Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

they are back...SSA attorney-advisor positions

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/View Details/429508400 appl hopelesslyunemployed02/16/16
There is another one with 80 openings in Washington, D.C. Me izzymandelbaum02/16/16
https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/View Details/429506700 izzymandelbaum02/16/16
so there is an 80/400 chance of getting the job (the other o hopelesslyunemployed02/16/16
80/400 aren't terrible odds. It's at least worth the time to bucwild02/16/16
Still open as of 3 minutes ago :) whipster02/16/16
Yeah that's a 20% chance. Better shot than most jobs, if you onehell02/16/16
probably every associate at an ssdi mill within a 300 mile r hopelesslyunemployed02/16/16
chances of this turning permanent? Not sure it would be a go tom_foolery02/16/16
In my opinion, only take this job if you are (a) coming stra anoninsider02/16/16
What about dead end local/state gov't job? This looks like a tom_foolery02/16/16
Tough call. You will certainly feel like you are starting ov anoninsider02/16/16
what's the deal with most of these attorney advisors? are t hopelesslyunemployed02/16/16
It really depends. For the SSA job, it's mostly people who a anoninsider02/16/16
I have been pondering applying to this position for a while. downwardslope02/16/16
My thoughts are to sit tight and wait for an inevitable mult anoninsider02/16/16
Is there anyone out there who can help an older applicant> I elphaba1204/02/17
I don't think it's very complex, but outside of DC people te downwardslope04/02/17
Does anyone know if the Decision Writer position has any wor elphaba1204/07/17
Yes. I think you can work from home 3 days a week after your downwardslope04/07/17
This position states it is a two year trial commitment elphaba1204/07/17
I think you can still work from after a year for most positi downwardslope04/07/17
Not sure what's happening up here in New England, but the De elphaba1204/12/17
If you didn't get a "not selected" for the interview positio downwardslope04/13/17
I do have an HR contact in Boston. My references told me the elphaba1204/13/17
Did they give you a timeframe in the interview? Some locatio downwardslope04/13/17
I did ask and they said they would be making decisions quick elphaba1204/13/17
No way to tell. I interviewed for 2 fed positions and was gh downwardslope04/13/17
Not Selected received today. Oh well elphaba1204/14/17
That sucks, but at least you know. Still waiting to hear fro kramer71604/14/17
I am sorry! At least you found out quickly. I found out the downwardslope04/14/17
That's hard to answer without knowing you. What are your ca mch9804/02/17
My goal is to stay put for the rest of my working years. Wha elphaba1204/05/17
Did you ask at your interview? I asked about stability and t downwardslope04/05/17
Where did you interview? If you interviewed at a hearing off mch9804/05/17
Yes - I was told at the interview that I would be writing de elphaba1204/06/17
Thanks. I have used the resume builder and tweak my applicat downwardslope02/16/16
Keep in mind that it's possible (although hardly a given) to anonattempt02/17/16
Assuming this job would convert to permanent, why would HHS dcm198302/17/16
Regarding substance, all I can tell you is that everyone I k anoninsider02/17/16
I interviewed for this position some time ago in a new ODAR. downwardslope02/17/16
Most jobs are repetitive and boring. But this one qualifies onehell02/17/16
Any chance of transferring to another SSA office after getti whipster02/17/16
Well at least one of those links was for the appeals council onehell02/17/16
For me, it would only be like a $1000 pay cut at GS-11. Soun tom_foolery02/17/16
My experience has been that you can't negotiate higher pay u anonattempt02/17/16
You likely won't be able to negotiate for the GS 12. This is izzymandelbaum02/18/16
Do they even want to consider experienced attorneys or do th downwardslope02/18/16
I think some experience helps. The experience seems to vary. izzymandelbaum02/18/16
Yeah I've known people with years of experience try to get G jbiresq02/18/16
The 80 openings one is closed. The 15 opening one is still o whipster02/17/16
that didn't take too long hopelesslyunemployed02/17/16
both positions now closed hopelesslyunemployed02/18/16
As I sit here in another no future doc review these listings zodd02/18/16
Show of hands...who applied? izzymandelbaum02/18/16
I applied to Baltimore. I am a state employee with several y downwardslope02/18/16
Alright. Good luck. Depending on type of healthcare law your izzymandelbaum02/18/16
Me. I'm in TX, been doing O&G land work for 100+K the past f whipster02/18/16
Not the best reason to apply. Although it is possible. Most izzymandelbaum02/18/16
Has anyone heard back from SSA? wdb7603/14/16
I got an email from them today. aspiringlawyer03/14/16
It seems like the NORs are coming out. downwardslope03/14/16
referred for Office of Appellate Operations-15/400 chance of hopelesslyunemployed03/14/16
referred also for 80 spot opening hopelesslyunemployed03/15/16
YES, I got referred. This is for Office of Appellate Operati tom_foolery03/14/16
Referred for the Office of Appellate Operations 15 position whipster03/14/16
Referred for the 80 position deal. whipster03/15/16
Where are you located now? izzymandelbaum03/15/16
I received referral notice right after lunch. I did have a f wdb7603/15/16
Probably higher? A friend and I both applied the morning the downwardslope03/15/16
To clarify, Falls Church is HQ for OAO. OAO is a component john0903/15/16
Likely higher after weeding out those who didn't meet basic izzymandelbaum03/15/16
I got referred to the OAO position in Baltimore on 3/14 and esq8803/17/16
dumb question...but...I was referred for Arlington and Falls notthedroidyo03/18/16
No clue. From reading other threads, I get the impression lawrunner31703/20/16
You will get an interview. Just may take a little. izzymandelbaum03/20/16
Anyone had an interview scheduled? wdb7603/24/16
Not yet. notthedroidyo03/24/16
Nope! aspiringlawyer03/24/16
bump to see if anyone has heard anything notthedroidyo03/28/16
Nothing yet! lawrunner31703/28/16
What's the scope of the background check? I have no crimina dharamsala03/24/16
Has anyone heard anything re: interviews?? ayeesq04/01/16
Not me. aspiringlawyer04/02/16
not a peep it's been weeks since the referrals went out-- hopelesslyunemployed04/02/16
I'd give it another week that's a lot of interviews to sched notthedroidyo04/02/16
Does a referral guarantee an interview with the SSA? My u lawrunner31704/06/16
A referral means absolutely nothing. notthedroidyo04/07/16
I received an e-mail saying that I made it to the next stage oolong04/07/16
Thanks for letting us know. Was it for the VA or MD vacancie esq8804/07/16
well congrats! Would you mind sharing your experience/vet st notthedroidyo04/07/16
It was for the ODAR Office of Appellate Operations in Arling oolong04/07/16
Nothing in my inbox. But congrats to all that advanced lawrunner31704/07/16
congrats to those that got interviews. question about the hopelesslyunemployed04/07/16
1) Yes, SSA AA positions are eligible for overtime pay. If john0904/07/16
Thanks. So what can you expect to make your first year as a hopelesslyunemployed04/08/16
Depends on your location. You are not eligible for overtime izzymandelbaum04/11/16
the posting said the position only lasts 4 years. in practi hopelesslyunemployed04/11/16
No. OT is not guaranteed kr even offered on a consistent bas govlaw04/12/16
Thanks. What odds would you put on these positions becoming hopelesslyunemployed04/12/16
I'd consider whether it matters. Most jobs are employment at govlaw04/12/16
definitely matters. you can be a govt. contractor (many con hopelesslyunemployed04/12/16
I didn't get anything either. Bummer! aspiringlawyer04/07/16
Nothing in my inbox...but congrats to everyone else! ayeesq04/07/16
man, nothing for me either! i had 4+ yrs high volume crim de tom_foolery04/08/16
I doubt interview offers are over, last year they came in 3 acmecorp04/08/16
My hopes are all but dashed now. I'm starting to think I can aspiringlawyer04/08/16
Just as a follow-up my e-mail also said they wanted new empl oolong04/08/16
So how many of you got interviews? Start date is sooner than izzymandelbaum04/11/16
I had an interview Friday morning. They said they were condu runningfatcat04/11/16
what is quick for you? Haha izzymandelbaum04/11/16
I live in the area, so I could start within a couple weeks. runningfatcat04/11/16
Runningfatcat congrats! Mind if I ask your experience/ba notthedroidyo04/11/16
Thanks! But I haven't landed it yet. I passed the bar a runningfatcat04/11/16
Did you apply using USA Jobs? lawrunner31704/11/16
So just another update. Although I didn't complete the OF-3 oolong04/12/16
Anyone know if they are hiring all 95 attorneys all at once lawrunner31704/12/16
I wouldn't give up hope lawrunner. I finally spoke to the a oolong04/12/16
Thanks for the inside info. I hope your interview went we lawrunner31704/12/16
Oh I didn't interview. I told them I already accepted anoth oolong04/12/16
Congrats to those who got interviews! A few questions: 1 larrylegend04/12/16
Did you ever find out about telework? pkme05/03/16
Got emailed for the 15 vacancy one. Interview call any time whipster04/13/16
nice dude notthedroidyo04/13/16
Got emailed for the 80 vacancy one. Interview call anytime f greensquare04/14/16
congrats! notthedroidyo04/14/16
Got an email for 80 vacancy one. Already took a job overseas skmsrok04/14/16
Overseas? Wow. t3success04/14/16
I was notified that I was selected for an interview on April norahound04/15/16
Would you mind giving a quick overview of the type of questi cssm6704/16/16
I recall having to respond to a series of hypothetical quest norahound04/18/16
Are you going to take the job if offered? What are you doing t3success04/16/16
Very possible, but I will have to look at the offer, discuss norahound04/18/16
Has to be a lot more expensive to live in DC than Texas thou t3success04/19/16
My son is one of them and he was in the same basic situation roadkingrider04/19/16
Did his position become permanent? These position advertise hopelesslyunemployed04/19/16
They have been posted as permanent before. govlaw04/19/16
The position does not max out at GS 12. That is a common mis bigfed04/19/16
the advertised slots say that it is a four year term with pr hopelesslyunemployed04/19/16
You can apply for GS-13. GS-14 promotion opportunities are a govlaw04/19/16
Can someone expand on this? I understand that normal progre notcreative04/19/16
11 to 12 is a given after a year if you are trying at your j govlaw04/19/16
You do not have to compete to get to a GS 12. GS 13 position john0904/19/16
This exactly. bigfed04/19/16
He was hired as a permanent employee not as a temporary posi roadkingrider04/19/16
Thanks for your thoughts. I have a non-SSA interview for a G downwardslope04/19/16
Congrats guys! ayeesq04/16/16
Has anyone gotten an offer yet? I interviewed last Monday. I 55beauty04/20/16
I haven't gotten an offer yet. I interviewed Friday, April 8 runningfatcat04/20/16
I have not heard anything since I interviewed on Monday, Apr norahound04/20/16
If you think it went well, keep your phone nearby and have y bigfed04/21/16
^^this. Go ahead and start giving things to Goodwill. govlaw04/21/16
I think it went well. I'm hopeful. I just need to stop check 55beauty04/21/16
I feel the same way. If I hear something (good or bad), I'l norahound04/21/16
I'm in the exact same boat, I'm checking my email constantly runningfatcat04/21/16
I will post if I hear back.I wrote SSA to ask if they made s 55beauty04/22/16
You should really relax. It's just a job. t3success04/22/16
Did you receive a response? After working until 12:30 am ye norahound04/22/16
Who is planning to accept if offered? bigfed04/23/16
I'm planning to accept if offered. runningfatcat04/24/16
No, I haven't received a response yet. I plan to accept, 55beauty04/23/16
so the position definitely ends in 4 years (without the hope hopelesslyunemployed04/23/16
Maybe, but I'm not up for any long term contractor jobs. I'm 55beauty04/24/16
It's also 4 years. By the time you get time in grade at GS-1 downwardslope04/24/16
Just curious for a person who lives in DC and attains say GS t3success04/25/16
Go on realtor.com Probably $750k to $1m+ lawrunner31704/25/16
Depends on what you call nice and how far you are willing to govlaw04/25/16
it's usually like 3x your salary is what kind of house you c hopelesslyunemployed04/25/16
I think even a 25 year old townhome out in the suburbs of th cranky04/25/16
Thought I'd chime in here. I had the phone interview last Tu brownbear04/25/16
I interviewed on Monday and haven't heard anything yet. Doe cava2604/25/16
I was just e-mailed a job offer norahound04/25/16
Congrats! whipster04/25/16
Nice job. How long do you have to accept? Are you going to? t3success04/25/16
Congrats! I haven't heard anything yet, but it's good to kno runningfatcat04/25/16
Congrats! Thanks for posting. Your interview was about a w brownbear04/26/16
Does this mean they've sent out all the acceptance notificat grubdy04/25/16
I hope I get an offer :-/ grubdy04/25/16
I bet it will be in waves. They definitely did at least 2 w brownbear04/26/16
The e-mail indicated that a decision is requested by the end norahound04/26/16
Congrats! What is your exp level if I may ask, thanks! notthedroidyo04/26/16
Congrats! 55beauty04/26/16
I think I was one of the first people interviewed and I don' grubdy04/26/16
Sorry. Some of us didn't even get the interview lol. tom_foolery04/26/16
got an offer via e-mail-start date is may 16th hopelesslyunemployed04/26/16
Congrats! When did you interview? brownbear04/26/16
like 2 or 3 weeks ago hopelesslyunemployed04/26/16
Will you accept and will you change your screen name? roadkingrider04/28/16
Did your job interview state only a May start date, for thos aindy04/26/16
My post relates to the interview email that was initially re aindy04/26/16
the e-mail I got says a firm start date of may 16th hopelesslyunemployed04/26/16
There will only be one start date. You all will be trained t bigfed04/26/16
My interview email stated that employees could either start aindy04/26/16
What do you think is the latest they'll let us know? grubdy04/27/16
I worked for SSA beginning in 2014 at a GS 7/9 position. Wh brownbear04/27/16
I could see it going either way. There have been some facili govlaw04/27/16
I was called for my interview on 4/18 and when I asked about lighthouse04/27/16
I also received my email 4/13 and then interviewed 4/19. brownbear04/27/16
maybe there are different start dates for Baltimore and Virg hopelesslyunemployed04/27/16
The interview email I received stated May and June 2016 star aindy04/27/16
need some help making a decision--should I go with ssa atty hopelesslyunemployed04/27/16
Based on how things are right now, I would say pretty good o govlaw04/27/16
thanks. the one i got selected for is the appeals council o hopelesslyunemployed04/27/16
I would say 75%. I can't be sure because this huge hiring cl govlaw04/27/16
Thanks. HR would not give me step/grade increase even though hopelesslyunemployed04/27/16
I know what you are going through and I'm sorry you can't ge govlaw04/27/16
Yep. They will not give you a step/grade increase. You are l bigfed04/27/16
thanks. my situation is still single (lucked into current co hopelesslyunemployed04/27/16
does anyone know of any ssa atty advisers that did not get m hopelesslyunemployed04/27/16
I think SSA only very recently started hiring AAs as tempora john0904/27/16
thanks-do you know of many atty advisers at appeals council hopelesslyunemployed04/28/16
http://federalhandbooks.com/tempora ry-and-term-appointments- hopelesslyunemployed04/28/16
I can tell you that I'm in a not-so-great state job (take ho downwardslope04/27/16
the only downside with my current gig is I am not getting an hopelesslyunemployed04/27/16
Not bad for nearly $100k - is that permanent or are you worr loblawyer04/28/16
contract, not permanent (long-term, more than 4 years hopelesslyunemployed05/02/16
So I haven't heard any good news or bad news yet. Still wait grubdy04/27/16
Relax, there's no use worrying about it. john0904/27/16
Hang in there, I'm waiting too. brownbear04/28/16
I am struggling with making a decision as well. Going from norahound04/28/16
I am in the same boat exactly! I would not take a government t3success04/28/16
don't do it. notthedroidyo04/28/16
norahound: It's possible to move from SSA to another agency cava2604/28/16
Don't do it. If you can wait it out for something permanent downwardslope04/28/16
Just got an offer. I took it, but trying to get a higher sal 55beauty04/28/16
Congrats! Do you remember what day you interviewed? brownbear04/28/16
congrats and good luck! notthedroidyo04/28/16
April 11. 55beauty04/28/16
Thanks! Looks like all the offers so far have been people w brownbear04/28/16
It also seems that the individuals who interviewed the week aindy04/28/16
I'll take all of that as a good sign. I interviewed and brownbear04/28/16
So why are the people making near or over $100k in this thre loblawyer04/28/16
my thoughts exactly. notthedroidyo04/28/16
I am making six figures now (long term fed contractor with m hopelesslyunemployed04/28/16
I feel like if you work for the feds for 4 years and can't s notthedroidyo04/28/16
also keep in mind that even though you are making six figure hopelesslyunemployed04/28/16
Reading the OPM position guide is quite helpful to determine downwardslope04/28/16
also, too, some jobs require that you be a federal employee hopelesslyunemployed04/28/16
Did those of you who got offers get them for the Baltimore p jd4204/28/16
Falls Church lawblob04/28/16
Falls Church hopelesslyunemployed04/28/16
This job maxes out as a GS 12. If you take this job, do it w 55beauty04/28/16
It is still only limited "real attorney" work, however. That downwardslope04/28/16
this is the dilemma-is there a gs-13 or higher position at t hopelesslyunemployed04/28/16
The other option is to transfer to a low COL area. I intervi downwardslope04/28/16
Falls Church 55beauty04/28/16
Did they contact your references? For those of you who got o aindy04/28/16
one of my references got called from somebody from the govt hopelesslyunemployed04/28/16
I interviewed like the 8th. It's huge pay cut for everyone b grubdy04/28/16
just take the job you fools. notthedroidyo04/28/16
hopelesslyunemployed and nora, I thought you only had one da aindy04/28/16
still flip flopping at this point on whether I will take the hopelesslyunemployed04/28/16
So you have more than a day to make the decision? aindy04/28/16
most people would kill for a federal job. it boggles the min lexcorde04/28/16
http://i.imgur.com/SM96caR.gif Not to mention applying fo notthedroidyo04/28/16
Yes. Its like going to the market and taking home stuff that lexcorde04/28/16
There is no obligation you take every job offer just because downwardslope04/28/16
By the time you get the offer you have all that so... imho i lexcorde04/28/16
Who runs the numbers seriously and discusses it with a spous downwardslope04/28/16
um what? lexcorde04/28/16
Exactly. After being rejected for about 20 other government norahound04/28/16
I have applied for 100 at this point. I am waiting to hear o downwardslope04/28/16
June 27th? Are you in the running for NYC probation offic lexcorde04/28/16
Thank you fo sharing that info on the training class start d brownbear04/28/16
Sorry, you were not able to take the job. I know the first roadkingrider05/03/16
Those of you who had offers, did you get more than one day t aindy04/28/16
you shouldn't need more than one second. lexcorde04/28/16
My spouse and I have been debating the decision since I got lighthouse04/28/16
when you truly have more than one option in life. Such a lexcorde04/28/16
Really, lexcorde? Personally we are weighing things like my lighthouse04/29/16
I don't think lexcorde is making serious comments brownbear04/29/16
Don't take this job unless you want it. Otherwise, you will john0904/28/16
I agree with john09. If you truly don't want to commit to a 55beauty04/28/16
I just got an offer for the Arlington office. I interviewed runningfatcat04/29/16
Congrats! Thanks for sharing brownbear04/29/16
Congrats! Did they give you the May or June start date? ayeesq04/29/16
Thanks! They gave me the May 16th start date. runningfatcat04/29/16
still undecided on this job--does anyone know if ssa offers hopelesslyunemployed04/30/16
No. Bar dues aren't covered either. govlaw04/30/16
What more do you want? Haha. The answer is no. You also don' bigfed04/30/16
There is a public transportation subsidy, but Falls Church i govlaw04/30/16
you have to pay to park at falls church? hopelesslyunemployed04/30/16
Yes bigfed04/30/16
how much is parking per day? hopelesslyunemployed04/30/16
Monthly $120ish (I think) for the garage connected to the bu govlaw05/01/16
yikes-that is a lot. we get free parking at my agency. I t hopelesslyunemployed05/01/16
It's $112 /month to park in the underground garage. You pay briecheese05/05/16
thanks. How does the schedule work. I was told no telework hopelesslyunemployed05/05/16
3. You have to clock in between 6am and 930am, and out by 6p govlaw05/06/16
the federal agency I am at now pays employees for their stud hopelesslyunemployed04/30/16
Also, HR said that you can't apply to internal vacancies bec hopelesslyunemployed05/01/16
I got the email Friday as Well. Really struggling to figur grubdy05/02/16
Congrats! Thanks for sharing. It still seems like no one in brownbear05/02/16
Congrats! ayeesq05/02/16
Is there anyone who had a phone interview during the first g brownbear05/02/16
Did anyone get an offer today from the second wave? aindy05/02/16
OMG, y'all! I thought I'd never get one, but I woke up this aspiringlawyer05/03/16
Congrats! So there's still hope for the rest of us who haven ayeesq05/03/16
Congratulations! What did your interview email state? Were t aindy05/03/16
Has anyone heard from the Baltimore office? jd4205/03/16
It looks like the interview is for the Falls Church or Arlin aspiringlawyer05/03/16
I received an email today for an interview as well with star pkme05/03/16
I was told no telework for the first year (falls church). a hopelesslyunemployed05/03/16
Congrats guys! The interview is basically asking why you wan grubdy05/04/16
question about the probationary period. Are you allowed to hopelesslyunemployed05/05/16
"Probationary Period A new probationary period is not requi notthedroidyo05/05/16
Can someone getting interviewed this week ask/does anyone kn justlooking8605/05/16
can anyone talk about the promotion potential to gs 13 at th hopelesslyunemployed05/08/16
Not really. It is a competitive promotion that posts randoml bigfed05/09/16
how many gs 13 positions posted the last time? Was it like hopelesslyunemployed05/09/16
I know you are trying to get all the info you can. Based on bigfed05/09/16
I agree with bigfed. Furthermore, people who are seeking the john0905/09/16
appreciate all of the info. Assuming I take the job, I woul hopelesslyunemployed05/10/16
There are multiple vacancies for GS 13 positions. Employees john0905/10/16
thanks hopelesslyunemployed05/10/16
There's a new ad on USAJOBS this morning for the Baltimore o brownbear05/09/16
Thanks for the heads up. I submitted my application this lawrunner31705/09/16
Looks like it has already closed. downwardslope05/09/16
You're correct. It's closed. lawrunner31705/09/16
It's a good thing I left work and applied during my lunch br aspiringlawyer05/09/16
Yikes, that's fast even for SSA. I like how these aren't eve perkinwarbeck05/09/16
I interviewed on April 18th. I was told that the starting da camglaw05/11/16
What happens if we didn't include references on our resume? aspiringlawyer05/10/16
I interviewed for a non-SSA job last week and they asked for downwardslope05/10/16
I don't think failure to include references on your resume w brownbear05/11/16
Does anyone know if the April 13-19 interviews were exclusiv camglaw05/11/16
Someone up thread said their references had been contacted. aspiringlawyer05/12/16
as part of a background check. I don't think they specifica brownbear05/12/16
Has anyone in the second wave been contacted with a job offe aindy05/15/16
On may 6 I was told that Hiring Committee was continuing to camglaw05/16/16
Camglaw - the Hiring Committee likes applicants with initiat john0905/16/16
https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/View Details/438827100/ - Anot downwardslope05/16/16
Thanks. Good luck to those that applied. It's still open lawrunner31705/16/16
Has anyone received an offer for the June class? camglaw05/16/16
fyi-for the falls church opening, the appointment letter tha hopelesslyunemployed05/16/16
That's good. How was your first day? How may people were in downwardslope05/16/16
it was good-people/judge were friendly (not sure the total a hopelesslyunemployed05/16/16
Congrats on getting the job! How did your interview go? I'm aspiringlawyer05/17/16
the judges called me out of the blue (did not give a time wh hopelesslyunemployed05/17/16
Wow 160k employee working 4 days a week. t3success05/17/16
160K? I think Step 1 of GS-11 is more like $64K/year. lawrunner31705/17/16
^referring to a judge who works 4 10s, so has Fridays off. govlaw05/17/16
Not many lawyers out there able to work 4 10s and take Frida t3success05/17/16
also, you could theoretically setup your schedule to work fr hopelesslyunemployed05/17/16
Has anyone in the June 27th start date received an offer? aindy05/17/16
Not yet....How long did it take to get an offer from the fir pkme05/17/16
quick for me--like a week or two after my interview, i got a hopelesslyunemployed05/18/16
I sent an email to OAO Recruitment yesterday and got the fol brownbear05/19/16
Thanks for the info. There is still hope camglaw05/19/16
I think so- with the government it's always hard to say. My brownbear05/19/16
Any idea if this would be for the Falls Church, Arlington or camglaw05/19/16
Falls Church/Arlington- I got referred for Baltimore but nev brownbear05/19/16
Things are moving in the SSA. I just receive this email: "SS camglaw05/23/16
haha- thanks for the update! Good Luck brownbear05/23/16
I believe that this information was requested because I'm ad camglaw05/23/16
Probably- still nice to get confirmation they're moving alon brownbear05/23/16
Just received an offer e-mail for either Falls Church or Arl pkme05/25/16
Just received an offer for the Falls Church and Arlington po aindy05/25/16
I also receive an offer e-mail. I need help choosing between camglaw05/25/16
The Arlington office is close to the metro and has lots of l govlaw05/25/16
If you have a car, there are lots of places to go for food i hopelesslyunemployed05/25/16
Has anybody accepted yet? aspiringlawyer05/25/16
I just sent an e-mail accepting the job. camglaw05/25/16
Congrats to all! I also got the offer yesterday and sent an brownbear05/26/16
Congratulations! I also requested the Falls Church location camglaw05/26/16
Any recommendations of good and affordable neighborhoods nea camglaw05/26/16
Congratulations to all! I sent an acceptance email for the F aindy05/26/16
I've worked in the Falls Church office for the past few year kennybania05/26/16
Congrats all. Now how are you going to identify yourselves blackholelaw05/26/16
Haha- I was thinking the same thing- funny how many of us we brownbear05/26/16
Why'd you guys choose Falls Church over Arlington? aspiringlawyer05/26/16
I think Falls Church is the national headquarters- though I brownbear05/26/16
Location doesn't matter. Once you able to telework, most of john0905/26/16
I choose FC because I read that the cost of living and rent camglaw05/26/16
I work in Arlington right now- about 8 blocks away from the brownbear05/26/16
After training, you can start work between 6am 9:30am, which govlaw05/26/16
Any suggestions of neighborhoods to live in near Falls Churc camglaw05/26/16
What are you looking for? What do you want to spend? bigfed05/26/16
I'm looking for a 2br apt. I'll be moving with my wife and 3 camglaw05/26/16
I would probably just look for apartments directly in Falls hopelesslyunemployed05/26/16
That commute sounds crazy! Does anyone know what the commute aspiringlawyer05/26/16
Depends where you are coming from. govlaw05/26/16
If you can beat rush hour (495 beltway traffic), you could p hopelesslyunemployed05/26/16
For those already in training. After you got the offer emai brownbear05/27/16
They will contact you with more forms and information. govlaw05/27/16
Does anyone know in the current training class or who curren aindy05/27/16
they did specifically mention overtime was a possibility (di hopelesslyunemployed05/27/16
After you are done training, after another month, you can st govlaw05/28/16
This is accurate. But they forgot to mention that OT has bee bigfed05/28/16
ouch-was kind of getting my hopes up for some ot in 2016. W hopelesslyunemployed05/28/16
With all the new hires I wouldn't count on OT increasing. Th govlaw05/28/16
thanks-not sure if ot varies from division to division (or f hopelesslyunemployed05/29/16
How long did it take for people to get the firm offer aka ho mararum05/27/16
fingerprinting was quick--they did it in the hr office at hq hopelesslyunemployed05/27/16
I think he means how long did the final results from fingerp brownbear05/28/16
I basically got fingerprinted and never heard anything else hopelesslyunemployed05/28/16
Are there any recommendations in terms of apartments located aindy05/29/16
Do you guys have any idea of how many people were hired? It aspiringlawyer05/29/16
it seemed like there were at least 80 people in the group th hopelesslyunemployed05/29/16
Good luck @ $1700. 2 BR in NOVA 5 minutes walk from Metro s aknas05/29/16
good point--seems like the average rent in the DC burbs is a hopelesslyunemployed05/29/16
hopelesslyunemployed, did they mention anything about studen aspiringlawyer05/30/16
The agency doesn't have much to do with PSLF. govlaw05/30/16
Does that mean there's no student loan forgiveness if you st aspiringlawyer05/30/16
Not trying to be mean but do you do any research on your own bigfed05/30/16
As a part of the benefits that come with having the job. Som aspiringlawyer05/30/16
It is an advantage, but it is not a benefit like health insu govlaw05/30/16
PSLF is not specific to federal employment. You can work in john0905/30/16
they gave us the pslf forms during training to fill out and hopelesslyunemployed05/31/16
Thank you so much for answering my question! aspiringlawyer06/01/16
For those already working in the SSA, how much of the payche camglaw05/30/16
Count on at least 70%. Hope for a little more. It varies gre bigfed05/31/16
Mine is more like 60%, but I contribute a large percentage t govlaw05/31/16
mine was about 65%, but like you, I contributed to retiremen hopelesslyunemployed06/03/16
Thanks camglaw05/31/16
I think they take out like 7-10% of your income for fers/ret hopelesslyunemployed05/31/16
You probably can't afford Falls Church. A JDU Looser migh aknas05/31/16
JDU may have pretty loose standards, but I bet most people o john0905/31/16
butt_hair (Mar 15, 2011 - 12:41 pm) "Sh!tlawyers, doc re aknas06/01/16
What's a JDU? camglaw06/06/16
Is Annandale really a horrible place? I'm looking at some d aspiringlawyer06/01/16
For those lawyers in training in the first training class, h aindy06/01/16
Lol. That is quite the question for those individuals. It wo bigfed06/01/16
for the appeals council (falls church) attorney-adviser posi hopelesslyunemployed06/01/16
Has anyone who just received/accepted an offer heard anythin brownbear06/01/16
Update: I got a call from HR today- going in for fingerprint brownbear06/01/16
fyi-Appeals Council said they would likely not be hiring any hopelesslyunemployed06/02/16
Hearing that permanent is a possibility is great- thanks for brownbear06/03/16
no problem--from what I was told, there are opportunities to hopelesslyunemployed06/03/16
And Appeals Officer is a stepping stone to AAJ -- AAJs are dcesq20206/04/16
good to know-thanks hopelesslyunemployed06/04/16
That is good to know! I'm getting my fingerprinting done to brownbear06/06/16
Anybody hear from the SSA attorney-advisor postings from ear lawrunner31706/04/16
Those of you in training, how are your days going? What is b aindy06/08/16
Suit the first day, business casual the rest. Training is govlaw06/08/16
Hey - former SSA attorney advisor here. For those of you wh orangesun06/08/16
Thanks so much! I trust there are no shady characters who li aspiringlawyer06/09/16
I dont know. They generally sit at the sidewalk coffee shop aknas06/09/16
E.g. from apartmentratings.com anyonnoeone35 - Resident Li aknas06/09/16
Wow, umm, okay... aspiringlawyer06/09/16
So how was the end of training? How are you guys feeling? Me bigfed06/25/16
training was good overall--people were friendly and easy to hopelesslyunemployed06/26/16
It's pretty standard across the board. Cases are weighted ba bigfed06/26/16
Pretty sure all these people (or the majority)were turned in izzymandelbaum03/28/17
About 50 of us were turned into decision writers. camglaw04/05/17
how did it work out? mch9804/05/17
What is a decision writer? Don't all these jobs require writ downwardslope04/05/17
The people hired last summer were hired for the Appeals Coun govlaw04/05/17
The Appeals Council job primarily involves writing recommend john0904/05/17
http://www.jdunderground.com/all/th read.php?threadId=127999 mch9803/29/17
They transferred the people from the Appeals Council to the hopelesslyunemployed04/05/17
What reason did management give for the involuntary transfer john0904/05/17
"take it or leave it" They were unable to provide these a govlaw04/06/17
Weren't these people still in their probationary period? And downwardslope04/06/17
correct-we had not yet completed our one year and were still hopelesslyunemployed04/06/17
Your probationary period is two years not one. john0904/06/17
At the Appeals Council, we were not on production for one ye hopelesslyunemployed04/06/17
Your involuntary transfer should not affect your promotion t john0904/06/17
they created a whole new NCAC out of the blue in Falls Churc hopelesslyunemployed04/06/17
Is an explanation really needed? People have to request appe downwardslope04/06/17
Part of the problem is that only employees at Falls Church g hopelesslyunemployed04/06/17



