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

Job Title:Veterans Service Representative - Pathways Recent Graduate Program

Department:Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency:Veterans Benefits Administration

Job Announcement Number:VB 923361-TMH

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$40,534.00 to $52,698.00 / Per Year


Friday, July 12, 2013 to Tuesday, July 16, 2013




Full Time - Recent Graduates




5 vacancies in the following location:
Atlanta, GA United StatesView Map


Student/Internship Program Eligibles


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN)923361

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. How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to Veterans?

As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. With many openings in the multiple functions of VA, you will have a wide range of opportunities and leadership positions at your fingertips. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the Nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries. VA professionals feel good about their careers and their ability to balance work and home life. VA offers generous paid time off and a variety of predictable and flexible scheduling opportunities.

For more information on the Department of Veterans Affairs, go to 

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) values the contributions made by recent graduates of all ages and backgrounds. 

This announcement is for a position being filled under the Pathways Recent Graduate Program for individuals who have completed, within the previous two years, a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution.

The Pathways Recent Graduate Program provides managers a ready source of developmental employees and potential permanent employees upon completion of the program requirements. It also provides the recent graduate with work experience directly related to their degree and career goals while offering eligibility for non-competitive conversion to permanent employment upon completion. 

Pathways Program Considerations:

  • Veterans Civil Service Preference applies to selection for positions in the Pathways Programs.
  • An agency may appoint a non-citizen, provided that the individual is lawfully admitted to the United States as a permanent resident or is otherwise authorized to be employed.
  • Appointments made under the Pathways Programs are under Schedule D in the excepted service.
  • Service in a Pathways Program confers no right to further employment in the competitive or excepted service.

Here are some key provisions of the Recent Graduates Program.

  • Recent graduates who have completed, within the previous two years, a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution.
  • Preference Eligible Veterans unable to apply, due to military service obligations, have up to six years after the completion of their degree and/or certificate to apply.
  • An individual who completed his or her educational requirements between December 27, 2010 and the effective date of the Pathways regulations (July 10, 2012) has 2 years of eligibility from July 10, 2012 to apply to the Recent Graduates Program.
  • Mentorship throughout the program, Individual Development Plan (IDP), career planning, professional development, and training activities.
  • Recent Graduates may be converted to a permanent position after successful completion of the 1-year Program period or at the end of the 120-day approved extension, unless the agency has an approved longer program based on a rigorous training and development requirement; or, in some limited circumstances a term appointment lasting 1-4 years.

Full requirements for Conversion:

  • Completion of at least 1-year of continuous service in addition to all requirements of the Program.
  • Demonstrated successful job performance.
  • Meet the qualification standards for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted.
  • Must possess US citizenship in order to be converted to a career/career conditional appointment.

For more information on the Pathways for Students go to 


  • U.S. citizen, non-citizen, national or legal permanent resident.
  • Subject to a background/suitability investigation.
  • A complete application package; Resume, Vet Pref (if applicable), etc.
  • A completed Occupational Questionnaire.
  • Proof of degree or certificate (i.e. transcripts, Registrar Letter...etc).
  • May be required to attend off-site training, which may require travel.


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The Veterans Service Representative (VSR) - Recent Graduate Program works as a member of the Veteran Service Center (VSC) for the Atlanta Regional Office, of the Veterans Benefits Administration located in Atlanta, GA.

As a Veterans Service Representative (VSR) you will work on veterans benefits claims and provide comprehensive services to America's Veterans and their families. The incumbent may be promoted to the full performance level (GS-10) without further competition after meeting time-in-grade and specialized experience requirements. Upon attaining the GS-10 grade level, the incumbent will be required to take the VSR Skills Certification test.

This position involves a multi-grade career ladder that commonly progresses from the GS - 07 to the GS-09 grade level. The major duties listed below represent the full performance level of GS-10. At the GS-07 and GS-09 grade level(s), you will perform assignments of a more limited scope and with less independence. You will progressively acquire the background necessary to perform at the full performance level of GS-10. Promotion is at the discretion of the supervisor and is contingent upon satisfactory performance, availability of higher level work, and availability of funds.


