their daily lives.

The duties of this position include but are not limited to:

  • Performs initial rehabilitation evaluations, entitlement assessments, rehabilitation planning, problem-solving and adjustment counseling, case management, including the coordination of all rehabilitation services, case documentation, employment services, and, as necessary, the administration and interpretation of vocation testing.
  • Provides services for employer consultation, employment development and placement, career counseling, and vocational planning and assessment.
  • Combines data from diagnostic tests and medical records to give a comprehensive picture of strengths, weaknesses, capabilities, and interests to help patients find a suitable employment or independent living objective.
  • Partners with Vet Centers, career centers, local Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program, Specialists, Local Veterans' Employment Representatives, VA employment programs, and others to provide job search and placement services.
  • Provides information and assistance with the VR&E program through individual and group therapy sessions.
  • Conducts counseling using a variety of approaches, including Tele- counseling, depending on the needs of the Veteran.
  • Partners with administrators at schools, Vet Centers, military bases, and federal, state, and local agencies to determine the individual needs of service members and veterans and to provide the essential assistance.

Promotion Potential: The selectee may be promoted to the full performance level without further competition when all regulatory, qualification, and performance requirements are met. Selection at a lower grade level does not guarantee promotion to the full performance level.

Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm
Compressed/Flexible: May be available per local agency guidelines
Telework: Yes, per Agency guidelines. This is not a remote position.
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Position Description/PD#: Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, 38542A, 38543A, 38544A
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period
  • Subject to background/security investigation
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
  • If you receive a conditional offer of employment for this position, you will be required to complete an Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and to sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application.


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 07/12/2024.

Time-In-Grade Requirement: Applicants who are current Federal employees and have held a GS grade any time in the past 52 weeks must also meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement.
  • For a GS-09 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-07.
  • For a GS-11 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-09.
  • For a GS-12 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-11.
The grade may have been in any occupation, but must have been held in the Federal service. An SF-50 that shows your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. Note: Time-In-Grade requirements also apply to former Federal employees applying for reinstatement as well as current employees applying for Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) appointment. NOTE: All current or former Federal employees must provide a copy of their SF-50 (you may need to submit more than one), "Notice of Personnel Action" that indicates proof of status and time-in-grade eligibility. The SF-50 must include your position, title, series, grade, step, tenure (1 or 2), and type of service (Competitive or Excepted).

You may qualify based on your experience and/or education as described below:

NOTE: Applicants must meet both the BASIC and the GRADE requirements.

BASIC REQUIREMENT - To qualify for the VRC position, candidates must meet the following basic requirements:

A. Education. Successful completion of a master's degree (or higher) in rehabilitation counseling, rehabilitation services, clinical rehabilitation counseling, counseling psychology, mental health counseling, career counseling or social work from an accredited college or university.


B.Internship or Experience Requirement. The required (1) supervised internship or (2) post-master's degree experience is described as follows:

(1) Supervised Internship: The education in paragraph 3a must have included a supervised internship in rehabilitation counseling or case management specialization. The internship must have been supervised by a professional in vocational rehabilitation or a closely related professional field that typically has oversight for vocational rehabilitation programs. OR,

(2) Experience: One-year post-master's degree experience in direct delivery of professional vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities.


C. Grandfathering Provision. VRCs employed in VBA on the effective date of this qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series and grade held, including certifications that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements in this standard but met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed, the following provisions apply: (1) VRCs who are grandfathered into the GS-0101 occupational series may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance level of a career ladder or changed to a lower grade within the occupation or placed in a supervisory or managerial position. (2) VRCs who are appointed on a temporary basis prior to the effective date of this qualification standard may not be extended or reappointed on a temporary or permanent basis until they fully meet the basic requirements of this standard. II-F2-2 July 28, 2023 VA HANDBOOK 5005/157 PART II APPENDIX F2 (3) If VRCs who are grandfathered under this provision leave the occupation, they lose protected status and must meet the full qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of re-entry to the occupation.

GRADE REQUIREMENT - In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates:

GS-09: To qualify for the GS-09 grade level, you must only meet the basic education requirement as described above.

GS-11: In addition to meeting the basic requirements, applicants must possess one of the following:
  • Specialized Experience: You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-09 grade level. Specialized experience reflects the management of vocational rehabilitation counseling or case management workload involving persons with a wide variety of disability conditions (e.g., mental health, physical, cognitive, visual/auditory, substance abuse). OR,
  • Education: Applicants may substitute education for the required experience. To qualify based on education for this grade level you must have successfully completed 3 full years of progressively higher-level graduate education or a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in rehabilitation counseling, rehabilitation services, clinical rehabilitation counseling, counseling psychology, mental health counseling, career counseling or social work from an accredited college or university.
GS-12: In addition to meeting the basic requirements, applicants must possess one of the following:
  • Specialized Experience: You must have one year of specialized vocational rehabilitation experience in a federal, state and/or private vocational rehabilitation setting equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level. Professional experience reflects the management of vocational rehabilitation counseling or case management workload involving persons with a wide variety of disability conditions (e.g., mental health, physical, cognitive, visual/auditory, substance abuse).

a. Creditable Experience. Creditable experience must have required the use of KSAs associated with current professional vocational rehabilitation counseling practices. Creditable experience can be obtained through employment as a VRC. This may be demonstrated by providing direct rehabilitation counseling services to individuals with disabilities in the context of a professional counseling relationship, which may include vocational rehabilitation and personal adjustment counseling, case management, assessment, or rehabilitation, training and employment services coordination.

b. Quality of Experience. Creditable experience must have been obtained postgraduate and be directly related to the duties to be performed to qualify to work as a professional VRC. Qualifying experience must also be equivalent to professional vocational rehabilitation counseling experience at the next lower level.

