Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Human Services Specialist (Bilingual), GS-301-5/7/9
Department:  Department Of Homeland Security
Agency:  Federal Emergency Management Agency
Job Announcement Number:  MG-2013-11362-SLC-931862COR

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$34,075.00 to $67,114.00 / Per Year
Thursday, July 25, 2013 to Thursday, August 01, 2013
Full Time - Temporary NTE 2 years
Many vacancies in the following location:
Winchester, VA United StatesView Map
United States Citizens


Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling. DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters. The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.

When disaster strikes, America looks to FEMA. Now FEMA looks to you. Join our team and use your talent to support Americans in their times of greatest need. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepares the nation for all hazards and manages Federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. We foster innovation, reward performance and creativity, and provide challenges on a routine basis with a well-skilled, knowledgeable, high performance workforce.

Who May Apply

  • All U.S. Citizens
  • For definitions of terms found in this announcement, please click here

This position is ideal for a candidate who has experience providing excellent customer service in a high volume customer contact center environment.  This position starts at a salary of $34,075 (GS-5 step 1) if selected at the grade 5 level.  If selected at the GS-7 grade level, the position starts at a salary of $42,209 (GS-7 step 1) and if selected at the GS-9 grade level, the position starts at a salary of $51,630 (GS-9 step 1).  The grade 5 has the promotion potential to the GS-7 and the GS-9.  The grade 7 has the promotion potential to the GS-9.  The full performance level of the position is at the GS-9 grade level.  Apply for this exciting opportunity to become a member of the National Processing Service Center Operations Division of the Recovery Directorate!

PROMOTION POTENTIAL: Future promotions will be dependent on your ability to perform the duties at a higher level, the continuing need for an employee assigned to the higher level, and administrative approval.

This position is being announced under FEMA's CORE Program (Cadre of On-call Response/Recovery employees).  These positions are authorized under P.L. 93-288 to perform temporary disaster work and are funded from the Disaster Relief Fund.  Appointments are excepted service, temporary appointments.  This is a 2 year temporary appointment in the Excepted Service. 

EMERGENCY ASSIGNMENT:  For all nonbargaining unit positions, the following applies:  Every FEMA employee has regular and recurring emergency management responsibilities, though not every position requires routine deployment to disaster sites.  All positions are subject to recall around the clock for emergency management operations, which may require irregular work hours, work at locations other than the official duty station, and may include duties other than those specified in the employee's official position description. Travel requirements in support of emergency operations may be extensive in nature (weeks to months), with little advance notice, and may require employees to relocate to emergency sites with physically austere and operationally challenging conditions.

Relocation expenses are not authorized for this position.


  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position.
  • You must be able to obtain Public Trust background compliance.
  • You may be required to undergo periodic drug testing.
  • This position may require occasional non-emergency travel.
  • Direct Deposit is mandatory.
  • Males born after 12/31/59 - Selective Service Registration required.


Back to top

In this position, you will serve as a Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 Human Services Specialist and as such completes the initial disaster assistance registration procedure: processes a variety of claims or requests for disaster assistance; and/or provides various types of information regarding available programs to people applying for disaster assistance by telephone after a Presidentially-declared disaster.   Typical work assignments include:

  • Serves as the primary point of contact for persons inquiring about disaster assistance by telephone. Conducts telephone interviews with disaster victims who have been affected by a declared disaster.
  • Assists applicants by telephone and in person, determines applicant needs, and provides instructions and referrals to appropriate disaster programs, community resources, and other Federal agencies, as appropriate.
  • Provides information and explanations of Housing Assistance, Other Needs Assistance Grant, and other programs to applicants.
  • Conducts verification activities to determine eligibility of applicants for disaster assistance through direct contact with applicants, in order to gather and disseminate information.
  • Processes applicant cases, re-certifications, audits, and recoups and lodging reimbursement from disaster assistance applicants.


Back to top

You qualify for this position at the GS-5 level if you possess one of the following:
A. Three years of general experience, one of which is equivalent to at least the GS-4 federal grade level that demonstrates the ability to:

  • Analyze problems to identify significant factors
  • Gather pertinent data
  • Recognize solutions
  • Organize work
  • Plan work
  • Effective oral and written communication skills

B. Have successfully completed the requirements for a bachelor's degree in any field
C. A combination of some undergraduate education and experience described in A.

