Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Take SSA job or stay where I'm at?

So I was just offered an SSA position at a hearing office in goorange88806/04/18
A couple questions- When did you interview for this positio pam14506/04/18
Getting in with the feds makes it easier to transfer to othe dcm198306/04/18
You know someone at HHS that is an attorney???!!!!! What is newkid50406/04/18
I know a few people that work there as attorneys at multiple dcm198306/04/18
Is this a decision writer position? Or is this position for favorandgrace06/04/18
Decision writer. goorange88806/04/18
Well if I were you I would still definitely take it and get favorandgrace06/04/18
That potention 25k that I wrote in my previous comment was c favorandgrace06/04/18
How challenging is it to write two favorable decisions a day newkid50406/04/18
I was referring to SSA. newkid50406/04/18
Where was this job announcement posted? Haven't seen any for fedatty1306/10/18
This is a no-brainer. Take the federal job. Best case, you m onehell06/04/18
My kid works for SSA in DC area and he like it a lot. He wa roadkingrider06/05/18
That is a lot of debt and the PSLF program is a huge benefit jd198806/05/18
goorange888 (Jun 4, 2018 - 5:10 pm)

So I was just offered an SSA position at a hearing office in the NYC area. They are going to start me at GS-12, so it is around $84k. They also brought up how I can work 4 days if I wanted, as well as the remote work after a year, which is definitely a plus for me. I have been working in litigation doing auto defense for about 2 years for a large carrier, and make just about the same salary (although we get a bonus at the end of the year). This is the thing- I actually like working in litigation and the fact I get to do trials/arbitrations. I also do not bill. My salary progression is typical to a public interest position, in that I generally get small raises every year. I do not get to work remotely in this position.

However, this is the caveat- I have about $250k in student loans. I am currently on PAYE, and originally planned on just riding it out until the tax bomb hits in 20 years. Obviously, with the SSA position, I would qualify for PSLF. I am just worried that if I take the SSA position, I will be pigeon holed in this area of law for life. I have read conflicting things on this site about "exit options" from SSA. I would not mind being able to transfer to another fed gov job with higher GS potential. I even would not mind working my way up to become a supervisor or director with the SSA, which I believe is GS 13/14. But I also don't want to feel "stuck" in 10 years after PSLF wipes out my debt. Any opinion on the matter is greatly appreciated.

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pam145 (Jun 4, 2018 - 7:55 pm)

A couple questions-
When did you interview for this position? When did you do your writing sample? When did you get the call?

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dcm1983 (Jun 4, 2018 - 5:15 pm)

Getting in with the feds makes it easier to transfer to other agencies. I know people from ssa who left for VA, HHS, DOJ, and several other agencies. I would take it. Ssa also pays 1.5x your hourly rate for OT I believe, which can add up to a lot of you take advantage.

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newkid504 (Jun 4, 2018 - 5:18 pm)

You know someone at HHS that is an attorney???!!!!! What is the job like? What's the production quota? Information online is pretty scarce.

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dcm1983 (Jun 4, 2018 - 6:48 pm)

I know a few people that work there as attorneys at multiple field offices. Generally, it will depend on your judge like anywhere else. With that said, I've been told the quota is very reasonable and the working environment is good. They seem to ramping up the hiring now.

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favorandgrace (Jun 4, 2018 - 5:27 pm)

Is this a decision writer position? Or is this position for the office of general counsel? If its OGC you should definitely take it.

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goorange888 (Jun 4, 2018 - 5:31 pm)

Decision writer.

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favorandgrace (Jun 4, 2018 - 5:36 pm)

Well if I were you I would still definitely take it and get my foot in the federal door. You can always lateral out. And NYC is an excellent place to be.

Was the posting for this job up on USA jobs? I don't remember seeing a decision writer SSA job in NYC on USA jobs, only the OGC ones.

Actually you should deff take it, because I just thought about that potential OT. An extra $25,000 per year, and it probably won't even feel like OT if you are working the compressed 4 day a week schedule.

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favorandgrace (Jun 4, 2018 - 5:42 pm)

That potention 25k that I wrote in my previous comment was computed at working an extra 8 hours per week.

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newkid504 (Jun 4, 2018 - 5:47 pm)

How challenging is it to write two favorable decisions a day? How many pages might a decision be?

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newkid504 (Jun 4, 2018 - 6:54 pm)

I was referring to SSA.

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fedatty13 (Jun 10, 2018 - 9:42 pm)

Where was this job announcement posted? Haven't seen any for NY area on USAjobs

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onehell (Jun 4, 2018 - 8:36 pm)

This is a no-brainer. Take the federal job. Best case, you move up within the fedgov. Worst case, you put in your however many years and get a pension and nontaxable loan forgiveness the combined value of which far exceeds what you will ever earn in your current post.

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roadkingrider (Jun 5, 2018 - 12:54 pm)

My kid works for SSA in DC area and he like it a lot. He was like you in litigation for around 5 years and hated it. Hated the the lying billable hours, never really leaving work behind when you went home. He is much more relaxed, easily makes his quota and gets a bunch of overtime as needed. He and his spouse are both on PSLF program and I’m sure he is looking forward to the day when that ends. He just got a promotion to a higher level in the system, he was already an attorney advisor and will be jumping to the next level shortly.

In this job you do your work, sign out and leave it at the office. Works from home 3 or 4 days a week, OT. Low stress. Not a bad gig.

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jd1988 (Jun 5, 2018 - 11:38 pm)

That is a lot of debt and the PSLF program is a huge benefit. The benefits with the feds are great but you most likely with not develop as an attorney in that position. You may be able to take on some outside cases but it will not be full time litigation practice. With that debt, I don't see how you can turn it down. Try not to get stuck in the job for long and try to transfer to another more litigation focused area.

On the other hand, if work is just a means of paying the bills and you want to focus on your outside life, the SSA gig sounds perfect. Good luck!

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