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Veterans Appeals Job

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/View Details/402598800 Why t3success05/04/15
The BVA attorney advisor position starts at gs9 and has pote gs1305/04/15
I believe you but why doesn't it say that it is promotable t t3success05/04/15
Remember, you are only entitled to the terms that are explic john0905/04/15
Thank you for confirming that. t3success05/04/15
Pretty much everyone at BVA eventually gets promoted. Joh gs1305/04/15
Why do you think it's low? I see this pay routinely for G superttthero05/04/15
52k in DC for an attorney is low. t3success05/04/15
The position tops at gs14 gs1305/04/15
Um no. The general attorney position at BVA may top out at john0905/04/15
Do you work for BVA? I work the feds in another agency, gs1305/04/15
Is there any way you could ask this in an interview? I appli t3success05/05/15
When I was hired by the Feds I asked about gs level at inter gs1305/05/15
This isn't the disability atty position at the BVA that ladd yulacu05/05/15
I knew someone who worked at the BVA. It sounded like she ha perkinwarbeck05/04/15
Low level attorneys. This is a perfect forum to discuss then t3success05/04/15
Haha, yeah. Honestly that SSA thread was a fantastic resourc perkinwarbeck05/04/15
The announcement doesn't indicate any promotional potential bankofmouse05/04/15
It says permanent? t3success05/04/15
If it was a term position it would say so. gs1305/05/15
Fwiw I know someone at this agency with the same job title. tacocheese05/04/15
As I understand fed announcements, you have to apply for a n perkinwarbeck05/04/15
This isn't the disability atty position that ladders to a 14 yulacu05/05/15
I know a few BVA attorneys and it sounds pretty damn mundane spaghetti05/06/15
Spaghetti, "Also, it's the only fedgov agency I've heard yulacu05/06/15
Ah. Didn't know that (and my BVA friends seemingly didn't, o spaghetti05/06/15
Exactly past the first year it is pretty hard to get canned. gs1305/07/15
I got referred for this job. I was excited, then I realized t3success06/03/15
I'm just surprised that they updated your status at all. US yulacu06/03/15
I have an interview for an attorney-advisor position at the pkme09/17/15
No. But just curious when did you apply ? t3success09/17/15
Congrats on the interview, this is a great position. Here is anoninsider09/18/15
If the SSA job laddered to GS 13 or 14 it would totally chan t3success09/18/15
If you want to stay in dc go for the BVA job. Lots of opport gs1309/18/15
This wouldn't be bad t3success09/18/15
BVA AA jobs ladder to GS 14, but management fires quite a lo john0909/18/15
Not sure where you work, john09, (maybe you know something I anoninsider09/18/15
BVA hardly ever fires anyone during the probationary period. gs1309/18/15
anoninsider Do you know if the scheduled 15 minute interv teege11/28/16
It sounds like from other posters who received offers that i jddidtie11/28/16
Hey, have you guys heard anything from the VA after your int js7712/02/16
Remember, when you hear the word "telework" in government pa 2ashamed2showmyface09/23/15
Incorrect. "Telework" means work from home. I have plenty of anoninsider09/23/15
Yup that's me. gs1309/23/15
I'm teleworking for the first time this week thanks to the P perkinwarbeck09/23/15
1) had interview on December 12th. 2) Got an email with Te bvalw01/08/17



t3success (May 4, 2015 - 2:38 pm)

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/402598800

Why is the pay so low for this gig? Is it really bad? No room for promotion?

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gs13 (May 4, 2015 - 9:10 pm)

The BVA attorney advisor position starts at gs9 and has potential to gs14. The work is somewhat similar to SSA but better

Some attorneys who have left BVA have eventually landed at other agencies in better positions.

I wouldn't discount the potential there.

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t3success (May 4, 2015 - 9:53 pm)

I believe you but why doesn't it say that it is promotable to GS 14 on the post?

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john09 (May 4, 2015 - 10:13 pm)

Remember, you are only entitled to the terms that are explicitly listed in the job vacancy listing. Here, the job vacancy states that the promotion potential is Gs-09. You will not get promoted.

To be fair, SSA AA positions at the Appeals Council have promotion potential up to GS-14. SSA law clerks start at GS-09 and attorney advisers at the Appeals Council start at GS-11. Promotions to GS-12 are almost automatic if you show competency. However, you have to compete with your peers to get beyond GS-12. Getting promoted to GS-13 isn't that difficult. But, a GS-14 promotion is more competitive.

It's quite misleading to assert that this position at BVA has promotion potential to GS-14. If you want this job, you will remain at GS-09 permanently, unless you apply for another vacancy at BVA with ladder potential.

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t3success (May 4, 2015 - 10:27 pm)

Thank you for confirming that.

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gs13 (May 4, 2015 - 11:30 pm)

Pretty much everyone at BVA eventually gets promoted.

John09 do you work for the feds? I am only speaking from my own experience.

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superttthero (May 4, 2015 - 2:58 pm)

Why do you think it's low?

I see this pay routinely for General Attorney and Adviser Attorneys in many USAJOBS posting.

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t3success (May 4, 2015 - 3:01 pm)

52k in DC for an attorney is low.

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gs13 (May 4, 2015 - 9:10 pm)

The position tops at gs14

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john09 (May 4, 2015 - 10:04 pm)

Um no. The general attorney position at BVA may top out at GS 14, but this position has no ladder potential - meaning you are not eligible to be promoted.

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gs13 (May 4, 2015 - 11:32 pm)

Do you work for BVA?

I work the feds in another agency, and have worked with numerous BVA attorneys. I am not going to name what agency I work for (don't want to out myself here).

Pretty much every BVA attorney who stays longer than a year will make it past GS 9. Many of them will make it to GS 14.

Most attorney advisor jobs will give you the automatic progression out right. However even if this position does not, the promotion to the next grade is pretty much a formal fact once you are successful (not hard to do).

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t3success (May 5, 2015 - 6:43 am)

Is there any way you could ask this in an interview? I applied on the advice that it is promotable to GS 14. I would certainly take the job if that is the case, however, if it is really is only to GS 9 then its not worth it.

How can one inquire about this in an interview without looking like the guy in the private sector who asks "what is the salary?" on the first interview?

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gs13 (May 5, 2015 - 8:41 am)

When I was hired by the Feds I asked about gs level at interview. Other attorneys I know did the same thing. In fact some I know we're given higher pay just by asking at interview time. It doesn't hurt to ask. Plus this isn't s private employer it is not their money and they don't have skin in the game.

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yulacu (May 5, 2015 - 10:31 am)

This isn't the disability atty position at the BVA that ladders to a 14. This is the FOIA/Correspondence office position. They don't ladder as high and many of them end up applying for disability positions with the BVA. This position at the BVA isn't a direct comparison to the writer positions at SSA.

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perkinwarbeck (May 4, 2015 - 3:01 pm)

I knew someone who worked at the BVA. It sounded like she hated it becaues of the production requirements and some of her coworkers. I get the sense that the BVA and SSA are very similar in that both employ large numbers of low level attorneys, but at least the SSA ones will promote you to 12 without you having to compete.

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t3success (May 4, 2015 - 3:08 pm)

Low level attorneys. This is a perfect forum to discuss then!

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perkinwarbeck (May 4, 2015 - 3:11 pm)

Haha, yeah. Honestly that SSA thread was a fantastic resource. If I hadn't just gotten a better job, I'd be crossing my fingers for an interview.

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bankofmouse (May 4, 2015 - 5:26 pm)

The announcement doesn't indicate any promotional potential beyond GS-9. Is it a term position only?

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t3success (May 4, 2015 - 7:11 pm)

It says permanent?

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gs13 (May 5, 2015 - 8:42 am)

If it was a term position it would say so.

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tacocheese (May 4, 2015 - 6:27 pm)

Fwiw I know someone at this agency with the same job title. They made $92k in 2014 with 4 or 5 years experience.

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perkinwarbeck (May 4, 2015 - 9:20 pm)

As I understand fed announcements, you have to apply for a new job to move past gs9. So you'd be competing with others to move up. How competitive it is, I have no idea.

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yulacu (May 5, 2015 - 7:23 am)

This isn't the disability atty position that ladders to a 14. This is the FOIA office position. They don't ladder as high and many of them end up applying for disability positions with the Board. They end up being competitive for the positions because they already work for the Board.

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spaghetti (May 6, 2015 - 1:40 am)

I know a few BVA attorneys and it sounds pretty damn mundane, routine, not challenging, etc. Pretty high production schedule requirements too. But apparently it all depends on which judges you get assigned to.

Also, it's the only fedgov agency I've heard of that routinely cans people, often with little notice.

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yulacu (May 6, 2015 - 8:25 am)

Spaghetti,

"Also, it's the only fedgov agency I've heard of that routinely cans people, often with little notice."

This is true if the individual is still on probation (1st year). After that, there is a pretty strong union to back you.

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spaghetti (May 6, 2015 - 9:27 pm)

Ah. Didn't know that (and my BVA friends seemingly didn't, or at least never mentioned it).

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gs13 (May 7, 2015 - 11:50 am)

Exactly past the first year it is pretty hard to get canned. Surviving the one year probation period is critical.

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t3success (Jun 3, 2015 - 5:40 am)

I got referred for this job. I was excited, then I realized it is only a GS 9 maximum promotion job. Sigh.

