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Anyone know about the VA?

DH is just finishing up his Army service.  He's applied and been offered a job as a nurse at a VA hospital out of state.  Can anyone tell us about the pay and benefits?  He's been trying to get ahold of someone in the HR dept, but as usual, it's taking forever.  We heard that it can take 2-3 months before they get all his background checks and stuff done so he can start work.  Any experience with this?  He's been a Combat Medic, but finished up his Bachelor's in July and has been interning as a nurse at the hospital on post since July.  Will his 4 years as a medic be counted as experience and increase his pay?  What other factors go into this decision?  What can we expect to pay for insurance for a family of 3?

Thanks for your help!

[IMG]http://i49.tinypic.com/rthyqu.jpg width="180px"[/IMG]
<BR><BR>
Wifey to Daddy and Mama to Levi. I am blessed.

Re: Anyone know about the VA?

  • image MamaSquishyB:

    DH is just finishing up his Army service.  He's applied and been offered a job as a nurse at a VA hospital out of state.  Can anyone tell us about the pay and benefits?  He's been trying to get ahold of someone in the HR dept, but as usual, it's taking forever.  We heard that it can take 2-3 months before they get all his background checks and stuff done so he can start work.  Any experience with this?  He's been a Combat Medic, but finished up his Bachelor's in July and has been interning as a nurse at the hospital on post since July.  Will his 4 years as a medic be counted as experience and increase his pay?  What other factors go into this decision?  What can we expect to pay for insurance for a family of 3?

    Thanks for your help!

    I dont have experience with pay outside of the army, but I will say that since he just applied I am going to assume if he gets selected for an interview all of that information will be disclosed at that time.

    BFP #1 11/07/2012 EDD 07/09/2013 M/C 11/22/2012

    BFP #2 02/05/2013 EDD 09/19/2013

    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

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  • image *HiS ChAmAoLe GiRL*:
    image MamaSquishyB:

    DH is just finishing up his Army service.  He's applied and been offered a job as a nurse at a VA hospital out of state.  Can anyone tell us about the pay and benefits?  He's been trying to get ahold of someone in the HR dept, but as usual, it's taking forever.  We heard that it can take 2-3 months before they get all his background checks and stuff done so he can start work.  Any experience with this?  He's been a Combat Medic, but finished up his Bachelor's in July and has been interning as a nurse at the hospital on post since July.  Will his 4 years as a medic be counted as experience and increase his pay?  What other factors go into this decision?  What can we expect to pay for insurance for a family of 3?

    Thanks for your help!

    I dont have experience with pay outside of the army, but I will say that since he just applied I am going to assume if he gets selected for an interview all of that information will be disclosed at that time.

    Also, good luck to you and your family !

    BFP #1 11/07/2012 EDD 07/09/2013 M/C 11/22/2012

    BFP #2 02/05/2013 EDD 09/19/2013

    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

    Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

  • Much of VA HR is centralized however each VA has a small HR office, but they are likely very busy and normally don't handle prospective employees until its time to process them on board to work.  That doesn't mean don't call, but ensure you have looked at what he is provided before he calls with questions.  The VA is a great place to hire Vets, and they have a website with employee related HR information besides what the offce of pers mgmt (opm) also provides fed wide.

    Your DH will be working as a fed civilian, he'll be covered under a retirement plan that will have a small pension, which he will pay into and the VA will generously fund, SS, and a 401(k) plan  - the same one he was offered in the military, he will be automatically enrolled in at 3% of his pay with the VA giving him a 3% matching and 1% based on his pay every two weeks.  He should consider increasing the 401(k) to 5% so he can get all the employer matching, which is automatically entitled to keep; only the 1% that goes in from VA has a requirement he have 3 years of fed civilian service.  If he sticks with his time as a Fed, which he can make a deposit for credit for his military time in the pension, he can earn a nice retirement from 3 sources from his hard work and dedication.

    The Fed has a health plan, FEHB which will offer you a number of health plans in the area you live in, there is a family plan enrollment that doesn't look at the number of kids you have, it's just a family enrollment.  The premiums are competitive you can go to opm . gov and type in FEHB to get the last plan brocure to see what you can enroll in then download the plan booklet to see what is offerred.  Your DH will pay 1/3 of the premium; the Fed - VA picks up the rest.  There is a separate vision and dental plan, flex spending, LTC, and life insurance to think about also.  The earliest you are enrolled to use the plan is the next pp after hire, if the election is filed during the first two weeks of coming on board.

    There is sick leave which all accrue at 3 hours each pay period (26 pp per year), and vacation or annual leave, which his honorable service will credit him for his 4 years, placing him in the 6 hour category; when he has 15 years he will accrue 8 hours each pp.

    Salary is based on the grade level he is qualified and offered the position at. TIme as a medic would not count as time to qualify at a higher grade or negotiate a higher step increase in that grade; he needs time as a nurse.  there are step increases each year the first 4 years; then every 2, then every 3 years until step 10 of a grade.  I would presume he has a career ladder promotion opportunity, with an opportunity to receive a promotion that he won't have to compete with others for after a year, maybe over 2-3 years before having to wait for a competitive promotion opportunity to a higher grade beyond what he applied for.  Right now annual pay adjustments are frozen for cost of living changes; that might change in March but they are typically done in January each year.  He may earn overtime and may well earn a small performance award each year too.

    Also the fiscal issues may affect your DH; with Vet preference if VA ever had to downsize (which with so many Vets in need of care and a generous appropriation to the VA is not likely) he would be one of the last to go.  That doesn't mean if the VA has to tighten its budget they would not furlough employees one day a pp or each month if the exc and legis branches cant get it together by March; sequestration could kick in and it could affect his paycheck. 

     opm . gov will give you and DH lots of info on federal pay and benefits.  go there and then take a look at the package he gets on his first day at work.  Make sure you return or use VA's HR web site (DFAS will pay your DH, but its civ DFAS not mil DFAS) to make your elections timely.

    with regard to background checks if he does his web submission timely and it goes forward to opm to begin, it should take no more than 40 days, 60 tops to go back to the VA for adjudication.  With the number of people they are hiring to help vets, hopefully it won't be more than another 30 days for VA review and adjudication, so they can offer him a hire date. If he already had a background check from the military that was recently adjudicated it makes the process for VA go faster, otherwise it starts from the beginning with the 60-90 days for clearance.

    Congrats to him and you on a new career. 

  • Thank you, this was a HUGE help!
    [IMG]http://i49.tinypic.com/rthyqu.jpg width="180px"[/IMG]
    <BR><BR>
    Wifey to Daddy and Mama to Levi. I am blessed.
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