hopelesslyunemployed (Feb 16, 2016 - 9:34 am)

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/429508400

apply now before it's too late

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izzymandelbaum (Feb 16, 2016 - 11:09 am)

There is another one with 80 openings in Washington, D.C. Metro area.

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izzymandelbaum (Feb 16, 2016 - 11:22 am)

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/429506700

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hopelesslyunemployed (Feb 16, 2016 - 11:41 am)

so there is an 80/400 chance of getting the job (the other one is 15/400 chance of getting the job)

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bucwild (Feb 16, 2016 - 11:57 am)

80/400 aren't terrible odds. It's at least worth the time to complete an application.

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whipster (Feb 16, 2016 - 12:26 pm)

Still open as of 3 minutes ago :)

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onehell (Feb 16, 2016 - 1:09 pm)

Yeah that's a 20% chance. Better shot than most jobs, if you get your app in. But it's 400 people OR 3 days from posting, whichever comes first. Clearly they expect a deluge.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Feb 16, 2016 - 3:10 pm)

probably every associate at an ssdi mill within a 300 mile radius is racing to get their application in

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tom_foolery (Feb 16, 2016 - 12:08 pm)

chances of this turning permanent? Not sure it would be a good idea for me to leave my current steady job, to take this, only to "peace out" in NTE 4 years.

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anoninsider (Feb 16, 2016 - 12:54 pm)

In my opinion, only take this job if you are (a) coming straight out of law school, or (b) currently working a contract gig and want to start practicing. I know more than a handful of SSA attorneys, and all were able to move on before the NTE period. Some are in better positions than others, but none are back doing to contract work or took pay cuts. Most moved on to other agencies.

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tom_foolery (Feb 16, 2016 - 1:01 pm)

What about dead end local/state gov't job? This looks like a great way to break into fedlaw.

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anoninsider (Feb 16, 2016 - 1:13 pm)

Tough call. You will certainly feel like you are starting over, from the bottom (which you are in this case). For clarification purposes, I would not expect to transition from SSA to DOJ, SEC, or just about any agency's OGC. What I have witnessed is when other Fed jobs require similar skillsets but have full GS-15 promotion potential, the SSA job will give you a leg up (Trademark examining attorney at USPTO, VA decision writer, HHS appeals, and FDA Tobacco division attorney).

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hopelesslyunemployed (Feb 16, 2016 - 1:42 pm)

what's the deal with most of these attorney advisors? are they coming from law firms to the feds, or are they straight out of law school? I had an offer to do social security disability work with a law firm, but the law firm was only paying 40k a year (way too low a salary for me to accept, and the feds pay way more).

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anoninsider (Feb 16, 2016 - 2:01 pm)

It really depends. For the SSA job, it's mostly people who are straight out of law school that want a job in DC. For the AA jobs that offer GS-15 promotion potential, you see a lot more law firm --> Feds. For example, I work with many pregnant/soon to be pregnant women who left firm jobs for QOL purposes. For that reason, there are more very smart/highly competitive attorneys at these jobs than you might imagine. The DC legal market is an absolute nightmare. Many firm lawyers who had their sights set on SEC/DOJ have been forced to settle for less prestigious gigs in recent years.

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downwardslope (Feb 16, 2016 - 2:48 pm)

I have been pondering applying to this position for a while. I interviewed after law school but the location took transfers from other offices. I now work in a state OGC with no promotion potential and limited (if any) raise potential. The work is interesting but since I have no hope of a raise and it is less than this, I am considering taking it as a way of breaking into the Feds. I have tried other GS-12/13/14 positions with no luck and am worried that taking this job might be a big step back. I just do not know if I have a shot at other jobs since my current position is healthcare oriented. Any thoughts?

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anoninsider (Feb 16, 2016 - 3:01 pm)

My thoughts are to sit tight and wait for an inevitable multiple vacancy opening with HHS. When you search USAJobs you should be looking at GS-11 positions. Postings with more than a handful of openings ("few vacancies" "many vacancies") are rarely advertised as GS-12+. You will never get in when the position listed is only 1 vacancy.

That said, it doesn't hurt to apply to this SSA job. Spend some time working up a Federal Resume using the USAJobs resume builder. It may seem weird, but this is what Fed agency HR departments want to see.

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elphaba12 (Apr 2, 2017 - 2:49 pm)

Is there anyone out there who can help an older applicant> I have over 10 years of legal experience in the private sector, include representing SSDI clients. I applied for an atty advisor position and have a phone interview this week. It is a GS 12, which to me sounds like a law clerk/entry level job. I am more interested in the position of assisting the ALj, although I have no clue what that is called in MA. I am in my 50's. Is it really worth doing this job at this point in time?

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downwardslope (Apr 2, 2017 - 5:11 pm)

I don't think it's very complex, but outside of DC people tend to stay. The person I know in the job tends to like it a lot. The ALJ I interviewed with previously had only been in that job and the ALJ position. He told me it was not very exciting, but there was not a lot of turnover and they liked to get people who would want to stay a long time. I think they actually prefer older, more experienced applicants to younger ones for the permanent positions for that reason. When I interviewed, I was the only entry-level candidate, but I was in my 30s at the time.

My job has gone downhill, so I've decided to go for it since the other locations are more economical than D.C.

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elphaba12 (Apr 7, 2017 - 7:34 am)

Does anyone know if the Decision Writer position has any work at home potential?? Need to know ASAP. Thanks!!

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downwardslope (Apr 7, 2017 - 7:39 am)

Yes. I think you can work from home 3 days a week after your first year is out.

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elphaba12 (Apr 7, 2017 - 8:01 pm)

This position states it is a two year trial commitment

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downwardslope (Apr 7, 2017 - 10:01 pm)

I think you can still work from after a year for most positions even if it is temp to perm.

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elphaba12 (Apr 12, 2017 - 10:06 pm)

Not sure what's happening up here in New England, but the Decision Writer interviews were last week, and still haven't heard. Referrals checked the same day as interview. Guessing that's not a great sign...

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downwardslope (Apr 13, 2017 - 6:34 am)

If you didn't get a "not selected" for the interview position, I think you are probably still in the running. Do you have an HR contact from the listing you can email? I am waiting on fingerprints now, which is taking a while. If you had the same HR contact I have from Chicago, I think he was out most of yesterday. That said, my references were checked Thursday and I got a tentative offer Friday and had my fingerprints submitted back to Chicago by Tuesday.

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elphaba12 (Apr 13, 2017 - 10:30 am)

I do have an HR contact in Boston. My references told me they were called the same day as my interview which was a week ago. I don't want to appear anxious with this, so I was going to give it a few more days. Is it OK to contact HR on status of selection?

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downwardslope (Apr 13, 2017 - 10:49 am)

Did they give you a timeframe in the interview? Some locations had a tight hiring window. Maybe yours was more relaxed.

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elphaba12 (Apr 13, 2017 - 12:47 pm)

I did ask and they said they would be making decisions quickly. I was hopeful when the called the references the same day but I have heard nothing since. Do you contact you if you do NOT get the position or just if you do?

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downwardslope (Apr 13, 2017 - 2:23 pm)

No way to tell. I interviewed for 2 fed positions and was ghosted afterward. A third checked references and hired from another certificate with a rejection some 4 months later.

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elphaba12 (Apr 14, 2017 - 10:24 am)

Not Selected received today. Oh well

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kramer716 (Apr 14, 2017 - 10:48 am)

That sucks, but at least you know. Still waiting to hear from Social Security and the VA. The number of openings on USAJOBS has gone up since the hiring freeze was lifted, so hope is not lost yet.

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downwardslope (Apr 14, 2017 - 1:42 pm)

I am sorry! At least you found out quickly. I found out the reason for my last SSA rejection 4 years later when I was talking to someone who got hired in another office. I would not be surprised if she was also rejected from the same office.

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mch98 (Apr 2, 2017 - 8:23 pm)

That's hard to answer without knowing you. What are your career goals at this point in your life? I do know some appellate judges who have permanent judicial clerks. You might want to try that.

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elphaba12 (Apr 5, 2017 - 2:24 pm)

My goal is to stay put for the rest of my working years. What is the next job after the entry level atty advisor position? Is there a specific position that works directly for the ALJ or is that what this job is about? Thank you!

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downwardslope (Apr 5, 2017 - 2:34 pm)

Did you ask at your interview? I asked about stability and they said they have a lot of people in Chicago move into other positions within the OGC (as opposed to general turnover). They implied it is up to you what path to take if you meet/exceed performance standards.

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mch98 (Apr 5, 2017 - 2:41 pm)

Where did you interview? If you interviewed at a hearing office, you will most likely be writing decisions for a group of judges assigned there. If you interviewed for a regional slot, you will be writing for judges throughout the region and possibly country.

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elphaba12 (Apr 6, 2017 - 9:34 pm)

Yes - I was told at the interview that I would be writing decisions for the northeast region. I believe the job description said this is a two year trial position. I am hoping that if I do well, there are other atty advisor positions or some other mobility

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downwardslope (Feb 16, 2016 - 3:20 pm)

Thanks. I have used the resume builder and tweak my application every few weeks. I applied for one with HHS in December at GS-9/11/12 with many vacancies in several locations and am still waiting to see if I get a referral on that.

I cannot afford to do GS-11 in DC since the take home pay is less than what I make now in a lower COL area. I am just applying to Baltimore for SSA and hoping for some luck with GS-12 on HHS.

I have more than 5 years of experience and feel a bit overqualified trying really for GS-11 at this stage of my career.

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anonattempt (Feb 17, 2016 - 12:22 am)

Keep in mind that it's possible (although hardly a given) to negotiate for higher fed pay within the GS-11 pay band if you make significantly more in the private sector. The highest salary you could possibly get at GS-11 (in DC) is $84,000, which isn't terrible.

I just looked at the job description though... I did this job for a little less than two years, and it is NOT as complex as the posting presents it to be. Very boring job, but not a terrible way to spring board into a slightly better position at a different agency after a year or so. VA decision writer, HHS appeals, and FDA Tobacco division attorney (as mentioned above) seem correct. Trademark examining attorney at USPTO only if you have a relevant background.

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dcm1983 (Feb 17, 2016 - 6:20 am)

Assuming this job would convert to permanent, why would HHS or VA be better? Two years at the appeals councils makes you eligible for GS-13 Senior Attorney Advisor positions. How high do the VA and HHS jobs go? Are they substantively better or worse?

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anoninsider (Feb 17, 2016 - 6:30 am)

Regarding substance, all I can tell you is that everyone I know who left SSA for the above mentioned agencies is happier in their current position. Regarding pay, most had to start over after making the switch (GS-11). VA and HHS jobs go GS-11 (year 1), GS-12 (years 2), GS-13 (year 3), GS-13 Step 2 (year 4), and GS-14 (year 5). The grade increases are automatic, whereas you would need to apply competitively for your GS-13 at SSA. Once you are a 14, you need to apply for details and/or promotions. Sounds rough, but in my experience, the majority who stick it out are able to get their GS-15.

In the spirit of transparency, I should mention that I am at one of the above agencies with GS-11/14 promotion potential, and am having a hard time making an exit (we want to leave the DC area). So I am not sure how recognizable or respected these positions are in other legal markets. The biggest problem I've encountered when interviewing is that my resume is not as broad as someone who spent time in general practice. Knowing this, I am working to get my deposition-taking and courtroom experience elsewhere (a lot of pro-bono on weekends/evenings). OTOH the upside is that my current job affords me the flexibility to do pro-bono on the side and gain other skills, whereas a law firm job may not.

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downwardslope (Feb 17, 2016 - 7:57 am)

I interviewed for this position some time ago in a new ODAR. The ALJ told me the position was boring and repetitive and for the most part people never left. I know someone local in the position who was in it almost 10 years. There are not many federal oppportunities in either location, and what there is tends to be DoD-based. What is notable is that fed salaries are higher than what is typically offered in other government positions, even at GS-12. Even in the private sector GS-12 is pretty good for this area so a job like SSA is attractive.

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onehell (Feb 17, 2016 - 11:53 am)

Most jobs are repetitive and boring. But this one qualifies for PSLF and has great benefits, and assuming they don't enforce the NTE, phenomenal job security and a defined benefit pension. I could see why people would never leave.

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whipster (Feb 17, 2016 - 9:33 am)

Any chance of transferring to another SSA office after getting one of these positions? I have absolutely zero desire to be in or near the east coast.

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onehell (Feb 17, 2016 - 11:54 am)

Well at least one of those links was for the appeals council, which is a higher level of review than the regular ALJs. That could be worth putting up with the east coast. In any case, it's a lot easier to move around the fed gov from within than from outside. Just being eligible to apply for internal vacancies is worth its weight in gold.

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tom_foolery (Feb 17, 2016 - 9:45 am)

For me, it would only be like a $1000 pay cut at GS-11. Sounds like I can negotiate a higher step based on experience? I also assume GS-12 after 1 year, and for the Baltimore office, that seems very reasonable. It seems like a no brainer SO LONG THAT I get a new job before the NTE date.

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anonattempt (Feb 17, 2016 - 12:07 pm)

My experience has been that you can't negotiate higher pay unless (a) you're already in the gov and have a higher salary, or (b) you're coming in from private sector and make significantly more money. However, you'll never find out for sure if you don't try.

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izzymandelbaum (Feb 18, 2016 - 10:26 am)

You likely won't be able to negotiate for the GS 12. This is from personal experience not long ago. I had years of private practice experience and tried. HR told me they are well aware of the situation with law schools pumping out students. I believe their words were "there is no shortage of attorneys applying for these positions." Which is clear from the limitations on apps accepted.

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downwardslope (Feb 18, 2016 - 10:32 am)

Do they even want to consider experienced attorneys or do they want the lesser experienced/new attorneys?

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izzymandelbaum (Feb 18, 2016 - 10:59 am)

I think some experience helps. The experience seems to vary.

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jbiresq (Feb 18, 2016 - 11:42 pm)

Yeah I've known people with years of experience try to get GS-12 and they won't do it.

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whipster (Feb 17, 2016 - 12:02 pm)

The 80 openings one is closed. The 15 opening one is still open as of right now.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Feb 17, 2016 - 12:11 pm)

that didn't take too long

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hopelesslyunemployed (Feb 18, 2016 - 9:04 am)

both positions now closed

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zodd (Feb 18, 2016 - 2:04 pm)

As I sit here in another no future doc review these listings are so appealing. Going forward I am going to apply to every one I see with the stated parameters. Thanks for posting this.

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izzymandelbaum (Feb 18, 2016 - 4:26 pm)

Show of hands...who applied?

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downwardslope (Feb 18, 2016 - 5:14 pm)

I applied to Baltimore. I am a state employee with several years of experience doing healthcare law. The stability of my job is always in question and raises are nonexistent, even if the work is more varied/interesting.

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izzymandelbaum (Feb 18, 2016 - 8:08 pm)

Alright. Good luck. Depending on type of healthcare law your experience could be helpful.

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whipster (Feb 18, 2016 - 4:38 pm)

Me. I'm in TX, been doing O&G land work for 100+K the past few years, but that work is gone now.
If I get in I would stay until I could transfer back to TX somehow.

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izzymandelbaum (Feb 18, 2016 - 8:07 pm)

Not the best reason to apply. Although it is possible. Most likely possibility would be considered a step down by most as you would transfer as a decision writer. Unless you waited several years for another opportunity.

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wdb76 (Mar 14, 2016 - 2:38 pm)

Has anyone heard back from SSA?

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aspiringlawyer (Mar 14, 2016 - 7:22 pm)

I got an email from them today.

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downwardslope (Mar 14, 2016 - 7:43 pm)

It seems like the NORs are coming out.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Mar 14, 2016 - 11:51 pm)

referred for Office of Appellate Operations-15/400 chance of getting the job now

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hopelesslyunemployed (Mar 15, 2016 - 9:32 pm)

referred also for 80 spot opening

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tom_foolery (Mar 14, 2016 - 8:03 pm)

YES, I got referred. This is for Office of Appellate Operations. Is that what everyone got? I needed this after the crushing blow of not getting the job for ICE referred.

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whipster (Mar 14, 2016 - 8:29 pm)

Referred for the Office of Appellate Operations 15 position deal.

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whipster (Mar 15, 2016 - 1:12 pm)

Referred for the 80 position deal.

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izzymandelbaum (Mar 15, 2016 - 3:34 pm)

Where are you located now?

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wdb76 (Mar 15, 2016 - 1:47 pm)

I received referral notice right after lunch. I did have a few questions (as I am new to this forum and SSA). First, I was referred to ODAR in Falls Church. What are the odds of being selected once referred? Is it still 20% or is it higher? Second, my resume lacked references. Will they ask for references at interview or will they rely on what is in the initial application packet? Third, is there a way to supplement references if they are absent from the application packet?