The VSR explains benefit programs and entitlement criteria, conducts interviews, identifies issues, gathers relevant evidence, adjudicates claims, and inputs data necessary to generate the award and notification letter to the veteran describing the decision and the reason for it. Specific duties are the following:

  • Serves as a primary contact for the veteran and his/her representative or advocate and the decision-maker for compensation or pension claims.
  • Explains the full range of VA benefits and all related programs.
  • Makes determinations as to eligibility for the type of benefit sought and fully analyzes, develops, and requests required evidence for certain claims requiring a rating decision.
  • Decides the necessity for and type of examinations, reexamination or opinions to determine the existence of or to evaluate disabilities resulting from diseases or injuries.
  • Develops comprehensive requests for these examinations/opinions to ensure appropriate evidence is received from which to adjudicate the claim.
  • Prepares correspondence to members of Congress and special interest groups on case assignments and other “controlled” correspondence.
  • Reviews all correspondence to private attorneys; acknowledges and revokes designations for private attorneys.
  • Utilizes various electronic data processing (EDP) systems for inputting data related to claims adjudication, processing, monitoring, and correspondence preparation.
  • Acts as an advocate for veterans and their beneficiaries in their dealings with other VA elements and organizations that affect their claims.

Individual(s) selected for this position must be available to attend a mandatory 8-week consecutive training session. This training may require official government travel away from the permanent duty station to a different city and/or state. Flexitour is not available during training.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: This position is primarily sedentary with some walking, standing, bending, and carrying of lightweight items (i.e. folders, claims files, etc.).


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

GS-07: One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-05 grade level in the federal service.

Specialized Experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA's) to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled, in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. Examples of specialized experience include, but are not limited to: 1) gathering and completing documents, applications, and other information in order to process and evaluate a variety of claims applications; 2) determining the applicability of law, regulations, and procedures to evaluate eligibility and claims; 3) using automated software and systems to enter, edit, verify, and retrieve data in order to evaluate claims; AND 4) developing, adjudicating, authorizing, or reconsidering claims for benefits. Such experience is to be substantive and relevant and is gained in the practice of law or working with a Federal or state agency, insurance company, retirement, disability or insurance program.


Applicants may substitute education for the experience required.

GS-07: Successful completion of one (1) full (18 credit hours) year of graduate level education in an accredited college or university which demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work.


Applicants may possess an Undergraduate Degree with Superior Academic Achievement.

Completion of a full four-year (120 credit hours) course of study leading to a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in a field related to the position and meet one of the following under the Superior Academic Achievement provisions:

Superior Academic Achievement (S.A.A.) is a means of qualifying on the basis of education, if you are within the area of consideration as stated in the “Who May Be Considered” section of this announcement (first page). S.A.A. is based on (1) class standing, (2) grade-point average, or (3) honor society membership.

  1. Class standing--Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration, based on completed courses.
  2. Grade-point average (G.P.A.)--Applicants must have a grade-point average of: a. 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ('B' or better) as recorded on their official transcript, or as computed based on 4 years of education, or as computed based on courses completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or b. 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ('B+' or better) based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum. Grade-point averages are to be rounded to one decimal place. For example, 2.95 will round to 3.0 and 2.94 will round to 2.9.
  3. Election to membership in a national scholastic honor society--Applicants can be considered eligible based on membership in one of the national scholastic honor societies.

Applicants cannot claim credit based on their overall G.P.A. if more than 10 percent of their total credit was based on pass/fail. It is the applicant's responsibility to provide documentation or proof that he or she has met the applicable educational requirements for substitution. Applications submitted without the required supporting documents will not be accepted. An unofficial transcript; statement from the institution's registrar, dean, or other appropriate official; or equivalent documentation is acceptable at the time of application. Education submitted must be appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. For additional information, refer to the U.S. Department of Education web site at


Applicants may also combine education and experience to qualify. To calculate, first identify the percentage of graduate education required that you have earned. (Bachelor's Degree education cannot be used for combination.)Then identify the percentage of required experience you possess. Add the two percentages. The total percentage must equal at least 100 percent to qualify at the GS-07. For example, an applicant who has 9 semester hours of graduate level education (i.e. 50% of graduate education required) and 6 months of creditable specialized experience (i.e. 50% of the required experience) would equal 100% of the required experience for the position.

