State of Washington Classified Job Specification
VETERANS BENEFIT SPECIALIST 1
Assists veterans or their family members in determining eligibility and applying for benefits and entitlements in accordance with federal or state laws.
Interviews and counsels veterans, dependents, and beneficiaries on rights, privileges, and benefits provided under the existing laws;
Advises contacts of applicability of numerous and varied laws, methods needed to substantiate eligibility and methods and procedures used in filing applications for claims; provides information on benefits payable under old and new laws and consequences of selecting appropriate entitlement;
Obtains various supporting documents required for completion of claims and researches sources of documents and substitute documents which may be acceptable;
Contacts and maintains liaison with veterans in institutions such as prisons, nursing homes, soldiers' homes and outlying communities, etc., when necessary;
Advises and counsels applicants seeking admission to State veterans' homes regarding eligibility; continuously reviews resident's benefits, filing claims to maximize benefits whether through Federal Department of Veterans Affairs or other Federal programs; assists and advises residents relative to budget preparation and financial obligations;
Coordinates referrals and requests for services provided by other departmental representatives of veterans at local levels such as Employment Security LVER's/DVOP's, Department of Social and Health Services, veterans organizations, post service officers, attorneys, medical doctors, county commissioners or assigned representatives in administration of Soldiers' and Sailors' Relief Funds; maintains contact with various military records centers, servicemen's life insurance centers, etc., on a national level;
Occasionally conducts group orientation to explain rights, privileges and eligibility under both Federal and State laws; provides service to assure opportunity to apply for benefits prior to cutoff dates and sometimes may be designated as a representative of the agency in public relations activities at the local level with news media and other public information media including conferences, seminars, training programs, addresses to service clubs and veterans organizations;
Within the Fiduciary Program, manages benefits for caseload of incompetent veterans living independently; counsels veterans and family members on financial status; receives and reviews creditors' claims against clients' funds; authorizes and issues payments within prescribed parameters of program guidelines.
Knowledge and Abilities
Knowledge of: Federal and State laws pertaining to the benefits of veterans and their dependents; processing of benefit claims; services of the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans' organizations, Department of Employment Security, and other public and private welfare and service organizations.
Ability to: understand and apply a body of rules and regulations; recognize and overcome attitudes or emotions that hinder effective communications; secure information by personal or telephone contacts, often from unwilling claimants; deal tactfully and effectively with representatives of other organizations; compose letters and communications.
There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.
Two years of experience as a Veterans Benefit Assistant or equivalent. Equivalent experience means two years of experience providing services, such as claims preparation, counseling or assistance regarding benefits, entitlements or employment, in a public service context.
A Bachelor's degree in business administration, public administration, counseling, social science or closely allied field, and one year of experience providing information or counseling on benefits, entitlements, employment, or claims preparation in a public service setting.
Additional qualifying experience may be substituted, year for year, for education.
Class Specification History
New class: 10-1-76
Revised definition, minimum qualifications, title change (formerly Veterans Benefit Specialist 2): 2-9-79
Revised minimum qualifications: 8-15-86
Revised definition and title change (formerly Veterans Benefit Specialist): 12-12-86
Revised definition and minimum qualifications: 3-15-91
Revised definition: 3-15-96
New class code: (formerly 37460) effective July 1, 2007