Thank you for any feedback

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downwardslope (Mar 15, 2016 - 2:02 pm)

Probably higher? A friend and I both applied the morning the positions were posted. We are both licensed more than 5 years and swore the posting said transcript not required unless you have been licensed less than 5 years. Sure enough we both got ineligible ratings and the closed ad now conveniently says it is required. The checklist only had license and resume as required.

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john09 (Mar 15, 2016 - 2:05 pm)

To clarify, Falls Church is HQ for OAO. OAO is a component of ODAR, but not synonymous with ODAR.

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izzymandelbaum (Mar 15, 2016 - 3:32 pm)

Likely higher after weeding out those who didn't meet basic requirements. No references required.

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esq88 (Mar 17, 2016 - 4:54 pm)

I got referred to the OAO position in Baltimore on 3/14 and the ODAR position in Falls Church 3/15.

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notthedroidyo (Mar 18, 2016 - 12:08 pm)

dumb question...but...I was referred for Arlington and Falls Church... is there a drop-dead date for interview notifications, as in if I don't get the email by X date it's time to move on?

Thanks

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lawrunner317 (Mar 20, 2016 - 2:09 pm)

No clue.

From reading other threads, I get the impression that being "referred" doesn't mean a whole lot. Maybe I'm wrong, but I would be surprised if more than one or two of us from JDU actually got an interview this round.

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izzymandelbaum (Mar 20, 2016 - 3:46 pm)

You will get an interview. Just may take a little.

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wdb76 (Mar 24, 2016 - 2:34 pm)

Anyone had an interview scheduled?

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notthedroidyo (Mar 24, 2016 - 2:38 pm)

Not yet.

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aspiringlawyer (Mar 24, 2016 - 10:07 pm)

Nope!

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notthedroidyo (Mar 28, 2016 - 11:57 am)

bump to see if anyone has heard anything

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lawrunner317 (Mar 28, 2016 - 1:01 pm)

Nothing yet!

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dharamsala (Mar 24, 2016 - 10:42 pm)

What's the scope of the background check? I have no criminal history.

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ayeesq (Apr 1, 2016 - 1:50 pm)

Has anyone heard anything re: interviews??

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aspiringlawyer (Apr 2, 2016 - 4:08 pm)

Not me.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 2, 2016 - 4:54 pm)

not a peep

it's been weeks since the referrals went out--i'm starting to think if you didn't get an interview yet, you won't be getting one

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notthedroidyo (Apr 2, 2016 - 7:25 pm)

I'd give it another week that's a lot of interviews to schedule

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lawrunner317 (Apr 6, 2016 - 7:14 pm)

Does a referral guarantee an interview with the SSA?

My understanding is that it varies from agency to agency.

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notthedroidyo (Apr 7, 2016 - 9:26 am)

A referral means absolutely nothing.

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oolong (Apr 7, 2016 - 2:16 pm)

I received an e-mail saying that I made it to the next stage and asking me to complete OF-306 and that a short telephone interview will take place anytime between Friday and Tuesday. However, since I recently accepted and started working at a new job I won't be pursing this job. So just a heads up for everyone to check their e-mails. Mine came around 1pm today.

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esq88 (Apr 7, 2016 - 3:01 pm)

Thanks for letting us know. Was it for the VA or MD vacancies?

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notthedroidyo (Apr 7, 2016 - 3:07 pm)

well congrats! Would you mind sharing your experience/vet status?

Just trying to get a handle on what they're looking for!

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oolong (Apr 7, 2016 - 4:24 pm)

It was for the ODAR Office of Appellate Operations in Arlington, VA and Baltimore, MD positions. No vet status, 4 years as an attorney nowhere related as I was doing foreclosure work but I guess high volume practice may be seen as similar.

Good luck, you have to return the OF-306 form by Friday at 6pm to be considered so a fast turnaround.

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lawrunner317 (Apr 7, 2016 - 4:55 pm)

Nothing in my inbox.

But congrats to all that advanced to the next stage. Good luck with your interviews!

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 7, 2016 - 9:41 pm)

congrats to those that got interviews.

question about the ssa attorney advisor positions-I heard these positions allow for overtime pay-is that correct?

Is it a given these positions become permanent, or after 4 years, do you get canned?

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john09 (Apr 7, 2016 - 10:29 pm)

1) Yes, SSA AA positions are eligible for overtime pay. If you stay long enough, you may eventually become an appeals officer (AO). AOs are GS-14 positions and are also eligible for overtime pay.

2) In theory, you may have to leave after 4 years. These jobs are term positions. The agency hires you for a term period. At the end of the term, you will have to leave. They don't need to fire you since this is a term position.

With that said, the agency will likely retain you if you are able to do the job. Keep in mind, this job is quite difficult. The subject matter isn't difficult. However, the production requirements tend to trip some people up. The job is akin to taking a law school exam. It's easy for most law students to spot issues if given unlimited time. It's more challenging to spot issues when given time limits.

Each case at the agency involves anywhere between 300-1000 pages on average. For a denial, you will have 3.5 hours to read the ALJ's decision (around 22 pages or so), review the medical evidence (300-1000 pages), write an analysis (2-3 pages single space), and write a denial notice. If you want to get promoted, you must complete at least two cases per day.

All the cases are fact specific so it's hard to copy and paste, except for the rule statements. Overall, you'll get a lot of flexibility with this job, but it sure is stressful due to production requirements.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 8, 2016 - 8:26 am)

Thanks. So what can you expect to make your first year as an SSA AA with the overtime?

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izzymandelbaum (Apr 11, 2016 - 9:27 pm)

Depends on your location. You are not eligible for overtime immediately. But if you are good you can be eligible quicker. Plan on making the posted salary and hope for more. :)

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 11, 2016 - 10:39 pm)

the posting said the position only lasts 4 years. in practice, are you pretty much guaranteed to become permanent (if you don't mess up at work)? when you say overtime, how much overtime are we realistically talking? I know the first year will probably be a wash, but is it realistic to pull down 100k in year 2?

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govlaw (Apr 12, 2016 - 5:55 am)

No. OT is not guaranteed kr even offered on a consistent basis. As stated above, you can count on your salary, but hope for more.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 12, 2016 - 8:56 am)

Thanks. What odds would you put on these positions becoming permanent? The announcement says that these are temp positions not to exceed 4 years.

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govlaw (Apr 12, 2016 - 9:20 am)

I'd consider whether it matters. Most jobs are employment at will anyway. I would be more concerned if it were NTE 3 months or something.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 12, 2016 - 12:54 pm)

definitely matters. you can be a govt. contractor (many contracts are long-term 5 years and up) and get paid more money with the feds if you are only looking for a temp gig. if the ssa leads to permanent, then it may be better than a fed contractor gig

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aspiringlawyer (Apr 7, 2016 - 10:20 pm)

I didn't get anything either. Bummer!

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ayeesq (Apr 7, 2016 - 10:40 pm)

Nothing in my inbox...but congrats to everyone else!

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tom_foolery (Apr 8, 2016 - 8:48 am)

man, nothing for me either! i had 4+ yrs high volume crim defense, plus JAG military experience

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acmecorp (Apr 8, 2016 - 9:19 am)

I doubt interview offers are over, last year they came in 3 waves with 3 start dates (even within the waves there was about a week window where a candidate could be contacted). So stay hopeful this round of hiring is just getting started.

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aspiringlawyer (Apr 8, 2016 - 10:44 am)

My hopes are all but dashed now. I'm starting to think I can't even buy a decent job. I'm working on my own business now, but it sure would be nice to have a solid job in my back pocket.

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oolong (Apr 8, 2016 - 9:38 am)

Just as a follow-up my e-mail also said they wanted new employees to report early to mid May 2016 and if this was too soon to let them know.

When I applied for this position I was in a rough place at work, thinking on it now that I've moved on though, it would have been really difficult if not impossible to accept even if I got this position. I can't relocate and the commute would have sucked.

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izzymandelbaum (Apr 11, 2016 - 8:35 pm)

So how many of you got interviews? Start date is sooner than later.

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runningfatcat (Apr 11, 2016 - 9:20 pm)

I had an interview Friday morning. They said they were conducting interviews until the 12th. How soon do they want people to start?

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izzymandelbaum (Apr 11, 2016 - 9:30 pm)

what is quick for you? Haha

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runningfatcat (Apr 11, 2016 - 9:35 pm)

I live in the area, so I could start within a couple weeks. Do you know what kind of timeframe I could hope to hear something back?

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notthedroidyo (Apr 11, 2016 - 9:37 pm)

Runningfatcat congrats!

Mind if I ask your experience/background?

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runningfatcat (Apr 11, 2016 - 9:51 pm)

Thanks! But I haven't landed it yet.

I passed the bar a couple years ago and have been working as a law clerk for a district court since then.

I did apply through USA Jobs.

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lawrunner317 (Apr 11, 2016 - 9:37 pm)

Did you apply using USA Jobs?

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oolong (Apr 12, 2016 - 9:16 am)

So just another update. Although I didn't complete the OF-306 form and I sent them an e-mail advising that I could no longer be considered, I still received 2 voicemails yesterday from an administrative appeals judge calling to interview me. The last time she called she said she would call again tomorrow (today) and each time she didn't leave a call back number. It seems they'r really trying to move the process along.

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lawrunner317 (Apr 12, 2016 - 9:22 am)

Anyone know if they are hiring all 95 attorneys all at once in one class?

Or are they hiring in multiple classes with staggered start dates? I know they've done the latter in the past, so maybe there is still hope for those of us not lucky enough to get an interview...

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oolong (Apr 12, 2016 - 10:03 am)

I wouldn't give up hope lawrunner. I finally spoke to the appeals judge today (called about a min ago) and she said they keep calling until they get an answer through the end of this interview round of which today is the last day. So by her statement I feel if they may have additional rounds.

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lawrunner317 (Apr 12, 2016 - 10:08 am)

Thanks for the inside info.

I hope your interview went well and they call soon with an offer for you!

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oolong (Apr 12, 2016 - 2:22 pm)

Oh I didn't interview. I told them I already accepted another position so they could remove me from consideration.

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larrylegend (Apr 12, 2016 - 11:27 am)

Congrats to those who got interviews! A few questions:

1. I'm unsure from the previous posts, but did they contact people by phone or email first?

2. I see mention of waves of hiring. Based on any prior experience, how much time between each"wave?"

3. Does this job allow for alternative schedule/telework?

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pkme (May 3, 2016 - 1:46 pm)

Did you ever find out about telework?

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whipster (Apr 13, 2016 - 3:53 pm)

Got emailed for the 15 vacancy one. Interview call any time from tomorrow until Tuesday. Really don't want to move so might let it go.

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notthedroidyo (Apr 13, 2016 - 4:00 pm)

nice dude

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greensquare (Apr 14, 2016 - 12:05 am)

Got emailed for the 80 vacancy one. Interview call anytime from tomorrow until Tuesday. Any pattern to when they call or is it truly random?

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notthedroidyo (Apr 14, 2016 - 9:26 am)

congrats!

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skmsrok (Apr 14, 2016 - 7:28 pm)

Got an email for 80 vacancy one. Already took a job overseas and started last week. FML lol

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t3success (Apr 14, 2016 - 7:37 pm)

Overseas? Wow.

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norahound (Apr 15, 2016 - 9:37 pm)

I was notified that I was selected for an interview on April 7th and was interviewed on Monday, April 11th. The interview lasted about 30 minutes. This was the first interview I received after being referred for over 20 other federal attorney jobs. I was told that decisions are expected to be made within a very short period of time.

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cssm67 (Apr 16, 2016 - 11:44 am)

Would you mind giving a quick overview of the type of questions asked? I have a telephone interview scheduled next week. thanks

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norahound (Apr 18, 2016 - 12:40 pm)

I recall having to respond to a series of hypothetical questions involving relationships with co-workers and supervisor. The rest of the questions were fairly standard.

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t3success (Apr 16, 2016 - 5:28 pm)

Are you going to take the job if offered? What are you doing now for work?

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norahound (Apr 18, 2016 - 12:29 pm)

Very possible, but I will have to look at the offer, discuss with my husband and further look into the relief available for federal gov. workers with student loan debts. The long hours and stress associated with litigation are negatively impacting my family life and this position may provide some relief. I am currently working for a mid-size firm in Texas for which I have been working for 7 years and making more money than this position could possibly offer, but I am willing to accept less in exchange for a better family life and relief from student loan debt.

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t3success (Apr 19, 2016 - 7:05 am)

Has to be a lot more expensive to live in DC than Texas though?

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roadkingrider (Apr 19, 2016 - 8:33 am)

My son is one of them and he was in the same basic situation as you. Took a pretty significant cut when he left litigation. The jump to the next GS level after the first year is good. You will be eligible to go on PLSF as well, so 10 years of payments and your done, unless of course things change with that program but I don't envision that will happen.
Good Luck. He also likes the job you leave work at work and just go home, you can work overtime if you want and its available.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 19, 2016 - 8:42 am)

Did his position become permanent? These position advertise that they are temporary and not to exceed 4 years. Plus, they only go up to gs-12. I am wondering if it is better to just be a federal contractor and make more money if the position will not lead to permanent fed employment.

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govlaw (Apr 19, 2016 - 8:58 am)

They have been posted as permanent before.

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bigfed (Apr 19, 2016 - 9:29 am)

The position does not max out at GS 12. That is a common misconception.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 19, 2016 - 11:50 am)

the advertised slots say that it is a four year term with promotion potential to gs-12. Are you saying that if the position becomes permanent, they bump you to gs-13?

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govlaw (Apr 19, 2016 - 11:59 am)

You can apply for GS-13. GS-14 promotion opportunities are also available.

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notcreative (Apr 19, 2016 - 3:43 pm)

Can someone expand on this? I understand that normal progression in the job is 11-12; are you saying that once you've been a 12 for a certain amount of time you can petition to be graded at 13?

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govlaw (Apr 19, 2016 - 3:50 pm)

11 to 12 is a given after a year if you are trying at your job. After another year, you have to apply to become GS-13. It is competitive, but not hard to achieve.

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john09 (Apr 19, 2016 - 12:34 pm)

You do not have to compete to get to a GS 12. GS 13 positions are competitive, but not difficult to obtain if you do a good job. There are GS 14 positions available at both the Appeals Council and hearing offices nationwide.

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bigfed (Apr 19, 2016 - 8:04 pm)

This exactly.

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roadkingrider (Apr 19, 2016 - 9:04 pm)

He was hired as a permanent employee not as a temporary position.

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downwardslope (Apr 19, 2016 - 9:41 am)

Thanks for your thoughts. I have a non-SSA interview for a GS-11 position coming up. I am in a low COL area so the pay vs COL in DC is my main concern. It is permanent with promotion potential to 14, which is why I applied, but I know it will be a struggle the first year.

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ayeesq (Apr 16, 2016 - 10:47 am)

Congrats guys!

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55beauty (Apr 20, 2016 - 10:33 am)

Has anyone gotten an offer yet? I interviewed last Monday. I figured they would move quickly on the offers since they want people to start in early May.

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runningfatcat (Apr 20, 2016 - 10:45 am)

I haven't gotten an offer yet. I interviewed Friday, April 8th. When I interviewed they said they would be making selections "very soon." So, hopefully we get some good news soon.

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norahound (Apr 20, 2016 - 12:18 pm)

I have not heard anything since I interviewed on Monday, April 11th.

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bigfed (Apr 21, 2016 - 8:17 am)

If you think it went well, keep your phone nearby and have your bags packed... ;)

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govlaw (Apr 21, 2016 - 2:04 pm)

^^this. Go ahead and start giving things to Goodwill.

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55beauty (Apr 21, 2016 - 12:05 pm)

I think it went well. I'm hopeful. I just need to stop checking my email constantly. I really want to know, either way.

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norahound (Apr 21, 2016 - 1:21 pm)

I feel the same way. If I hear something (good or bad), I'll post it.

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runningfatcat (Apr 21, 2016 - 1:28 pm)

I'm in the exact same boat, I'm checking my email constantly. I'll also post if I hear anything.

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55beauty (Apr 22, 2016 - 11:58 am)

I will post if I hear back.I wrote SSA to ask if they made selections yet. I told them I asked because there was a mixup on my name (the interviewers had my maiden name) and I wanted to be sure they had the right name for the results. I'm so pressed. I gotta know, man!

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t3success (Apr 22, 2016 - 12:01 pm)

You should really relax. It's just a job.

