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State of Washington Classified Job Specification

PUBLIC BENEFITS SPECIALIST 2

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PUBLIC BENEFITS SPECIALIST 2
165H
Category: Financial Services

Definition

This is the entry level of the series. Determines and/or maintains financial eligibility for public assistance benefit (cash, financial, food, medical, and childcare and/or long/term care services and support) recipients using multiple automated eligibility, case maintenance or workflow systems. Conducts interviews to determine or re-determine eligibility for a variety of financial, medical, food and child care public benefit programs. Processes changes in client circumstances, implements Federal and State regulations and determines the effect on the continuing eligibility of clients. 

In a training capacity, positions at this level are required to complete basic professional duties under general supervision. Incumbents are required to complete an extensive training program, which includes advanced level on-the-job instruction and classroom training.

Typical Work

Interviews clients, analyzes complex written and oral information, and determines continued eligibility for financial, food, child care and medical programs; assesses immediate need in emergent situations; authorizes necessary financials for warrants, medical, child care and food benefits; implements program changes and case closures as dictated by regulations, department policies, and changes in clients' circumstances;  

Reads and interprets Washington Administrative Code and procedural manuals; obtains and reviews necessary data, documentation, and verification for each program of assistance as it relates to the recipients' specific circumstances; explains program requirements and services available; refers clients to both mandatory and optional services and to other agencies as required;  

Duties may also include maintaining an ongoing financial, medical, long-term services and supports, and/or food benefits workload; 

Detects discrepancies and clarifies data through telephone inquiries, correspondence, and interviews; recognizes and re-computes incorrect payments of grants, food benefits, medical assistance, child care assistance, and long-term services and supports, and establishes overpayments and underpayments; 

Works within timeframes and deadlines which are dictated by program requirements and adheres to performance measures set by the agency;  

Conducts intensive interviews to determine initial eligibility for financial, medical, or food benefits; 

Investigates complaints from the community as well as hotline calls and analyzes data for validity; conducts validation studies, reads cases, and makes home visits and collateral contacts to verify eligibility factors, discovers and reports errors made by agency or clients;  

Analyzes various legal documents to determine impact on eligibility for long-term services and support programs such as: annuities, trusts, life care contracts, court orders, insurance policies, burial funds/trusts, deeds, business records, gifting instruments and sales contracts; 

Attends and completes required training courses as mandated by the agency; 

Performs other related work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:  philosophy of public welfare; State and Federal welfare laws and regulations; principles, problems, and practices of public welfare administration; principles of individual and group behavior, social and economic conditions and their effects upon individuals. public assistance and Medicaid 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: evaluate and recommend changes in eligibility assistance plan; express ideas clearly; work cooperatively with staff, clients and members of the community; accurately document, listen, observe, communicate, confront and engage in problem solving and conflict resolution. Make independent conclusions and decisions; evaluate and recommend changes in eligibility assistance; work cooperatively and professionally with members of the public and with co-workers; practice tact, courtesy and discretion; 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

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

OR 

One year of equivalent out-of-state experience conducting financial eligibility determination for public assistance to include financial, medical and food stamp benefit programs and completing the agency’s Public Benefits Specialist Training Program.   

Note:  Employees in an in-training position may advance to the next level after:

  1. Completing 12 months, but no less than 9 months of satisfactory service as a Public Benefits Specialist 2; and
  2. Successful completion of the mandatory training program matrix. 

Note:  Employees shall be advanced to Public Benefits Specialist 3 after completing nine months of satisfactory service as a Public Benefits Specialist 2 2 and participation in the Financial Services Specialist Training Plan.

Equivalent education/experience.

Class Specification History

New class (replaces Financial Services Technician 2, code 3502) Effective March 1, 1987 (emergency basis June 12, 1986; permanent August 14, 1986)
Revised minimum qualifications: 6-12-87
Revised minimum qualifications: 12-13-96
Revised minimum qualifications: 4-10-98
Revised new class code: (formerly 34960) effective July 1, 2007
Revised desirable qualifications 8/13/2012; Delete language:  and/or Financial Service Technician 1.
Revised salary range, definition, typical work and knowledge and abilities; 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.

 

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