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Legal Assistants, Paralegals, and Attorneys

GS-0900 Occupations and Jobs

 

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Page updated 9/13/2016

 

This group includes all classes of positions, the duties of which are to advise on, administer, supervise, or perform professional legal work in the preparation for trial and the trial and argument of cases, the presiding at formal hearings afforded by a commission, board, or other body having quasi-judicial powers, as part of its administrative procedure, the administration of law entrusted to an agency, the preparation or rendering of authoritative or advisory legal opinions or decisions to other federal agencies or to administrative officials of own agency, the preparation of various legal documents; and the performance of other work requiring training equivalent to that represented by graduation from a recognized law school and in some instances requiring admission to the bar; or quasi-legal work which requires knowledge of particular laws, or of regulations, precedents, or departmental practice based thereon, but which does not require such legal training or admission to the bar. Also explore Federal Court jobs in the Judicial Branch.

There were 103,808 federal workers employed in this group in 2015 within all Executive Branch departments, and in many large and small independent agencies with over 1,000 employed overseas. The largest employer of this group is the Social Security Administration with 24,691 workers followed by the VA (18,590) and the Department of Justice with 15,397. Even many small agencies employ legal assistants, attorneys and other legal professions.

Don't overlook any agency in your job search as there are positions available in all agencies.  For example the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, a small agency with less than 100 workers, employs 42 from this group.

The following information is compiled from numerous federal documents including qualification standards, job announcements, career articles, occupation flysheets, FEDSCOPE, OPM, Agency websites, interviews with federal employees, The United States Government Manual, and from the Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook.

 

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Job Listings Click the job title for job listings, the number employed, hiring agencies, and job series definitions.

 

Job Series Definitions

 

These position descriptions are excerpted from the qualification standards for select job titles in this group. In the General Schedule position classification system is established under chapter 51 of title 5, United States Code. The term “General Schedule” or “GS” denotes the major position classification system and pay structure for white collar work in the Federal government. Agencies that are no longer subject to chapter 51 have replaced the GS pay plan indicator with agency-unique pay plan indicators. For example, the Bureau of Prisons uses GL instead of the GS designation. For this reason, reference to General Schedule or GS is often omitted from the individual qualification standard sheets.

A brief introduction for major occupations within this group is provided below.

General Legal and Kindred Administration Series, GS-0901

This series covers two-grade interval administrative positions that supervise, lead, or perform work involving two or more series in the Legal and Kindred group, or positions that require legal and kindred administrative knowledge but are not covered by an existing administrative series within the group. The basic title for this occupation is Legal Administrative Specialist. The federal government employs 5,309 in this occupation. The Social Security Administration employs 2,907, OPM 361, VA 1095, and the Department of Justice with 195. The remaining are employed by the other organizations including most of the cabinet level agencies.

In OPM's ongoing effort to simplify the GS classification system, they are using separate series for one-grade and two-grade interval work. As a result, two-grade interval work previously covered by the Contact Representative Series, GS-0962, and two-grade interval work previously covered by the General Claims Examining Series, GS-0990 are now covered under this interim position classification guide for the GS-0901 series. In addition, claims examining work previously covered by the Federal Retirement Benefits Series, GS-0270, is also covered by this series and flysheet.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0901

 

Law Clerk GS-0904

There are no Individual Occupational Requirements for this series.  Locate job announcments for the GS-0904 to review they qualifications and duties for the specific advertised position.