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norahound (Apr 22, 2016 - 8:04 pm)

Did you receive a response? After working until 12:30 am yesterday and from 6:30 am to 6 pm today, a position with the fed gov is even more appealing.

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bigfed (Apr 23, 2016 - 9:35 pm)

Who is planning to accept if offered?

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runningfatcat (Apr 24, 2016 - 1:15 pm)

I'm planning to accept if offered.

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55beauty (Apr 23, 2016 - 10:27 pm)

No, I haven't received a response yet.

I plan to accept, but keep searching for a job that is not an NTE. I asked during the interview if these jobs will become permanent. They told me it depends on the budget, and on whether the announcement said you can be made permanent without further competition. The announcement doesn't say that, so these jobs will end in 4 years. It's a long-term temp job, but it's better than a project work situation where you never know when it will end.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 23, 2016 - 11:14 pm)

so the position definitely ends in 4 years (without the hope of being made permanent)? it seems like you would be better off taking a long term federal contractor gig rather than a temp gig that pays less

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55beauty (Apr 24, 2016 - 6:58 am)

Maybe, but I'm not up for any long term contractor jobs. I'm in the running for this one. I also have a tentative offer for another agency, but it requires an extensive background check that can take months.

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downwardslope (Apr 24, 2016 - 7:21 am)

It's also 4 years. By the time you get time in grade at GS-12, you'll still have 2 years to look for a job at another agency. It's much easier transition within government once you are already in. I work for a state now and we rarely take on new attorneys who aren't already state employees.

Honestly though, if you already have a job, it might be worth it to wait it out on the permanent position or look for something else permanent unless you are already licensed in MA/VA. Yeah you can waive into DC but it still seems like a big risk to me for a GS-11 that doesn't give you a whole lot of skills.

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t3success (Apr 25, 2016 - 9:48 am)

Just curious for a person who lives in DC and attains say GS-14, what kind of housing can they expect to afford? How much would a nice 4 bedroom in a commutable suburb run you?

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lawrunner317 (Apr 25, 2016 - 9:55 am)

Go on realtor.com

Probably $750k to $1m+

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govlaw (Apr 25, 2016 - 9:56 am)

Depends on what you call nice and how far you are willing to commute.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 25, 2016 - 10:09 am)

it's usually like 3x your salary is what kind of house you can afford. gs-14 tops out at like 140k or so, so you are probably looking at a house in the 400-500k range.

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cranky (Apr 25, 2016 - 11:25 am)

I think even a 25 year old townhome out in the suburbs of the DC area would be $400k. Good luck buying a 4BR home (that isn't really old and tiny) in the area as a GS-14. If you have a spouse with a good job, then maybe.

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brownbear (Apr 25, 2016 - 3:43 pm)

Thought I'd chime in here. I had the phone interview last Tuesday and haven't yet heard anything one way or the other. They said at the end of my phone interview decisions should be made pretty soon.

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cava26 (Apr 25, 2016 - 3:58 pm)

I interviewed on Monday and haven't heard anything yet. Does anyone know how many people they interviewed?

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norahound (Apr 25, 2016 - 6:22 pm)

I was just e-mailed a job offer

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whipster (Apr 25, 2016 - 7:22 pm)

Congrats!

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t3success (Apr 25, 2016 - 7:40 pm)

Nice job. How long do you have to accept? Are you going to?

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runningfatcat (Apr 25, 2016 - 8:11 pm)

Congrats! I haven't heard anything yet, but it's good to know they are making offers

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brownbear (Apr 26, 2016 - 9:09 am)

Congrats! Thanks for posting. Your interview was about a week before mine so hopefully I'll know pretty soon.

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grubdy (Apr 25, 2016 - 7:59 pm)

Does this mean they've sent out all the acceptance notifications or will they notify us in waves?

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grubdy (Apr 25, 2016 - 8:03 pm)

I hope I get an offer :-/

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brownbear (Apr 26, 2016 - 9:10 am)

I bet it will be in waves. They definitely did at least 2 waves of phone interviews.

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norahound (Apr 26, 2016 - 11:14 am)

The e-mail indicated that a decision is requested by the end of the day and that my expected starting date is March 15th. I have not made a decision yet.

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notthedroidyo (Apr 26, 2016 - 12:06 pm)

Congrats!

What is your exp level if I may ask, thanks!

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55beauty (Apr 26, 2016 - 11:48 am)

Congrats!

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grubdy (Apr 26, 2016 - 6:45 pm)

I think I was one of the first people interviewed and I don't think I was prepared for it. I haven't heard anything yet so I am worried :(

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tom_foolery (Apr 26, 2016 - 8:09 pm)

Sorry. Some of us didn't even get the interview lol.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 26, 2016 - 7:32 pm)

got an offer via e-mail-start date is may 16th

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brownbear (Apr 26, 2016 - 8:21 pm)

Congrats! When did you interview?

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 26, 2016 - 8:36 pm)

like 2 or 3 weeks ago

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roadkingrider (Apr 28, 2016 - 10:50 am)

Will you accept and will you change your screen name?

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aindy (Apr 26, 2016 - 8:41 pm)

Did your job interview state only a May start date, for those of you who have already been provided offers? Or did it state May and June? I assume that the second wave of individuals who interviewed had start dates in May and June.

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aindy (Apr 26, 2016 - 8:46 pm)

My post relates to the interview email that was initially received prior the interview.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 26, 2016 - 9:04 pm)

the e-mail I got says a firm start date of may 16th

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bigfed (Apr 26, 2016 - 9:17 pm)

There will only be one start date. You all will be trained together for 6 weeks.

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aindy (Apr 26, 2016 - 9:23 pm)

My interview email stated that employees could either start in May or June. Again, I assume that the June start date may be for second wave applicants. So I'm talking about the interview letter, not the offer letter.

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grubdy (Apr 27, 2016 - 4:32 am)

What do you think is the latest they'll let us know?

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brownbear (Apr 27, 2016 - 8:04 am)

I worked for SSA beginning in 2014 at a GS 7/9 position. When I got hired for that position they hired about 200 people for the same position. Then they started training classes over a period of about 3 months with about 20 people in each class.

Not sure if they'll do something similar here with the 80; but, the fact that they said training starting in May or June leads me to believe they'll be more than 1 start date.

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govlaw (Apr 27, 2016 - 8:20 am)

I could see it going either way. There have been some facilities issues the last few weeks that have displaced employees into training areas.

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lighthouse (Apr 27, 2016 - 10:27 am)

I was called for my interview on 4/18 and when I asked about their timeline they said mid to late June would be the start date.

My email arrived 4/13, I should note.

I believe this is going in phases.

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brownbear (Apr 27, 2016 - 11:42 am)

I also received my email 4/13 and then interviewed 4/19.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 27, 2016 - 3:49 pm)

maybe there are different start dates for Baltimore and Virginia?

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aindy (Apr 27, 2016 - 5:09 pm)

The interview email I received stated May and June 2016 start dates for the Arlington and Falls Church positions.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 27, 2016 - 6:26 pm)

need some help making a decision--should I go with ssa atty adviser gig or stick with my current job? I am currently making close to 100k as a federal contractor (contract lasts at least another 5 years-full medical and dental). I am nervous because the ssa atty adviser position says it ends after 4 years--what are the odds I get made permanent if I accept (and do a good job)? How hard is it to get gs-13 once I accept? It's going to be a heck of a paycut the first few years and I need to make a decision on whether to accept quickly. thanks!

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govlaw (Apr 27, 2016 - 6:47 pm)

Based on how things are right now, I would say pretty good odds of being made permanent. If you're doing a good job, GS-13 will come in 2-3 years.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 27, 2016 - 6:52 pm)

thanks. the one i got selected for is the appeals council one in falls church. You are saying good odds of it going permanent after the 4 years (at least 75%)? How would I get to gs-13 if promotion potential is only to 12 within the 4 year term (or can you go to gs-13 within that 4 year period)?

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govlaw (Apr 27, 2016 - 6:56 pm)

I would say 75%. I can't be sure because this huge hiring class is as a result of changing how the agency and the appeals council functions a bit. I was hired permanent so I'm not sure how it plays out for a NTE 4, but generally the positions are posted as 11/12 and then they post an internal application for 13s. That sounds like a good HR question to ask to be sure.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 27, 2016 - 9:09 pm)

Thanks. HR would not give me step/grade increase even though I am making six figures now (income has to be as a federal employee to be eligible for entry at higher grade). 100k to 65k is a heck of a paycut without a guarantee I will be at gs-13+ in a few years. I don't know if they let you apply for internal vacancies if you are not permanent.

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govlaw (Apr 27, 2016 - 9:15 pm)

I know what you are going through and I'm sorry you can't get more concrete answers. I essentially took a pay cut with taxes and cost of living factored in, but the work/life balance is great for me. I also get the impression from the agency that they've made the investment in training me, so they want to see me stay with the agency and succeed.

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bigfed (Apr 27, 2016 - 9:23 pm)

Yep. They will not give you a step/grade increase. You are looking for an answer no one here can give you unfortunately. No one knows the answer to this because it is really unclear where these positions are headed and no one can predict budget constraints. Also, there is no guarantee of GS 13 within any particular timeframe. Past experience is if you are good at the job (exceed your production requirement - which is not overly easy) you would qualify when GS 13 opens up competitively. However, it is not guaranteed and there is no set timeframe. How bad is your current position? Married? Kids? How you feel about your situation and how you would feel doing this job is also a big consideration. Did you excel on your law school exams? As other posters have mentioned, each day is like multiple law school exams.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 27, 2016 - 9:43 pm)

thanks. my situation is still single (lucked into current contractor gig with big agency). graduated with honors from law school (sure that helped me land the gig, and the fact I worked for a bunch of different agencies). I guess it is just a big gamble--if it was permanent (promotion potential to 13/14, my decision would be easy

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 27, 2016 - 9:53 pm)

does anyone know of any ssa atty advisers that did not get made permanent? if so, what happened (no budget, poor work product, etc.)? was it a large amount of folks that got let go?

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john09 (Apr 27, 2016 - 11:44 pm)

I think SSA only very recently started hiring AAs as temporary term NTE employees. Everyone I knew at the Appeals Council during my time with SSA started as permanent employees, not term employees. Given ongoing budget issues, SSA started hiring temps to address workforce needs while giving the agency flexibility.

I think this type of hiring, NTE, is cyclical. It hasn't happened in a while to the best of my knowledge - well at least at the Appeals Council. The practices at the hearing offices may vary.

Your first 2 years of the 4 year NTE period will be probationary. If your work quality is poor, you will be terminated within the probationary period. If your production rate is low, you will be terminated prior to your NTE period. Dismissal from federal service during the probationary period usually bars employment at other federal agencies - it's agency dependent.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 28, 2016 - 12:06 am)

thanks-do you know of many atty advisers at appeals council who got canned prior to the NTE? Did the majority become permanent?

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 28, 2016 - 12:17 am)

http://federalhandbooks.com/temporary-and-term-appointments-of-federal-employees/

apparently, because this is a temp/term position nte 4 years, you can't apply for internal vacancies. has anyone found otherwise?

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downwardslope (Apr 27, 2016 - 9:32 pm)

I can tell you that I'm in a not-so-great state job (take home pay probably about the same as this position but in a much lower COL area with more vacation), but I will not apply for any GS-11 position in DC unless it is permanent and ladders to GS-14. I would probably take a term position if it started at a GS-12, but this is essentially a position that isn't going to make me any more comfortable financially than I am now because there's no guarantee you can even get past GS-12. If it were in my hometown or in a low COL area, sure... but not DC. In your position, I'd say keep applying and hold out for something better. You have 5 years, so it's not like there's any rush.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 27, 2016 - 9:46 pm)

the only downside with my current gig is I am not getting any substantive lawyer experience (just mindless doc review)

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loblawyer (Apr 28, 2016 - 12:18 pm)

Not bad for nearly $100k - is that permanent or are you worried about it being phased out?

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 2, 2016 - 8:17 pm)

contract, not permanent (long-term, more than 4 years

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grubdy (Apr 27, 2016 - 8:01 pm)

So I haven't heard any good news or bad news yet. Still waiting... I wonder how many people they've emailed so far with offers. My interview was only 15 minutes. Only four questions and the first two I stumbled upon even though they were basic questions. The last two were behavioral and I think I did ok on those. I don't know how much detail they wanted in the responses. I wish I waited and called them back when I was more prepared and relaxed. I have no choice to be patient but it would be such a relief to get an offer.

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john09 (Apr 27, 2016 - 11:56 pm)

Relax, there's no use worrying about it.

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brownbear (Apr 28, 2016 - 7:56 am)

Hang in there, I'm waiting too.

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norahound (Apr 28, 2016 - 9:39 am)

I am struggling with making a decision as well. Going from over 6 figures to only about $64 grand would not be easy. In addition, the housing prices are ridiculous in comparison to what I'm paying now - I'm only paying about $1,200 per month for a 1,600 square foot home w/ a finished basement and 5 bedrooms in a good and safe neighborhood. Even if I was willing to commute over an hour to get to Falls Church, I would still have to pay at least double in rent to find something that would be suitable for a family of 5. The student loan relief is appealing as a huge portion of my income is going toward student loans that are accruing interest at 7% and will take me about 20 years to pay off. However, the student loan relief is only available if I work for the feds for 10 consecutive years and this is only a 4 year job. A question that I have still not received an answer to is whether it would be easier to obtain other employment with the federal government following this position. If not, then I believe I would be better off working 12 hours per day at my current job and dealing with the stress of litigation than uprooting my family for a position that will only last 4 years at the most and will only pay a fraction of what I am making now. Being gone so much and having not much left in the tank following my working days is tough on my family and leaves me depressed, but I don't know what else to do. Any advice from anyone who has been or is in a similar situation would be appreciated.

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t3success (Apr 28, 2016 - 9:43 am)

I am in the same boat exactly! I would not take a government job unless it was permanent with a clear path to GS 14.

The housing is such a killer. My 200k house would be about 1 million in Falls Church.

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notthedroidyo (Apr 28, 2016 - 9:48 am)

don't do it.

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cava26 (Apr 28, 2016 - 10:29 am)

norahound: It's possible to move from SSA to another agency and that's what a lot of people try to do, but there are no guarantees. The cost of living here is very high. You might be better off trying to find a government job where you are now, whether that be federal, state, or local. You might even consider a non-profit or trying to go part-time at another firm. I wouldn't move my family to DC for this position. There are better areas of the country with federal jobs available.

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downwardslope (Apr 28, 2016 - 10:30 am)

Don't do it. If you can wait it out for something permanent that ladders to GS-14 (and may qualify for something that is higher than GS-11 to start), why go for this? You would have to apply as a US citizen for other fed jobs. The skills gained here are also not particularly useful so if you are getting substantive skills where you are, that might be more helpful.

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55beauty (Apr 28, 2016 - 10:08 am)

Just got an offer. I took it, but trying to get a higher salary based on former federal service. I'm doing temp work, so a 4 year temp job with benefits is a step up. If you make more than this job pays, don't take it. It will end in 4 years, or earlier if they can you. Plus, you are going backwards on your salary.

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brownbear (Apr 28, 2016 - 10:18 am)

Congrats! Do you remember what day you interviewed?

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notthedroidyo (Apr 28, 2016 - 10:43 am)

congrats and good luck!

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55beauty (Apr 28, 2016 - 10:54 am)

April 11.

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brownbear (Apr 28, 2016 - 10:56 am)

Thanks! Looks like all the offers so far have been people who interviewed the week of the 11th.

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aindy (Apr 28, 2016 - 11:29 am)

It also seems that the individuals who interviewed the week of April 11th had interview emails that stated a start date of May 2016 only. While those who interviewed during the second wave, which concluded on April19, had interview emails that stated potential start dates in May or June 2016.

I interviewed on April 19th and received my interview email on April 13th.

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brownbear (Apr 28, 2016 - 11:33 am)

I'll take all of that as a good sign.

I interviewed and received my interview email the same days as you.

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loblawyer (Apr 28, 2016 - 12:21 pm)

So why are the people making near or over $100k in this thread applying for these jobs? Is it just to escape the grind of private practice?

I get it if you're not making much money in private practice and would prefer to make the same less money with less stress. But there are some pretty big paycuts being discussed here. This professional really is backwards sometimes with people coming back down the ladder.

