Benefits Specialist II
REPORTS TO: IL Program Manager
STATUS: Full-time; 40 hour/week; non-exempt/hourly
The IL Benefits Specialist is responsible for providing information, referrals, and assistance to people with disabilities seeking benefits support, to both educate consumers and reduce the time to acquire state and federal disability benefits. This position will meet one-on-one with consumers to identify individual needs and provide appropriate guidance and referrals. Provide in-depth counseling about benefits and how employment and other income affect those benefits. Develop and present benefits education workshops and help increase access to state and federal disability programs for people with disabilities.
- Baccalaureate Degree or equivalent experience.
- Certified Work Incentives Counselor (CWIC) certification or capacity to obtain after hire.
- Experience and desire to work with people with disabilities.
- Extensive knowledge of state and federal disability programs.
- Ability to travel within Colorado Springs and surrounding counties to meet with individuals and groups, to present information and training.
- Proficient with computers, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Outlook, Teams, and Zoom.
- Demonstrates The Independence Center’s core values of Inclusiveness, Flexibility, Person First, Accountability, and Integrity as well as its essential team virtues of Humble, Hungry, and Smart.
Essential Functions/Areas of Accountability:
- Support the philosophy, mission, and goals of the Independent Living program.
- Have a working knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and Fair Housing Act, along with federal and state disability benefits.
- Provide individual advocacy services with consumers as requested.
- Conduct screening for benefits-related issues by meeting with individuals, whether by phone, in person, or by email/web contact, to respond to consumer needs and requests for information.
- Work with individuals in partnership with other IL staff and community agencies to get those needs addressed.
- Assist consumers with state and/or federal disability benefit applications and provide education about any benefits received.
- Work with Outreach in outlying areas to educate and facilitate meetings with staff and consumers for optimal goal development.
- Advocate, educate, and promote community awareness on disability issues. Participate in and share information on issues or areas in need of systems advocacy.
- Complete all paperwork and documentation necessary to start a consumer service record or develop an ILP. In a timely manner, enter data into the database to meet State regulatory requirements. Follow up with individuals who ask for referrals to outside resources to ensure their needs are met.
- Develop and present classes/workshops on a range of topics related to benefits and the IC.
- Attend required meetings.
- Accept responsibility for personal and professional development and engage in and explore opportunities for position-related training.
Skills and Abilities:
- Possess integrity and reliability.
- Self-motivated, persistent, and flexible.
- Capacity to work individually and as a member of a team in a team-oriented, inclusive environment.
- Takes responsibility for high-quality work.
- Effective verbal and written communication skills.
- Ability to analyze processes and provide recommendations for improvement.
- Possess decision-making and problem-solving skills.
- Maintains a high level of confidentiality and works within the confines of HIPPA regulations.
- The capacity to empower individuals to advocate for themselves to maximize independence.
- Personal experience with a disability and knowledge of the Independent Living movement is desirable.
- Occasionally lift, push, pull, up to 10 lbs.
- Office environment requiring ongoing computer use and extended amount of time sitting or standing.
- Internet access to work remotely if protocols are issued for remote work.
- To drive any vehicle in the course and scope of employment, an employee must maintain an acceptable Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) as determined by The IC’s liability insurance carrier. IC employees will be subject to reasonable suspicion, post-incident, and bi-annual random MVR checks to determine driving acceptability.
- Reasonable accommodations may be made to empower the qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of this position.
Starting wage: $16.00 per hour
This position may also require the performance of other duties as assigned.
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: The Independence Center is dedicated to the principles of equal employment opportunity. We prohibit unlawful discrimination against applicants or employees based on age 40 and over, race, sex, color, religion, national origin, disability, military status, genetic information, or any other status protected by applicable state or local law.