Difference between revisions of "Returned Volunteers FAQs"

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Latest revision as of 07:56, 21 May 2014

Keeping former Peace Corps Volunteers informed and involved is very important to us. The topics below are drawn from our most commonly asked questions from RPCVs. We hope you find them helpful.

How can I get assistance with financial issues, taxes, or a copy of my Description of Service (DOS)?[edit]

For Readjustment Allowance questions; verification of Peace Corps service for an employer or college (verbal and/or written); copies of your Description of Service (DOS), income tax questions and W-2 forms; loan deferment, cancellation, and economic hardship certifications; and, savings bonds, contact:

Volunteer and PSC Financial Services
800.424.8580, ext. 1770, or
202.692.1770


Where can I get assistance with Early Termination (ET) issues?[edit]

For ET consultation/personal counseling, or if you wish to ET while in the United States on home leave or emergency leave, contact:

Office of Special Services
800.424.8580, ext. 1470 or
202.692.1470


Where can I get assistance with medical issues?[edit]

If within the first six months of your COS you are having a particularly difficult time with your re-entry adjustment and feel you need a medical evaluation, contact the Office of Medical Services to discuss your situation with a medical professional.

For general medical issues, contact the Office of Medical Services.

Office of Medical Services
800.424.8580, ext. 1500 or 202.692.1500
Learn more about general RPCV health benefits.

To obtain copies of your medical records, contact:
Medical Records Department
800.424.8580, ext. 1553 or 202.692.1553

For Medical billing/reimbursement, contact:
Health Benefit Program
800.544.1802

For RPCVs with medical problems resulting from their Peace Corps service, requests for authorization of evaluation or further diagnostic work-up of service-related conditions; authorization for treatment after diagnosis of injury or illness incurred while a PCV or other illness or disability issues related to your Peace Corps service contact:

Post Service Unit
800.424.8580, ext. 1540 or 202.692.1540

For Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) claims or Re-entry difficulty, contact: Office of Medical Services 800.424.8580, ext. 1500, or 202.692.1500. Additional information is available from the FECA Benefits page on this site.

Sometimes RPCVs encounter problems in obtaining assistance from the Office of Medical Services or the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP). OWCP is an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor and is responsible for administering the FECA program. An RPCV group has been formed to help RPCVs secure health care and other benefits that they are legally entitled to (see OWCP Yahoo! Group in the external links section, below).

How can I change my address?[edit]

Use our online form or send an e-mail to: rpcvupdate@peacecorps.gov

You may also send your information via regular mail. Include your name, address, social security number, country, and years of service to:

RPCV Database Manager
Peace Corps Domestic Programs
1111 20th Street NW
Washington, DC 20526


How can I find an RPCV?[edit]

Peace Corps no longer has resources available for contacting returned volunteers; however, there are a number of search resources available on the Web including Yahoo People Search and Google. The National Peace Corps Association maintains a "Seeking" area on its website under the News section. Also, every five years NPCA publishes a directory of RPCVs and former staff.


How can I locate the RPCV group nearest me?[edit]

Contact the National Peace Corps Association via their website (www.peacecorpsconnect.org) or call them at 202.293.7728. First year of membership is free to recently returned volunteers.

How can I stay connected to the Peace Corps?[edit]

There are many ways to stay connected. Visit our Stay Connected section or select from the following list:

  • Assist with recruiting potential Volunteers.
  • Help RPCVs with their career and life transition back to the United States by agreeing to be listed in the Career Information Consultants Guide.
  • Participate as a Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools speaker.
  • Share your experience during Peace Corps Week.
  • Become a Crisis Corps Volunteer.
  • Submit a story for the Peace Corps Web site.
  • Let Peace Corps help pay for graduate school. Learn more about the Peace Corps Fellows Program.
  • Join the National Peace Corps Association and get involved with one of its 140 geographic or country of service affiliate groups. First year of membership is free to newly returned volunteers.


Where can I order Returned Volunteer Services publications?[edit]

RVS publishes a series of career manuals. These are available free of charge to all RPCVs, but can only be mailed to addresses in the United States. Most are now available online. Learn more.


How do I apply for employment with the Peace Corps?[edit]

Visit our Jobs section for a comprehensive look at working at the Peace Corps, plus listings for open positions at Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C., as well as regional, overseas, and short-term jobs.