NOTE: If work experience is credited for the basic requirement, that experience cannot also be used for qualifying at the GS-11 or GS-12 levels.

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, including volunteer experience.

Note: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.

Physical Requirements: The work normally involves mental rather than physical exertion.

For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at http://://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/.


A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

This position requires specific coursework and/or a degree to meet the basic education requirement. You must submit an official transcript, unofficial transcript, or a list including courses, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned. Your transcript(s) must clearly demonstrate the course(s) listed in the qualification requirement section. If the transcript(s) does not clearly demonstrate this you must submit a copy of the course description and/or other documentation demonstrating that the courses are equivalent.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.

Additional information

VA supports the use of telework as a way to help attract and retain talented individuals in public service, increase worker productivity, and better prepare the agency to operate during emergencies. This position may be authorized for telework. Telework eligibility will be discussed during the interview process.

Receiving Service Credit or 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 employee's 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.

Special Employment Consideration: VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities [i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities], and/or Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more. Contact the Agency Contact for information on how to apply under this appointment authority via the Selective Placement Coordinator.

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal/VA competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation (a copy of the agency notice, your most recent performance rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location) and be found well-qualified (have a final rating of 85 or more) for this vacancy. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/.

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.

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

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

Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.

For more information on the "Who may apply" eligibility requirements, please refer to the OHRM Status Candidates and Other Candidate Definitions document.

If you are unable to apply online or need an alternate method to submit documents, please reach out to the Agency Contact listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

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


Narrative responses are not required at this time. If you are referred for consideration, you may be asked to submit additional job related information, which may include, but not limited to; responses to the knowledge, skills and abilities; completion of a work sample, and/or contact for an interview. Your resume and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or consideration for employment.

Once determined to have met the minimum qualification requirements, you will be rated on the following competencies for this position:

Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of diagnosis and treatment of physical and mental ailments, and career guidance.

Technical Competence - Understands and appropriately applies procedures, requirements, regulations, and policies related to specialized expertise (for example, engineering, physical science, law, or accounting); maintains credibility with others on technical matters.

Customer Service - Works with clients and customers (that is, any individuals who use or receive the services or products that your work unit produces, including the general public, individuals who work in the agency, other agencies, or organizations outside the Government) to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services.

Planning and Evaluating - Organizes work, sets priorities, and determines resource requirements; determines short- or long-term goals and strategies to achieve them; coordinates with other organizations or parts of the organization to accomplish goals; monitors progress and evaluates outcomes.

Writing - Recognizes or uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a succinct and organized manner; produces written information, which may include technical material that is appropriate for the intended audience.

Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.


Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  • Resume detailing specialized experience and competencies as they relate to this position. For each position in your resume, you must specify the start and end dates (month/year) and a description of duties. If the position was Federal, you should also indicate the grade level. Resumes containing a general summary of all positions held, not specifying start/end dates, and/or not including documentation supporting Federal grade level(s) are insufficient to determine basic qualifications.
If Applicable:
  • Your most recent NON-AWARD SF-50. The SF-50 must indicate proof of status and should identify your position title, series, grade, step, salary, tenure, and type of service (Competitive or Excepted).
  • Your SF-50 reflecting when you entered your highest grade (e.g., Promotion, Appointment, etc.) in order to verify time-in-grade requirements.
  • Transcript if you are using education to qualify. This position requires specific coursework and/or a degree to meet the basic education requirement.

The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to make sure you have included other documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), documentation to support Veterans Preference claims, or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees). You will not be contacted for additional information.
  • Cover Letter
  • DD-214/ Statement of Service
  • Disability Letter (Schedule A)
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • Other
  • Other (2)
  • PCS Orders
  • Performance Appraisal
  • Professional Certification
  • Proof of Marriage Status
  • Resume
  • Separation Notice (RIF)
  • SF-15
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
  • Transcript

Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx.

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.


How to Apply

All applicants are encouraged to apply online. To apply for this position, you must complete the questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (ET) on 07/12/2024 to receive consideration. To preview the questionnaire click https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/12454565.

  1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USA JOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USA JOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.
  2. Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package.
NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.

To verify your application is complete, log into your USA JOBS account, https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Application page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process. To return to an incomplete application, log into your USA JOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USA JOBS account or your application will be incomplete.
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Agency contact information

Yohandy Gonzalez Veitia
San Juan Regional Benefit Office
50 Carr 165
Guaynabo, PR 00968-8024
Learn more about this agency

Next steps

Once your online application is submitted you will receive a confirmation notification by email. 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. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USA Jobs account and clicking on Applications. Information regarding your application status can be found in the USAJobs Help Center.

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