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RPCV FAQs

General

  • Whom do I contact to obtain a copy of my Description of Service (DOS)?

    • To request a copy of your DOS, please contact:
      Volunteer and PSC Financial Services
      855.855.1961 ext. 1770 or 202.692.1770
      certify@peacecorps.gov
  • Whom do I contact about my readjustment allowance?

    • For readjustment allowance questions; please contact:
      Volunteer and PSC Financial Services
      855.855.1961 ext. 1770 or 202.692.1770
      certify@peacecorps.gov
  • Whom do I contact regarding student loans?

    • For student loan deferment, cancellation, and economic hardship certification questions, please contact:
      Volunteer and PSC Financial Services
      855.855.1961 ext. 1770 or 202.692.1770
      certify@peacecorps.gov
  • Whom do I contact regarding tax questions?

    • For income tax questions and W-2 forms, please contact:
      Volunteer and PSC Financial Services
      855.855.1961 ext. 1770 or 202.692.1770
      taxhelp@peacecorps.gov
  • Am I eligible for unemployment as an RPCV?

    • RPCVs are not eligible for unemployment benefits. The Department of Labor has ruled that individuals enrolled in the Peace Corps are volunteers who perform services under terms and conditions that do not rise to the legal relationship of employer and employee and, therefore, are not considered in employment covered under Title II of the Emergency Jobs and Unemployment Assistance Act of 1974, Public Law 93-567.88, Stat. 1845. For further information, see the Unemployment Insurance Program Letter, Number 19075, dated May 22, 1975, from the U.S. Department of Labor, Manpower Administration.

      According to the Department of Labor's website: "Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs provide unemployment benefits to eligible workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own, and meet certain other eligibility requirements." Generally, this means that to be eligible for unemployment, an employee must have been laid off or fired from their job. Since Peace Corps Volunteers willingly commit to a time-limited service, they are not eligible to claim unemployment benefits once their service ends. If you have further questions, please refer to the Department of Labor website. For career assistance, visit our RPCV Virtual Career Center
  • I was a victim of a sexual assault, stalking, or other crime during my Peace Corps service. Whom can I talk to about the crime?

    • The Office of Victim Advocacy (OVA) is a resource for currently serving and returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have been victims of sexual assault, stalking, and other crimes. OVA works to ensure that Volunteers and returned Volunteers have access to a wide range of support services provided by the Peace Corps. Highly trained Victim Advocates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to anyone who was a victim of crime during their service. To report or discuss any crimes, please contact:
      Office of Victim Advocacy
      202.409.2704
      victimadvocate@peacecorps.gov
  • Whom can I contact about medical questions related to my Peace Corps service?

    • For RPCVs with medical problems resulting from their Peace Corps service, requests (during the first six months after service) for authorization of evaluation or further diagnostic work-up of service-related conditions, information regarding FECA benefits, including authorization for treatment after diagnosis of injury or illness incurred while in service, or other illness or disability issues related to your Peace Corps service, contact:
      Office of Health Services Post-Service Unit
      855.855.1961 ext. 1540 or 202.692.1540
      psu@peacecorps.gov

      Learn more about general RPCV health benefits.
  • Whom can I contact about post-service medical insurance, benefits, or billing inquiries?

    • For medical insurance, billing inquiries, or benefits provided for service-related medical problems under the PC-127C authorization and FECA, please contact:
      Office of Health Services Post-Service Unit
      855.855.1961 ext. 1540 or 202.692.1540
      psu@peacecorps.gov

      Learn more about general RPCV health benefits.

    • AfterCorps is a private short-term health insurance policy designed to complement the benefits provided for service-related medical problems under the PC-127C authorization and FECA. Please visit the AfterCorps pages on our website for information about how to contact AfterCorps.

    • Like all Americans, returning Volunteers can now access comprehensive, affordable, high-quality insurance in a variety of ways under the Affordable Care Act. They can do this through the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov, where they may be eligible for financial assistance; under their parents’ coverage plan if the returned Volunteer is under 26 years old; or through Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance provided by an employer or school.
  • I lost the PC-127C form that my PCMO gave me at the end of my service. How can I obtain another?

    • To request a replacement 127C form, please contact the Post-Service Medical Unit at 855.855.1961 ext. 1540 or 202.692.1540. Or, email the Post-Service Medical Unit at psu@peacecorps.gov.

      For more information about the PC-127C form, please go to the Medical and Dental Evaluations page.
  • How can I obtain copies of my medical and vaccination records?

    • To request a copy of your medical records, please download and complete the Authorization for Release of Medical Information Form. By completing and signing the authorization form, you give Peace Corps permission to disclose your health information to the designee indicated on the form.
      • Once you have completed the form, please send it to the Office of Health Services, Medical Records by email medrecords@peacecorps.gov.
      • For additional questions or concerns, please contact the Office of Health Services, Medical Records at 855.855.1961 ext. 1502 or 202.692.1502.
  • I have questions about how to use my PC-127C form. Whom do I contact?