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notthedroidyo (Apr 28, 2016 - 12:25 pm)

my thoughts exactly.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 28, 2016 - 12:32 pm)

I am making six figures now (long term fed contractor with major agency), and the thought process in applying for these jobs is that it is a ticket to becoming a federal employee. While I make good money, I am not getting any valuable experience to apply to attorney jobs (it is just mindless doc review and redactions). The hope is that you become a permanent federal employee at the gs-13 and above level. Gs/13 and 14 would be making what I make or more (gs-14 goes up to 140k, which is more than what I make). Making six figures as a federal employee is better than making six figures in the private sector (you get pslf for your student loans-not an option in the private sector

I got offered the job with ssa-the problem I am having now is determining the odds that I will become a permanent federal employee and get a gs-13 and above grade if I accept the offer

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notthedroidyo (Apr 28, 2016 - 12:44 pm)

I feel like if you work for the feds for 4 years and can't successfully get another fed job...that's on you bro

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 28, 2016 - 1:01 pm)

also keep in mind that even though you are making six figures, that doesn't mean you are doing "attorney work". So, you might not be eligible to apply for anything other than the entry level attorney work even though you are already making the big bucks

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downwardslope (Apr 28, 2016 - 1:05 pm)

Reading the OPM position guide is quite helpful to determine what qualifies a person for each grade level. Just because you have X years of experience does not mean you would necessarily qualify for GS-14 or whatnot. You may get referred but not make it to the interview if you do not meet the criteria they are looking for in that grade.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 28, 2016 - 1:13 pm)

also, too, some jobs require that you be a federal employee before you can apply to them. I was qualified for numerous jobs but could not apply to them because I am not a federal employee

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jd42 (Apr 28, 2016 - 12:48 pm)

Did those of you who got offers get them for the Baltimore position or the Falls Church position?

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lawblob (Apr 28, 2016 - 12:56 pm)

Falls Church

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 28, 2016 - 12:59 pm)

Falls Church

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55beauty (Apr 28, 2016 - 12:53 pm)

This job maxes out as a GS 12. If you take this job, do it with the mind to apply for other fed attorney jobs once you have a couple years of real attorney work at SSA under your belt.

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downwardslope (Apr 28, 2016 - 1:27 pm)

It is still only limited "real attorney" work, however. That is the issue. This is not a generalist position that will give you a variety of skills. You are not providing legal advice to agency officials, litigating in administrative fora or federal courts, contracting, etc. You will have the time in grade but not necessarily the skills desired for a GS-13 level employee.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 28, 2016 - 1:33 pm)

this is the dilemma-is there a gs-13 or higher position at the end of the tunnel if you take this job?

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downwardslope (Apr 28, 2016 - 1:41 pm)

The other option is to transfer to a low COL area. I interviewed for this position in new office in a low COL area 6 years ago. The ALJ told me few people left his location. All but about one person hired was an internal transfer. GS-12 there would have been great, particularly at that time when property was cheap. It is great where I am now. It is a downgrade in terms of QOL in DC compared to my current salary locally, as I need around a GS-13.

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55beauty (Apr 28, 2016 - 1:09 pm)

Falls Church

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aindy (Apr 28, 2016 - 1:39 pm)

Did they contact your references? For those of you who got offers.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 28, 2016 - 1:47 pm)

one of my references got called from somebody from the govt doing a background check (they did/are doing background checks

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grubdy (Apr 28, 2016 - 2:11 pm)

I interviewed like the 8th. It's huge pay cut for everyone but I need something else then doc review. Please SSA email me! Lol

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notthedroidyo (Apr 28, 2016 - 2:26 pm)

just take the job you fools.

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aindy (Apr 28, 2016 - 3:24 pm)

hopelesslyunemployed and nora, I thought you only had one day to make the decision. What were your decisions? yes or no to the offers/

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 28, 2016 - 3:28 pm)

still flip flopping at this point on whether I will take the job

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aindy (Apr 28, 2016 - 3:32 pm)

So you have more than a day to make the decision?

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lexcorde (Apr 28, 2016 - 3:38 pm)

most people would kill for a federal job. it boggles the mind how this post lasted so long. someone should have said --- take the money and run. oh wait

notthedroidyo (Apr 28, 2016 - 2:26 pm)


just take the job you fools.

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notthedroidyo (Apr 28, 2016 - 3:42 pm)

http://i.imgur.com/SM96caR.gif

Not to mention applying for a job that you either A) didn't want or B) were wishy-washy about in the first place.

BIG THANKS FOR THAT

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lexcorde (Apr 28, 2016 - 3:46 pm)

Yes. Its like going to the market and taking home stuff that you will throw out anyway when there are starving people all over.

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downwardslope (Apr 28, 2016 - 3:50 pm)

There is no obligation you take every job offer just because other people want it. I apply to jobs I am on the fence about because I may change my mind after I interview and/or talk to HR. There is only so much you can tell from a job ad. This is not a permanent position, which means it may not be the best choice for some people who have permanent or long-term, higher paying positions. If it was a situation where it would convert, that might change things. You cannot tell that information from the ad. You have to ask during the interview.

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lexcorde (Apr 28, 2016 - 3:53 pm)

By the time you get the offer you have all that so... imho it makes no sense to say you have to think about a government job, you should take it.

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downwardslope (Apr 28, 2016 - 4:02 pm)

Who runs the numbers seriously and discusses it with a spouse/SO before getting an offer? That is a lot of time and effort when you do not even know if you are getting the job.

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lexcorde (Apr 28, 2016 - 4:36 pm)

um what?

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norahound (Apr 28, 2016 - 4:46 pm)

Exactly. After being rejected for about 20 other government attorney positions, I was very surprised when I was granted an interview and even more surprised with the offer. I was hoping that my over 7 years of experience would result in an initial offer that was higher than $64k. Also, when I applied, I was unaware that housing prices were 2-3 times higher than where I currently live. I didn't have a whole lot of time to do research on this position because the posting said that the application period would close as soon as 400 people applied. In any event, I expect to provide written notice shortly that I will be declining the position to allow someone else the opportunity to be offered the position. I did find out that 2 training classes will be offered for the position - one that starts May 15th and the other one that starts June 27th. The offer will tell you which training class you have to attend.

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downwardslope (Apr 28, 2016 - 4:58 pm)

I have applied for 100 at this point. I am waiting to hear on one but am not holding my breath. I think I would probably take it (it would be perm, ladder to 14), but it would still require crunching the numbers at the time I got an offer because of the COL difference. This was about the first or second GS-11 position I applied to in DC (all have had application caps) and like you, I was just not aware of how expensive it is there. The finances just make me really nervous.

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lexcorde (Apr 28, 2016 - 5:37 pm)

June 27th?

Are you in the running for NYC probation officer? You know that pays less than the attorney job?

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brownbear (Apr 28, 2016 - 6:50 pm)

Thank you fo sharing that info on the training class start dates! Good luck on your future search.

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roadkingrider (May 3, 2016 - 3:15 pm)

Sorry, you were not able to take the job. I know the first year pay cut and the expense of living in DC is hard. I think the work/life balance would have been worth it for you though. I hope you get offered something else with the Feds. Good luck.

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aindy (Apr 28, 2016 - 3:53 pm)

Those of you who had offers, did you get more than one day to make your decision?

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lexcorde (Apr 28, 2016 - 4:36 pm)

you shouldn't need more than one second.

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lighthouse (Apr 28, 2016 - 5:16 pm)

My spouse and I have been debating the decision since I got the email and interview (and before that, even). It's not an easy decision when you truly have more than one option in life. There are many factors for me and I still don't know if I want it or not, if offered. If I had no job currently or already lived down there, it would be easier. I have a lot of other factors to weigh, and clearly others do too. I've never treated any job decision as a no brainier, even when I had only $200 in the bank after law school. Also, I like to keep doors and windows open--doesn't mean I have to walk through them! But that's just me. To each his own.

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lexcorde (Apr 28, 2016 - 5:38 pm)

when you truly have more than one option in life.

Such as?

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lighthouse (Apr 29, 2016 - 7:29 am)

Really, lexcorde? Personally we are weighing things like my spouse's current career path, my current career path, having kids and whether we want to keep living near family should we desire to have kids, whether one of us will work at all or be a stay at home parent if we choose that...

Life isn't one size fits all. But every action has an equal and opposite reaction, so yeah, I'm going to take more than a second to contemplate everything.

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brownbear (Apr 29, 2016 - 7:38 am)

I don't think lexcorde is making serious comments

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john09 (Apr 28, 2016 - 5:43 pm)

Don't take this job unless you want it. Otherwise, you will be depressed and your negative attitude will rub off on those around you.

Some people actually like this job. There's a lot of flexibility in your work hours. And it has decent pay.

So, if you want better opportunities, I advise you to sit this one out and let those who really want this job to have it. The outcome will be better for everyone this way.

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55beauty (Apr 28, 2016 - 7:14 pm)

I agree with john09. If you truly don't want to commit to a GS 11 in a high cost area, and you don't know how it would fit in your career plan, let someone else have the position.

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runningfatcat (Apr 29, 2016 - 10:59 am)

I just got an offer for the Arlington office. I interviewed Friday, April 8th.

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brownbear (Apr 29, 2016 - 11:01 am)

Congrats! Thanks for sharing

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ayeesq (Apr 29, 2016 - 11:19 am)

Congrats! Did they give you the May or June start date?

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runningfatcat (Apr 29, 2016 - 11:44 am)

Thanks! They gave me the May 16th start date.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 30, 2016 - 11:55 am)

still undecided on this job--does anyone know if ssa offers anything with regard to student loans other than pslf?

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govlaw (Apr 30, 2016 - 1:14 pm)

No. Bar dues aren't covered either.

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bigfed (Apr 30, 2016 - 7:50 pm)

What more do you want? Haha. The answer is no. You also don't get free coffee or bottled water. This is the federal government.

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govlaw (Apr 30, 2016 - 8:16 pm)

There is a public transportation subsidy, but Falls Church isn't super convenient to the metro. Parking is $$.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 30, 2016 - 8:54 pm)

you have to pay to park at falls church?

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bigfed (Apr 30, 2016 - 9:02 pm)

Yes

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 30, 2016 - 9:57 pm)

how much is parking per day?

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govlaw (May 1, 2016 - 8:24 am)

Monthly $120ish (I think) for the garage connected to the building, but there are other pay lots and free parking if you are willing to walk.

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 1, 2016 - 9:51 am)

yikes-that is a lot. we get free parking at my agency. I thought woodlawn (ssa) gets free parking too (could be wrong)

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briecheese (May 5, 2016 - 9:15 pm)

It's $112 /month to park in the underground garage. You pay per month and get a transponder. PMI has a monopoly on parking in the skyline complex. The Target parking lot has free parking for up to 2 hours so sometimes people move their cars every two hours. A skyline apartment building nearby offers $50/month parking but it's a short walk. Street parking is free but very difficult to find. There's a free skyline shuttle to/from Ballston and Pentagon City - http://www.tenantsatskyline.com/amenities/shuttle-bus-service/.

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 5, 2016 - 9:54 pm)

thanks. How does the schedule work. I was told no telework the first year. After that, how many days do you get to telework? Can you set your own hours (i.e., work nights rather than business hours)?

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govlaw (May 6, 2016 - 6:27 am)

3. You have to clock in between 6am and 930am, and out by 6pm. This is true in the office as well.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 30, 2016 - 8:56 pm)

the federal agency I am at now pays employees for their student loans (in addition to pslf-i am a contractor, though, so i am not eligible). I was not sure if that is the same for ssa

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 1, 2016 - 1:58 pm)

Also, HR said that you can't apply to internal vacancies because you are not a permanent employee and don't have status. Are there many opportunities to get GS-13 at the appeals council (or ssa in general)? Would you have to wait the whole 4 years until the term is over before you can get gs-13? What are transfer options like to other federal agencies if you want a higher grade?

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grubdy (May 2, 2016 - 12:49 am)

I got the email Friday as
Well.
Really struggling to figure out how I'll afford it but will have to find a way. I start May 16 as well and need to call them
Monday about fingerprints etc. Wish we had another month to start so I could save more. Oh well, congrats everyone!

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brownbear (May 2, 2016 - 2:48 am)

Congrats! Thanks for sharing. It still seems like no one in the second group of interviews has received an offer- I hope that happens this week.

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ayeesq (May 2, 2016 - 9:31 am)

Congrats!

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brownbear (May 2, 2016 - 4:32 am)

Is there anyone who had a phone interview during the first group and didn't get an offer?

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aindy (May 2, 2016 - 8:56 pm)

Did anyone get an offer today from the second wave?

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aspiringlawyer (May 3, 2016 - 9:53 am)

OMG, y'all! I thought I'd never get one, but I woke up this morning to an email for an interview for this position! It will be in the next 3 days. Somebody please tell me what to say to get hired!!!!

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ayeesq (May 3, 2016 - 10:15 am)

Congrats! So there's still hope for the rest of us who haven't gotten an interview.

I'd say scroll up and read the responses from people who have already interviewed. They gave some general but great responses on what occurred during their interviews.

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aindy (May 3, 2016 - 10:16 am)

Congratulations! What did your interview email state? Were there two start dates?

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jd42 (May 3, 2016 - 10:31 am)

Has anyone heard from the Baltimore office?

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aspiringlawyer (May 3, 2016 - 10:33 am)

It looks like the interview is for the Falls Church or Arlington office. The start date would be June 27th. I need to submit a federal form ASAP, though.

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pkme (May 3, 2016 - 1:37 pm)

I received an email today for an interview as well with start date of June 27th. Has anyone asked about the possibility of telework with this position?

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 3, 2016 - 1:45 pm)

I was told no telework for the first year (falls church). after that, you are eligible for telework

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grubdy (May 4, 2016 - 4:47 am)

Congrats guys! The interview is basically asking why you want this position and why you'd be a good fit. Then they ask you some behavioral questions like what would you do if you had a problem w your supervisor or co-worker. June 27 would be a good start date for me Bc then I'd do doc review and save like crazy. It just gives you time if you need to relocate as well. Great job and congrats again!

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 5, 2016 - 9:26 am)

question about the probationary period. Are you allowed to apply to other fed jobs during the probationary period at SSA? If offered another job at a different agency, can you jump ship from SSA prior to your first year probationary period ending?

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notthedroidyo (May 5, 2016 - 9:30 am)

"Probationary Period
A new probationary period is not required after transfer. However, you would continue to serve the remainder of any probationary period which you were serving at the time of transfer. In most cases, you must wait at least three months after your latest non-temporary competitive appointment before you may be considered for transfer to a position in a different line of work, at a higher grade, or to a different geographical area. OPM may waive the restriction against movement to a different geographical area when it is satisfied that the waiver is consistent with the principles of open competition."

source: simple google search

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justlooking86 (May 5, 2016 - 10:24 am)

Can someone getting interviewed this week ask/does anyone know when they expect to issue offers for the June start date?

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 8, 2016 - 10:48 pm)

can anyone talk about the promotion potential to gs 13 at the appeals council? are there many gs 13 opportunities available if you want them?

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bigfed (May 9, 2016 - 6:17 am)

Not really. It is a competitive promotion that posts randomly. Last time was about 1.5 years ago. You must be doing your job well above average level. Also, presuming you are entitled to a GS 13 as an NTE employee, you would not be able to even apply until after a full year as a GS 12 which you don't get until a full year after GS 11. So you are looking at a minimum of 2+ years and then you have to hope the GS 13 posts around that time.

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 9, 2016 - 9:30 am)

how many gs 13 positions posted the last time? Was it like one position for the whole office or multiple vacancies?

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bigfed (May 9, 2016 - 7:12 pm)

I know you are trying to get all the info you can. Based on your level of concern you may want to wait for something that is more permanent. This is really unprecedented hiring on a temp budget. I wouldn't be so concerned with GS 13 as much as I would with will there be a job for long. Just trying to be honest with you. I know everyone dreams of using this as a lateral but I am not sure how strong it would be going from NTE in a specialized area to something more legal.

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john09 (May 9, 2016 - 8:28 pm)

I agree with bigfed. Furthermore, people who are seeking these jobs should be aware that promotions to GS 12, while noncompetitive, are subject to minimal performance standards. In agency parlance, you must show that you are able to perform at the higher grade level in order to be promoted.

This is not unique to SSA. In the federal government, you are not guaranteed a promotion even in jobs with promotion potential. Promotion potential means exactly as it sounds, you have the potential to be promoted if you meet minimum agency standards.

At SSA, GS 12 attorney advisers are required to have a 70 percent production rate. You will not be promoted, even to GS 12, unless you are capable of reaching 70 percent. Your performance will be evaluated monthly. While you have the benefit of controlling your workload as you wish during the month, and can work as fast or slow as you wish, you must complete approximately 30-40 cases per month. This breaks down to approximately 1.5 cases per day. How you get to 30-40 cases per month depends on you, but you must get there.

