Under general supervision, serves as lead worker and expert resource to other eligibility staff; performs specialized assignments requiring an advanced level of technical knowledge in multiple public assistance benefit programs; and performs related duties as required.
This is the lead and advanced working level in this series. Incumbents assist the unit supervisor in overseeing and guiding the work of unit staff. Incumbents perform a variety the more complex assignments including lead work, on-the-job staff development and training, unit work-load coordination, case review, and management of specialized caseloads. Incumbents serve as expert resource staff to assist management in developing, implementing and applying policies, procedures and methodologies related to public assistance benefit programs. Specialized assignments include fraud and overpayment investigations.
This class is distinguished from the Employment Resources Specialist III class in the scope of assigned duties and responsibilities. The Eligibility Benefits Specialist III class performs duties primarily involving the granting of public assistance benefits while the Employment Resources Specialist III class performs duties involving both public assistance benefit grants and employment services functions. The Eligibility Benefits Specialist I/II classes are distinguished from the Eligibility Worker III class in that the latter class functions as a unit leadworker and/or in a specialized eligibility assignment.
Assists the unit supervisor by providing expert advise to unit staff in the resolution of the more difficult, complex and unusual eligibility problems, issues, calculations affecting the eligibility determination and grant authorization process.
Assists in the assignment or work, maintenance of workflow of the unit, and establishment of workload priorities. Reviews cases for accuracy and compliance with established policy and procedure.
Assist with unit staff training and in the interpretation and application of policy and procedures. Provides guidance to case carrying staff in referrals to employment, training, and social services. Maintains liaison with other department staff to ensure prompt, efficient provision of services. Inputs necessary information into automated systems, organizes caseload, and takes required action with specific time limits established by regulation and local policy.
Interviews clients to assist them in the completion of application and declaration forms upon which eligibility decisions are based; elicits information from clients on parental status, income, property (real and personal), financial obligations, medical condition, and other resources. Interprets and explains regulations, rules, and policies to clients; apprises clients of their rights, responsibilities and eligibility for program participation.
Reviews application documents for completeness and consistency; requests clients provide additional information and documents to resolve discrepancies in applications; initiates requests for information related to eligibility determinations from outside sources such as banks, insurance companies, other public agencies and county departments; evaluates all information obtained against complex, multiple aid program regulations to assess initial eligibility for public assistance.
Establishes client household budget based on type of assistance; computes amount of grant authorized and performs other required calculations based on established procedures. Handles crisis situations by authorizing benefits within specific guidelines or makes appropriate referrals to other staff and community resources for immediate services and assistance.
Assists client with need for other services and refers client to other community resources for other assistance. Identifies and refers clients in need of other social behavioral, employment, mental health, substance abuse, or other services to other department staff or community resources.
Analyzes changes in financial, employment, family, and personal information to determine and authorize continuing eligibility for multiple aid programs. Inputs necessary information into automated systems; organizes caseload and takes required action with specific time limits established by regulation and local policy.
Maintains case record files, modifies employment plan and eligibility files as necessary, and monitors client compliance with program standards and agreements. Consults with and coordinates case management with other staff and service providers.
Identifies suspected fraud and makes referrals to investigation. Identifies need for and arranges for client work registration and other basic employment activities required as a condition for receipt of public assistance benefits.
Special Investigations for Fraud and Overpayment:
Performs initial investigations for early detection of welfare fraud. Reviews and monitors a variety of sources of information to detect potential fraud and agency error.
Re-interviews clients to establish discrepancies in facts and findings. Computes overpayments and initiates collections.
Notifies clients of procedures used to collect and maintains documentation and audit trails necessary for presentation to court. May testify as expert witness in court.
Assists in the development and implementation of administrative and program specific policies and procedures. Collects, compiles, analyzes and reports statistical information relating to program and administrative operations.
Conducts special studies to evaluate optional systems and procedures. Designs various databases and spreadsheets to track and report data from a variety of sources to control and report on program and administrative operations.
Assist program management in a variety of fact finding and data gathering activities requiring program specific knowledge. Assembles and tracks summary data relating to expenditures, workload and staff utilization.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
Knowledge of: Laws, rules and regulations governing public assistance benefit programs; sources of information necessary to establish eligibility for multiple public assistance benefit programs; principles and techniques of supervision and staff development; community resources providing social, health, nutrition, housing, employment, training, child care, transportation and other necessary client services; general goals and purposes of public social services programs; in-depth interactive interviewing and information gathering techniques; record management, work-load management, quality control, and program review practices; standard office practices and procedures, including filing and operation of standard and automated office equipment; record keeping and case management principles and practices; techniques for dealing with a variety of individuals from various socio-economic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds; and basic computer applications,, systems, coding protocols, input screens and formats related to the work
Ability to: Lead, direct and train staff; conduct interactive interviews; read, apply, and explain complex regulations, procedures and policies governing multiple public assistance benefit programs; analyze and interpret written numerical, and verbal data from a variety of sources; motivate clients to attain self-sufficiency; draw logical conclusions and make appropriate recommendations, independent judgements and decisions; communicate clear and accurate information regarding clients; organize and prioritize work assignments; conduct case review and evaluations; maintain accurate and systematic records; prepare statistical and narrative reports; use automated technology to maintain records and files; train and guide other staff in the more complex activities; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with fellow employees, clients and the general public; deal effectively with people from a variety of socio-economic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.
Education and Experience
Two years of experience performing duties equivalent to an Eligibility Benefits Specialist II (Eligibility Worker II) in a California County Department of Social Services.
Completion of the equivalent of 9 semester units, 12 quarter units or 15 continuing education credits preferably in behavioral science in sociology, psychology, counseling, vocational guidance or coursework related to public assistance grant programs or the provision of employment services. This required coursework may be obtained through colleges, universities, university extension, business school, or employer provided career development training. A continuing education unit is equivalent to point sixty (.60) semester units.
Drivers License: Possession of a valid California Class C Drivers License may be required at the time of appointment. Loss of the Class C Drivers License is a cause for discipline. Individuals who do not meet this requirement due to a physical disability will be considered for accommodation on a case-by-case basis.
Typical Physical Requirements: Sit for extended periods; frequently stand and walk; sufficient manual dexterity to perform repetitive motion in various duties such as: key boarding, writing, filing, reaching and grasping above shoulder level; normal eye-hand coordination; body strength sufficient to lift and carry case files; corrected vision to normal range to read fine print and computer screen; corrected hearing to speak and hear sufficiently to communicate clearly over the telephone and in person; ability to use of office equipment including telephones, calculators, copiers, facsimile, computers, and other related peripheral equipment such as printers and scanners.
Typical Working Conditions: Work is performed in an office environment and includes continuous contact with staff and the public; may be required to enter private homes to make family home visits for purpose of investigation; work may involve stressful situations and includes dealing with erratic and sometimes threatening behavior; may travel to community areas that are potentially dangerous.
Language Proficiency: Some positions allocated to these classes may require bilingual skills.
Assignment Requirements; Some positions in these classes may require work in an out-station location or in a setting with other professionals integrated as a team.
Travel: Independent travel may be required.
Child Abuse Reporting: Selectees for employment must as a condition of employment sign a statement agreeing to comply with Section 11166 of the California Penal Code relating to child abuse reporting.