Graphic of Ben wearing a FED badge and smilingIn our May WISE webinar, Commissioner Chai Feldblum of the U.S. EEOC talked about paths to federal employment for people with disabilities and discrimination. Find answers to top questions asked during the webinar and find out how you can pursue work in the federal government.

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You Asked, We Answer! Working for the Federal Government

Jun 11, 2018

Graphic of Ben wearing a FED badge and smilingLast month, we welcomed Commissioner Chai Feldblum of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to present on our Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) webinar. She joined Pam Walker of Alliance Professional Services to discuss your options for applying for and securing employment with the federal government, as well as discrimination in the workplace.

We received many great questions during the webinar, and today we're reviewing a few of them!

What is Schedule A? And how can I apply?

The Schedule A Hiring Authority gives the federal government permission to hire people with significant disabilities without requiring them to compete against non-disabled jobseekers for the same position.

You can find a full list of open positions for the federal government at Schedule A jobs are not listed separately, so you can search for job openings with agencies that match your interests and skills. You'll also want to obtain your Schedule A documentation that states you are eligible under Schedule A. This documentation is a letter from a doctor, medical professional, licensed Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselor or any agency that issues or provides you with disability benefits. Once you have your resume, application and documentation ready, apply for the job and contact the agency's Disability Program Manager to let them know you'd like to be considered for the job under Schedule A.

If you're hired for a position through Schedule A, you're hired on a probationary basis. Once the probationary period ends, you may be eligible for conversion to a career-conditional appointment. Learn more about Schedule A in our Frequently Asked Questions.

 Looking for even more info? Check out the EEOC's resource, The ABCs of Schedule A

Can a Ticket to Work service provider help me apply for federal jobs?

Yes! Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) program offers you the supports and services you need to find your path to work, including federal employment.

In particular, a Ticket program service provider may be able to help you identify federal positions that suit your interests, skills and experience. They may also help you contact the federal agency to request that you be considered for a job under Schedule A and make sure that you have the appropriate documents to indicate that you are eligible for Schedule A.

You can start looking for a Ticket program service provider by using the Find Help tool.

I feel that I'm being discriminated against at work because of my disability. What can I do?

The EEOC may be able to help you if you've been discriminated against in the workplace. These 4 steps outline how you can handle a discrimination report with the EEOC:

  1. Contact the EEOC: You can visit one of the 15 district or 38 local offices throughout the country or contact your state or local employment civil rights agency. They may help you file a complaint online using the EEOC's public portal.
  2. Talk with an investigator: An EEOC investigator will review your complaint to determine if there's "reasonable cause" to believe that discrimination has happened.
  3. Mediation: Next steps may include mediation, which means you may need to meet with your employer and a trained third-party professional to discuss the issues and potentially find a resolution to the problems.
  4. Settlement and Other Options: If the EEOC investigator identifies "reasonable cause" to believe that discrimination happened, the EEOC will attempt to help to negotiate a settlement. If the settlement option fails, you may pursue your claim in federal court. If the EEOC doesn't find reasonable cause, you'll be given a letter that says you may pursue your claim in federal court.

Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) organizations, one type of Ticket program service provider, may also be able to help. PABSS organizations provide legal support, advocacy and information to assist beneficiaries in resolving employment-related concerns, including:

  • Navigating organizations and services to support your efforts to work and protect your rights such as appealing decisions of a State VR agency or Employment Network
  • Requesting reasonable accommodations in your workplace, college classes, training courses, and licensing programs
  • Other disability-based legal issues that are barriers to employment, such as transportation

WISE webinars

WISE webinars are monthly online events that cover a variety of employment topics to provide you with information and resources to help you pursue and achieve your work goals. Each month we highlight a different topic, as well as Ticket program resources and information and feature presenters who talk about employment and answer your questions about returning to work or finding work for the first time.

Our next WISE webinar will be June 27, 2018, 3 – 4:30 p.m. ET. The webinar, "Ticket to Work Support on Your Journey to Financial Independence" will focus on the services and support you can find through the Ticket program, how to connect with Ticket program service providers, and offer resources that may help you reach the next step on your journey. Register today!

If you're interested in checking out May's webinar or other past webinars, you can find them in our WISE archives!

Ticket to Work

Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. The Ticket program is free and voluntary. It helps people with disabilities move toward financial independence and connects them with the services and support they need to succeed in the workforce.

Learn More

To learn more about the Ticket program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.

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