How does this affect you? If you want to take this job as a stepping stone to a better position, be careful. While the subject matter isn't complex, you have to good at issue spotting and must do so quickly. If you don't want this job, but take it anyways, you probably won't succeed since this job requires focus and attention to detail. You'll spend your days at SSA dreaming about being an assistant U.S. attorney, and won't be able to focus on the work at hand.

Some attorney advisers are currently stuck at GS-11 because their supervisors will not promote them to GS 12 due to production rate issues. They will likely be fired after a few more weeks if they are unable to improve.

Keep in mind that while there are many positive aspects of this jobs, it can be stressful at times. SSA wants to recruit people for the long term. Many senior level executives at the agency started as GS-5 claims representatives. Now, they are deputy commissioners and below. If you want to join SSA, that's great. Do it because you want the job, not because you want something better after a few months.

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 10, 2016 - 8:52 am)

appreciate all of the info. Assuming I take the job, I would definitely give it my all to meet/exceed production requirements. For those attorneys that do meet/exceed production requirements, is the outlook good at SSA (appeals council)(room for growth)? From what you have seen, when gs-13 spots do open up at the appeals council, have there been many openings (e.g., 1 spot for 100+ people, or 30-40 spots for 100+ people)? Thanks.

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john09 (May 10, 2016 - 9:22 am)

There are multiple vacancies for GS 13 positions. Employees at the Appeals Council tend to get bottlenecked at the GS 13 level. While there are numerous GS 13 positions available, GS 14 positions are more scarce. This may change somewhat since the Appeals Council is growing and the nature of the work is expanding from just reviewing decisions to actually holding hearings and issuing decisions. GS 14 positions are also available at hearing offices nationwide.

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 10, 2016 - 10:07 am)

thanks

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brownbear (May 9, 2016 - 6:41 am)

There's a new ad on USAJOBS this morning for the Baltimore office. 12 openings- accepting first 100 applications.

Anyone heard anything about the June start date offers? Or anyone who interviewed the week of April 18th?

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lawrunner317 (May 9, 2016 - 11:34 am)

Thanks for the heads up.

I submitted my application this morning.

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downwardslope (May 9, 2016 - 1:39 pm)

Looks like it has already closed.

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lawrunner317 (May 9, 2016 - 4:27 pm)

You're correct. It's closed.

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aspiringlawyer (May 9, 2016 - 5:53 pm)

It's a good thing I left work and applied during my lunch break. Looks like it closed soon after that.

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perkinwarbeck (May 9, 2016 - 8:05 pm)

Yikes, that's fast even for SSA. I like how these aren't even up long enough to twig someone's saved search auto- email. As if job hunting wasn't enough of a game.

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camglaw (May 11, 2016 - 9:15 pm)

I interviewed on April 18th. I was told that the starting date would be mid-June.
After sending a follow-up email, I received an email from the OAO Hiring Committee saying that " the Hiring Committee is continuing to review applications and appointments are ongoing."
There is still hope

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aspiringlawyer (May 10, 2016 - 10:44 am)

What happens if we didn't include references on our resume? I hadn't looked for a job in a long time, so I didn't have any references on hand.

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downwardslope (May 10, 2016 - 4:47 pm)

I interviewed for a non-SSA job last week and they asked for references at the time of the interview.

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brownbear (May 11, 2016 - 7:59 am)

I don't think failure to include references on your resume will have any effect. I don't think they're required but if they want references they'll ask you.

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camglaw (May 11, 2016 - 9:27 pm)

Does anyone know if the April 13-19 interviews were exclusively for the Baltimore office?

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aspiringlawyer (May 12, 2016 - 2:58 pm)

Someone up thread said their references had been contacted.

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brownbear (May 12, 2016 - 3:23 pm)

as part of a background check. I don't think they specifically needed employment references as part of the hiring process. You would have to pass a background check either before starting or during the probationary period during which time they might ask for/contact various references. It'd be different paperwork though.

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aindy (May 15, 2016 - 7:32 pm)

Has anyone in the second wave been contacted with a job offer for the June 27th start date?

Also, congratulations for those of you starting in the first wave tomorrow on May 16th. Could you please ask when they plan to start making offers for the second wave during your training tomorrow?

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camglaw (May 16, 2016 - 3:16 pm)

On may 6 I was told that Hiring Committee was continuing to review applications and appointments are ongoing. It would be great if someone else do a follow-up call or email.

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john09 (May 16, 2016 - 3:36 pm)

Camglaw - the Hiring Committee likes applicants with initiative and genuine interest in the position. Why don't you call or email the HR contact?

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downwardslope (May 16, 2016 - 6:23 am)

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/438827100/ - Another posting in Albuquerque. 100 applications, 2-year term. If it is anything like the last one, will likely close by lunchtime. It has only two openings, but still may be appealing to people nearer to the west coast.

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lawrunner317 (May 16, 2016 - 12:55 pm)

Thanks. Good luck to those that applied.

It's still open as of 1:00PM.

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camglaw (May 16, 2016 - 2:13 pm)

Has anyone received an offer for the June class?

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 16, 2016 - 7:51 pm)

fyi-for the falls church opening, the appointment letter that I signed at orientation specifically said the position may become permanent (even though the vacancy announcement did not say so specifically

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downwardslope (May 16, 2016 - 7:55 pm)

That's good. How was your first day? How may people were in your orientation?

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 16, 2016 - 8:37 pm)

it was good-people/judge were friendly (not sure the total amount of people-it was a lot-maybe 60+? Today, it was mostly describing all of the benefits you get as a fed (went over retirement, union benefits, health plans, flex time, etc
you can work 4 10 hour days and be off on friday (someone asked what the dress code was on friday, and the judge said she usually doesn't work friday
also, you can get in as early as 6am to leave early (assuming you want to try to beat rush hour

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aspiringlawyer (May 17, 2016 - 11:36 am)

Congrats on getting the job! How did your interview go? I'm waiting to hear back about mine.

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 17, 2016 - 8:13 pm)

the judges called me out of the blue (did not give a time when they would call me) and then did a phone interview. I interviewed while I was working my other job--just made stuff up on the fly (gotta think fast

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t3success (May 17, 2016 - 12:00 pm)

Wow 160k employee working 4 days a week.

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lawrunner317 (May 17, 2016 - 12:41 pm)

160K?

I think Step 1 of GS-11 is more like $64K/year.

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govlaw (May 17, 2016 - 12:52 pm)

^referring to a judge who works 4 10s, so has Fridays off.

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t3success (May 17, 2016 - 1:37 pm)

Not many lawyers out there able to work 4 10s and take Friday off in the good Ole private sector.

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 17, 2016 - 7:38 pm)

also, you could theoretically setup your schedule to work from 6am-6pm to frontload additional hours and work less days per week

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aindy (May 17, 2016 - 11:57 am)

Has anyone in the June 27th start date received an offer?

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pkme (May 17, 2016 - 12:38 pm)

Not yet....How long did it take to get an offer from the first waves of interviews?

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 18, 2016 - 8:55 pm)

quick for me--like a week or two after my interview, i got an offer

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brownbear (May 19, 2016 - 7:16 am)

I sent an email to OAO Recruitment yesterday and got the following response,

"Thank you for your inquiry and in your expression of interest in working for the Social Security Administration. Please be advised that the Hiring Committee is continuing to review applications and appointments are ongoing.

We would ask for your patience in this process."

So no new news. But it does seem they only did 3 rounds of interviews, at least based on the people in this thread. The first round had a May start date, the 2nd round had a May or June start date, and the third round had a June start date.

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camglaw (May 19, 2016 - 9:28 am)

Thanks for the info.
There is still hope

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brownbear (May 19, 2016 - 10:11 am)

I think so- with the government it's always hard to say. My wife called HR to try and do some recon and see if they'd say something different to her. She asked when they planned to send offers for the June 27th attorney-advisor training class and the HR rep said it would be in June but she didn't know anything about who would get offers one way or the other.

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camglaw (May 19, 2016 - 1:36 pm)

Any idea if this would be for the Falls Church, Arlington or Baltimore Office?

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brownbear (May 19, 2016 - 2:20 pm)

Falls Church/Arlington- I got referred for Baltimore but never heard anything. My interview was for Falls Church/Arlington so that's what I said in my follow-up email. She also called the HR rep for the Falls Church/Arlington ad- it's a different rep for Baltimore.

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camglaw (May 23, 2016 - 12:17 pm)

Things are moving in the SSA. I just receive this email: "SSA is still in the process of selecting candidates for the Attorney-Adviser position. You are still being considered for the position; however, we need to verify your current bar membership status..."

Good luck to everyone!

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brownbear (May 23, 2016 - 1:29 pm)

haha- thanks for the update! Good Luck

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camglaw (May 23, 2016 - 1:44 pm)

I believe that this information was requested because I'm admitted to the Puerto Rico Bar. This might not be required for those admitted to a State Bar.

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brownbear (May 23, 2016 - 1:48 pm)

Probably- still nice to get confirmation they're moving along

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pkme (May 25, 2016 - 5:38 pm)

Just received an offer e-mail for either Falls Church or Arlington. You get to chose which your preference is.

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aindy (May 25, 2016 - 6:00 pm)

Just received an offer for the Falls Church and Arlington position.

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camglaw (May 25, 2016 - 6:57 pm)

I also receive an offer e-mail. I need help choosing between Falls Church or Arlington, any suggestions? Help please

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govlaw (May 25, 2016 - 7:09 pm)

The Arlington office is close to the metro and has lots of lunch options. Falls Church is easier to drive to and the lunch situation is improving. Everyone might be moving in 5 years or so.

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 25, 2016 - 10:10 pm)

If you have a car, there are lots of places to go for food in Falls Church (for fast food, I saw a chik fil a, dairy queen, mickey d's, popeyes, subway, panera, etc). If you like to eat clean/healthy, they have grocery stores close by (trader joes, etc.-think I saw a whole foods up a ways on route 7

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aspiringlawyer (May 25, 2016 - 8:44 pm)

Has anybody accepted yet?

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camglaw (May 25, 2016 - 9:16 pm)

I just sent an e-mail accepting the job.

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brownbear (May 26, 2016 - 6:53 am)

Congrats to all! I also got the offer yesterday and sent an acceptance email requesting the Falls Church location and June 27th start date.

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camglaw (May 26, 2016 - 8:03 am)

Congratulations!
I also requested the Falls Church location but for the August start date.

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camglaw (May 26, 2016 - 8:06 am)

Any recommendations of good and affordable neighborhoods near the Falls Church location? Would you recommend any particular apartment complex?

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aindy (May 26, 2016 - 8:31 am)

Congratulations to all! I sent an acceptance email for the Falls Church location, August start date.

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kennybania (May 26, 2016 - 9:21 am)

I've worked in the Falls Church office for the past few years if anyone has any questions. Feel free to post here or email me at this throwaway -ssathrowaway10@gmail.com

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blackholelaw (May 26, 2016 - 9:35 am)

Congrats all. Now how are you going to identify yourselves to each other? Need a secret JD Underground handshake...

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brownbear (May 26, 2016 - 10:16 am)

Haha- I was thinking the same thing- funny how many of us were on this forum waiting

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aspiringlawyer (May 26, 2016 - 12:08 pm)

Why'd you guys choose Falls Church over Arlington?

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brownbear (May 26, 2016 - 12:24 pm)

I think Falls Church is the national headquarters- though I don't know for certain if that matters- that's why I choose it.

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john09 (May 26, 2016 - 12:28 pm)

Location doesn't matter. Once you able to telework, most of your interactions with your peers and supervisors will be by email or instant message. You will have very limited contact with your peers since everyone is teleworking on different days.

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camglaw (May 26, 2016 - 12:41 pm)

I choose FC because I read that the cost of living and rent are slightly lower than Arlington. Also, I read that the traffic is crazy in Arlington.
Other than that I don't know a thing about Arlington or FC.

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brownbear (May 26, 2016 - 12:46 pm)

I work in Arlington right now- about 8 blocks away from the SSA office. I drive to/from work right now and it easily takes me 1.5-2 hours to get home each day. The first 5 miles out of Arlington take an hour on there own. It's awful. Hoping Falls Church will be a little better and really looking forward to the telecommuting.

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govlaw (May 26, 2016 - 12:53 pm)

After training, you can start work between 6am 9:30am, which can also help your commute time.

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camglaw (May 26, 2016 - 12:54 pm)

Any suggestions of neighborhoods to live in near Falls Church?

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bigfed (May 26, 2016 - 7:41 pm)

What are you looking for? What do you want to spend?

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camglaw (May 26, 2016 - 9:52 pm)

I'm looking for a 2br apt. I'll be moving with my wife and 3yr boy. My rent budget is $1,700

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 26, 2016 - 10:29 pm)

I would probably just look for apartments directly in Falls Church to save on commute time. There are some nice communities in Falls Church off the main roads. It seems like a nice enough area.

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aspiringlawyer (May 26, 2016 - 2:21 pm)

That commute sounds crazy! Does anyone know what the commute is like in Falls Church?

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govlaw (May 26, 2016 - 2:33 pm)

Depends where you are coming from.

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 26, 2016 - 7:48 pm)

If you can beat rush hour (495 beltway traffic), you could probably commute to the Maryland burbs in under an hour. If you are stuck in rush hour, you might be on the beltway over an hour to travel not very far (2 hours to travel less than 20 miles due to congestion on the highways

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brownbear (May 27, 2016 - 9:08 am)

For those already in training. After you got the offer email and accepted, did you email/call about follow-up questions? Or get a phone call from SSA giving you more details?

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govlaw (May 27, 2016 - 10:39 am)

They will contact you with more forms and information.

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aindy (May 27, 2016 - 9:38 pm)

Does anyone know in the current training class or who currently works within SSA, whether overtime pay is permitted in the first year? Is there a cap on the amount of overtime hours you can work per day?

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 27, 2016 - 10:44 pm)

they did specifically mention overtime was a possibility (did not say if it was available the first year, though). telework is not available until year 2 (i think), but you can come in early and leave early during year 1 (may also be able to work 4 10 hour days and be off fridays

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govlaw (May 28, 2016 - 7:15 am)

After you are done training, after another month, you can start working credit hours, which are hours you can use for leave. You can only earn 3 a day, and roll over 24 each pay period. You can arrive to work between 6am and 930am, but you must complete your hours by 6pm (so there's no opportunity for credit hours if you are someone who shows up at 9:30am).

You can start working OT once your denial cases are no longer under review (5-7 months after you start). OT is currently only offered on weekends and not every weekend, and lately it has been only Saturdays when it is offered (no guarantee of OT hours).

If you choose to work OT, you must work a minimum of 4 hours, no more than 8. You must complete a case for every 4 hours you work OT.

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bigfed (May 28, 2016 - 8:29 pm)

This is accurate. But they forgot to mention that OT has been extremely limited and may be done for 2016.

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 28, 2016 - 9:51 pm)

ouch-was kind of getting my hopes up for some ot in 2016. What was your experience in the "boom days" of ot? What was the most ot you have seen available in the past (on a per year basis)?

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govlaw (May 28, 2016 - 9:59 pm)

With all the new hires I wouldn't count on OT increasing. There used to be weekday OT. Then it was every weekend, both days. Lately just Saturdays, 1-2 days a month.

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 29, 2016 - 10:05 pm)

thanks-not sure if ot varies from division to division (or from location to location-e.g., falls church to crystal city), but the people in my training group are going to be separated into a wide variety of divisions

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mararum (May 27, 2016 - 9:39 pm)

How long did it take for people to get the firm offer aka how long did the fingerprinting take?

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 27, 2016 - 10:45 pm)

fingerprinting was quick--they did it in the hr office at hq

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brownbear (May 28, 2016 - 7:49 am)

I think he means how long did the final results from fingerprinting take- since we got tentative offers- when do you get the firm offer?

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 28, 2016 - 7:36 pm)

I basically got fingerprinted and never heard anything else about it (just started as scheduled)

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aindy (May 29, 2016 - 1:36 am)

Are there any recommendations in terms of apartments located near the Falls Church work location? Where are the nice neighborhoods to reside within?

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aspiringlawyer (May 29, 2016 - 12:49 pm)

Do you guys have any idea of how many people were hired? It looks like way more than 40!

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 29, 2016 - 10:03 pm)

it seemed like there were at least 80 people in the group that I was hired with (the group doing training now)

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aknas (May 29, 2016 - 9:35 pm)

Good luck @ $1700. 2 BR in NOVA 5 minutes walk from Metro start at $2500.