You will be rated on the following Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other characteristics (KSAOs) as part of the assessment questionnaire for this position. This training and/or experience MUST be reflected by descriptions of your experience in your resume.

  • Ability to read, interpret and analyze correspondence, regulations and data to extract appropriate information form them and make well justified decisions from the analysis. 
  • Skill in writing that reflects organization of subject matter and support for your position and conclusions.
  • Ability to effectively communicate orally and work in groups with people from a variety of backgrounds. 
  • Ability to determine priorities and successfully balance conflicting demands.

If you are referred for consideration, you may be asked to submit additional job related information.

For more information on these qualification standards, please visit OPM's web site at

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


After the vacancy announcement closes, your résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or consideration for employment.

Veteran’s Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), or 10pt (CP/CPS, XPP, XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP), on the Occupational Questionnaire in the section(s) provided. A legible copy of your DD214(s) and/or other documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), or dates of impending separation. Documentation is required to award preference. (See "Required Documents" section)

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 Veterans Preference" with required proof as listed on page two (2) of the form.  For more information, please review the information for disabled Veterans in the application checklist or visit


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Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package. This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered. For more information please visit us at

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 for 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 employees 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.

Relocation expenses are not authorized for this position.

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


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To apply for this position, you must submit a complete Application Package (See “Required Documents” section below). The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013. To begin the process, click the Apply Online button, to the right of your screen and log in to your existing USAJOBS account. You will complete the occupational questionnaire online and attach your documents. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the completion of your application. Note: 1. If you have never applied through USA Jobs for a position with the Federal Civil Service, you will need to create a USA Jobs account. 2. New or updated resumes are considered "incomplete" applications until the required virus scan is cleared. 3. To change or update your application, simply reapply through My USAJOBS, before the closing date. 4. 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.

If you cannot apply online through USA Jobs: You will need to complete the Occupational Questionnaire(View Occupational Questionnaire) manually by faxing your answers on the OPM 1203fx Form to (478)757-3144. The 1203FX form is only used when you are submitting your answers to the occupational questionnaire manually. You may attach all supporting documents (see “Required Documents” section below) with the 1203FX form at the same time using "Page 1 of 6" of the form as a cover page for the fax transmission. Submitting duplicate occupational questionnaires (online or 1203FX) will override prior submissions and may result in your not receiving consideration for this position. Keep a copy of your fax receipt in case verification is needed.

To fax supporting documents: If you were unable to upload your “Required Documents” to USA Jobs, after submitting your answers to the Occupational Questionnaire online, complete the required fax cover page using 919511. This cover sheet is only used when faxing the application document(s) that you were not able to upload into USA Jobs. (Do not use as a cover page for the 1203FX.) Fax your documents to (478)757-3144. Keep a copy of your fax receipt in case verification is needed. Mailed/emailed applications will not be accepted.


The following documents are accepted: a Résumé (dates, position title, and/or compensation), responses to the Occupational Questionnaire (online or by submission of the OPM 1203FX Form), and only if it is applicable to your application; include Veterans' Preference documentation which contains dates of service and character of discharge (DD-214 or equivalent letter from the appropriate branch of service, SF-15 and/or a Disability Compensation Letter), or An unofficial college transcript from an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Use this checklist to ensure you have submitted the appropriate information. Failure to submit any of the required documents may result in your not receiving credit for your Veterans Preference, Education and or Experience.


Detroit DEU
Phone: (313)596-7213
Agency Information:
HRC Jackson
Thank You, MI


After the vacancy announcement closes and a referral certificate is issued, an electronic notification letter - or e-mail - will be sent within 10 business days, to applicants who provide an e-mail address. Otherwise, you will receive a notification letter via the U.S. Postal Service within 2 to 4 weeks.

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Job Announcement Number:

VB 923361-TMH

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