This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply


Department:Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency:Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Job Announcement Number:BRX-12-SD-812523

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$43,738.00 to $56,863.00 / Per Year


Thursday, December 20, 2012 to Monday, January 14, 2013




Full Time - Permanent




1 vacancy in the following location:
Bronx, NY United StatesView Map


Preference Eligible Veterans Only


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN):   812523 

Our mission:  To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans.



Special Employment Consideration: Veterans eligible for the following appointments are encouraged to apply: 5 CFR 213.3102 "u", Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities ; mental retardation, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities; and Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more.


  • You must be a US citizen to apply for this job
  • Subject to a background/suitability investigation.
  • Physical and Medical Requirements
  • Preference eligible Veterans
  • Certification as a Peer Specialist


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The incumbent will serve in a developmental capacity in the Schizophrenia Treatment and Research (STAR) section of the Outpatient Mental Health within the Mental Health Patient Care Center.   The incumbent will be working with veterans, active duty members who have severe psychotic or mood disorders and their family members.  The incumbent will functions as an interdisciplinary team member, assisting physicians and other professional/non-professional personnel in a rehabilitation treatment program.  Peer Specialists perform a variety of therapeutic and supportive tasks that include assisting their peers in articulating their goals for recovery, learning and practicing new skills, helping them monitor their progress, assisting them in their treatment, modeling effective coping techniques and self help strategies based on the specialist's own recovery experience, and supporting them in advocating for themselves to obtain effective services. The incumbent functions as a role model, exhibiting competency in personal recovery and use of coping skills; serves as a consumer advocate, provides consumer information and peer support for veterans in outpatient and inpatient settings. This individual must have the ability to assist others in treatment based on the principles of recovery and resiliency. By inspiring the hope that recovery and resiliency are achievable goals, the incumbent can assist others who are diagnosed with mental illness or co-occurring disorders to achieve their personal recovery goals by promoting self determination, personal responsibility, and the empowerment inherent in self-directed recovery. The incumbent performs a wide range of tasks to assist peers of all ages, from young adult to old age, in regaining independence within the community and mastery over their own recovery process.  The work is primarily sedentary. Typically, the employee will sit to do the work. However, there may be some walking, standing, bending, carrying of light items (such as books, papers), accessing transportation, and/or driving a government vehicle. The work requires patience and control of emotions. The work may require occasional use of appropriate techniques to physically restrain clients who present a danger to self or others. 



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Time-in-Grade Restriction - 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. The grade may have been in any occupation but must have been held in the Federal service.




    a.  Citizenship.  Citizen of the United States.


    b.  Physical and Medical Requirements.  The applicant must be able to perform primarily light and sedentary duties with occasionally moderate physical demands, exercise patience, and control emotions, with reasonable accommodation if necessary, without endangering the health and safety of the applicant or others.  (See also VA Directive and Handbook 5019.)




    a.  Statutory Requirements.  Section 405 of Public Law 110-387, as codified in 38 U.S.C. 7402(b)(13), established that to be eligible to receive appointment to a Peer Specialist position, a person must:

    (1)  be a veteran who has recovered or is recovering from a mental health condition; and

    (2)  be certified by -

    (a)  a not-for-profit entity engaged in peer specialist training as having met such criteria as the Secretary shall establish for a peer specialist position; or

    (b)  a State as having satisfied relevant State requirements for a peer specialist position.


    b.  Length of Experience as a Consumer of Mental Health Recovery Services.  Veterans eligible under 38 U.S.C. 7402(b)(13) must have spent a minimum of 1 year in personal recovery from a mental health condition.


SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE FOR PEER SPECIALISTS, GS-102-6/9:  In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade level.  Specialized experience is progressively responsible, post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing counseling to support peers in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, a psychiatric therapy aide, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery.


NOTE:  In recruiting and examining for these positions, participation in community, social service, and similar volunteer activities that meets the definition of specialized experience is creditable applicant experience.


You will be rated on the following Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other characteristics (KSAOs) as part of the assessment questionnaire for this position:


1. Knowledge of the Recovery process and ability to facilitate Recovery Dialogues using common recovery tools.

2. Knowledge of and ability to use, effective communication skills to teach and engage in problem solving and conflict resolution strategies to support individual veterans in self directed recovery.


3.  Knowledge of crisis-oriented counseling, including methods for effective triage and the standards for handling violent or suicidal patients safely.


4.  Knowledge of Management and Prevention of Disruptive Behavior techniques.

5.  Knowledge of basic group dynamics and how to establish and sustain self-help (mutual support) and educational groups by soliciting input from mental health consumers on their strengths and interests.

6.  Awareness of eligibility requirements for patient services relevant to the behavioral health program.

For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at .

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC.  WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.  If your resume does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s).


SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION FOR PEER SPECIALISTS, GS-102-6/9:  Graduate education or a post-bachelor’s degree internship meets the specialized experience required for GS-6/9 only in those instances where it is directly related to the work of the position.  Six (6) months of graduate education or a 1-year post-bachelor’s degree internship meets the requirements for GS-6.  One full year of graduate education meets the requirements for GS-7.  One and one/half years of graduate education meets the requirements for GS-8.  Two full years of graduate education or a master's degree meets the requirements for GS-9.  One year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full-time study.  If that information cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours should be considered as satisfying the 1 year of full-time study requirement.  Part-time graduate education is creditable in accordance with its relationship to a year of full-time study at the school attended.



APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE:  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 (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.)  Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website:  All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly. *** 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. ***





Veterans Preference: 

When applying for Federal jobs, eligible veterans should claim preference on the Occupational Questionnaire in the section provided and provide a legible copy of DD-214(s) showing all dates of service as well as character of service (honorable, general, etc.). Additionally, veterans with service-connected disability of 10% or more must also submit a copy of their official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying their service-connected disability and/or their receipt of compensation for service-connected disability.  If the military member is within 120 days of separation and does not yet have a DD214, the member may instead submit any written document from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is signed.


Veterans with service-connected disability of less than 10%, non service-connected disability, and Purple Heart recipients, as-well-as those claiming derived preference for a spouse, widow or widower, or natural mother, should refer to and submit a completed " SF15, "Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference ," (go to and required documentation with your application materials. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit



Disabled veterans may also be considered under special hiring programs for disabled veterans with disability ratings from the Department of Veterans Affairs of 30 percent or more. To learn more about Schedule A appointing authorities and required certifications, please visit




Your application will be reviewed to determine your qualifications. Please be sure your resume and supporting documentation clearly reflect your expertise related to the following competencies: 


  1. Knowledge of the Recovery process and ability to facilitate Recovery Dialogues using common recovery tools.

  2.   Knowledge of and ability to use, effective communication skills to teach and engage in problem solving and conflict resolution strategies to support individual veterans in self directed recovery. 3


  3.   Knowledge of crisis-oriented counseling, including methods for effective triage and the standards for handling violent or suicidal patients safely.


  4.   Knowledge of Management and Prevention of Disruptive Behavior techniques.

  5.   Knowledge of basic group dynamics and how to establish and sustain self-help (mutual support) and educational groups by soliciting input from mental health consumers on their strengths and interests.

  6.  Awareness of eligibility requirements for patient services relevant to the behavioral health program.


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Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, thrift savings plan, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. In addition to traditional "dollars and cents" benefits, we offer a range of benefits to help balance work and life.  For more information please visit us at .

The Federal Government has special appointing authorities for persons with qualifying disabilities  (go to   For additional information on these, and other special appointing authorities, refer to this checklist or contact the hiring Human Resources Management Service at: 130 W KINGSBRIDGE RD
BRONX, NY 10456



1. If you are an eligible Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) veteran applicant you may apply for special selection over other candidates for this position. The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation 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  

2. If you are a current career or career-conditional veteran Federal employee or former Federal employee who has reinstatement eligibility, you must submit a copy of your latest SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action" and/or a copy of the SF-50 that reflects career or career-conditional tenure, or you will not be considered under the merit promotion process. Also, you should submit your most recent performance appraisal.

3. If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-point veterans' preference, you must attach a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must attach an SF-15, "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" plus the proof required by that form.

4. If you are a male applicant who was born after 12/31/59 and are required to register under the Military Selective Service Act, the Defense Authorization Act of 1986 requires that you be registered or you are not eligible for appointment in this agency.

5. You can apply for a non-competitive appointment if you meet the basic eligibility requirements and you are eligible for special appointment such as those authorized for the severely disabled; certain Vietnam era and disabled veterans; returned volunteers from the Peace Corps or Vista, etc. Please indicate the type of special appointment you are seeking, if any, on your application and follow all other instructions for applying shown in this announcement.

6. All qualification requirements must be met within 30 days after the closing date of this announcement. Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions. It is available for your review in our office, in other Federal agency personnel offices, and on OPM's web site at



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To apply for this position, you must provide a complete application (See "Required Documents" section below).   The complete Application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Monday, January 14, 2013.



To begin the process, click the Apply Online button at the top of this screen to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.  Be sure to upload the required documents before you submit your application.  Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.  Mailed/emailed applications to our local office will not be accepted.



If you cannot apply online please use the FAX procedures below:

  1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire: View Occupational Questionnaire.
  2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire:
  3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with all supporting documents to (478)757-3144.  Your 1203FX form must be placed on top of all materials being faxed and will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.
  4. Keep a copy of your fax receipt in case verification is needed.


To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload:

  1. Complete this cover page using the following Vacancy ID: 812523.  You must use this fax cover sheet in order for your documents to be matched with your online application.
  2. Fax your documents to (478)757-3144.


Note: If you need to change or update your application, simply reapply through My USAJOBS, before the closing date.  To check the status of your application, log into your USAJOBS account (, select Application Status and click on the more information link under the application status for this position.


The following documents are required:


  1. Resume (detail)
  2. Responses to the Occupational Questionnaire
  3. Peer Certification certificate
  4. Copy 4 of DD214- Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty
  5. And if applicable, Standard Form 15- Application for 10-point Veteran Preference, to support Veterans Preferences claims.
  6. Copy of your unofficial transcript (if using education to qualify)
  7. If applicable, ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for well-qualified, displaced Federal employees)


Shiroshell Dingle
Phone: (718)584-9000x6572
Fax: (718)741-4598
Agency Information:
Department of Veterans Affairs
James J Peters VA Medical Center Bronx
130 West Kingsbridge Road
Bronx, NY
10468 Fax: (718)741-4598


After we receive your complete application package (including all required documents), your qualifications will be reviewed and assigned an initial rating.  We will also review your application to make sure that your résumé supports the answers given in the questionnaire. If your résumé does not support your questionnaire answers, we will adjust your rating accordingly. Based on your ranking or numerical score, you may be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. You will be notified when your rating is determined.

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