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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 165G
Category: Financial Services


Conducts interviews to determine and/or re-determine eligibility for public benefit programs. Processes changes in client circumstances, implements Federal and State regulations and determines the effect on the continuing eligibility of clients.

Distinguishing Characteristics

In a training capacity, positions at this level are required to complete basic technical duties under close supervision. This level is the first level of the in-training program. Incumbents are required to complete an extensive training program, which includes on-the-job instruction and classroom training for determining eligibility for financial, medical, food, long-term services and support programs, childcare and equal access benefits.

Typical Work

On a planned, progressive assignment basis, analyzes written and oral information, inputs, obtains and reviews necessary data in multiple computer systems; reviews documentation and verification for each program of assistance as it relates to the recipients’ specific circumstances; 

Determines eligibility for financial, medical, food, long-term services and support programs, childcare and equal access benefits by conducting intensive, interactive in-person and telephone interviews and desk reviews; 

Explains program requirements and services available;

Reads and interprets Washington Administrative Code (WAC), Revised Code of Washington (RCW) procedural manuals, policies and policy clarifications;

Refers clients to both mandatory and optional services as required;  

Authorizes necessary cash benefits, medical services, food benefits, add long-term services and support programs and electronic benefit cards; 

Responds to case audits and makes required corrections; 

Works closely with social services and case management staff to determine start dates for benefits based on determinations that a client meets functional requirements for certain cash and long-term  services and support programs; 

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

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

Performs other related work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:  fundamentals of person-to-person communication; office practices and procedures; business English and letter writing; spelling and arithmetic.  

Ability to: work closely with supervisors, lead workers and trainers in a professional and respectful manner; develop interviewing skills; learn to interpret and analyze data in accordance with established procedures; learn agency and community partner services; learn, understand and embrace the culturally diverse community that we serve.

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.

Persons legally authorized to work in the U.S. under federal law, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, are eligible for employment unless prohibited by other state or federal law.

Desirable Qualifications

A Bachelor's degree;   


Experience examining/processing medical insurance or rehabilitation claims, unemployment insurance claims, or in a customer service job where the major duties involve public contact, or a job providing staff support in financial eligibility determination will substitute, year for year, for education.   


One year of equivalent out-of-state experience conducting financial eligibility determination for public assistance to include financial, medical and food benefit programs.  

Note:  Employees will be advanced to Public Benefits Specialist 2 after:

  1. Completing six months of satisfactory service as a Public Benefits Specialist 1; and
  2. Successful completion of the mandatory training program matrix for automatic promotion to the next level within the class series.

Class Specification History

New class (replaces Financial Service Technician 1, code 3501): 3-1-87 (emergency basis 6-12-86; permanent 8-14-86)
Revised minimum qualifications: 6-12-87
Revised minimum qualifications: 10-11-91
Revised minimum qualifications: 12-13-96
Revised minimum qualifications: 5-15-98
Revised new class code: (formerly 34950) effective July 1, 2007
Revised salary range, definition, typical work and desirable qualifications; adopted June 30, 2017; effective July 1, 2017.

Revised title, definition, distinguishing characteristics, typical work, knowledge skills and abilities and desirable qualifications; adopted June 13, 2019; effective. July 1, 2019; previously Financial Services Specialist 1.


Revised Legal Requirements; effective June 6, 2024, due to adopted legislative action.