Rehabilitation Counselor- Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

Baltimore, Maryland
May 24, 2022
May 26, 2022
Full Time

Duties may include but are not limited to:
  • Uses evidence-informed and evidence-based modalities to aid Veterans with severe disabilities, such as physical, psychosocial, psychological, or neurological barriers, integrate successfully into the community.
  • Provides Veterans engaged in SUD treatment programs recovery-oriented clinical vocational rehabilitation services and offer a continuum of vocational, educational, training and employment, and therapeutic work services.
  • Collaborates with Substance Abuse Treatment teams in order to assist Veterans with substance abuse recovery issues that either are or may become barriers to obtaining and maintaining employment.
  • Assists Veterans with on-going sobriety maintenance activities including outpatient substance abuse clinics, specified follow-up activities and a variety of community resources.
  • Develops and maintains appropriate communications, rapport, and positive working relationships with a variety of institutions, organizations, and service providers.
  • Conducts biopsychosocial assessments using medical records, pertinent disability documentation, observation and interviews with Veterans and their support systems to general personal, vocational, and educational histories.
  • Selects, administers, and interprets vocational and other psychometric instruments to evaluate abilities of Veterans.
  • Consults with interdisciplinary teams to enhance coordination of care, ensure medical clearance, and provide for optimal timing of further interventions.
  • Provides psychoeducational and/or psychotherapeutic groups to facilitate effective job search skills, employer-desired soft skills, work and life skills fostering independence and recovery.
Work Schedule: Full-Time, Monday through Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm
Telework: Yes, based on management discretion.
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Functional Statement #: 00000
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.
  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • 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.


Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.

(Note)This applies to the past, current, and upcoming VA Health Professional Trainees (HPT) only. HPT is an individual appointed to temporary positions in one or more VHA medical facilities performing clinical or research training experiences to satisfy program or degree requirements or receiving VA Health Professional Scholarship Program. HPTs can be either VA-paid or Without Compensation (WOC).

Basic Requirements:
  • United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
  • Education: (1) 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 (2) 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 (3) 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 (4) 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. (1) 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).
    • (b) Graduate RCs may only be appointed at the entry grade level and may not be promoted/converted until certification is obtained.
    • (c) Temporary graduate RC appointments may not be extended beyond two years or converted to a new temporary appointment
  • Failure to Obtain Certification: In all cases, RCs must actively pursue meeting prerequisites for certification starting from the date of their appointment. This includes working towards completion of CRCC's required acceptable employment experience and completing required CRCC documentation to verify employment experience and supervision by a CRC. At the time of appointment, the RC supervisor will provide the RC with the written requirements for certification, including the time by which the certification must be obtained and the consequences for not becoming certified by the deadline. Failure to become certified within the prescribed amount of time will result in removal from the GS-0101 RC series and may result in termination of employment.
  • Grandfathering Provision: All individuals employed as RCs within VHA on the effective date of this qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series, and grade held including positive education and certification.
Grade Determinations:

Rehabilitation Counselor, GS-09:
  • (1) Experience: None beyond the basic requirements.
  • (2) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs): In addition to meeting the experience or educational requirements for this grade level, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs:
    • (a) Knowledge of human development and behavior, medical, psychosocial, and vocational aspects of disability and differential influences of environmental and cultural factors to assist persons with disabilities in determining suitable vocational goals.
    • (b) Knowledge of history, philosophy and disability rights legislation in the field of rehabilitation to apply in the practice of rehabilitation counseling.
    • (c) Ability to synthesize assessment and diagnosis information in conjunction with labor market trends and community/educational resources to develop an effective individual service delivery plan.
    • (d) Knowledge of caseload management strategies to maximize an individual's independent functioning from assessment through provision of post-employment services.
    • (e) Ability to employ person-centered job development strategies to facilitate successful job placement.
    • (f) Knowledge of assessment tools and methods, functional capacity evaluations and specific vocational preparation to evaluate transferrable skills, residual capacities and needs for accommodations and assistive technology.
Rehabilitation Counselor, GS-11:
  • (1) Experience: Completion of one year of professional experience equivalent to the next lower grade level directly related to the position being filled. OR
  • (2) 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. AND
  • (3) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs:
    • (a) Knowledge of physical and psychological disabilities, appropriate accommodations and assistive technology principles to mitigate and reduce or eliminate barriers to integrate into the community.
    • (b) Knowledge of counseling theory, medical and psychiatric terminology and signs and symptomology of suicidal and homicidal ideations, to communicate appropriately with community health care professionals to provide useful input to other team members and employers in relation to the Veteran and/or his/her family's psychosocial needs and to recommend and help implement suitable treatment plans.
    • (c) Ability to use evidence-based and evidence informed vocational and professional counseling practices to include individual placement and support (IPS), customized employment and supported employment models and motivational interviewing skills to promote self-awareness, adjustment to disability, enhanced job retention and successful integration to the community.
    • (d) Knowledge of career development processes and job analysis methodology to determine essential functions of jobs, worksite modifications and/or alternative vocational goals given the work history and residual functional capacities of individuals with disabilities.
    • (e) Ability to administer and interpret a wide variety of assessment methods including transferrable skills and labor market analyses to evaluate for individual interests, aptitudes and abilities and to identify suitable vocational goals for the development of an effective individual service delivery plan.
    • (f) Knowledge of marketing strategies to develop collaborative partnerships/Memorandums of Agreement within VA and local business community to enhance employment and/or work opportunities.
    • (g) Knowledge of military culture and specific factors and dynamics associated with Veterans, particularly combat Veterans, to assist those who are returning to community and community based-work
Preferred Experience: A history of working with individuals with substance use disorders.

References: VA Handbook 5005/113, Part II, Appendix G62 Dated 7/21/2020.

Continued in Education Section.


Continued from Qualifications Section

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: Light lifting (under 15 lbs.); light carrying (under 15 lbs.); reaching above shoulder; use of fingers; walking (intermittent); standing (intermittent); hearing (aid permitted); clear speech. The work is sedentary. Typically, the employee may sit comfortably to do the work. However, there may be some walking, standing, bending and carrying of light items like papers or books. No special physical demands are required to perform the work.

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.

Due to COVID-19, VA is currently in an expanded telework posture. If selected, you may be expected to temporarily telework, even if your home is located outside the local commuting area. Once employees are permitted to return to the office, you will be expected to report to the duty station listed on this announcement. Management officials will provide information about returning to the official, pre-pandemic worksite, when applicable. At that time, you may be eligible to request to continue to telework depending upon the terms of your organization's telework policy and the duties of the position.

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 .