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yulacu (Jun 3, 2015 - 12:52 pm)

I'm just surprised that they updated your status at all. USAJOBS is like a black hole.

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pkme (Sep 17, 2015 - 4:09 pm)

I have an interview for an attorney-advisor position at the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA). Any idea what types of questions they may ask? The interview is only scheduled for 20 minutes. Also, does anyone know whether attorneys are permitted to telework at the BVA? Or what the BVA currently telework policy is?

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t3success (Sep 17, 2015 - 9:22 pm)

No. But just curious when did you apply ?

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anoninsider (Sep 18, 2015 - 6:50 am)

Congrats on the interview, this is a great position. Here is what I know (I won't disclose how I know this, but read username).

You will start at GS-9 or GS-11 depending on your experience. Unlike SSA, this position at VA career ladders to GS-14. GS-11 year 1, GS-12 year 2, GS-13 year 3, GS-13 Step 2 year 4, GS-14 year 5 ($107,325).

Telework policy is you must be full-time on-site for two years, then you have the option to telework.

Interview questions are straightforward. However, the judges who interview you know this can be a boring job. They want to know that you know what this job entails. You will be writing decisions all day, everyday. First 6 months of the job, there's no production requirement. After that, you will need to stick to a tight production schedule. Many people leave after a year or two. Others stick around and ride the Fed's promotion and benefits ladder.

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t3success (Sep 18, 2015 - 8:31 am)

If the SSA job laddered to GS 13 or 14 it would totally change my opinion of the job. Making 82k on the eastern seaboard as a veteran attorney is just tough to swallow. Making 6 figures at that point would allow me to mentally tolerate the boredom.

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gs13 (Sep 18, 2015 - 8:45 am)

If you want to stay in dc go for the BVA job. Lots of opportunities to reach 14

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t3success (Sep 18, 2015 - 9:46 am)

This wouldn't be bad

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john09 (Sep 18, 2015 - 11:51 am)

BVA AA jobs ladder to GS 14, but management fires quite a lot of people during the probationary period. The attrition rate is high.

The main difference between BVA and SSA is the salary potential. In terms of skills development, you are essentially doing the same thing at both agencies (writing disability decisions).

Also, approximately 4 years ago SSA AA positions had promotion potential to GS 13. The agency changed it to GS 12 to save money.

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anoninsider (Sep 18, 2015 - 12:30 pm)

Not sure where you work, john09, (maybe you know something I don't if you're at the Board) but I have never heard of someone getting out right fired. I certainly don't think the "high" attrition rate is due to people being shown the door. It's more a matter of people leaving for what they see as greener pastures.

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gs13 (Sep 18, 2015 - 12:33 pm)

BVA hardly ever fires anyone during the probationary period. Insider is right, most of those who leave do so on their own accord.

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teege (Nov 28, 2016 - 10:41 am)

anoninsider

Do you know if the scheduled 15 minute interview is the first round of interviews with another interview to follow, or is there only one interview in the hiring process? I am debating on requesting a remote interview instead of spending money to fly from Florida for a 15 minute interview. Any info would help, thanks!

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jddidtie (Nov 28, 2016 - 11:23 am)

It sounds like from other posters who received offers that it's one and done with the 15 min interview. I requested a remote interview just because I have several hearings and deps this week and traveling to DC would likely me take me out of the game for a couple days.

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js77 (Dec 2, 2016 - 3:32 pm)

Hey, have you guys heard anything from the VA after your interview? I also had an interview, but I haven't heard anything yet.

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2ashamed2showmyface (Sep 23, 2015 - 1:43 am)

Remember, when you hear the word "telework" in government parlance, that does not necessarily mean "work from home." It only means you can work from another government facility closer to you, on occasion, assuming your supervisor allows it.

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anoninsider (Sep 23, 2015 - 7:19 am)

Incorrect. "Telework" means work from home. I have plenty of friends who do it, and I can assure you they all work from the comfort of their couches.

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gs13 (Sep 23, 2015 - 8:34 am)

Yup that's me.

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perkinwarbeck (Sep 23, 2015 - 9:19 am)

I'm teleworking for the first time this week thanks to the Pope's visit. I have to admit that it's pretty nice.

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bvalw (Jan 8, 2017 - 12:39 pm)

1) had interview on December 12th.
2) Got an email with Tentative offer on the 16th. In the email the person asked to call her office. I tried calling for about a week and went straight to vm, wouldn't reply to emails either. Eventually reached her and sent me an email with Tentative selection and fingerprint requirements.
3) Did finger prints on December 30th, was told to expect an email on the 30th or 31st with instructions. Never got the email until the January 6th. Had to do the eqip online application for background check.

Anyone who did number 3 already, how long AFTER that did you get a final official offer letter and a start date? Thanks in advance!

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