Frequently Asked Questions

See also the FAQ's on SSA's Students and Recent Graduates Website

If I submit a resume to the SSA representatives at the PMF Job Fair in Washington, DC is this good for all SSA PMF positions?

No, each component and Region in SSA handles its own PMF hiring. If you are interested in working in the Chicago Region you need to contact the Chicago Regional PMF Coordinator, Elsa S. Cruz, at (312) 575-6360 or and request an interview. Any job offer made as a result will only be for the SSA Chicago Region.

Are there any former PMFs who I could contact regarding the PMF Program, the hiring process or working for SSA in the Chicago Region?

Yes, please see the list of former and current Chicago Region PMFs listed on the PMF Profiles/Contacts page on the website. Any one of these individuals would be pleased to discuss the Program and their experiences.

What is the benefit of working for the SSA Chicago Region as a PMF?

The Chicago Region strongly supports the PMF Program. We take pride in the fact that we provide our PMFs with considerable support in terms of an executive level mentor, opportunities to undertake a variety of interesting and structured assignments, and additional training and developmental opportunities beyond the 80 hours required by the Office of Personnel Management.

What is the benefit of working for SSA as a PMF?

SSA employees take pride in the fact that they work for an Agency that makes a significant difference in the lives of million of Americans. As a member of the SSA team you would be instrumental in administering a program through which more than 90% of working Americans are building protection for themselves and their families against the reduction of income that comes with retirement, disability or death. You would also have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the neediest people in our society through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program which makes payments to aged, blind, and disabled people in financial need. In addition to helping pay benefits based on retirement, disability, or death, and need, you would also provide information about the Medicare program. Medicare provides protection against the high cost of health care to Americans 65 and over, as well as some disabled beneficiaries.

What kind of assignments can I expect to undertake as a PMF in the Chicago Region?

You will work with an executive level mentor to develop an Individual Development Plan (IDP). This plan, which can be amended and adjusted during the two year program, will be your roadmap. And while you will be trained in and undertake an assignment as a Claims Representative in one of the Chicago Region's 200+ field offices, all subsequent assignments will be at your mentor's and your discretion. You will have a wide variety of assignment choices. You can pick from a number of first-line supervisory or supervisory-related positions and any number of staff jobs in such areas as human resources, SSA programs, systems and automation, facilities management, financial management, etc.

What are the lengths of these assignments?

PMF assignments usually range from 4 to 6 months.

Will I have an opportunity to travel?

Although travel opportunities vary by position, many SSA PMF's have opportunities to travel to SSA Headquarters in Baltimore, MD., and to various offices in the Region.

What sort of background is the SSA Chicago Region looking for in their PMFs?

SSA is looking for individuals who are committed to the Agency's mission of providing the American public with exceptional public service and enjoy working in a team environment. These individuals should also have well developed analytical, problem solving, oral/written communication and interpersonal skills. Any and all PMF finalists, regardless of academic major, will be considered for the PMF Program in the SSA Chicago Region.

What is the hiring process?

The Chicago Region usually has access to OPM's PMF finalist database in mid to late March and starts making contact via e-mail or telephone. Interested PMFs are scheduled for either a structure face-to-face or telephone interview with Chicago Regional management. Depending on the number of applicable candidates and slots to be filled, the Chicago Region generally makes job offers within a very brief timeframe after the interview process.

Who actually hires the PMF - OPM or SSA?

Although OPM administers and coordinates the overall PMF application, assessment and finalist selection process, SSA actually hires the PMF.

Who do I contact to obtain more information about PMF opportunities in the SSA Chicago Region?

The Chicago Region's PMF Coordinator is Elsa S Cruz. Elsa can be contacted at (312) 575-6360, or via mail at:

Center for Human Resources - 3rd Floor
Harold Washington Social Security Center
600 West Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60661