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Thread: Federal Gov't jobs

  1. #1
    Senior Member kr420am's Avatar
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    Federal Gov't jobs

    Does anyone work for the federal government? I am just wondering if the benefits are equal to State Gov't employment. I currently work for the State of CT as a Clinical Social Worker and am looking at Federal jobs as they are hiring a lot of mental health professionals to deal with the influx of veterans returning from the long overseas battle. I like the idea of the federal government because there is so much opportunity to relocate eventuall anywhere in the country at the equivelent pay grade as some day I would like to relocate to a warmer climate with no snow. My main concern is the health benefits as far as coverage for DME like caths and chairs etc. Thought I'd ask if anyone has any experience. Thanks.
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  2. #2
    You can choose from a variety of health plans. They all have differing costs, and offer different benefits. This website tells you a wealth of information about types of insurance, premiums, coverage, ect. http://www.opm.gov/insure/new_employ/index.asp
    As a person with a disability you can be hired directly through a program called schedule A. If you are a college graduate, you can put your resume online to this program: https://wrp.gov/LoginPre.do?method=login where federal agencies can pull from a database of people with disabilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by kr420am View Post
    Does anyone work for the federal government? I am just wondering if the benefits are equal to State Gov't employment. I currently work for the State of CT as a Clinical Social Worker and am looking at Federal jobs as they are hiring a lot of mental health professionals to deal with the influx of veterans returning from the long overseas battle. I like the idea of the federal government because there is so much opportunity to relocate eventuall anywhere in the country at the equivelent pay grade as some day I would like to relocate to a warmer climate with no snow. My main concern is the health benefits as far as coverage for DME like caths and chairs etc. Thought I'd ask if anyone has any experience. Thanks.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kr420am's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizbv View Post
    You can choose from a variety of health plans. They all have differing costs, and offer different benefits. This website tells you a wealth of information about types of insurance, premiums, coverage, ect. http://www.opm.gov/insure/new_employ/index.asp
    As a person with a disability you can be hired directly through a program called schedule A. If you are a college graduate, you can put your resume online to this program: https://wrp.gov/LoginPre.do?method=login where federal agencies can pull from a database of people with disabilities.
    Awesome thanks!
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by kr420am View Post
    Does anyone work for the federal government? I am just wondering if the benefits are equal to State Gov't employment.
    It depends upon the state. For example, here in CA, state employees and many county and city government employees are on CALPIRS. It is great insurance, but is bankrupting the state, so is under scrutiny to be downgraded right now. My sister & bro-in-law were both able to retire after 20 years and have fully paid insurance through CALPIRS.

    I, on the other hand am a federal employee. While you can choose from several different health insurance plans, you must pay a percentage of the premium. Fancy insurance = higher premium and more out of pocket for you. Some have great coverage, others suck, esp. for things like DME, eye glasses, outpatient therapy, etc. etc. There is no dental coverage to speak of, so I have to plan to pay that out of the Medical Savings Account I put money into each year. That program is tricky, as if you do not spend all that money, you don't get it back at year's end.

    As a group plan, they do not deny you based on a pre-existing condition. You also are eligible for group Long Term Care Insurance, which is a great deal since there is no way you can get this as a person with a SCI as a private plan.

    Retirement though is not great. My sister on CALPIRS retired at 60% of her base pay after only 20 years. I am hoping to get 30% after 30 years. You are entitled to put up to 11% of your pay into the federal TSP (like a 401k) plan, and have some choice of how this money is invested, but you also can end up loosing a lot and not making much off that money depending on how you manage those funds. There is a partial matching of the funds you invest in this. One good thing about the retirement is that your vesting follows you from job to job, facility to facility, if you move around within the federal system.

    You get 11 federal holidays a year. Vacation depends on the agency you are working for, and your job category. There is a limit on how much vacation you can acrue ("use it or loose it"). Sick leave is fairly liberal, and of course you qualify for FFL if needed.

    I assume you are a MSW? We only hire social workers with that degree or higher. It is also expected that you have or are getting a state certification/license (for example LCSW) in states where that applies.

    While they are expanding some mental health (esp. Veterans) federal programs, there are also a lot of hiring freezes in place, so you may have to look a while and be willing to work in less desirable areas in order to get your first position. Good luck!

    (KLD)

  5. #5
    Senior Member kr420am's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    It depends upon the state. For example, here in CA, state employees and many county and city government employees are on CALPIRS. It is great insurance, but is bankrupting the state, so is under scrutiny to be downgraded right now. My sister & bro-in-law were both able to retire after 20 years and have fully paid insurance through CALPIRS.

