Will I get paid?
Emerge VISTAs receive a bi-weekly living allowance totaling about $11,880 annually or $990 a month (pre-tax). VISTA members who successfully complete a term of service are also eligible to receive either a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $5,815 or an end-of-service cash stipend of $1,500.
What is the Segal Education Award and how can I use it?
The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is a post-service benefit of $5,815 for participants who complete a 12-month term. It may be used to pay educational costs at eligible post-secondary educational institutions, as well as to repay qualified student loans. The Segal Award is subject to income tax.
I can’t afford to serve because of student loan payments
VISTA members are eligible to postpone payments on qualified federal student loans during their term of service (called a forbearance). Upon successful completion of service, members are also eligible to have all or a portion of the interest that accrued during their term paid off.
What are “qualified” student loans
A "qualified student loan" is any federally backed student loan in the VISTA member’s name. If you do not know if your loans are qualified, ask your lenders. There should also be a citation on the loan papers, referring to Title IV of the Higher Education Act or Title VII or VIII of the Public Health Services Act. Typically, private and parent plus loans do serve as a "qualified student loan".
Will I receive health care
Members are eligible to receive a Healthcare Allowance as a supplement to existing primary health care coverage outside of AmeriCorps VISTA to cover out-of-pocket expenses like co-payments and deductibles. Members legally exempt from maintaining health care coverage during their term of service are also eligible for a Health Benefit Plan. Members may also waive participation in both benefits.
Does VISTA provide child care benefits
To qualify for a monthly child care benefit, your household income must not exceed the limit determined by the state of Minnesota; you must not already receive a child care subsidy from another source for the same child; and your child must be under age 13. Your benefit payments will be paid according to your child care provider’s rates or the maximum allowable rate in the state in which the child care is being provided (whichever is the lesser of the two)
Can I work another job while serving
VISTA members may work for up to 20 hours a week in outside employment. Any outside employment must not conflict with the VISTA member’s training, service, or service hours as assigned by CNCS or the sponsor.
Will VISTA pay me to relocate?
Members moving 50 miles or more from their home of record are eligible for a settling-in allowance no more than $550. It is disbursed in the regular biweekly living allowance payment.
What is Noncompetitive Eligibility
VISTA members receive one year of Non-Competitive Eligibility for federal jobs, which gives them a leg up in the federal hiring process and allows them to apply for federal jobs that are not publicly posted.