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VA (Department of Veterans Affairs)

The United States has the most comprehensive system of assistance for veterans of any nation in the world. This benefits system traces its roots back to 1636, when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony were at war with the Pequot Indians. The Pilgrims passed a law which stated that disabled soldiers would be supported by the colony. The establishment of the Veterans Administration came in 1930 when Congress authorized the President to "consolidate and coordinate Government activities affecting war veterans."

This forum also includes the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

Perhaps you are working for the VA or interested in working for the VA. Here is a forum to share your experience with the VA.

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FlatAffect  
#21 Posted : Sunday, May 22, 2022 11:38:57 AM(UTC)
FlatAffect

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Joined: 12/10/2021(UTC)
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Location: Texas

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Originally Posted by: Joe Navy84 Go to Quoted Post
It was this year. The DHA was due to COVID hiring. It was not for VSR or RVSR, but nonetheless at the VARO. I was referred to a hiring manager, then two weeks after referral I was sent a tentative offer, was vetted, and offer the position and given my EOD and paperwork.

Referrals mean little to nothing. Plus, just because you are referred doesn’t mean chosen. A lot are referred and a few make the cut and interview. Then they choose (2). A primary and backup. Now usually DHA is a mass hiring, so like I said before, doubtful you’ll be interviewed. They will probably hire 20 VSR/RVSR in one shot at your location. The reason for this is the backlog. This year there were about 60,000 claims reopened on top of what veterans open each day. The additional 60,000 are for blue water Vietnam navy veterans. The VA is understaffed and overworked. Like many other agencies. If it is this easy to get into federal service, you may want to rethink making this leap! I was a DOD civilian, and worked at the National Weather Service, prior to my tenure at VA. The VA is the worst! Should have stayed at the Weather Service. DOD and VA are like the plague, stay away.

Let me just say, and please take this advice seriously, if you are already a federal employee, don’t transfer into VA. It is a terribly mismanaged agency. I am a veteran and a user of VBA and VHA. Two very broken systems. I worked at the VARO for 5 months and finally resigned. Micromanaging supervisors who are scared of losing their jobs bug workers about everything. You are not treated like an adult. Everything is based on quantifiable milestones. So, you will have a monthly quota. That was never an issue for me. I hit my numbers every single month. But what is an issue is the folks that don’t hit their mark still keep their job and get within grade increases. Like I said, broken. If you’re not in the “club” you will hate it.


Good information.

I've worked for the VHA as a Mental Health licensed provider for 6 months now.

My observations reflect some of yours, but not all. My Clinical Director (boss) is an Army Veteran and made an effort in the last round of hiring to hire veterans to fill out the staff as we had major turnover before he came in. He doesn't micromanage me at all, but did sit me down after a few months and have a talk with me about the "politics" of working for the government. I think I have it easier because I am in essence my own boss in terms of how I do my job with little outside interference but I realize this is because I am licensed and have full clinics of veterans to see every day. There is no time for a boss to micromanage us because they are also very busy.

To your comment about "the numbers", I am in my first year which is basically probationary period. I'm not judged by those metrics until I promote to full performance after a year of clinic time. I had my 90 day and 6 month reviews and both were good. Based on that, I'm already meeting full performance level metrics.

I have heard bad things about working for VBA as both Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and Veterans Service Rater. High caseloads and very poor management. I was warned by my VRC when I was in CH31 myself not to apply for her position when I graduated from my Masters program.

I was at a Wounded Warrior Project event and met a Veterans service Representative and he told me about service connection and that basically the SCD% a veteran receives is based on the competency of the VSR and the time they take to complete the case. These VSR are under high workloads and stress to complete their cases, which would probably impact the quality of their work. He also told me that the VSR have to know all the regulations covering service connection in order to provide the rating. Sounds more like law school than something a GS-09 should be tasked with.


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