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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 165I
Category: Financial Services


Serves as the primary point of contact for clients receiving public benefits and is responsible for managing an assigned financial services workload.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This is the fully qualified journey level of the series. Positions independently conduct interviews to determine and authorize eligibility and/or on-going maintenance of continuing eligibility, and case actions for financial, medical, food and childcare public benefit programs.

Typical Work

Conducts intensive interviews to determine eligibility for cash, medical, food and/or child care benefits;  

Makes corrections to audited cases, reads cases, varies eligibility factors, and participates in case staffings; 

Explains program requirements and services available;  

Refers clients to both mandatory and optional services and to other agencies as required;  

Authorizes necessary warrants, medical services, food benefits and electronic benefits cards;  

Works within timeframes and deadlines, which are dictated by program requirements;

Recognizes and recomputes incorrect payments of grants, food and/or child care benefits and medical assistance, and establishes overpayments and underpayments;

Attends and completes required training courses (online, classroom and instructor-led) as mandated by the agency; completes on-the-job training, job shadowing, and continued learning; 

Attends and actively participates in agency and community meetings, administrative and court hearings, committees and workgroups; promotes outreach and travels as necessary; 

Performs other related work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: public assistance laws, rules, regulations, service programs, and employment programs; basic office procedures and practices; interviewing techniques, letter and report writing; cultural diversity, principles of individual and group behaviors, social behaviors, social and economic conditions and their effects upon individuals; other community programs providing financial and health services.   

Ability to: make independent conclusions and decisions; evaluate and recommend changes in eligibility assistance plan; work cooperatively with members of the public and with co-workers; practice tact, courtesy and discretion; accurately document, listen, observe, communicate, confront and engage in problem solving and conflict resolution; convey interest and concern to callers requesting information or assistance with problems related to the various programs. Use critical thinking; adapt to change; exercise mature and sound judgement; use problem solving skills; accurately document, listen, observe, communicate, confront, and engage in problem solving and conflict resolution; effectively present material in written and oral form; work with clients in crisis; utilize a range of established tools and systems.

Legal Requirement(s)

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.

Desirable Qualifications

 Nine months of experience as a Public Benefits Specialist 2.  


Fifteen months of experience as a Public Benefits Specialist 1 and satisfactory completion of the agency's Public Benefits Specialist Training Program.

Equivalent education/experience.

Class Specification History

New class (replaces Financial Services Technician 3, code 3503) Effective March 1, 1987 (emergency basis June 12, 1986; permanent August 14, 1986)
Revised June 12, 1987 Revises minimum qualifications
Revised minimum qualifications: 7-10-87 (emergency basis; permanent September 11, 1987)
Revised minimum qualifications: 12-13-96
Revised minimum qualifications: 4-10-98
Revised new class code: (formerly 34970) effective July 1, 2007
Revised desirable qualifications 8/13/2012; delete language:  OR One year of experience as a Financial Service Technician 3.
Revised definition, typical work, knowledge and abilities and desirable qualifications; adopted June 30, 2017; effective July 1, 2017.
Revised title, definition, distinguishing characteristics, typical work, knowledge and abilities and desirable qualifications; adopted June 13, 2019; effective July 1, 2019.