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Legal Careers

Deputy Special Master (Claims Manager)

Hiring Organization
Civil Division (CIV)
Hiring Office
September 11th Victim Compensation Fund
Job ID
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF or Fund) provides compensation for losses suffered by individuals who were physically injured (or relatives of those who were killed) as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, or debris removal efforts. The VCF has a staff of nearly 200 federal employees and contractors, and operates out of offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City, NY. The Deputy Special Master (Claims Manager) is a Senior Level executive position within the U.S. Department of Justice. 

The Civil Division is the largest litigating division in the Department of Justice. Each year, the Civil Division’s 1,100 lawyers represent some 200 client agencies in approximately 50,000 different matters.  The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund is administered by a Special Master appointed by the Attorney General, with operational assistance provided by the Civil Division.  The Deputy Special Master will report to the Special Master of the VCF.  The incumbent is responsible for the fair, efficient and transparent administration of the Fund, which currently averages 800 new incoming claims a month and awards nearly $2 billion a year. Under the current statute, as signed into law by the President on July 29, 2019, the VCF will accept claims through October 1, 2090, and has available such funds as may be necessary to compensate all eligible claims. The VCF will terminate on October 1, 2092, or such date thereafter as all eligible claims are paid.

As the federal agency whose mission is to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans, the Department of Justice is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. To build and retain a workforce that reflects the diverse experiences and perspectives of the American people, we welcome applicants from the many communities, identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, religions, and cultures of the United States who share our commitment to public service.

Job Description

The Deputy Special Master’s responsibilities include: working in partnership with the Special Master (SM) and the SM team participating in establishing a claim filing process and the procedures and policies applicable to the claim review process; making eligibility determinations on claims; calculating appropriate compensation on eligible claims; communicating individual claim determinations and VCF policies and procedures consistent with the VCF’s commitment to transparency; providing opportunities for appeal to claimants who believe that their determinations warrant a second review; meeting the VCF’s annual reporting requirements; overseeing VCF staff in carrying out the administrative and operational functions necessary to receive, review, and issue decisions on claims; conducting outreach and liaising with affected communities and interested third parties; and, ultimately, ensuring that the VCF operates in a manner consistent with its guiding principles: fair to the claimants it serves, faithful to the statute that created it, and accountable to the U.S. taxpayer who provides its funding.


Additional duties include:


  1. Advising and consulting with staff on new program orientations or directives and ensuring that adequate resources will be available for implementation within the VCF. Evaluating organizational structure and working with the Special Master and other senior VCF leadership making necessary changes based on new directions, trends, or claim volume. Providing expert input into the maintaining and analyzing data relative to the administration of the program to ensure that the VCF operates efficiently.


  1. Consulting with the Assistant Attorney General on significant matters concerning the VCF.  Participating in the formulation of and plan for implementation of new policies, legislation, or organizational changes having an impact on the VCF or the Civil Division.


  1. Providing recommendations and analyses of key VCF programmatic issues to the highest-ranking officials of the Department and the Civil Division, as well as to external groups, including Members of Congress, through training, presentations, and outreach activities.


  1. Ensuring compliance with Departmental policies, regulations, and applicable law.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and be an active member of the bar in good standing.


We recommend that your application emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of national compensation or similar programs you have managed, and your accomplishments, including the results of your actions.  You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications required of the position and on the extent your application demonstrates that you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of the Deputy Special Master (Claims Examiner).  Please be sure to give concrete examples of your experience and demonstrate the complexity of the knowledge you possess.


YOU WILL BE EVALUATED ON ALL OF THE FOLLOWING MANDATORY TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS (MTQs): Your responses to the MTQs should be submitted in one document that includes separate narrative statements addressing each of the 3 Mandatory Technical Qualifications (NOT TO EXCEED 2 PAGES PER MTQ, 6 PAGES TOTAL).


1. Demonstrated expertise in managing the operations of a national compensation or similar program, including experience relevant to developing and managing the processes used to adjudicate claims and overseeing the allocation of resources and the disbursement of funds to eligible claimants.

2. Demonstrated ability to review and supervise the work product of attorneys in a national compensation or similar program. 

3. Demonstrated experience serving as a spokesperson for a public-facing legal program that attracts significant media, Congressional, and external stakeholder attention.


Applications without MTQ narrative statements will not be considered.

Conditions of Employment

  1. You must be a United States Citizen or National.
  2. Selective Service registration is required for males born on, or after, December 31, 1959. Those not registered should have an approved exemption on file.
  3. May require completion of a 14-month temporary appointment, subject to extension, pending the completion and adjudication of your background check.
  4. Upon conversion to a permanent appointment with the Department, all Department attorneys are subject to a two-year trial period.
  5. It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and you may be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment. 
  1. You will be required to obtain and maintain a final Sensitive Compartmented Information Clearance. Failure to obtain and maintain the required level of clearance may result in withdrawal of the job offer or removal.
  2. This position requires you to submit a Public Financial Disclosure Report (OGE 278) upon entry, and annually thereafter in accordance with DOJ and Federal ethics guidelines.
  3. You must meet all minimum qualifications to be deemed eligible. Only experience obtained by closing date of this announcement will be considered.



All academic degrees and coursework must be completed at a college or university that has obtained accreditation or pre-accreditation status from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see




Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to timely provide such evidence by submitting proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency with your application materials.


More information may be found at


All documentation must be in English or include an English translation.

Application Process

To apply for this position, you must complete the online application questionnaire and submit your supporting documentation through USAJobs: 


To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:


- Complete Resume

- MTQ Narratives (2 pages per MTQ)

-If you are a current or former federal employee, please provide your last or most recent SF-50 (not an award SF-50) and if applicable, the SF-50 that reflects the highest grade level held on a permanent basis (please refer to the "Required Documents" section for additional information).

- Recent Performance Appraisal (for current or former federal employees)

- Transcripts

- Proof of active bar membership

- Other supporting documentation as required.


Applicants who fail to submit all information and documents (i.e., resume, and documents addressing the MTQs) will not receive consideration for this position. You must send this information to CIVIL/OHR prior to the closing date of this announcement.



If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education



Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.


$141,022.00 to $212,100.00/year

Number of Positions
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses are not authorized.

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Department Policies

Equal Employment Opportunity:  The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer.  Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex - including gender identity, sexual orientation, or pregnancy status - or because of age (over 40), physical or mental disability, protected genetic information, parental status, marital status, political affiliation, or any other non-merit based factor.  The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. For more information, please review our full EEO Statement.

Reasonable Accommodations:  This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency.  Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities:  The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements.  Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority.  Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC) to express an interest in being considered for a position. See list of DPOCs.   

Suitability and Citizenship:  It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment.  Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee’s Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement. This is a Department security requirement which is waived only for extreme circumstances and handled on a case-by-case basis.

Veterans:  There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the "point" system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service- connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that their retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that they were transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).

USAO Residency Requirement:  Assistant United States Attorneys must reside in the district to which appointed or within 25 miles thereof.  See 28 U.S.C. 545 for district specific information.

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This and other vacancy announcements can be found under Attorney Vacancies and Volunteer Legal Internships. The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.

Updated June 16, 2023