Look @ Zillow. $1700 puts you about an hour drive from a Metro.

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 29, 2016 - 10:02 pm)

good point--seems like the average rent in the DC burbs is about 3 grand a month
falls church in general seems nice (I didn't really see any sketchy areas where I would feel scared to get out of my car)-maybe try apartments.com and see what comes up

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aspiringlawyer (May 30, 2016 - 12:11 am)

hopelesslyunemployed, did they mention anything about student loan forgiveness during the orientation?

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govlaw (May 30, 2016 - 8:15 am)

The agency doesn't have much to do with PSLF.

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aspiringlawyer (May 30, 2016 - 11:43 am)

Does that mean there's no student loan forgiveness if you stay at this job for 10 years?

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bigfed (May 30, 2016 - 12:10 pm)

Not trying to be mean but do you do any research on your own? The agency doesn't have any involvement with PSLF. You will qualify for PSLF but it is not administered, regulated, or taught by the agency. Why would that ever come up during training?

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aspiringlawyer (May 30, 2016 - 3:35 pm)

As a part of the benefits that come with having the job. Someone mentioned it up thread.

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govlaw (May 30, 2016 - 3:52 pm)

It is an advantage, but it is not a benefit like health insurance and TSP. Not everyone qualifies for PSLF depending on what kind of loans and when they were taken out. It is administered by Dept. of Ed., not OPM or SSA. You need to research your own student loans to see if you qualify.

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john09 (May 30, 2016 - 4:09 pm)

PSLF is not specific to federal employment. You can work in the nonprofit sector and still qualify. As bigfed and govlaw noted, you should do your own research prior to joining the agency. Why would SSA bring up a topic that is neither specific to them nor applicable solely to federal employees?

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 31, 2016 - 7:50 pm)

they gave us the pslf forms during training to fill out and give to our supervisors

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aspiringlawyer (Jun 1, 2016 - 8:51 pm)

Thank you so much for answering my question!

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camglaw (May 30, 2016 - 8:44 pm)

For those already working in the SSA, how much of the paycheck do you take home after taxes and deductions? This might give an idea of how much I can pay for rent.

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bigfed (May 31, 2016 - 11:31 am)

Count on at least 70%. Hope for a little more. It varies greatly by your deductions and retirement contribution amounts. I haven't checked mine in awhile but I would guess it is between 71%-74%

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govlaw (May 31, 2016 - 11:42 am)

Mine is more like 60%, but I contribute a large percentage to retirement.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Jun 3, 2016 - 7:51 pm)

mine was about 65%, but like you, I contributed to retirement, got the good health insurance, etc. How much your bring home is will depend on what kind of benefits you elect to receive (I would say counting on at least 60-70% is a good bet

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camglaw (May 31, 2016 - 4:36 pm)

Thanks

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hopelesslyunemployed (May 31, 2016 - 7:53 pm)

I think they take out like 7-10% of your income for fers/retirement. Then they also take out health insurance (assuming you get health insurance, dental, etc.).

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aknas (May 31, 2016 - 11:16 pm)

You probably can't afford Falls Church.

A JDU Looser might consider Annandale--NOVA inside the beltway, but decidedly.....different.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2016/05/18/annandale-is-for-dregs-of-society-viral-video-claims/
Angelo Mike of Annandale, Va. poured his heart into making a video explaining why he believes living in this Fairfax County suburb is so miserable. The video has amassed more than one million YouTube views since he posted it nearly two years ago. (YouTube/FlyingOverTr0ut)
The video begins with the strains of a gentle guitar — the sound of dentist office waiting rooms, yoga retreats and being on hold with a customer service center.

But the video’s message is not one of peace.

“Are you an emotionally disfigured person whose life has gone completely off-track because of your own lack of judgment?” a voice-over intones over images of garbage and graffiti. “Do you need somewhere to live cheap and fast? Is no price too low? Then welcome to Annandale, Virginia. This miserable ashtray of a town, soaked with urine is for you.”

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john09 (May 31, 2016 - 11:34 pm)

JDU may have pretty loose standards, but I bet most people on JDU know the difference between looser and loser.

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aknas (Jun 1, 2016 - 7:12 am)

butt_hair (Mar 15, 2011 - 12:41 pm)

"Sh!tlawyers, doc reviewers and looser moreons, lend me your ears."
http://www.jdunderground.com/all/thread.php?threadId=15859

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camglaw (Jun 6, 2016 - 2:59 pm)

What's a JDU?

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aspiringlawyer (Jun 1, 2016 - 8:53 pm)

Is Annandale really a horrible place? I'm looking at some decent apartments there online.

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aindy (Jun 1, 2016 - 10:17 am)

For those lawyers in training in the first training class, how are the training days going? What topics are being covered during the training? Specifically, with regards to performing the job.

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bigfed (Jun 1, 2016 - 2:52 pm)

Lol. That is quite the question for those individuals. It would require its own website. It's 6 weeks of training covering everything from HR issues to the entire sequential evaluation process. It's basically a crash course compressing lots of information into tiny half day segments.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Jun 1, 2016 - 9:13 pm)

for the appeals council (falls church) attorney-adviser position, we are training on how to review ALJ disability decisions to see if they are supported by substantial evidence and OK by Appeals Council standards. There is a lot to review in terms of making sure an ALJ decision is OK by Appeals Council standards. You look for any due process problems (e.g., judge didn't let claimant testify or present evidence), decisions that are not supported by the medical evidence on record, etc. It is a ton of material to review (we have to learn about all the regulations, what weight to give certain medical evidence, how to draft an analysis for AAJs, etc.

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brownbear (Jun 1, 2016 - 11:36 am)

Has anyone who just received/accepted an offer heard anything about fingerprints or a confirmed start date?

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brownbear (Jun 1, 2016 - 3:23 pm)

Update: I got a call from HR today- going in for fingerprints Monday and starting with the training class on June 27th.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Jun 2, 2016 - 7:38 pm)

fyi-Appeals Council said they would likely not be hiring any more this year due to budget concerns. As a result, there would likely be more overtime available. Also said that they would try to make everyone permanent if the budget allows it and people do the job.

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brownbear (Jun 3, 2016 - 8:08 am)

Hearing that permanent is a possibility is great- thanks for sharing

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hopelesslyunemployed (Jun 3, 2016 - 7:50 pm)

no problem--from what I was told, there are opportunities to move up at the appeals council as well (they want to try to have opportunities to promote all of the people that do good work at least up to gs-13). Once you get to the gs-13, then you get more opportunities to do details and move around to different components (e.g, ogc). They mentioned other positions at appeals council that go above gs-13 (appeals officer, branch chief), but I think I heard them say if you want to become an ALJ, you would need a military background due to the vet preference rules in govt hiring

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dcesq202 (Jun 4, 2016 - 1:28 pm)

And Appeals Officer is a stepping stone to AAJ -- AAJs are not covered by the Administrative Procedure Act and are promoted internally through SSA (i.e., not sorted through OPM's master list with its attendant exam, vet preference, ratings system, etc.). Although AO/AAJ is a long term goal, it's definitely something to aspire to if you're just starting out in the position and want to make a career at SSA. The job is frustrating at times but it's really not such a bad place to work -- a lot of the negativity on this forum is overblown/unwarranted IMO. In addition, several of my colleagues have moved to AA positions in other agencies (although this is probably something you want to do within 3 yrs on the job).

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hopelesslyunemployed (Jun 4, 2016 - 9:33 pm)

good to know-thanks

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brownbear (Jun 6, 2016 - 7:32 am)

That is good to know! I'm getting my fingerprinting done today and excited to start soon.

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lawrunner317 (Jun 4, 2016 - 10:44 am)

Anybody hear from the SSA attorney-advisor postings from early-mid May for:

Baltimore 12 vacancies (100 apps accepted) - posted 5/9
Albuquerque 2 vacancies (100 apps accepted) - posted 5/16

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aindy (Jun 8, 2016 - 3:36 pm)

Those of you in training, how are your days going? What is being covered? How is the typical agenda of a day of training structured? What is the dress code? Suits or business casual?

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govlaw (Jun 8, 2016 - 4:38 pm)

Suit the first day, business casual the rest.

Training is everything to do your job. The rules, medical background, writing exercises. It is like being in school all day.

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orangesun (Jun 8, 2016 - 9:47 pm)

Hey - former SSA attorney advisor here. For those of you who will be in Falls Church, check out this building, Skyline Towers. It's literally right next to the SSA office and is super cheap for the area. http://www.equityapartments.com/alexandria/baileys-crossroads/skyline-towers-apartments

2 beds start around $1500.

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aspiringlawyer (Jun 9, 2016 - 10:41 am)

Thanks so much! I trust there are no shady characters who live there.

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aknas (Jun 9, 2016 - 2:04 pm)

I dont know. They generally sit at the sidewalk coffee shop at the strip mall across the street, chain-smoke, sip tea, and murmur "Death to Israel" to each other between puffs.

You'll never have to wait long for a taxi.

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aknas (Jun 9, 2016 - 2:10 pm)

E.g. from apartmentratings.com
anyonnoeone35 - Resident
Lived Here: 2015 - 2015
I do not recommmend this property
After reading some reviews, i decided to do my own.

This building itself is normal. It's not luxury as you would expect for the price.

The youth here are criminal.

It's dominated by a culture that one could say originated from the land that //uslims are from and since that culture translates to their youth you don't feel safe for your own young.

Any american worth their money would invest in a home in the surrounding area.

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aspiringlawyer (Jun 9, 2016 - 3:16 pm)

Wow, umm, okay...

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bigfed (Jun 25, 2016 - 7:03 pm)

So how was the end of training? How are you guys feeling? Met a couple of you in passing.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Jun 26, 2016 - 12:07 pm)

training was good overall--people were friendly and easy to work with. There was quite a bit of material covered, so I am going to need to re-review everything (regs, etc). I am feeling kind of nervous about production requirements. I should have asked how we are evaluated for promotions, etc (how different cases are weighted in your evaluations, etc). Some people in our group are getting quality review cases, rsi cases, and regular appeals cases, and I am not sure how these different types of cases are weighted when it comes time for promotions/evaluations

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bigfed (Jun 26, 2016 - 12:35 pm)

It's pretty standard across the board. Cases are weighted based on the recommendation you make (denial, grant review, favorable, unfavorable, etc.) Wouldn't concern yourself too much with that now. Try to learn and do the best you can at first. Your production will suck at first and doesn't really matter for a while.

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izzymandelbaum (Mar 28, 2017 - 8:55 pm)

Pretty sure all these people (or the majority)were turned into decision writers against their will.

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camglaw (Apr 5, 2017 - 12:06 am)

About 50 of us were turned into decision writers.

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mch98 (Apr 5, 2017 - 1:02 am)

how did it work out?

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downwardslope (Apr 5, 2017 - 7:17 am)

What is a decision writer? Don't all these jobs require writing legally sufficient opinions?

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govlaw (Apr 5, 2017 - 8:02 am)

The people hired last summer were hired for the Appeals Council. Their positions were turned into decision writers...Writing decisions for the hearing level of review.

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john09 (Apr 5, 2017 - 9:29 am)

The Appeals Council job primarily involves writing recommendations to administrative appeals judges on how they should act (i.e. deny, remand or corrective decision). In addition, you also have to draft standard form notices for each case. You may have to write corrective decisions, but those are generally rare (2-3 times per month).

The decision writer job involves writing decisions full time.

Source: I worked at the Appeals Council for a few years.

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mch98 (Mar 29, 2017 - 12:51 am)

http://www.jdunderground.com/all/thread.php?threadId=127999

Just combining these two threads for the Spring 2017 hiring of SSA Attorney Advisor positions throughout the midwest.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 5, 2017 - 9:15 pm)

They transferred the people from the Appeals Council to the hearing level against their will. The union filed an unfair labor practice with the FLRA over this, and we are still waiting to see what happens (google FLRA and Social Security Administration and see what pops up). They only transferred the people from Falls Church, but not the folks from Crystal City or Baltimore (they got to keep their Appeals Council jobs). At the Appeals Council, we were analysts, but at the hearing level, we are decision writers. A decision writer is a demotion from an analyst. As an analyst, you have autonomy and get to make the calls on what happens with cases--as a decision writer, you just follow the instructions you are given by the ALJ. Decision writer is also much more work than what analysts do at the appeals council (much more time-consuming writing requirements as a decision writer. At the Appeals Council, you can compete for GS-13 positions after two years. Once you are a GS-13, you can apply to be an Appeals Officer (I think that is GS-14 or 15) and then an Administrative Appeals Judge. Decision writers don't have that upward mobility. In fact, some of the people that got transferred from the Appeals Council were decision writers prior to joining the Appeals Council (they applied to be analysts to move up the career ladder, and then the agency demoted them and sent them back to being decision writers).

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john09 (Apr 5, 2017 - 10:06 pm)

What reason did management give for the involuntary transfer of analysts to the decision writer job?

Is the transfer temporary and are the new decision writers still in the disability program branches or are they creating decision writing branches?

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govlaw (Apr 6, 2017 - 5:47 am)

"take it or leave it"

They were unable to provide these analysts with many answers. They didn't move desks, but they aren't supervised by the same people anymore either.

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downwardslope (Apr 6, 2017 - 6:30 am)

Weren't these people still in their probationary period? And in term positions? I must be missing a key element of the outrage.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 6, 2017 - 5:07 pm)

correct-we had not yet completed our one year and were still in our probationary period (in a 4 year term position)

Also, the employment contract we signed said we would not be reassigned to another work group, but mgmt did it anyway.

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john09 (Apr 6, 2017 - 6:51 pm)

Your probationary period is two years not one.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 6, 2017 - 10:26 pm)

At the Appeals Council, we were not on production for one year. The only requirements for the first year are that you ask questions and learn. Then, after one year, you get your evaluation and get a GS-12 (and are on production). The problem is that you got transferred to a new position, so then you have to serve a new period where you are not on production (potentially postpones your ability to get your GS-12 because you are starting over). I think that happened to another class. They were just about to get their GS-12, and then the agency did something to restart their probationary period and then they did not get their GS-12 when they were supposed to. The union mentioned something about that at the meeting.

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john09 (Apr 6, 2017 - 10:39 pm)

Your involuntary transfer should not affect your promotion to GS-12. You only need 12 months as a GS-11 to qualify for a promotion. The only caveat is that you must be able to meet minimum production standards - otherwise management will delay your promotion.

The Agency may decide to restart your probationary period if management determines that the decision writer job is not the same or similar to the AC analyst position. This may happen to you.

While you are not on production until your second year, you are still within the two year probationary period for excepted service employees. All excepted service employees are statutorily required to serve a two year probationary period.

For more information, try talking to Elaine Mitchell, one of the AFGE reps. She is located on the 10th floor in Skyline Tower - her cube is near the men's bathroom facing Leesburg Pike. Keep her advised on your situation as she is very helpful and can help facilitate your transfer back to the AC by putting in a transfer request.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 6, 2017 - 5:14 pm)

they created a whole new NCAC out of the blue in Falls Church without telling anyone (union included), then they transferred the analysts to the NCAC to be decision writers (permanent transfer/demotion
the NCAC is a hearing level division (not part of the Appeals Council). It is designed to write decisions and reduce the backlog (so once the backlog is gone, the need for NCAC employees is gone

mgmt did not give many explanations-they just said it was an all hands on deck thing to get the backlog reduced (but again they did not transfer the people from Crystal City or Baltimore, so they can't really say it is all hands on deck

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downwardslope (Apr 6, 2017 - 7:43 pm)

Is an explanation really needed? People have to request appeals to need appeals-level attorneys. In order for people to request appeals, they need to actually have a hearing and get a decision. If the hearing process can't complete, why would they need 80 appeals council attorneys? Never mind the fact that if the whole process is slow as mud, you might prefer just to reapply later than go through the appeals council. It seems like a duh to me that you would choose the term probationary employees to reassign as opposed to any permanent employees who have made it out of their 2-year probationary period.

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hopelesslyunemployed (Apr 6, 2017 - 10:13 pm)

Part of the problem is that only employees at Falls Church got demoted (agency not treating employees equitably). Also, another problem is that the employees signed a contract at orientation which explicitly said they would not be reassigned outside of the Appeals Council (so the agency is in breach of contract). At the Appeals Council, they review decisions that were not appealed to check for fraud, etc. (e.g., ALJ approves a claimant for disability payments when they should not have). Then they cut off benefits. Also, the Appeals Council does RSI work as well. That is not disability. That is the retirement side of social security. Appeals Council handles improper retirement payment cases, etc., not just disability.

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