Rehabilitation Counselor

Richmond, Virginia
May 14, 2022
May 20, 2022
Full Time

This position will be focused on providing vocational rehabilitation services to Veterans currently engaged in treatment for Substance Use Disorder.

Rehabilitation Counselors in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) work with persons who experience functional impairments and disabilities associated with mental health, physical, and/or psychosocial challenges affecting employment, independent living, or personal adjustment. Rehabilitation Counselors utilize various professional counseling and clinical modalities to promote and support optimal functioning, independence, personal adjustment, adaptation to disability, community reintegration, and recovery. Rehabilitation Counselors work with an interdisciplinary team to provide and coordinate a wide range of rehabilitation counseling services to Veterans with disabilities, including assessment, counseling and case management services, development of rehabilitation plans, and assistance in attaining and maintaining employment, independent living, and attaining personal goals. Rehabilitation Counselors are nationally certified as Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRC) and may be State licensed as Licensed Professional Counselors. Rehabilitation Counselors may be designated as a Licensed Independent Provider (LIP) when they hold State licensure and are included as a LIP in their VA medical center bylaws.

This position is located within VHA Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VHA Voc Rehab). VHA Voc Rehab Service programs are recovery-oriented clinical vocational rehabilitation services that offer an array of vocational, educational, training, employment, and therapeutic work services. They include skill development, fostering of natural supports, and assistance with obtaining and maintaining employment for Veterans for whom the primary objective is competitive employment. Vocational rehabilitation supports persons with functional, psychological, developmental, cognitive and emotional impairments, or health disabilities to overcome barriers to accessing, maintaining, or returning to employment and/or education. Vocational rehabilitation provides services to promote and support optimal functioning and development of Veterans by utilizing appropriate counseling and training. VHA Voc Rehab Service includes: Vocational and Educational Assistance, and Compensated Work Therapy (CWT). CWT consists of the following components: Transitional Work (TW), Supported Employment (SE), and Community Based Employment Services (CBES). The incumbent provides VHA Voc Rehab services within various settings of the medical center and/or community.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Subject to change based on the needs of the agency.
Telework: Ad Hoc Telework May be Available.
Virtual: This is not a remote or virtual position.
Functional Statement #: 000000
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period.
  • Subject to background/security investigation.
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
  • Must pass pre-employment physical examination.
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP).
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details.


Basic Requirements
Citizenship. Candidates must be a citizen of the United States. Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified candidates in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 7407(a).

Education. A master's degree in rehabilitation counseling or clinical rehabilitation counseling from a rehabilitation counseling program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). If the applicant's degree was granted prior to July 1, 2017, the program must be accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education. OR A master's degree in counseling or clinical rehabilitation counseling from a college or university accredited by a national or regional accrediting body accredited by Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). OR A master's or doctoral degree in a related field of study with course content that emphasized rehabilitation, counseling, disability, therapy, health, employment, wellness, or human development from a college or university accredited by a national or regional accrediting body accredited by CHEA. OR Foreign graduates with a degree acceptable by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC).

Certification. Current, full and unrestricted certification as a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC) from the CRCC to practice vocational rehabilitation counseling. Exceptions for Graduate RCs: (a) RC graduates from an approved counseling or rehabilitation counseling program who otherwise meet the basic qualification requirements and the additional degree requirements for CRC certification by the CRCC, but do not possess the required certification, may be appointed, pending certification, as a graduate RC on a full-time temporary appointment not-to-exceed two years under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7405(a)(1)(D).

English Language Proficiency. Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f).

Grandfathering Provision. May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria).

Grade Determinations. In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates.

Rehabilitation Counselor, GS-09
Experience. None beyond the basic requirements.

Assignments. Employees at this level serve as entry level RCs. Provide vocational and personal adjustment counseling, case management and transferrable skills analyses to aid Veterans with severe disabilities in pursuit of their self-determined employment, educational and independent living goals. Conduct assessments through record reviews, observations and interviews with Veterans and their support systems to generate and document personal, vocational and educational histories. Customize evaluation of abilities, aptitudes, interests, values and preferences. Assist Veterans in vocational exploration activities to include informational interviews and labor market research. Examine the impact of employment income on Veteran's benefits. In coordination with Veteran's interdisciplinary teams (IDT), develop and amend patient-centered treatment plans utilizing specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and time-based (SMART) goals. Promote employment programs to community employers to establish relationships that will result in providing work opportunities for Veterans with significant behavioral, physical, emotional and/or cognitive challenges under the general supervision of certified RCs. Conduct outreach and job development to match Veteran's strengths to local workforce needs. Facilitate job placement for Veterans by teaching valuable job search skills, resume/application development, interview skills and basic computer skills. Coordinate transportation to interviews/hiring events. Complete job analyses to facilitate job coaching and retention services to aid Veterans in learning and maintaining proficiency in performance of essential job tasks. Counsel Veterans regarding importance of soft skills (e.g., personal hygiene, cooperation with co­ workers, and following instructions) when employed to enhance job satisfaction and foster natural supports in the workplace. Coordinate job search clubs for Veterans to improve in self-directed job search activities. Complete clinical charting and participate in professional peer reviews.

Rehabilitation Counselor, GS-11
Experience. Completion of one year of professional experience equivalent to the next lower grade level directly related to the position being filled.
Education. A doctoral degree in rehabilitation counselor education or related field (e.g., rehabilitation psychology) from a CACREP accredited institution or from an institution accredited by a national or regional accrediting body accredited by CHEA.

Assignment. This is the journey level for this assignment. Provide personal adjustment counseling, therapeutic rehabilitation interventions and case coordination services, utilizing evidence-informed and evidence-based modalities to aid Veterans with severe disabilities in achieving competitive employment and educational and independent living goals. Conduct biopsychosocial assessments using medical records, pertinent disability documentation, observation and interviews with Veterans and their support systems to generate personal, vocational, and educational histories. Select, administer and interpret vocational instruments to evaluate abilities, aptitudes, interests, values, preferences, transferrable skills and overall work resilience. Customize vocational exploration activities for identification of self determined rehabilitation needs and goals. Consult with interdisciplinary teams (IDT) to enhance coordination of care, ensure medical clearance, and provide for optimal timing of further interventions. Synthesize assessment information to identify barriers to employment and their vocational implications. Determine clinical need for and capacity to benefit from therapeutic and rehabilitation services to include work restoration/resilience treatment, transitional work placement and compensation, supported employment, assistive technology, financial benefits counseling and potential benefits protections. Develop patient-centered treatment plans utilizing SMART goals and provides ongoing assessment of Veteran's progress. Procure and manage transitional work agreements from community, state and federal agencies. Monitor work site compliance with agreements to ensure Veterans are appropriately trained and evaluated consistent with industry standards. Devise solutions to reduce and/or eliminate barriers and meet Veterans' placement needs which may require substantial modification to environmental or functional demands within a work setting. Provide psychoeducational groups to teach effective job search skills, employer-desired soft skills and life skills fostering independence. Complete interpretive data reports. Provide disability education and program-specific training to staff and stakeholders. May supervise vocational rehabilitation students.

Reference: VA Handbook 5005/133, Part II, Appendix G62, Rehabilitation Counselor Qualification Standard. Available in the Human Resources Office.

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-9 to GS-11.

Physical Requirements: Pre-placement and periodic physical examinations are required for hybrid occupations to ensure workers are placed in positions where they can perform the essential functions of their job including their physical, mental and emotional capacities, without endangering their health or the health of their co-workers. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: . If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: .

Additional information

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.

Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process.

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .