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Orientation for Attorneys and Support Staff

Civil Division Attorney and Support Staff Orientation

Welcome to the Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice.  Below you will find a list of forms that we need you to complete in order to bring you on board.  Please complete the appropriate forms and bring them with you to orientation on your first day. Scroll down the page to locate the benefits forms, which do not have to be submitted on the first day. You have additional time to make benefits elections, as indicated below.

We understand that you may have questions on your benefits or the forms.  Please email or call the Personnel Management Branch at (202) 307-0261 with any questions.  We will be better able to assist you if you send your questions to us prior to the orientation session.


Who Should Complete


SF-256, Self Identification of Handicap

All employees


SF-181, Ethnicity and Race Identification

All employees


I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification

All employees

Bring two forms of identification to orientation.  One must be a picture ID.  Section two will be completed by Personnel during orientation.

Certification Statement for Selective Service Registration

Males born after December 31, 1959  

SF-144, Statement of Prior Federal Service

All employees

All employees should summarize prior government service, even if you check “yes” to question 4.  If you do not have any prior service, write N/A in blocks 5 though 7.

If you had prior active duty military service, please provide copies of your DD 214, Military Discharge Certificate.

DOJ-543, Employee Locator Information  

All employees

Do not fill out “Office Address.”

Notice to New Employees: Withholding for Social Security (FICA) Taxes

Only employees transferring from another federal agency

Leave “Organizational Code” blank.  Please provide a copy of your final earnings statement. 

Transit Subsidy Application

All employees who wish to participate

Application will only be accepted after you attend orientation.  Submission of application prior to orientation is not permitted.

Employee Contact Information Sheet

All employees

Fax this to the switchboard on your first day after you report to your office and learn the requested information.

Direct Deposit Form

All employees

Prior to orientation, go to your bank and get the representative's signature.  After you get the signature, do not have your financial institution mail this to us as instructed on the form; rather, bring it to orientation.

AD-349, Employee Address for Payroll

All employees

Complete Section I and items 13 & 14.  Do not complete Section II.

W-4, Federal Tax Form

All employees


State Tax Forms:

DC (D-4), Maryland (MW-507), or Virginia (VA-4)

All employees


D-4A, Certificate of Non-Residence in the District of Columbia

Employees who do not reside in the District of Columbia



Benefits Forms

As a new employee there are some decisions that you will need to make, most within 31 or 60 days from your appointment date.  You do not need to bring your benefits forms to orientation if you have not decided on your elections yet.  If you are transferring from another federal agency, your benefits will continue and you cannot re-enroll.  For comprehensive information on benefits, visit the Office of Personnel Management’s website at http://opm.gov/Employment_and_Benefits/index.asp



Who Should Complete



Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)

SF-2817, FEGLI Election Form

You should complete the form even if you do not elect optional insurance.

All employees new to the federal government and employees returning to the federal government with a break in service of 180 days or greater

31 days from your appointment date 

You’re automatically enrolled in Basic life insurance effective on the date of your appointment UNLESS you waive this coverage.  You do NOT get Optional insurance automatically – you have to take action to elect it.   There are not regularly scheduled FEGLI open seasons.

If you are an employee returning to federal service with a break of less than 180 days, you will retain the same FEGLI coverage you had in your previous federal appointment, including waivers. You do not get a new election opportunity upon your rehire.

Federal Employees' Health Benefits Program (FEHB)

SF-2809, FEHB Election Form

You should complete the form whether you elect to enroll or not. 

Only employees new to the federal government

60 days from your appointment date

If you don't make an election, you are considered to have declined coverage and you must wait until the next open season to enroll (which occurs in the November to December time frame).  Coverage begins on the first day of the first full pay period following receipt of the election form in the Personnel office.  It will take several weeks to receive your membership card; in the meantime, use the SF-2809 as your card.  The government subsidizes the cost of health insurance. 

You may not change coverage outside an open season unless you experience a qualifying life event. 

Premiums are deducted from pre-tax income.

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

TSP-1, TSP Election Form




TSP-1-C, TSP Catch Up Contribution Election

For employees over 50 to make “catch-up” contributions

Only employees new to the federal government

You can start, change, stop, and resume TSP contributions at any time.

