Frequently Asked Questions
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FAQs for Website Visitors
FAQs for HRSA Employees
Employment and Benefits
1. How do I apply for employment at HRSA?
- There must be a job opportunity announcement (JOA) in order to apply for a Federal job. A Federal application consists of submitting a resume, usually completing an assessment and may require additional information such as: transcripts, SF-50s from government employees and/or DD 214.
- Find a HRSA job opportunity announcement that matches your skills and interests by using the search jobs function. Search by occupation, agency name, location, and/or announcement number.
2. What does it mean when the vacancy announcement's, Who May Apply section says "all sources" or "status applicants" and/or "reinstatement eligible”?
- These are groups of individuals that HRSA may identify as groups from which we will accept applications to compete for a vacancy.
- When a vacancy is open to “all sources”, it means anyone may apply. While there are no restrictions on the groups of candidates who may apply to these types of announcements, in most cases, U.S. citizenship is required.
- “Status applicants” refers to those individuals who are current or former Federal civilian employees who hold or held non-temporary appointments in the competitive service, not the excepted service.
- NOTE: Veterans eligible under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) may also apply and be considered under vacancy announcements limited to status candidates. For information on VEOA eligibility, please visit: VetGuide.
- Reinstatement eligibility refers to the ability for those individuals, who previously held a career or career-conditional appointment, to apply for jobs in the competitive Federal service open to status applicants. There is no time limit on reinstatement eligibility for those who either have veterans' preference, or acquired career tenure by completing 3 years of substantially continuous creditable service.
3. Why have I not heard anything back after applying? How long does it take to hear from HRSA after I have applied?
- The HRSA Human Resources Office will provide a status update to applicants at four points in the application process, which are: When your application is received; after your application is assessed; when your application is referred or not referred to the Selection Official; and, if referred, when a selection has been made for the position.
- You can expect to hear from the HRSA Human Resource Office or the selecting official 15-30 days after the job opportunity announcement (JOA) closes. If you have not heard from us in that timeframe, you should contact the HRSA Human Resources Office at 301-443-3780 or email AskHR@hrsa.gov. You may also go to "My Account" on USAJOBS to view the status of your application.
- The contact information for each HRSA opportunity is listed in the lower portion of the JOA and also on the floating menu on the right hand side of the JOA. If the JOA has closed and no longer appears on the USAJOBS website, you can contact the HRSA Human Resources Office at 301-443-3780 or email AskHR@hrsa.gov for additional information.
4. What will my salary be?
- There are 15 grades in the General Schedule (GS) pay system; each grade has 10 steps. Upon your first appointment to a GS position, you will typically be placed in the first step of the grade for which you are selected. Occasionally, HRSA makes exceptions for applicants with hard-to-find or highly desirable skills. These exceptions are at the agency’s discretion and are not an employee entitlement prior to appointment. Current GS salaries may be viewed at OPM.gov.
5. What determines whether I am eligible to claim 5-point or 10-point preference?
You are a 5 point preference eligible if your active duty service meets any of the following:
- 180 or more consecutive days, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001 and ending on a future date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law as the last date of Operation Iraqi Freedom, OR
- Between August 2, 1990 and January 2, 1992, OR
- 180 or more consecutive days, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955 and before October 15, 1976, OR|
- In a war, campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized or between April 28, 1952 and July 1, 1955.
You are a 10 point preference eligible if you served at any time, and you:
- have a service connected disability, OR received a Purple Heart.
If you are still unsure on your ability to claim veterans' preference eligibility, you may also visit the Department of Labor's Veterans' Preference Advisor.
6. What health benefits are available in the federal government?
- The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program offers a wide variety of plans and coverage to help you meet your health care needs. The FEHB Program consists of different types of plans, including: Fee-for-Service with a Preferred Provider Organization; Health Maintenance Organizations; Point of Service; High Deductible Health Plans; and Consumer Driven Health Plans. How you obtain coverage or services and pay for it differs depending on the plan. However, benefits available under all plans include hospital care, surgical care, in-patient and out-patient care, obstetrical care, mental health and substance abuse care, and prescription drug coverage. There are no waiting periods or pre-existing condition limitations under the Program, even if you change plans. Your premiums are withheld from your salary on a pre-tax basis. You can find more information by visiting OPM Healthcare and Insurance.
- The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) is available to eligible HRSA employees and their eligible family members on an enrollee-pay-all basis. FEDVIP allows dental and vision insurance to be purchased on a group basis which means competitive premiums and no pre-existing condition limitations. Your premiums are withheld from your salary on a pre-tax basis. Visit OPM Healthcare and Insurance.
- The Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) Program allows HRSA employees to pay for certain health and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars. You may choose to make a voluntary allotment from your salary to your FSA account(s). You will not pay employment or income taxes on your allotments. Visit OPM Healthcare and Insurance.
- HRSA employees may apply for Federal Long Term Care Insurance (FLTCI). The need for long term care is the type of care that you may need if you can no longer perform “activities of daily living” by yourself such as eating, bathing and getting dressed. It also includes the kind of care you would need if you have a severe cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s disease. Long term care can be covered completely or in part by long term care insurance. Most plans let you choose the amount of coverage you want, as well as how and where you want to use your benefits. Visit OPM Healthcare and Insurance.
7. What life insurance and retirement/investment programs are available?
- The Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program is the Federal Government’s group life insurance program, covering over 4 million Federal employees and retirees, as well as many of their family members. Almost everyone needs life insurance; how much is for you to decide. Visit OPM Healthcare and Insurance for more information.