    • For questions about using your 127C form, please contact:
      Office of Health Services Post-Service Unit
      855.855.1961 ext. 1540 or 202.692.1540
      psu@peacecorps.gov

    • Learn more about general RPCV health benefits.
  • Are RPCVs able to “buy back” their Peace Corps service for federal retirement credit?

    • Yes. Federal government employees, covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) or the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), are eligible to receive retirement credit for their Peace Corps service.

    • During your Peace Corps service, no money was deducted from your monthly readjustment allowance or monthly stipend for retirement; therefore, you must buy back this time by making a deposit equal to the money that would have been deducted into your retirement fund, plus any accrued interest.

    • If you have any questions about buying back Peace Corps service for federal retirement credit, please contact:
      Volunteer and PSC Financial Services
      855.855.1961 ext. 1770 or 202.692.1770
      certify@peacecorps.gov
  • How do I apply for retirement credit for my Peace Corps service?

    • After being hired to a permanent appointment with the federal government following Peace Corps service, you may begin the service credit process by completing an SF-3108, FERS Application to Make Service Credit Payment, or a SF-2803, CSRS Application for Deposit or Redeposit. Request these forms by contacting your agency's human resources department.

    • After completing the application, request a Verification of Service letter by emailing the Peace Corps Office of Volunteer and PSC Financial Services at certify@peacecorps.gov. Please allow up to 10 business days to process your request.

    • Submit the SF-3108, FERS Application to Make Service Credit Payment or SF-2803, CSRS Application for Deposit or Redeposit and the Verification of Service letter to your agency's human resources department. Your agency will finalize the application and send it to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). OPM will then calculate the amount you must pay for retirement credit and bill you directly. Payments are made to OPM.

    • If you have any questions about buying back Peace Corps service for federal retirement credit, please contact the certification specialist in the Peace Corps Office of Volunteer and PSC Financial Services at 855.855.1961 ext. 1770 or 202.692.1770.
  • How is my buy-back amount for Federal Retirement credit determined?

    • Under FERS, the deposit amount is 3 percent of your monthly readjustment allowance, plus interest.

    • Under CSRS, the deposit amount is 7 percent of your monthly readjustment allowance, plus interest.

    • If you have any questions about buying back Peace Corps service for federal retirement credit, please contact:
      Volunteer and PSC Financial Services
      855.855.1961 ext. 1770 or 202.692.1770
      certify@peacecorps.gov

Staying Connected to the Peace Corps Community:

  • How do I update my contact information so that Peace Corps can stay in touch with me?

  • Does Peace Corps help family and friends with RPCV transition issues?

    • Yes. The Peace Corps has a very helpful publication called "On the Homefront" (PDF), which was written specifically for the families of Volunteers. The handbook addresses issues of readjustment and transition.
  • Can the Peace Corps help me find specific RPCV?

    • Due to the Privacy Act, the Peace Corps is not permitted to disclose personal contact information for RPCVs. However, many RPCVs have been able to locate old friends by searching the Internet and social media sites.
  • What is the National Peace Corps Association?

    • The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is a nongovernmental nonprofit organization connecting returned Peace Corps Volunteers with the Peace Corps community. Learn more about how to connect with their network on the NPCA website.

    • If you have any questions regarding NPCA, please call their Washington, D.C. headquarters at 202.293.7728 or email npca@peacecorpsconnect.org.
  • How can I find more information about RPCV groups and events near me?

  • Can I submit stories about my Peace Corps service to the Peace Corps?

    • Yes. To share your stories, contact recentrpcv@peacecorps.gov and note your Peace Corps country of service, COS year, home state, and last name in the subject line. Once you have done so, the Peace Corps will contact you to begin working to get your story published.
  • Does Peace Corps provide materials for presentations that RPCVs do about Peace Corps service?

    • Yes. The Peace Corps provides resources including PowerPoint templates, event posters, and storytelling tips, to help returned volunteers share their experience.

    • Do you want Peace Corps stickers and a world map to use during your event? Share the details of your event with us and we’ll send you a packet of promotional materials.
  • Where can I find Peace Corps memorabilia like T-shirts, bumper stickers, patches, etc.?

Post-Service Employment and Education:

  • I'm applying for federal employment and am being asked for information about my previous series and grade level. How should I respond?

    • As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you were not a federal government employee; therefore, you were not assigned a grade or series. However, you may still qualify for certain federal positions on the basis of your relevant experience and education level. Most RPCVs qualify at the GS-7 or GS-9 levels, based on their individual combinations of work experience and education. For more information about applying for positions in the federal government, please visit our Job Search Tips and Services page.
  • A federal employer is asking for an SF-50 form. How can I obtain an SF-50 form for my Peace Corps service?

    • Federal employers sometimes ask RPCVs for a copy of their SF-50s. The SF-50 form is called a "Notification of Personnel Action," and serves as a permanent record of a federal employee's promotions, pay-grade increases, duty station transfers, or other administrative matters.

