Compensation & Pension Psychologist

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Wallops Island, Virginia
Posted
Oct 07, 2022
Closes
Oct 14, 2022
Function
Administrative
Hours
Full Time
Duties

The Compensation and Pension (C&P) Psychologist will serve as a C&P Mental Health Examiner, performing disability evaluations for a variety of mental health conditions. Compensation and Pension evaluations are performed to document level of impairment and disease processes that were incurred in, caused by, or aggravated by military service or service exposures. C&P disability evaluations include completion of specific Disability Benefit Questionnaires (DBQs) templates along with a thorough review of records, evaluation, diagnosis, and medical opinions (as requested).

The duties of the position will include but not limited to the following:
  • Reviews exam request forms from VBA and seeks clarification when necessary; ensures that all aspects of the exam request are addressed in their entirety.
  • Conducts a thorough review of service treatment records, private and VA treatment records, claims files, and other records as required per national directives.
  • Completes relevant assessments for direct and indirect (secondary) service connection for various mental health conditions.
  • Documents assessments and findings using appropriate CAPRI/C&P software and DBQ templates.
  • Makes diagnosis based on history, records review and current examination, using the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM- 5) terminology and diagnostic criteria.
  • Provides appropriate rationale, citing relevant medical literature, when rendering nexus opinions; addresses opinions using "at least as likely as not" verbiage.
  • Participates in the program evaluation process and is involved with quality improvement activities, as requested.
  • Complies with all C&P education and training requirements, maintaining appropriate certifications for performing C&P exams.
  • Provides informal consultative services with healthcare providers related to diagnostic considerations from C&P examinations.
  • Works as a collaborative member of the C&P interdisciplinary team throughout the enterprise.
  • Primary worksite is remote via available telehealth technologies.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, standard daytime hours across multiple time zones. Evenings, weekends and holidays required as necessary based on the needs of the Clinical Resource Hub and spoke sites.
Virtual: This is a virtual position.
Functional Statement #: 91271-A
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Requirements

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.


Qualifications

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.

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. English Language Proficiency: Education: Have a doctoral degree in psychology from a graduate program in psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) at the time the program was completed. The specialty area of the degree must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. For the purpose of meeting this requirement, the term "specialty area" refers to the specific specialty areas recognized by the accrediting body and not to specific job duties that might require special skills. Currently, APA accredits doctoral programs in the specialty areas of clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, or combinations of two or more of those areas. PCSAS accredits doctoral programs in psychological clinical science. CPA accredits doctoral programs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, clinical neuropsychology, and school psychology. There are no job assignments in VHA that require the skills of a school psychologist; therefore, an applicant with a degree in the specialty area of school psychology is not eligible for appointment.
OR
  • Have a doctoral degree in any area of psychology and, in addition, successfully complete a re- specialization program (including documentation of an approved internship completed as part of the re- specialization program) meeting both of the following conditions:
  • The re-specialization program must be completed in an APA or a CPA accredited doctoral program; and,
  • the specialty in which the applicant is retrained must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed.

NOTE: The applicant must provide an official transcript and/or certificate documenting the completion of the re-specialization program, which includes completion of an APA or CPA internship. [Psychologists who have successfully completed a re-specialization program as described above and who were employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs prior to the implementation of this standard are considered to have fully met the educational requirements of these qualification standards.]

OR
  • Have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally-accredited institution, with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature.
AND
  • Internships
  • Have successfully completed a professional psychology internship training program that was accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed and that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed.
OR
  • New VHA psychology internship programs that are in the process of applying for APA accreditation are acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement, provided that such programs were sanctioned by the VHA Central Office Program Director for Psychology and the VHA Office of Academic Affiliations at the time that the individual was an intern;
OR
  • VHA facilities that offered full-time, one-year pre-doctoral internships prior to PL 96-151 (pre- 1979) are considered to be acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement;

OR
  • Applicants who completed an internship that was not accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed may be considered eligible for hire only if they are currently board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology in a specialty area that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employe (NOTE: Once board certified, the employee is required to maintain board certification. )
OR
  • Applicants who have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally- accredited institution with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature may fulfill this internship
  • Licensure: Hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to practice psychology at the doctoral level in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia. Exception: Non-licensed applicants who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements may be given a temporary appointment as a "graduate psychologist" at the GS-11 or GS-12 grade under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7405 [(c)(2)(B)] for a period not to exceed two years from the date of employment on the condition that such a psychologist provide care only under the supervision of a psychologist who is licensed. Failure to obtain licensure during that period is justification for termination of the temporary appointment. Loss of Credential. A psychologist who fails to maintain the required licensure must be removed from the occupation, which may result in termination of employment. At the discretion of the appointing official, an employee may be reassigned to another occupation if qualified and if a placement opportunity exists. Board Certification and Loss of Credential: Do you meet the following certification requirements? Board Certification. Persons hired to psychology positions in the VHA who completed an internship that was not accredited at the time the program was completed must be board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology in a specialty area that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. The board certificate must be current and the applicant must abide by the certifying body's requirement for continuing education. Loss of Credential. Once board certified, psychologist must maintain a full, valid and unrestricted board certification to remain qualified for employment. A psychologist who fails to maintain the required board certification must be removed from the occupation, which may result in termination of employment. At the discretion of the appointing official, an employee may be reassigned to another occupation if qualified and if a placement opportunity exists.
  • English Language Proficiency. Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f).
  • Experience: (a) At least two years of experience as a professional psychologist, with at least one year equivalent to the GS-12 grade level. (b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: 1. Knowledge of, and ability to apply, professional psychological treatments to the full range of patient populations. 2. Ability to provide professional advice and consultation in areas related to professional psychology and behavioral health. 3. Knowledge of clinical research literature. (c) Assignment. This is the full performance level for staff psychologists. At this level, psychologists are licensed to practice independently in the provision of psychological services, consulting with peers and supervisors as appropriate. They may be assigned to any VHA program and setting, such as inpatient or outpatient medicine, primary care, surgery, mental health, neurology, rehabilitation medicine, geriatrics, Compensation and Pension, Vet Centers, and the VHA National
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.

Education

Qualifications Continue:
Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs:
  • Knowledge of, and ability to apply, professional psychological treatments to the full range of patient populations.
  • Ability to provide professional advice and consultation in areas related to professional psychology and behavioral health.
  • Knowledge of clinical research literature.

  • Required Experience:
    • Two years of experience conducting Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension (C&P) disability evaluations.

    References: VA Handbook 5005/103, Part II, Appendix G18

    The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-13.

    Physical Requirements: 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: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/ . 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: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html .

    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 .