    I, on the other hand am a federal employee. While you can choose from several different health insurance plans, you must pay a percentage of the premium. Fancy insurance = higher premium and more out of pocket for you. Some have great coverage, others suck, esp. for things like DME, eye glasses, outpatient therapy, etc. etc. There is no dental coverage to speak of, so I have to plan to pay that out of the Medical Savings Account I put money into each year. That program is tricky, as if you do not spend all that money, you don't get it back at year's end.

    As a group plan, they do not deny you based on a pre-existing condition. You also are eligible for group Long Term Care Insurance, which is a great deal since there is no way you can get this as a person with a SCI as a private plan.

    Retirement though is not great. My sister on CALPIRS retired at 60% of her base pay after only 20 years. I am hoping to get 30% after 30 years. You are entitled to put up to 11% of your pay into the federal TSP (like a 401k) plan, and have some choice of how this money is invested, but you also can end up loosing a lot and not making much off that money depending on how you manage those funds. There is a partial matching of the funds you invest in this. One good thing about the retirement is that your vesting follows you from job to job, facility to facility, if you move around within the federal system.

    You get 11 federal holidays a year. Vacation depends on the agency you are working for, and your job category. There is a limit on how much vacation you can acrue ("use it or loose it"). Sick leave is fairly liberal, and of course you qualify for FFL if needed.

    I assume you are a MSW? We only hire social workers with that degree or higher. It is also expected that you have or are getting a state certification/license (for example LCSW) in states where that applies.

    While they are expanding some mental health (esp. Veterans) federal programs, there are also a lot of hiring freezes in place, so you may have to look a while and be willing to work in less desirable areas in order to get your first position. Good luck!

    (KLD)
    Thanks for all the info. I have an LCSW so that's all set. We have great insurance with the state of CT. I have Anthem and pay 50 dol bi-weekly and the state covers the rest. They cover my self contained caths fully. We don't get any match 401 but can do deferred comp. My thought with the feds is the ability to move around the country at equal pay. It's a hard decision especially since our union just voted on a concession package that gives us 4 years job security
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  6. #6
    Senior Member kr420am's Avatar
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    Also I applied for one position at that VA hospital and got the email that I am qualified and the info was passed to the supervisor who will call if selected for an interview. Today i applied for another position with the Navy at a base in CT.
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  7. #7
    Just know that insurance coverage cost and plans are different in each state, as well as your locality pay.
    oh! good luck!

  8. #8
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    29 and a half years as a federal employee
    yes you pay for health care, but group plans are pretty good, different plans for different needs.
    the long term care plan is not good, they won't even consider if you're in a wheelchair, so yes pre-existing does come into effect.
    9 federal holidays, start with accuring 4 hours sick and annual per payperiod, annual goes to 6 after 3 years, and 8 hours after 15 years.
    I'm in the old "good" csrs system, started in 1981, in 1982 they started the fers system, my system is a no-brainer, but fers is 1/3 social security, 1/3 tsp and 1/3 fers, you contribute to your own TSP funds and manage it like stock funds, they recommend you start in the risky funds when starting, and switch it to the stables ones 5 years before retiring. a friend lost about 30k when 9/11 happened, but had made it back, most federal employees does not even realize they should manage their tsp fund.
    of course congress is looking into making fers employees pay 5 percent more into their system.
    in the old days you had a lot of security and benefits, but since we're the first hit when congress starts cutting, i wouldn't start in federal service today.
    my brother used to work for the local city and had better benefits, holidays, etc than me
    good luck with whatever you decide
    bruce
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member kr420am's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucec View Post
    29 and a half years as a federal employee
    yes you pay for health care, but group plans are pretty good, different plans for different needs.
    the long term care plan is not good, they won't even consider if you're in a wheelchair, so yes pre-existing does come into effect.
    9 federal holidays, start with accuring 4 hours sick and annual per payperiod, annual goes to 6 after 3 years, and 8 hours after 15 years.
    I'm in the old "good" csrs system, started in 1981, in 1982 they started the fers system, my system is a no-brainer, but fers is 1/3 social security, 1/3 tsp and 1/3 fers, you contribute to your own TSP funds and manage it like stock funds, they recommend you start in the risky funds when starting, and switch it to the stables ones 5 years before retiring. a friend lost about 30k when 9/11 happened, but had made it back, most federal employees does not even realize they should manage their tsp fund.
    of course congress is looking into making fers employees pay 5 percent more into their system.
    in the old days you had a lot of security and benefits, but since we're the first hit when congress starts cutting, i wouldn't start in federal service today.
    my brother used to work for the local city and had better benefits, holidays, etc than me
    good luck with whatever you decide
    bruce
    Thanks for the info.
    Ride It Like You Stole It!

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