Campus Recruiting Positions[edit]

The Peace Corps occasionally places Peace Corps campus coordinators/graduate assistants ("strategy contractors") at certain colleges and universities that are good sources for potential Volunteers.

Strategy contractors are returned Volunteers who work half-time on campus as Peace Corps recruiters while pursuing degrees. The recruiter is actually employed by the university which has been awarded a contract by the Peace Corps for recruitment activities.

If you plan to attend school, you might contact the local Peace Corps office responsible for the state in which your school is located to inquire about these positions.


Temporary and Short-Term Positions[edit]

RPCVs can inquire about current temporary openings by contacting the specific office that interests them, or by visiting the RVS career center at the Regional Recruitment Office in Rosslyn, Virginia, where these openings are sometimes posted. You may also inform any office of your availability in the event that the office has an upcoming temporary need.

For short-term jobs or consulting, the Short Term Assistance Unit (STAU) of the Peace Corps provides trainers for Pre-Service Trainings when requested by a Peace Corps overseas post. To identify trainers, the STAU maintains a database of potential short-term contractors and actively recruits new candidates. Learn more about STAU.

To submit your résumé or federal application by mail, send it to:

Short-Term Assistance Unit
of the Center for Field Assistance
and Applied Research
Paul D. Coverdell
Peace Corps Headquarters
1111 20th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20526


Associate Peace Corps Director (APCD) Jobs[edit]

Competitive APCD candidates usually will have position-specific education, several years of managerial experience, technical skills, and cross-cultural language skills. Check the Peace Corps Employment Center for current APCD openings.

Or, send a federal application or résumé to:

Paul D. Coverdell
Peace Corps Headquarters
Overseas Staff Recruitment
1111 20th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20526


What is a GS level? Where do I rank?[edit]

The Peace Corps uses a Foreign Service (FP) system rather than the GS hiring system used at many government agencies. The majority of recently Returned Volunteers may qualify for positions at the GS-5, GS-7, or GS-9 levels. This will of course depend on the amount of relevant experience and the education level of the applicant.

For more information about the federal government's GS system, see the RPCV Benefits section.


What is non-competitive eligibility?[edit]

Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) is a special mechanism through which RPCVs can be appointed to federal GS positions without competing with the general public in order to be hired.

What this means is federal agencies are permitted to hire a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer without posting a vacancy announcement, interviewing candidates or going through the other steps that often cause the hiring process to idle. This does not mean Returned Volunteers are entitled to federal employment. Also, state and local agencies fall under separate laws and do not have the NCE benefit.

RPCVs may provide a non-competitive eligibility letter (PDF) to prospective federal employers explaining their non-competitive eligibility.

Noncompetitive eligibility can be used at expected service agencies. USAJobs.gov lists these expected service agencies here:

http://www.usajobs.gov/EI/exceptedservice.asp#icc

For more information about the federal government's GS system, see the RPCV Benefits section.

What is an SF-50? Do I have a performance appraisal from the Peace Corps that I can use in the federal hiring process?[edit]

Federal employers sometimes ask RPCV applicants for a copy of their SF-50s. This form is called a "Notification of Personnel Action." As a PCV/RPCV, you did/do not have an SF-50.

You may use a copy of your Description of Service (DOS), instead, as a formal description of your Peace Corps work. The DOS is a factual account of your service. It does not evaluate your work as a PCV.

Most federal job applications ask for a copy of your most recent performance appraisal. Try to get a general letter of recommendation that gives an account of your work habits and character, from an overseas Peace Corps staff member familiar with your work.

It is advisable to get a letter of recommendation before you leave or shortly after you return from overseas. The longer the time since you left service, the more difficult it is to get such letters. This letter can be used in lieu of a performance appraisal.


What if I have other questions about services for former Volunteers?[edit]

Refer to the Career Resource Manual presented to you at your COS conference, or contact Returned Volunteer Services: rvs@peacecorps.gov

External Links[edit]

National Peace Corps Association a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization connecting, informing and engaging returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs), former Peace Corps staff and friends of Peace Corps committed to fostering peace through service, education and advocacy.

Returned Volunteers FAQs Official US Peace Corps Website

OWCP Yahoo! Group An Online Community of RPCVs that Advocates for Better Post-Service Health Care from Peace Corps and the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.