The federal government employs 344 law clerks. The Department of Justice emplys 107 followed by the Judicial Branch with 42, the Labor Department with 27, and the EPA with 14. A few positions are with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Lanor Relations Board.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0904

 

General Attorney, GS-0905

 

This series includes professional legal positions involved in preparing cases for trial and/or the trial of cases before a court or an administrative body or persons having quasi-judicial power; rendering legal advice and services with respect to questions, regulations, practices, or other matters falling within the purview of a Federal Government agency (this may include conducting investigations to obtain evidentiary data); preparing interpretive and administrative orders, rules, or regulations to give effect to the provisions of governing status or other requirements of law; drafting, negotiating, or examining contracts or other legal documents required by the agency's activities; drafting, preparing formal comments, or otherwise making substantive recommendations with respect to proposed legislation; editing and preparing for publication statutes enacted by Congress and opinions or decisions of a court, commission, or board; and drafting and reviewing decisions for consideration and adoption by agency officials. Included also are positions, not covered by the Administrative Procedure Act, involved in hearing cases arising under contracts or under the regulations have the effect of law, and rendering decisions or making recommendations for disposition of such cases. The work of this series requires admission to the bar. 

The federal government employs 35,640 attorneys of which 393 are stationed in US Territories or in foreign countries. The Department of Justice is the largest employer with 10,265, the Department of Homeland Security has 2,088, and the Department of Treasury employs 2,146. All of the cabinet level and large agencies employ substantial numbers of attorneys in multiple areas.

There are a number of elements which together determine the difficulty and responsibility of attorney positions. These elements fall into two main categories (or factors): (1) nature of the case or legal problem and (2) level of responsibility. While there is some relationship between these two factors, each one is measured separately to recognize the fact that they do not necessarily appear in attorney positions in proportionate degrees. For example, an attorney may be involved in a high-level legal case or problem, but his degree of responsibility may be limited. Conversely an attorney may be involved in a relatively routine legal case or problem, but he may be operating with a high degree of responsibility. The level assigned to one factor together with the level assigned to the other factor will determine the grade of the position according to the conversion table in the qualification standard.

Functional titles:

  1.  Trial Attorney for positions involved in the preparation for trial and/or the trial of cases, or for positions involved in providing technical guidance to persons preparing for or trying cases before a court or an administrative body or person having quasi-judicial power.
  2. Attorney-Adviser for positions involved in rendering legal advice and services with respect to questions, regulations, practices, or other matters falling within the purview of a Federal Government agency (this may include conducting investigation to obtain evidentiary data and recommending an agency course of action); preparing interpretative and administrative orders, rules, or regulations to give effect to the provisions of governing statutes or other requirements of law; drafting, negotiating, or examining contracts or other legal documents required by the agency's activities; drafting, preparing formal comments, or otherwise making substantive recommendations with respect to proposed legislation; editing and preparing for publication statutes enacted by Congress and opinions or decisions of a court, commission, or board; drafting and reviewing decisions for consideration and adoption by agency officials.
  3. Attorney-Examiner for positions, not covered by the Administrative Procedure Act, involved in hearing cases arising under contracts or under the regulations of a Federal Government agency when such regulations have the effect of law, and rendering decisions or making recommendations for disposition of such cases.
  4. General Attorney for positions involving two or more of the above functional areas or for positions, regardless of functional or subject-matter area of work, classifiable at GS-9.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0905

 

Hearings and Appeals GS-0930

There are no Individual Occupational Requirements for this series. Use the Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Administrative and Management Positions for this series in conjunction with any Individual Occupational Requirements described in the job announcement.

The federal government employs 2,598 in this series. The Treasury Department is the largest employer with 991, folloed by the Veterans Administrastion with 875, Health and Human Services with 652 employees, and the Department of Agraculture with 58. 

The Hearing and Appeals, GS-930, series includes positions, like the appellant’s, that adjudicate or oversee the adjudication of cases requiring formal or informal hearings that accord due process, that arise under statue or under the regulations of a Federal agency when the hearings are not subject to the Administrative Procedure Act. Such work requires the ability to review and evaluate investigative reports and case records, conduct hearings in an orderly and impartial manner, determine credibility of witnesses, sift and evaluate evidence, analyze complex issues, apply agency rules and regulations and court decisions, prepare clear and concise statements of fact, and exercise sound judgment in arriving at decisions.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0930

 

Paralegal Specialist Series, GS-0950

This series includes positions not requiring professional legal competence which involve various legal assistance duties, of a type not classifiable in some other series in the Legal and Kindred Group, in connection with functions such as hearings, appeals, litigation, or advisory services. The specialists analyze the legal impact of legislative developments and administrative and judicial decisions, opinions, determinations, and rulings on agency programs; conduct research for the preparation of legal opinions on matters of interest to the agency; perform substantive legal analysis of requests for information under the provisions of various acts; or other similar legal support functions which require discretion and independent judgment in the application of a specialized knowledge of laws, precedent decisions, regulations, agency policies and practices, and judicial or administrative proceedings. Such knowledge is less than that represented by graduation from a recognized law school, and may have been gained from formalized, professionally instructed agency or educational institution training or from professionally supervised on-the-job training. While the paramount knowledge requirements of this series are legal, some positions also require a practical knowledge of subject matter areas related to the agency's substantive programs.

The federal government employs 4,336 in this occupation.. The Department of Justice is the largest employer with 2,032, Social Security has 1340, and the Department of Homeland Security 434. The remaining are employed by all of the cabinet level and many large agencies. 

This series covers a variety of positions that involve legal work which is usually ancillary to the work of attorneys, administrative law judges, administrative agency appellate boards, or other duly designated managers of legal work in areas such as litigation; the provision of legal opinions; or agency appellate or review board proceedings, actions of regulatory boards or commissions, and similar adjudicative functions based on hearings conducted under the Administrative Procedure Act or other statutory appellate authority. Duties may include examining case files to determine issues and sufficiency of evidence or documentation; searching for legal precedents, analyzing their applicability, and preparing digests of points of law involved; drafting briefs, other litigation papers, or advisory opinions for review and approval of attorneys; analyzing legal issues involved in requests for agency records; analyzing subpoenaed documents for possible patterns and trends relevant to litigation; initiating additional fact-finding by agency personnel in other offices; developing and justifying recommendations for agency action on legal issues; analyzing appellate records to isolate facts pertinent to distinct legal issues; interviewing and evaluating potential witnesses; preparing for hearings and court appearances by briefing attorneys or administrative law judges on the issues and by assembling and arranging case files, documents, and exhibits; attending court sessions or hearings to be informed on progress, the development of new issues, issues that have been resolved, and areas that need more emphasis; and testifying in court concerning exhibits prepared.

Paralegal specialists are usually located in an organizational entity staffed with attorneys or administrative law judges where the more commonly occurring legal activities can be handled by professionally supervised paraprofessionals. However, there may be units or organizations which contain paralegal specialists but which contain no professionally qualified legal staff. In such situations, the paralegal specialist typically works in a close functional relationship with another unit containing legal professionals who provide technical guidance and review and who ultimately have responsibility for the legal issues.

Many positions in this series also require a substantive knowledge of other fields, such as disability evaluation, industrial practices, management sciences, and natural resources. Such knowledges are gained through university-level education, formalized agency training courses, or professionally supervised on-the-job training.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0950

 

Contact representative, GS-0962

This series covers one-grade interval administrative support positions that supervise, lead, or perform support and related work in connection with:

  • dispersing information to the public on rights, benefits, privileges, or obligations under a body of law;
    explaining pertinent legal provisions, regulations, and related administrative practices, and their application to specific cases; and
  • assisting individuals in developing needed evidence and preparing required documents, or in resolving errors, delays, or other problems in obtaining benefits or fulfilling obligations.

The federal government employs 23,423 in this occupation. The Social Security Administration is the larger employer with 11,067, the Department of the Treasury follows with 9,307. All but four of the cabinet level and several large agencies employ smaller numbers of contact representatives. 

