Hundreds of Washington-area federal workers will be getting RIF notices (reduction in force) within the next few weeks as their agencies begin to scale down because of program cuts, or to fit into the new Reagan budget.

RIF notices have been sent out, or layoffs have already taken place, for troops with the Council for Environmental Quality, Council on Wage and Price Stability, to 600 temporary workers in the Department of Education's student loan collection program and to approximately 800 persons in the Department of Energy's Office of Petroleum Operations and the Economic Regulatory Administration.

In the works are RIF notices to cover a reduction of 190 jobs at the National Bureau of Standards, Public Health Service, Department of Labor, Environmental Protection Agency and Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admnistration. Legislation is pending to wipe out 1,000 positions in the Community Services Administration.

The Social Security Administration will hire about 5,600 new workers. But they will be "term" (temporary) employes assigned to check on the eligibility of persons under, or applying for, Social Security benefits.

Federal officials anticipate that many more positions -- not always the same as people -- will be targeted for cutbacks over the next few weeks and the list of those to be RIFfed, will grow. Under federal layoff rules non-veterans with short service are the most likely to be laid off.

As RIF fears and rumors mount, federal bookstores, personnel offices and the Office of Personnel Management are being swamped with requests for copies of a pamphlet called FED Facts 13. It tells what a RIF is, how it works. No federal office should be without one these days.

SES RIFs: Office of Personnel Management is putting the final touches on regulations that will spell out how members of the Senior Executive Service will be handled when and if their executive slots are abolished. SES takes in more than 7,000 career and political appointees at the old supergrade (GS 16, 17 and 18) levels. Noncareer appointees can be dismissed or transferred anytime. Career workers have more protection, but they won't know how much more until the RIF rules covering them are issued.