OVERVIEW OF YOUR YEAR IN AmeriCorps VISTA
BEFORE YOU BEGIN SERVICE
CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECK
- Current Mailing Address. If you relocate to a new community as part of your service, this address is used to contact you during your year of service (see Chapter 7 for relocation travel information).
- Email Address. AmeriCorps VISTA sends members several communications prior to and during the service year. Ensuring your email address is up to date is essential for timely communication.
- Use of Vehicle or Public Transportation (V-81) Form. V-81 forms are only required when you, as a VISTA member, are operating a vehicle for service-related purposes and you are involved in an accident. The VISTA member driving a vehicle when an accident occurs completes the “Use of Vehicles or Public Transportation” form, referred to as a V-81 form, in my.americorps.gov. The VISTA’s supervisor and the CNCS State Office must approve it at that time.
- Travel Request Profile. This form documents the points and mode of travel to and from Pre-Service Orientation. Complete the form in my.americorps.gov under ‘Travel Request Profile’. (See Chapter 7 for Pre-Service Orientation Travel Information.) For candidates relocating 50 or more miles for service, this form is also used to request relocation assistance.
- Direct Deposit Form. As an AmeriCorps VISTA member, you will have your biweekly living allowance sent to you via electronic funds transfer or direct deposit. The U.S. Treasury requires federal payments to be made by direct deposit, except when this form of payment would cause unusual hardship on the payee. (For hardship cases, see guidance related to paper checks in the Paper Check Payment section of Chapter 5 for the procedure to have payments made by paper check.) Failure to enter your direct deposit information correctly will result in at least a two week delay in receiving your living allowance.
- W-4 Employee's Withholding Allowance Form. Complete the W-4 Form to establish income tax withholding for your year of service.
- Designation of Beneficiary of Unpaid Compensation Form. This form ensures that any unpaid compensation (e.g., subsistence allowance, stipend, or travel reimbursement) is paid to your designee[s] in the event of your death during your AmeriCorps VISTA service.
- End-of-Service Benefit Election Form. AmeriCorps VISTA members have a choice between one of two end-of-service benefits: either the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or the end-of-service cash stipend. Select either the education award or the cash stipend. (See Chapter 5 for information about the end-of-service stipend and Chapter 6 for details about the education award.) If you select the end-of-service stipend, you will not be able to switch to the education award.
MANDATORY ONLINE COURSEWORK
YOUR SERVICE YEAR
FIRST WEEK ON YOUR PROJECT
ONGOING MEMBER TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
CHANGING YOUR END-OF-SERVICE BENEFIT SELECTION