Contact representatives respond to a variety of personal and telephone inquiries. Work within this series requires contact representatives to perform one or more of the following:

  • provide sufficient information to enable individuals to determine the required or most appropriate actions to take to obtain benefits or privileges, to comply with reporting and disclosure requirements, or to fulfill other obligations under Federal laws or regulations;
  • explain or assist in preparing forms and documents needed to meet reporting requirements or to support claims or application for benefits;
  • explain the administrative and legal recourses available and the proper procedures for filing a complaint alleging violation of applicable law or regulations or for appealing a determination made by the agency;
  • explain administrative procedures and normal processing times;
  • expedite actions on pending cases;
  • initiate actions to resolve discrepancies and adjust agency records that may be incomplete or erroneous;
  • explain the application of regulatory provisions and the basis for agency determinations in individual cases; and/or
    write necessary correspondence and narrative reports of contacts.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0962

 

Legal Instruments Examining, GS-0963

This series covers one-grade interval administrative support positions that supervise, lead, or perform support and related work in connection with the examination of legal instruments and supporting documents, other than claims, to determine whether a requested action complies with certain provisions of various laws. The work requires the application of particular regulatory and procedural knowledge that is based on those laws. The basic title for this occupation is Legal Instruments Examiner.

The federal government employs 1,869 in this occupation. The Department of Justice is the largest employer with 565 followed by the Department of Commerce with 417. All but two of the cabinet level and many large agencies employ smaller numbers of legal instruments examiners. 

Legal instruments examiners perform one or more of the following:

  • examine applications submitted by individuals, partnerships, corporations, or others requesting licenses, permits, rights, or privileges;
  • examine bonds that secure the performance of obligations or duties;
  • examine contracts and agreements made between the Federal Government and an individual, corporation, State agency, and others to furnish supplies or services;
  • examine conveyances and instruments submitted by individuals, partnerships, corporations, and others that effect and/or show evidence to the title or interest in property;
  • examine fiduciary accounts and financial statements that are required by law to be presented to the courts or to the responsible administrative agency by fiduciaries acting on behalf of incompetent veterans, minors, or incompetent beneficiaries of deceased veterans;
  • examine securities and instruments relating to the legal ownership of or entitlement to securities; and/or
    examine statements and instruments filed by various organizations with respect to their creation, organizational structure, capitalization, operations, processes, etc.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0963

 

Land Law Examining Series, GS-0965

This series includes positions the duties of which are to administer, supervise, or perform quasi-legal work involved in processing, adjudicating and advising on applications and claims for rights, privileges, gratuities, or other benefits authorized under the various public land, mineral leasing, and mining laws. The work requires a knowledge of governing public laws and agency policies and procedures regarding the application of these laws, but does not require full professional legal training.

The federal government employs 193 in this occupation, 182 work for the Department of the Interior and 11 work for the Department of Commerce.

Incumbents of positions in this series require (1) a knowledge of public and real property laws and implementing regulations; (2) ability to read and understand legal land descriptions, land titles, and tract maps; (3) ability to interpret and apply public land and related laws and regulations to diverse situations; (4) ability to read and understand legal documents; (5) ability to analyze numerous facts and determine their acceptability and completeness; (6) ability to make objective decisions; (7) skill in oral and written expression; and (8) effectiveness in personal relations. They must also have a knowledge of other legal matters, such as descent and distribution of property, domestic relations, citizenship requirements, as these matters apply to the processing of public land law cases.

There is little doubt that persons with law degrees, upon entrance into this occupation, have a head start in learning how to adjudicate claims over persons without such training. For example, persons with a law school background normally are familiar with such matters as domestic relations, descent and distribution of property, and citizenship requirements. Persons without legal training have to gain this knowledge on the job. The ability to be analytical and to apply judgment and discretion to the extent required in this series is found in persons without law school training, as well as among those who have the training. Accordingly, the law school degree, while desirable, is not considered to be a minimum qualification requirement for this
series.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0965

 

Passport and Visa Examining Series, GS-0967

This series includes positions that involve managing, supervising, or performing administrative work concerned with adjudicating applications for United States passports or visas, including related work involving determining citizenship or fitness of noncitizens for admission to the United States.

