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; performs a wide variety of clerical duties; and does other work as required.
Benefits Representative Trainee is a trainee level position. Incumbents receive instruction and practical experience in procedures used in determining eligibility and the requirements for proper set-up and maintenance of eligibility case records for one or more public assistance programs. Incumbents are usually assigned a limited workload, which increases in size and complexity as they gain proficiency. This class is distinguished from the next higher class of Benefits Representative by the greater degree of supervision received and the amount of time spent on training activities. Trainees will serve a nine month probationary period. Successful completion of the probationary period will result in automatic promotion to Benefits Representative. Appointment to the class of Benefits Representative Trainee is limited to a duration of nine months while incumbents gain the knowledge and abilities necessary to promote to the next level of Benefits Representative.
Conducts interviews with applicants or clients to timely determine initial eligibility or eligibility redetermination for public assistance programs, using technology as required and appropriate; assists clients in filling out necessary forms with sufficient detail to enable accurate eligibility determination; explains rights and obligations, explains public assistance programs, elicits pertinent social, personal and financial data necessary to determine eligibility and extent or amount of benefits; conducts such interviews in County offices in person or by phone, private homes, hospitals, nursing homes and other locations; directs clients to other agencies if necessary; assists applicants and clients in applying for and verifies receipt of other income and benefits, such as veteran's benefits, social security, unemployment, and retirement; verifies registration and availability for employment; contacts schools, employers, insurance companies and other public and private organizations to verify eligibility data and to clarify documentary omissions or discrepancies; computes budgets, benefits, grants and special allowances and coordinates information with companion cases; refers applicants and clients who appear to need or desire social services to appropriate staff or other community resources in accordance with departmental policy; completes budget and case data input documents, insuring that forms notifying clients of case actions are accurately completed; processes periodic reports and annual redeterminations timely; records information of client discontinuance if report not received in timely basis; updates and modifies case records to reflect changes in income, property, benefits, family composition, support payments, and various other factors; reviews employment plans, verifies attempts by recipients to find work and refers recipients to work programs; performs a variety of other clerical work in completing, filing, copying, scanning and proofing case data records, notification forms, budget worksheets and a variety of other records and forms; corresponds with other agencies; assists in resolving complaints from applicants, clients, their representatives and the general public; interprets and explains regulations, policies and procedures to applicants, clients and the general public; researches regulations pertinent to cases being processed; reviews quarterly earning clearance reports and reviews cases for unreported income, identifying over payments and under payments; refers cases to collections or to the Special Investigative Unit for fraud action; may maintain liaisons with personnel pertinent to assigned cases, such as those in foster homes, nursing homes and hospitals; may compile information for and attend fair hearings; may provide vacation and other temporary relief for other classes as required.
· Record keeping practices.
· Methods of organizing work.
· Interactive interviewing techniques for obtaining factual information.
· Basic functions and services provided by a public social service agency.
· Human motivation and behavior.
· Computer applications.
· 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.
· Work cooperatively with other agency staff and as a team providing participant services.
Education and Experience:
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.
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 program.
Possession of a Human Services certificate.
Completion of 60 semester or 90 quarter units of college.
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; 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.
PREVIOUS CLASS TITLES:
Intake Worker I/II, Eligibility Worker I