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Benefits Specialist (DHS Benefits Advocacy LA)

Adult Services | Greater Los Angeles Area, CA | Full Time

Job Description

About Us:

Volunteers of America of Greater Los Angeles is a large, national not-for-profit organization founded in 1896. We provide 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


The Benefit Specialist is responsible for: The Benefits 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. 

  • Provide assessment and support to homeless individuals
  • Work with participants to develop Individual Needs and Services Plans (INSP)
  • Assist homeless individuals in creating claims for various streams of government benefits including, but not limited to, disability, CAPI, and VA benefits
  • 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
  • Communicate approval of claim to participant and any other providers currently working with the client to navigate governmental benefits programs
  • 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
  • Establish and maintain partnerships with employers and community contacts
  • Assist participants with life skills, strengths, supports and resources to aid them in achieving goals outlined in Individual Service Plan
  •  Connect clients to community resources
  •  Assistance with locating clients
  •  Identify and eliminate barriers with housing and benefit applications. Which includes, accompanying/transporting participants to appointments, meetings, housing searches, voucher application, issuance sessions, medical appointments, and any other client-centered activity


  • Personal experience in recovery from mental health and/or substance abuse issues
  •  Personal experience with homelessness; knowledge of the barriers to housing
  •  Valid California driver's license, insurance and reliable transportation


  • Bachelor's Degree in social work, social services, public administration, public health or related field
  • At least one year of experience in benefits advocacy (2 years without degree); healthcare/benefits administration a plus
  • At least one year of case management experience connecting clients to resources; (2 years without degree)
  • Understanding and demonstrated ability to navigate governmental benefit programs preferred
  • At least one year of experience providing benefits to homeless individuals
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Effective written and oral communications skills
  • Valid California driver's license and dependable transportation with adequate insurance

Other Requirements:

  • SOAR and DVA Certified
  • Familiar with HMIS data system
  • Demonstrated experience providing services to participants from diverse backgrounds (ethnic/racial diversity, LGBTQ community and varying socioeconomic histories)

VOALA is an Equal Opportunity Employer