The federal government employs 1,500 passport specialists. The Department of State employs 154, the vast majority of those emp0loyed in this occupation. The Department of Justice employs 7. Several work at other large agencies.  

The work requires knowledge of legal and regulatory provisions governing U.S. citizenship, nationality, and/or visas; and principles, systems, and operations related to the issuance of passports or other citizenship registration, certificates, or visas.

A passport is a travel document providing a person's right to constitutional protection during international travel and return to this country. There are several types of passports. For example, there are regular, official, and diplomatic passports; passports of full duration and limited duration; and fee and no-fee passports. There are also documents that serve in place of passports, as for example, certificates used by U.S. flight crews when they fly to other countries in a duty capacity. Since a passport issued for the full period of validity is proof of identity, as well as citizenship, it is often used by those born elsewhere as primary identification for obtaining employment, drivers licenses, and for banking or other services.

Applications for passports may be presented in person to a designated "acceptance" facility rather than a passport office. Clerks of Courts and Post Offices are most frequently used as these facilities. Also, applications of dependents of military personnel stationed in other countries are accepted by designated military acceptance facilities. Acceptance agents review the application for proper completion, presentation of documentary evidence of birth in the United States or naturalization, and record the evidence submitted for proof of identity. They then forward the case to a passport office for adjudication. Most passport offices oversee the training and operations of acceptance agents within the region.

Over the years, laws concerning the acquisition and retention of U.S. citizenship have changed provisions concerning passport issuance both prospectively and retroactively. Treaties and agreements with foreign governments that affect citizenship determination have also changed. Some aspects of citizenship determination involve provisions of State or foreign laws relating to such issues as the "legitimation" of offspring. Employees in this occupation must be able to apply these varying requirements correctly, as well as to apply differing definitions of terms, such as "residence", that occur in some governing provisions. They also must understand and apply other legal distinctions, such as those that concern people living in U.S. territories and possessions who may be considered "nationals," but not citizens of the United States.

In addition to correctly applying legal provisions, employees also must be skilled in interviewing techniques and in quickly determining the authenticity of documentary evidence and the credibility of applicants, their relatives, and witnesses. Employees must be alert to various types of fraud. For example, applicants may claim an adoptive child born overseas as a natural child, or they may make false statements in order to get a passport to obtain work or to visit abroad and be assured of reentry into the U.S. Obtaining a passport in several identities is a major area of fraud practiced by persons engaged in criminal activities. There are also cases of "vanity" fraud in which documents are altered for such purposes as making the passport holder appear younger.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0967

 

Legal Assistance, GS-0986

This series covers one-grade interval administrative support positions that supervise, lead, or perform legal assistance work not classifiable in any other series in the Legal and Kindred Group, GS-0900. The work requires specialized knowledge of processes, procedures, and practices to support legal activities.

The basic title for this occupation is Legal Assistant.

The federal government employs 7,397 in this occupation. The Social Security Administration employs 3,483, the Department of Justice has 2,297, the Department of the Treasury 238, and the National Labor Relations Board hires 40. Small numbers in this group are employed at all cabinet level agencies except for the State Department.   

Legal assistants perform one or more of the following:

initiate and compose standardized legal documents routinely needed for specific legal actions;

  • accept service of legal documents, review them for correct form and timeliness, and annotate case files and status records to reflect receipt and due date for response or other required actions;
  • process legal instruments by checking them for required information, determining if any treatment such as simple computations is necessary, and routing the assembled material to a technical expert for examination;
  • • locate and compile information from files;
  • maintain docket calendars and tickler systems, coordinate schedules with Clerks of Courts, remind attorneys of court appearances and deadlines for submitting various actions or documents, and notify witnesses of appearances and of changes resulting from suspensions or settlements;
  • attend and keep a record of all court proceedings;
  • maintain court calendar; and/or
  • establish, maintain, and close case files or systems of legal records, annotate indices and status records, compile workload and status reports, and locate and abstract data from files and records.