- The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees. The purpose of TSP is to provide retirement income. It offers HRSA employees the same type of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under 401(k) plans. HRSA employees can elect Traditional (pre-tax) or Roth (after-tax) contributions to the TSP. Visit Thrift Savings Plan.
8. Is there a child care subsidy available to HRSA employees?
- Yes. HRSA employees may be eligible to receive a childcare subsidy if children are in a full or part-time licensed childcare environment (center or home-based). This also includes before and after school programs as long as the program is licensed by state and/or local authorities in the state or locality in which the provider operates. The employee’s adjusted gross “family” income must be $75,000 or less to receive a subsidy of up to $75 per week, per child. Children must be age 12 or younger or up to age 18 for a child with special needs.
9. Does HRSA have a telework program?
- Yes. HRSA supports telework for both managers and employees.
- Training is required before you are approved for telework, and can be accomplished through the HRSA Learning Institute (see below), or through the training link at telework.gov.
10. What training is available at HRSA?
- HRSA provides in-house training and developmental opportunities through the HRSA Learning Institute. Workshops, seminars and virtual courses are offered at no cost to the employee.
- HHS University provides employees within the Department of Health and Human Services with high-quality training and developmental opportunities. HHS University offers leadership and career development programs and provides common needs and mandatory training courses.
11. What is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?
- HRSA’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related concerns. EAP counselors address broad and complex issues affecting mental and emotional well-being, such as alcohol and other substance abuse, stress, grief, family problems, and psychological disorders. They also work in a consultative role with managers and supervisors to address employee and organizational challenges and needs. Many EAP counselors are active in helping organizations prevent and cope with workplace violence, trauma, and other emergency response situations.
12. Is there a Health Unit at HRSA?
- Yes. HRSA’s Health Unit provides free first aid and emergency response, immunizations (Influenza, Tetanus, Pneumonia), physician prescribed services (Allergy clinic), health screenings (Diabetes, Cholesterol, Blood Pressure and more), and health education programs.
13. Where can I find a complete list of Frequently Asked Questions concerning Federal Government employment?
Employment and Benefits
1. Where can I find information on Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) and the next Open Season?
2. What is a quality step increase (QSI) and how does it affect a within-grade increase (WGI)?
A QSI is a faster-than-normal WGI used to reward employees at any General Schedule (GS) grade level who display high quality performance. To be eligible for a QSI, employees must:
- be below step 10 of their grade level;
- have received the highest rating available under their performance appraisal system;
- have demonstrated sustained performance of high quality; and
- have not received a QSI within the preceding 52 consecutive calendar weeks.
A QSI does not affect the timing of an employee's next regular WGI unless the QSI places the employee in step 4 or step 7 of his or her grade. In these cases, the employee becomes subject to the full waiting period for the new step--i.e., 104 weeks or 156 weeks, respectively--and the time an employee has already waited counts towards the next increase. The employee receives the full benefit of receiving a WGI at an earlier date and has not lost any time creditable towards his or her next WGI.
3. What family members can I take sick leave for, or leave under the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program, Voluntary Leave Bank Program, or Emergency Leave Transfer Program?
4. Where can I find a listing for salaries and wages?
5. What training is available at HRSA?
- HRSA provides in-house training and developmental opportunities through the HRSA Learning Institute. Workshops, seminars and virtual courses are offered at no cost to the employee. HRSA Employee, visit the HRSA Learning Institute Intranet page to view training opportunities.
- Student internship and mentoring programs are available. Visit USAJobs Students and Graduates to learn more.
6. Do I qualify for HRSA’s Child Care Subsidy Program?
- Full-time and part-time HRSA employees may be eligible to receive a subsidy if they meet a certain income level and other criteria. To determine your eligibility for the program, please visit: FEEA Childcare Services - HRSA.
7. Am I eligible to telework at HRSA?
- HRSA supports telework for both managers and employees. Participation in a telework arrangement is voluntary and not an employee entitlement. Employee job duties must be suitable for an alternative worksite and the employee must meet other eligibility requirements to telework. See your supervisor to discuss your possible eligibility to telework. HRSA’s telework policy is available on the HRSA Intranet (for HRSA employees only).
8. What is the FedStrive/WorkLife Program?
- FedStrive is HRSA’s health and wellness program offering free resources and programs to employees. The program features highly integrated services, each designed to help you improve your overall wellbeing and maintain a happy, healthy and fulfilled life.
9. What is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?
- HRSA’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related concerns. EAP counselors address a broad and complex number of issues affecting mental and emotional well-being, such as alcohol and other substance abuse, stress, grief, family problems, and psychological disorders. They also work in a consultative role with managers and supervisors to address employee and organizational challenges and needs. Many EAP counselors are active in helping organizations prevent and cope with workplace violence, trauma, and other emergency response situations.
10. What services are provided at the 5600 Fishers Lane Health Center?
- First aid and emergency response, immunizations (Influenza, Tetanus, Pneumonia), physician prescribed services (Allergy clinic), health screenings (Diabetes, Cholesterol, Blood Pressure and more), and health education programs.
- The Health Center is located in Room 05N24. Phone number: 301-443-1238.
- Dial 911 for or call the Health Center at 301-443-1238 for health emergencies if you are in the 5600 Fishers Lane building.
11. Where can I find a complete list of Frequently Asked Questions for Federal Government employment?