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Does VA internship = former federal employee?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by psychphd4me, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. psychphd4me

    psychphd4me 7+ Year Member

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    There are several VA jobs I would like to pursue and most are only open to current or former federal employees.

    If I completed a VA internship, but have since separated, am I considered a former federal employee? I am getting mixed information from reading, and I do not anticipate getting a straightforward answer by calling HR.
     
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  3. briarcliff

    briarcliff 5+ Year Member

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    Interesting question; I have no familiarity with the VA, but it seems like this should qualify you? I’ll be interested to hear what others have to say.
     
  4. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator Psychologist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    Hmm, I'm actually not sure, but (unfortunately) I don't think so. Internships and fellowships are special, time-limited positions that are treated differently than most others.

    I could be wrong, though. Calling HR might be your best bet.
     
  5. PsyDGrl

    PsyDGrl

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    I'm a current Intern at a VA and HR told me yes, I am considered a federal employee and to utilize that when applying for VA positions. Reach out to the HR for the VA you trained at, there is a form that they provide you that you upload to your application that verifies your employment. I think its the Sf50, not sure tho. HR will know for sure.
     
  6. Psycycle

    Psycycle Psychologist 10+ Year Member

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    Do you mean a practicum/externship where it's part of your grad school experience or a paid internship after completing grad school? I was the latter case, and I was considered a federal employee. In fact, when I obtained VA employment after fellowship, my unused sick leave transferred over and my time in service calculation for retirement, etc. includes my internship year.
     
  7. psychrat

    psychrat 7+ Year Member

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    I completed my postdoc at a VA and was told by HR no. That term is for permanent employees..... bummer, I know.
     
  8. psychphd4me

    psychphd4me 7+ Year Member

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    My understanding is that current interns are eligible (falls under current federal employee), but interns or post docs who separated are not. However, I read one statement (that I cannot find right now) that implied maybe we were considered former/eligible. I also had a former VA employee tell me I was eligible to apply to current/former employee jobs, but I don't believe they said that from experience.

    I'm thinking PsychRat is correct, much to my dismay.

    The problem, I believe, is that a "Former Federal Employee" only applies to permanent positions. So even though I was an employee with benefits for a year, I was not in the system as permanent.

    Could all y'all current employees just not apply for any jobs right now so they open up to the public? Thanks in advance :)
     
  9. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator Psychologist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    With the executive order just signed regarding MH care for the year following discharge (any type), they may try to create more positions to fill the extra need.
     
  10. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National 10+ Year Member

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    Can you explain or post a link? I am now out of that loop.
     
  11. mbneuro124

    mbneuro124

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    I’m currently on internship at a VA and was told a few days ago that we are considered “contract employees” but not “permanent employees”.
     
  12. Kadhir

    Kadhir 2+ Year Member

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    I'm in a VA postdoc funded by OAA. For all practical purposes, I'm an "employee" in the system. However, I'm officially a trainee and it's quite distinct. No retirement eligibility, etc. I think this is where some of the confusion originates. I do agree that I'm probably considered "current" if I apply now, but if I separate, probably not "former".
     
  13. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator Psychologist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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  14. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National 10+ Year Member

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    I left a bit ago. Pardon my cynicism, but is this really going to change service within the VHA in any real way? Or change hiring trends? I came on during the 3rd push of hiring booms for MH staff in the VHA (2007-2008, 20111-2012, 2013). So, I am often cynical/cautious about assigning any real meaning/significance to this kind of stuff.

    Or is it more a fad "measure" kind of thing from VA Central Office (VACO)...like the "8 in 14" measure was in 2014? Or health coaching in 2015? Or McDonald's thing about rearranging the VISN system (which never happened at all)?

    The last I was involved, they were pushing PCMHI as the "cure-all" for almost anything sans SPMI and acute or chronic PTSD, and revamping that program significantly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  15. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator Psychologist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    I don't know if it'll result in any significant housing changes. It should impact care and providers to perhaps a somewhat small extent, as now all veterans (regardless of discharge type or SC) will be eligible for MH care for the first year after separation. I can't remember exactly how many folks they estimate that'll include who will actually seek care, though.
     
  16. cara susanna

    cara susanna 7+ Year Member

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    It's definitely going to impact access, since they're now requiring four follow-up appointments for all veterans discharged from inpatient care and the domiciliary, not just high risk.

    As for the OP's question, you are considered a federal employee but not permanent. However, if you are now separated, I don't think you're eligible for federal employees only job postings.
     

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