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Bilingual (English/Spanish) Encouraged to Apply

Recruitment #19-SC3-01



THE JOB: Under general supervision, a Benefits Representative Trainee learns to determine initial and/or ongoing eligibility and authorizes benefits for public employment and benefit services programs such as CalFresh, Medi-Cal, and Cash Assistance (GA and CalWORKS) using multiple technologies and providing excellent customer service; performs a wide variety of clerical duties; and does other work as required. The Benefits Representative Trainee is the trainee level in the Benefits Representative series. Benefits Representative Trainees receive up to 9 months of formal classroom and on the job training in the CalFresh and Medi-Cal/Health Care programs as well as the various functional areas of phone interviews, phone coverage, face to face interviews and task processing. During the 9 months as a Benefits Representative Trainee, incumbents will be assigned tasks consistent with their level of experience and knowledge. These tasks will include conducting interviews over the phone and in person to determine initial and/or ongoing eligibility for benefits, completing budget and case data entry into automated systems and ensuring that correspondence and notices are sent out timely and accurately. Assignments will increase in volume and complexity as Benefits Representative Trainees gain proficiency. The induction training incorporates ongoing assessments of skills and knowledge throughout the 9 month training period. Upon completion of the 9 months of training, Benefits Representative Trainees are moved to Benefits Representatives and are expected to be able to perform all functional assignments effectively in a task-based environment that is highly accountable to performance standards. Benefits Representatives may be required to work evenings and weekends, especially during open enrollment for Covered California Health Benefits. Inter-County transfers are encouraged to apply.

Employment Standards

THE REQUIREMENTS: Any combination of education and experience which would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying, unless otherwise specified. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

Two years of experience performing clerical duties which included public contact experience with clients and basic interviewing responsibilities for the purpose of gathering information and explaining policies or clarifying information needed; OR One year of experience with responsibility for one or more of the following: determining eligibility for loans, financial assistance, unemployment, veterans benefits, or publicly or privately financed health counseling and/or social services programs; OR Possession of a Human Services certificate; OR Completion of 60 semester or 90 quarter units of college.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS/CONDITIONS: License Requirements: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver License or the employee must be able to provide suitable transportation which is approved by the appointing authority. Background Investigation: Fingerprint check. Special Working Conditions: Exposure to: poison oak and insects in yards of clients while doing home visits; odors such as unwashed clients that smell of old alcohol and unwashed clothes; and potentially hostile clients. Other Special Requirements: Some positions require the use of a personal vehicle to travel from work site to work site or to make home visits; some positions require working evenings or weekends.

Knowledge: Working knowledge of record keeping practices; and methods of organizing work. Some knowledge of interactive interviewing techniques for obtaining factual information; basic functions and services provided by a public social service agency; human motivation and behavior; and computer applications.

Ability to: Read, understand, explain and apply complex regulations and policies governing eligibility for public assistance programs; gather, record and evaluate information necessary for timely and accurate determination of initial and continuing eligibility for public assistance; perform difficult clerical work involving application of mathematical skills and requiring accuracy and speed; learn and apply coding and input procedures connected with the department's computerized record keeping system; learn and utilize technology applications used by the department; effectively organize and process large volumes of transactions to meet frequent deadlines; budget time realistically and in accordance with the monthly work cycle to ensure that performance standards are met; maintain systematic and accurate records; recognize problems requiring referral to social services staff; establish rapport with persons of differing ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds; identify and be responsive to client needs while maintaining confidentiality; use initiative in investigating community resources and advocacy services; interpret and explain program regulations, obligations, procedures, business processes and other pertinent information on an individual basis, in person, or by telephone to applicants, clients and the general public; make referrals to appropriate agencies and human service programs; represent the agency in a professional manner; speak and write clearly; and work cooperatively with other agency staff and as a team providing participant services.


- 22 days first year, increasing to 37 days after 15 years of service. Available for vacation and/or sick leave.
HOLIDAYS - 13 paid holidays per year.
BEREAVEMENT LEAVE - 3 days paid in California, 5 days paid out-of-state.
MEDICAL PLAN - The County contracts with CalPERS for a variety of medical plans. For most plans, County contributions pay a majority of the premiums for employees and eligible dependents.
DENTAL PLAN - County pays for employee and eligible dependent coverage.
VISION PLAN - County pays for employee coverage. Employee may purchase eligible dependent coverage.
RETIREMENT - Pension formula 2% at age 60 or 2% at age 62 as determined based on provisions of the CA Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013(PEPRA). Pension benefit determined by final average compensation of three years. County participates in Social Security.
LIFE INSURANCE - County paid $20,000 term policy. Employee may purchase additional life insurance.
DISABILITY INSURANCE - Employees in the General Representation Unit participate in the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. This program is funded 100% by employee payroll deductions.
DEPENDENT-CARE PLAN - Employees who make contributions for child or dependent care may elect to have their contributions made utilizing “pre-tax dollars.”
H-CARE PLAN - Employees who pay a County medical premium may elect this pre-tax program.
HEALTH CARE FLEXIBLE SPENDING ALLOWANCE (HCFSA) - Employees may elect this pre-tax program to cover qualifying health care expenses.
DEFERRED COMPENSATION - A deferred compensation plan is available to employees

Selection Plan

THE EXAMINATION: Your application and supplemental questionnaire will be reviewed to determine if you have met the education, experience, training and/or licensing requirements as stated on the job announcement. If you meet these criteria and are one of the best qualified, you may be required to compete in any combination of written, oral and/or performance examinations or a competitive evaluation of training and experience as described on your application and supplemental questionnaire. You must pass all components of the examination to be placed on the eligible list. The examination may be eliminated if there are ten or fewer qualified applicants. If the eligible list is established without the administration of the announced examination, the life of the eligible list will be six months and your overall score will be based upon an evaluation of your application and supplemental questionnaire. If during those six months it is necessary to administer another examination for this job class, you will be invited to take the examination to remain on the eligible list.

HOW TO APPLY: Apply Online Now!  Click on the link below; or print out an application and supplemental questionnaire and mail/bring them to: Santa Cruz County Personnel Department, 701 Ocean Street, Room 510, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060.  For information, call (831) 454-2600.  Hearing Impaired TDD/TTY: 711.  Applications will meet the final filing date if received in one of the following ways:  1) in the Personnel Department by 5:00 p.m. on the final filing date, 2) submitted online before midnight of the final filing date.


To comply with the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, Santa Cruz County verifies that all new employees are either U.S. citizens or persons authorized to work in the U.S. 

NOTE: The provisions of this bulletin do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. 

An Equal Opportunity Employer

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