    • As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you were not a federal employee and therefore do not have an SF-50. Please contact the agency’s human resources department to explain this to them and learn how to proceed.
  • A federal employer is asking for a performance appraisal of my Peace Corps service. How can I obtain a performance appraisal for my service?

    • If you are applying for a job requiring a performance appraisal and/or evaluation of your Peace Corps service, you may utilize a copy of your Description of Service (DOS) as formal verification and account of your Peace Corps work. However, please note that the DOS is a factual explanation of your service and does not evaluate your work as a PCV.

    • Since most federal job applications ask for a copy of a recent performance appraisal, try to obtain a general letter of recommendation from an overseas Peace Corps staff member familiar with your service outlining an account of your work habits and character.

    • The Peace Corps advises you to get a letter of recommendation before you leave your host country or shortly after you return from abroad. The longer the time passes since you left service, the more difficult it is to get such letters, since overseas staff may no longer be employed at the same post or may have left the Peace Corps since your service. Such a recommendation letter may be used in lieu of a performance appraisal and/or evaluation.
  • I am being asked for verification of my Peace Corps service. What should I do?

    • For verification of your Peace Corps service, you can request an official copy of your Description of Service (DOS) by emailing the Peace Corps Office of Volunteer and PSC Financial Services at certify@peacecorps.gov. Upon emailing the Office of Volunteer and PSC Financial Services, you will receive an automated response email and an attached Certification Request Form. Please complete the request form and email it back to certify@peacecorps.gov.

    • Please allow up to 10 business days to process your request.
  • I am out of contact with references from my Peace Corps Service. Who can future employers contact to verify my service?

    • Contact Volunteer and PSC Financial Services for verification of an RPCVs dates of Peace Corps service at 855.855.1961 ext. 1770 or 202.692.1770. Please note: Peace Corps only verifies your dates of service, not your performance as a Volunteer.

    • Due to federal privacy laws enacted by the Privacy Act, Peace Corps is unable to assist in locating any former Peace Corps staff or RPCVs for reference purposes.
  • I am applying to graduate school and the application requests documentation of my service. How can I obtain this information?

    • To request documentation of your service for graduate school applications; please contact:
      Volunteer and PSC Financial Services
      855.855.1961 ext. 1770 or 202.692.1770
      certify@peacecorps.gov

    • Please allow up to 10 business days to process your request.
  • What is noncompetitive eligibility (NCE) and how can I use it to get a job?

    • Noncompetitive eligibility (NCE) is a special hiring mechanism that allows RPCVs to obtain federal GS positions without competing with the general public. Not all federal agencies recognize NCE hiring status so please contact your hiring agency’s human resources department to inquire about their policies.

    • For an RPCV to prove their NCE status, they should provide prospective employers with their Description of Service (DOS).

    • To help employers understand NCE status, RPCVs should provide employers with a copy of the noncompetitive eligibility letter. For more information regarding NCE, please visit the NCE pages on our website.
  • How can I request a formal letter stating the validity of my noncompetitive eligibility?

    • To obtain formal proof of your noncompetitive eligibility (NCE) status, you may request an official copy of your Description of Service by emailing Peace Corps’ Office of Volunteer and PSC Financial Services at certify@peacecorps.gov. Upon emailing the Office of Volunteer and PSC Financial Services, you will receive an automated response email and an attached Certification Request Form. Please complete the request form and email it back to certify@peacecorps.gov.

    • Please allow up to 10 business days to process the request.
  • How do I know if I still have noncompetitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status?

    • RPCVs who completed service retain their NCE for one year after their COS date. NCE can be extended by the hiring agency for up to two additional years beyond the one-year initial eligibility period (which would equal a maximum of three years from your COS date) for three reasons:
      • If, after Peace Corps service, you enter the military.
      • If you become a full-time student at a recognized institution of higher learning.
      • If you engage in another activity that the hiring agency thinks warrants an extension. Generally, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has indicated to federal agencies that it is appropriate to extend a candidate's NCE if s/he is gaining work experience that is relevant to the position being filled and that can be expected to enhance the candidate's performance and value to the agency. While these extensions should not be granted routinely, they may be used in situations where the activity or experience has truly enhanced the RPCV's value to the agency.
    • If you need help understanding your noncompetitive eligibility status, please contact rvs@peacecorps.gov.
  • How do I prove to an employer that I have NCE?

    • To prove valid and/or active NCE status, an RPCV must provide an official copy of their Description of Service (DOS).

    • The DOS must be signed by the RPCV’s country director and reference provisions of Executive Order 11103 (5 CFR, § 315.605 which awards one year of noncompetitive eligibility (NCE) to RPCVs.
  • What is the policy on RPCVs working with intelligence agencies?

    • Each federal agency has a different policy for the length of time a RPCV must wait before being hired for intelligence activities. Please contact the hiring agency directly for more detailed information regarding the hiring of RPCVs.

 

Last updated Sep 09 2014