You qualify for this position at the GS-7 level if you possess one of the following:
A. One full year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-5 federal grade level. Specialized experience for this position includes experience in all of the following:

  • Professional experience servicing customers and providing customer support for an organization/business.
  • Proper telephone etiquette to provide excellent customer service for an organization/business
  • Use of computer software for information retrieval.
  • Accurate data entry
  • Processing claims, interpreting and applying policies and procedures, and making appropriate determinations.
  • Resolving customer issues
  • Effective oral and written communication skills

B. Have successfully completed the requirements for a bachelor's degree and have achieved superior academic achievement (defined by class standing or grade point average or scholastic honor society membership). 
C. Have successfully completed at least one full year of graduate education in a field of study related to position
D. A combination of higher level graduate education described in C and experience at or equivalent to the GS-5 grade level described in A, that when combined will total one full year of specialized experience.

You qualify for this position at the GS-9 level if you possess one of the following:
A. One full year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-7 federal grade level. Specialized experience for this position includes experience in all of the following:

  • Disaster assistance experience working in a high volume contact center environment.
  • Excellent telephone etiquette and customer service skills when servicing disaster survivors over the phone.
  • Use of computer software for information retrieval
  • Accurate data entry
  • Processing claims, interpreting and applying policies and procedures, and making appropriate determinations 
  • Review and analysis of disaster survivor case information in order to resolve complex issues and provide resolution.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills

B. Successful completion of a Master's degree or equivalent graduate degree OR have 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.B or J.D., in a field of study that is related to the position.
C. A combination of higher level graduate education described in B and experience at or equivalent to the GS-7 grade level described in A, that when combined will total one full year of specialized experience.

Selective Placement Factor:  In addition to the minimum qualifications described above, you must meet the following requirement(s) to be considered qualified for the position:

  • Experience fluently communicating, comprehending, and translating Spanish and English to include speaking, reading and writing.

The qualification requirements listed above must be met within 30 calendar days of the closing date of this announcement.

Candidates may substitute education for the required specialized experience in order to qualify for this position. Please see the details above.  If you are trying to qualify through education or a combination of experience and education, you are strongly encouraged to attach a transcript (does not have to be an official transcript at initial application).

Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass a background investigation for Public Trust as a condition of placement into this position. This may include a review of financial issues, such as delinquency, child support and/or tax obligations, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs.


All applicants will be evaluated based on responses to the Job Questionnaire for the announcement. Once the application process is complete, a review of your application will be made to ensure you meet the job requirements. To determine if you are qualified for this job, a review of your resume and supporting documentation will be made and compared against your responses to the occupational questionnaire.

If you are qualified, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be called for an interview.  To preview the Assessment Questionnaire, click the following link:  View Assessment Questions


Back to top

DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include: flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information, go to and select “benefits.”


This announcement may be used to fill one or more vacancies.


Back to top

To apply for this position, you must complete the occupational questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Requested Documents section below.

The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Thursday, August 01, 2013 to receive consideration.

Applying Online:

  1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.
  2. Click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application package.
  3. It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.
  4. To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details 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.

Faxing Applications or Supporting Documents:

You are encouraged to apply online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application.

NOTE:  If you applied online and your application is complete, do not fax the paper application (1203FX) as this will overwrite your prior online responses and may result in you being found ineligible.

If you completed the occupational questionnaire online and are unable to upload supporting document(s):

  1. To fax your documents, you must use the following cover page and provide the required information. The Vacancy ID is 931862.
  2. Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

If you cannot complete the Application Package online, you may fax all of your materials. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Thursday, August 01, 2013 to receive consideration. Keep a copy of your fax confirmation in the event verification is needed.

To complete the occupational questionnaire and submit via fax:

  1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire.
  2. Print the 1203FX form, follow the instructions and provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire items
  3. Fax all six pages of the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.


  1. Your résumé
  2. Your responses to the job questionnaire View Assessment Questions
  3. Are you a veteran?  Submit Member Copy 4 of your DD 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty). Those applying for 10-point preference must fill out the SF-15 (click here for the form) and provide the required documentation listed on the back of the form. Click here for more veterans’ information.
  4. Are you qualifying based on education?  Submit a copy of your college transcript (unofficial is acceptable) or a list of coursework with hours completed. Those with foreign education, click this link
  5. Are you a current or former Federal employee?  Submit a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, that shows your current/former grade and step.


Sherry Cook
Phone: (800)879-6076
TDD: (800)877-8339
Agency Information:
DHS FEMA HCD Talent Acquisition and Processing
PO Box 9900
Winchester, VA


Once you submit your application, we will assess your experience and training, identify the best qualified applicants, and refer those applications to the hiring manager for further consideration and interviews. We will notify you by email after each of these steps has been completed. Your status will also be updated on USAJOBS throughout the process. To check your status, log on to your USAJOBS account, click on “Application Status,” and then click “More Information.” We expect to make a final job offer within 30 days after the deadline for applications. If you are selected, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.

For more information on applying for Federal employment, please click here

Back to top
EEO Policy Statement | Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement | Veterans Information | Legal and Regulatory Guidance