Benefits Advocacy Specialist (DHS Benefits Advocacy LA)
Adult Services | Los Angeles, CA | Full Time
Helping Our Most Vulnerable Change Their Life Stories
Volunteers of America is a non-profit human services organization committed to serving people in need, strengthening families, and building communities. VOALA provides a variety of social services to Los Angeles area communities such as Head Start programs, Upward Bound college prep programs, veterans’ services, homeless shelters, low-income housing program as well as drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Learn more at www.voala.org.
Benefits Advocacy Services
Provides assistance to eligible homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness (including Veterans) in applying for and obtaining Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) from the Social Security Administration, Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS), and Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Provides targeted SSI advocacy to disabled incarcerated individuals in Los Angeles County Jail Facilities.
JOB SUMMARY AND PURPOSE
The Benefits Advocacy Specialist is responsible for providing assessment and support to homeless individuals, helping them to create claims for different streams of government benefits, including SDI, SSDI, CAPI and VA benefits. Benefits Advocacy Specialist will be comfortable and adaptable in using different platforms to capture and store client records and data, managing and tracking claims from the initial filing to determination and appeals.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Assess clients for participation in various government benefit programs, work with participants to develop Individual Needs and Services Plans (INSP) to navigate those governmental benefits programs
- Act as advocate for client before various agencies and service providers
- Identify information and collect documentation necessary for filing of benefits applications including required consent and authorization forms
- Coordinate with DMH, DHS, DMVA, and/or LASD (and other agencies) as needed to secure required records
- Follow up with providers to ensure all required documentation is secured in a timely manner
- Identify additional services to which participants will be referred (such as housing, employment, education) and connect participants to those services through VOALA programming or community service providers and partners
- Refer participants who are not eligible for benefits advocacy services to other VOALA or CES partner programs
- Communicate status of claims to client, coordinate with other providers currently working with the client to navigate governmental benefits programs
- Other duties as required and is subject to change at any time
- Must be able to pass a fingerprint clearance, background check, including criminal history, personal references, employment and education verifications
- Bachelor's Degree in social work, social services, public administration, public health or related field (or a combination of education and experience may be considered
- At least one year of experience in benefits advocacy (2 years without degree) or healthcare/benefits administration
- Valid California driver's license and dependable transportation with adequate insurance
- Basic Microsoft operating system navigation, outlook, word, excel, power-point, internet browser
SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
- Ability to perform under circumstances of possible emotional stress and conflict, including dealing with un-cooperative clients.
- Ability to safely and successfully perform the essential job functions consistent with the ADA, FMLA, and other federal, state, and local standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, including meeting qualitative and quantitative productivity standards.
- Ability to maintain regular, punctual attendance consistent with ADA, FMLA, and other federal, state, and local standards
- Client- focused, Prompt, collaborative/team player, regular attendance, adaptable, communicator, organized, consistent, compassionate, and conflict resolution
- SOAR and DVA Certified
- Demonstrated experience providing services to participants from diverse backgrounds (ethnic/racial diversity, LGBTQ community and varying socioeconomic histories
- Familiar with HMIS data system
Volunteers of America is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex including sexual orientation and gender identity, national origin, disability, protected Veteran Status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law
This employer participates in E-Verify and will provide the federal government with your Form 1-9 information to confirm that you are authorized to work in the U.S.
If E-Verify cannot confirm that you are authorized to work, this employer is required to give you written instructions and an opportunity to contact Department of Homeland Security (OHS) or Social Security Administration (SSA) so you can begin to resolve the issue before the employer can take any action against you, including terminating your employment.