This series also covers one-grade interval administrative support positions that perform various legal assistant support functions, including assistance in conducting hearings or judicial proceedings, case management, litigation, debt collection, and other similar types of activities for which there are ample precedents, and established procedures.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0986

 

Tax Law Specialist GS-0987

The IRS employs Tax Law Specialists in a number of occupations. In one division, they often provide expert advice on a broad range of corporate tax issues or they can specialize in the area of international tax law. In anaother area they may provide technical tax advice and/or education for taxexempt organizations and employee plans. They may also interpret the tax code and produce updated tax forms and publications.

The federal government employs 507 tax law specialists. The Treasury Department employs all 507 in this job series.

There is no Group Coverage Qualification Standard for this series. Use the Individual Occupational Requirements described below. 

Education

Undergraduate Education: Major study -- any field that included or was supplemented by at least 24 semester hours in accounting or law; or major study in business administration, economics, or finance that included at least 12 semester hours in accounting.

Graduate Education or Law School: Major study -- accounting or law. An LL.B. or J.D. degree is qualifying for GS-9 positions. An LL.M. with specialization in taxation is qualifying for GS-11 positions.

Experience

General Experience (for GS-5 positions): Experience that required a knowledge of the laws, rules, and regulations related to claims, contracts, legal instruments, or similar documents.

Specialized Experience (for positions above GS-5): Legal, tax accounting, or other experience that required knowledge of Federal tax laws, regulations, precedent decisions, or other areas related to the position to be filled. Examples of qualifying specialized experience include:

  • Preparing, reviewing, or applying rulings, advisory letters, memoranda, etc. related to Federal taxation.
  • Analyzing and adjudicating tax claims, appeals, settlement offers, or similar work related to Federal tax operations.
  • Work as an attorney that required legal research, analysis, and preparation of briefs or similar documents interpreting laws and regulations.
  • Work as an accountant, auditor, or investigator that required application of Federal tax accounting principles and/or the Internal Revenue Code and related laws.

CPA Certificate or Bar Membership

A certificate as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) obtained through written examination or membership in the bar in a State, territory, or the District of Columbia meets the GS-5 level requirements. Applicants with CPA certificates or bar membership may also qualify for higher grade levels based on their education and/or experience.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0987

 

Workers’ Compensation Claims Examining Series, GS-0991

This series includes quasi-legal positions concerned with work involving the examination, development, and adjudication of claims for compensation (monies and medical services) under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, and/or the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, and their statutory extensions. Such work requires a comprehensive knowledge of the workers' compensation program, and an extensive lay medical knowledge of impairments and diseases.

The federal government employs 1,144 in this occupation, all work for the Department of labor.

This occupation in the Federal Government is unique to the Department of Labor's Bureau of Employees' Compensation. The Bureau has two distinct programs that parallel two basic enabling enactments: (1) the Federal Employees' Compensation (Act) program, and (2) the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation (Act) program. The coverage of both of these programs has been extended from time to time by other legislation. One extension of the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act is the District of Columbia Compensation Act which covers employees in private industry in the District of Columbia. Because the coverage of this extension is geographically circumscribed -- in a nonport or harbor area -- the Bureau has established a separate office concerned only with claims under this Act. But except for coverage differences (that is, the type of occupation of the claimant), positions involved with claims under this Act are identical to those in the basic Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation program. This standard, then, when discussing the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation program, is applicable also to the positions in the District of Columbia compensation office.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0991

 

Railroad Retirement Claims Examining Series, GS-0993

This series includes positions that involve managing, supervising, or performing work concerned with the administration and operation of national railroad retirement benefit programs. This includes: (1) examining, adjudicating, adjusting, authorizing, or reconsidering applications and claims for retirement, disability, survivor, and related benefits; (2) providing guidance, consultation, and staff assistance to organizations and individuals regarding retirement and related benefits; (3) formulating and evaluating program policies and functions; (4) developing procedures, methods, work aids, technical guides, and other reference material for program operations; (5) auditing the annuitant and survivor rolls and taking actions to prevent fraudulent payments; and (6) developing or conducting program training. Positions included in this series primarily require knowledge of the laws, regulations, principles, and operational requirements of national railroad retirement benefit programs; knowledge of the interrelationships among these programs and other related public and private sector programs; and analytical skills and abilities used in planning, developing, evaluating, or carrying out the operation and delivery of these programs. All positions require knowledge, skills, and abilities sufficient to adjudicate, authorize, or reconsider claims for benefits.