Summary of the Thrift Savings Plan Booklet

FERS employees will receive an automatic agency contribution equal to 1% of their pay regardless of whether or not they contribute to the TSP. FERS employees also receive agency matching funds. The agency matches the employee’s contributions dollar-for dollar on the first 3% of basic pay contributed each pay period and 50 cents on the dollar on the next 2%.  FERS employees do not need to complete a waiting period to be eligible to receive either type of agency contributions. For FERS employees, the first contribution will be the agency automatic 1% contribution, which will establish your TSP account. If you elect to contribute to the TSP, agency matching contributions will begin with your first contribution from pay. Once your account has been established, you will receive a welcome letter from the TSP containing your TSP account number. In a separate mailing, you will receive a 4-digit PIN, which will allow you to access your TSP account using the ThriftLine, the TSP’s automated voice response system, and an 8-character password~ which will allow you to access your account using the TSP’s web site. Your TSP contributions will be automatically invested in the Government Securities Investment Fund (G Fund) until you make a different choice.

Flexible Spending Account

(Pre-tax benefit program for health care and dependent care)

Enroll online at

www.fsafeds.com or by calling




Employees new to the federal government

Employees transferring from another federal agency:

Your previous election will be reinstated as long as you join the Civil Division within 60 days of your separation and before the end of the same benefit year.

60 days from your appointment date

After your initial enrollment, you must renew your election every year during open season (Nov- Dec).  Other times, changes can be made only for a qualifying life event.  

This program permits payments for expenses not covered by medical insurance and for costs for day/adult care.  FEHB deductions are not covered.  There is no government participation toward cost.  FSA deductions are taken from pre-tax dollars.

Application will only be accepted after you enter on duty.  Submission of application prior to your start date is not permitted.

Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

Apply online at www.ltcfeds.com or

by calling




Employees new to the federal government

You have 60 days from your hire date to apply using the abbreviated underwriting application with limited health-related questions.

If you apply AFTER the 60 day period, you will have to use the long underwriting application with numerous health-related questions, and greater possibly of denial.

This is coverage for nursing home care, in-home care, hospice, etc. at a group rate.  Coverage is from private insurers and there is no government participation toward cost.  Coverage can be denied.  Family members can be covered.



Premiums are paid from post-tax income.

Application will only be accepted after you enter on duty.  Submission of application prior to your start date is not permitted.

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)


(Provides supplemental policies secondary to FEHB coverage)

Apply online at  http://www.BENEFEDS.com

or by calling



TTY:  1-877-889-5680

Only employees new to the federal government


Employees transferring from another federal agency: You can continue coverage by notifying BENEFEDS.

60 days from your appointment date

Pre-tax premiums will be deducted from your salary.  There is no government contribution to the premiums. 


You are eligible to enroll in FEDVIP if you are eligible to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, but you do not have to be currently enrolled in FEHB.

If you do not enroll within 60 days, you can enroll during the annual open season (Nov – Dec).  Other times, changes can be made only for a qualifying life event.  You must re-enroll each year.

Designations of Beneficiary for:

Unpaid Compensation

Life Insurance (FEGLI)                    

Retirement Contributions

SF-1152, Designation of Beneficiary: Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Civilian Employee

SF-2823, FEGLI Designation of Beneficiary

SF-3102, FERS Designation of Beneficiary


SF-2808, CSRS Designation of Beneficiary

All employees who wish to designate a beneficiary or update a prior designation

N/A– You may file updated forms whenever necessary.

SF-1152, SF-2823, and SF- 3102 should be returned to your HR Specialist.

SF-2808 goes to the address listed on form.

If a beneficiary form is not filed, benefits will follow an order of precedence: widow or widower; if none, to children; if none, to parents; if none, to executor/administrator of estate; if none, to next of kin.  Designations must be kept current.  An out-of-date designation may mean the money goes to someone that you no longer wish to give it to.

If you have a will or succession plan, it will be superseded by any designations of beneficiary you have on file.

For more information on designations of beneficiary, visit:                    


Most federal employees first hired on or after 01/01/84 would complete the FERS Designation of Beneficiary form.

If you are a new federal employee, do not fill out this form.

Other Benefits Information:

FERS Booklet (Federal Employees Retirement System)

A General Overview of Leave Memorandum

Please review the following documents:

Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch

Your Rights as a Federal Employee & Whistleblower Retaliation

Privacy and Safeguarding of Personally Identifiable Information Memorandum

Self Reporting of Arrests and Allegations of Misconduct.

What Justice Libraries Have to Offer 

If you are an attorney, you should review the following documents:

Delegated Procurement Authority for Litigation-Related Expenses Memorandum

OGE Form 450, Confidential Disclosure Form (due to your office’s staff assistant within 30 days of starting)

Attorneys should email listings@martindale.com for a complimentary entry in Martindale-Hubbell.  Include your name, work address, date of birth (you may ask them not to publish this), year admitted to the bar, area of practice, and school attended.

Updated March 19, 2018

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