The Veterans Administration (VA) is a federal agency that provides support and healthcare to those who have served in the armed forces. The VA is in the charge of many programs, including the following:
- Health initiatives: The VA leads initiatives and programs designed to motivate veterans to live healthy lifestyles.
- Center for women veterans: There are several centers designed specifically to assist women veterans in meeting their healthcare needs.
- Homeless assistance programs: The VA has several programs to address the issue of veteran homelessness, including homeless centers and other initiatives.
- Records center: The VA stores records for veterans that meet specific customized standards to ensure information remains safe.
- VA hospitals: Established VA hospitals are located across the country to provide veterans with healthcare and mental health care.
With so many programs, initiatives, and branches, there are a variety of jobs with the VA. Nursing positions, human resource jobs, or administrative roles are usually available at VA insitutitions. As federal employees, VA workers are offered an impressive employee benefits package.
Table of Contents
- 1 VA Professional Benefits
- 2 VA Healthcare and Insurance Options
- 3 VA Employee Retirement
- 4 Various VA Employment Benefits
VA Professional Benefits
Paid Time Off
The VA emphasizes a healthy work-life balance for its employees to ensure they can stay focused and motivated. As a full-time agency employee, you are provided with 13 to 26 days of paid time off annually. There are also 10 federal paid holidays the VA observes and you’re given 10 paid sick days off each year.
Professional Liability Insurance
VA health care professionals are considered federal employees and receive federal employee benefits. This includes liability protection that’s backed by the federal government. Malpractice lawsuits or other negligence claims are taken over by the government so the personal assets or lives of these employees are not intertwined with their work.
Some administrative positions with the VA offer telework. In these positions, you can work from home full time or as sporadically as you need. This allows you to achieve a balance between your work and home life that keeps you and your family thriving and healthy.
VA Healthcare and Insurance Options
Full-time VA employees are provided with federal health insurance benefits, which include comprehensive plans. In most cases, these employee benefits also cover the worker’s immediate family members.
Federal Employees Health Benefits
As a VA employee, you have a variety of health insurance plans to choose from and you can change your plan each year as you see fit. The federal government pays a portion of your health insurance premium and you can add your family members to your policy.
Flexible Spending Accounts for Federal Employees and Dependents
If you opt for a high-deductible health insurance plan, you can sign up for a flexible spending account (FSA). This account allows you to contribute a portion of your paycheck tax-free and use it for medical equipment or services.
Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program
You can enroll in the federal employee dental and vision insurance program with your family members. While you’re responsible for the policy’s full premium, you’re provided coverage for dental exams and cleanings, as well as vision exams and vision correction aids.
Federal Employees Group Life Insurance
VA employees can enroll in basic group life insurance or opt to add on additional coverage. For the basic plan, the government pays 75% of the premium and the employee is responsible for the other 25%.
Federal Employees Long-Term Care Insurance Program
Long-term care insurance provides assistance for everyday basic activities due to cognitive impairment or another condition. This insurance program covers employees and their eligible relatives.
VA Employee Retirement
The VA understands the importance of saving for retirement and provides different retirement plan systems for employees.
Federal Retirement System
The federal employees retirement system (FERS) consists of three programs, which include:
- Social Security benefits;
- Basic benefits;
- The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).
The TSP works similar to a private employer’s 401(k). Employees contribute money to this account for retirement and the government can match contributions up to 5%.
Civil Service Retirement System
If eligible, VA employees can enroll in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), which allows them to contribute tax-deferred money to a retirement account. In some cases, employees can contribute up to 10% of their pay to this retirement account.
Various VA Employment Benefits
While you may not be able to invest in stock options working for the VA, it does offer employee benefits in addition to insurance and retirement plans.
Since it must compete with the private sector, the VA offers competitive salaries in all roles, especially health care.
Child Care Centers
The VA strives to open numerous childcare centers throughout the country for workers’ children. These childcare centers are on site and offer top-of-the-line care.
Child Care Subsidy Programs
Low-income employees who qualify can apply for subsidies from the VA to assist with childcare costs through the Child Care Subsidy Program.
Employees gain access to the VA Knowledge Network and VA Learning Online (VALO) systems, which offer access to educational programs and seminars from anywhere around the country.
Motivated employees who go above and beyond may receive incentive awards, such as:
- Special Contribution Awards;
- Non-Monetary Recognition;
- Superior Performance Awards;
- Quality Step Increases;
- Title 38 Awards.
When you work overtime, on-call, over the weekends, or on holidays, you may qualify to receive premium pay, which is higher than your regular hourly or salary rate.
Employees who use public transportation to commute daily are offered transit subsidies to help cover their fares.
WorkLife4You is a VA-sponsored program designed to help employees and their family members juggle busy schedules while maintaining their health and happiness.
If you’re considering a job with the VA, it’s important to note you’ll be considered a federal employee. As a federal government employee, you have access to a wealth of benefits and perks you should keep in mind when deciding if the job is right for you.
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