The federal government employs 400 in this occupation, all work for the Railroad Retirement Board.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0993

 

Veteran Claims Examining Series, GS-0996

 

This series includes positions the duties of which are to administer, supervise, or perform quasi-legal work involved in developing, examining, adjusting, reconsidering, or authorizing the settlement of claims filed by veterans, their dependents and beneficiaries, in regard to disability compensation, disability pension, death pension, death compensation, National Service Life Insurance and U.S. Government Life Insurance, as well as other Veterans Administration administered benefits.

The federal government employs 12,015 in this occupation, all work for the Veterans Administration.

Positions in this series require a high degree of analytical ability on the part of incumbents. Incumbents must know how to obtain and evaluate evidence. They must know about the descent and distribution of property and domestic relations as these matters apply to the Veterans Administration claims programs. In the higher-grade positions, incumbents are required to be very familiar with the etiology and pathology of diseases in order that they may make determinations regarding the degree of a claimant's disability. They must be very conversant with the policy of the Veterans Administration and its regulations in order that they may make determinations consistent with such policy and regulations. For some claims, they must be capable of applying judgment and discretion in arriving at award figures. For example, monetary limits are often expressed in minimum and maximum figures, thereby requiring the examiner to use discretion in arriving at a reasonable award. Examiners must often evaluate, in such instances, the standard of living of the beneficiaries, the financial needs of interested parties when apportionment of award is warranted, a veteran's, child's, parent's, or widow's corpus of estate (this is not merely a check on income nor a surrogate's report on the deceased veteran's estate, but a detailed analysis of the size, character, and liquidity of the real estate, personal property, investments, savings, obligations, legal liability for debts, etc.), whether a veteran's misconduct was willful, whether his disability was incurred in the line of duty, etc.

There is little doubt that persons with law degrees, upon entrance into this occupation, have a head start in learning how to adjudicate claims over persons without such training. For example, persons with a law school background normally are familiar with such matters as the admissibility of evidence, weight and credibility of evidence, domestic relations, and the descent and distribution of property. Persons without legal training have to gain this knowledge on the job.

The ability to be analytical and to apply judgment and discretion to the extent required in this series may be found in persons without the law school training as well as among those who have the training. Accordingly, the law school degree, while desirable, is not considered to be a minimum qualification requirement for this series.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0996

 

Claims Assistance and Examining, GS-0998

This series covers one-grade interval administrative support positions that supervise, lead, or perform support and related work in examining, reviewing, developing, adjusting, reconsidering, or recommending authorization of claims by or against the Federal Government. The work requires knowledge of claims processing procedures and claims requirements. This includes the following:

  • examine claims due to loss and damage by or against the Government;
  • settle claims for the payment of monetary allowances or gratuities based upon dependency on an active or deceased former military service member;
  • develop, examine, adjust, reconsider, and/or authorize settlement of claims against the Government;
  • settle claims involving assets of a deceased or incompetent person that are in the possession of a Government agency; and
  • examine and develop claims cases for adjudication including determining and verifying entitlement to benefits, verifying post-entitlement actions regarding beneficiaries, and answering inquiries about benefits or procedures for filing claims.

The federal government employs 3,719 in this occupation. The Veterans Administration is the largest employer of this series with 2,205 workers. The Social Security Administration follows with 1,237 employs and there are small numbers employed at other large and small agencies throughout government.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0998