Public Assistance Spec. I

Recruitment #1001-000330-001

Introduction

The County of Yolo is conducting a departmental recruitment to fill vacancies for Public Assistance Specialist I.  This recruitment is open ONLY to current employees of the Department of Employment and Social Services.

Definition

Public Assistance Specialist I  Under close supervision, learns rules, regulations and procedures for determining eligibility for two or more categories of public assistance; performs initial and continuing eligibility determinations through interactive interviews with individuals in need of social services; initiates and processes casework through an automated computer system; learns to recognize the need for social services and to make appropriate referrals; and performs other related duties as assigned.

Public Assistance Specialist II  Under general supervision, performs initial and continuing eligibility determinations for two or more categories of public assistance through interactive interviews with individuals in need of social services; maintains an up-to-date knowledge of state, federal and county rules, regulations, policies and procedures for multiple public assistance programs; recognizes the need for social services and makes appropriate referrals; initiates and processes casework through an automated computer system; and performs other related duties as assigned.

Public Assistance Specialist III  Under minimal supervision, performs initial and continuing eligibility determinations which may include the most difficult and complex case work; may perform specialized functions relating to the administration of multiple public assistance programs; provides on-the-job training and coaching to employees; reviews and authorizes benefits; performs quality control reviews and reports results to staff and supervisors; assists supervisor in overseeing and coordinating the work of subordinate staff; and performs other related duties as assigned.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Public Assistance Specialist I   This is the entry level, trainee class in the Public Assistance Specialist classification series.  Employees receive classroom training and extensive on-the-job training and coaching while learning to perform eligibility determinations for two or more public assistance programs.  As requisite knowledge and skills are developed, the incumbent performs the duties of a Public Assistance Specialist with greater independence.  Employees are expected to promote to a Public Assistance Specialist II upon completion of the probationary period and/or successful attainment of defined promotion criteria.

Public Assistance Specialist II  This is the journey-level classification in the Public Assistance Specialist series.  Incumbents are expected to perform with a substantial degree of independence and exercise of judgment.  Positions in this class are flexibly staffed and are typically filled by advancement from the lower level of Public Assistance Specialist I.  Public Assistance Specialist II differs from Public Assistance Specialist III in that the latter performs the most difficult and complex case work and other duties requiring an advanced technical knowledge.  A Public Assistance Specialist II may request to promote to a Public Assistance Specialist III upon successful attainment of defined promotion criteria.

Public Assistance Specialist III  This is the advanced journey-level of the Public Assistance Specialist job series.   The Public Assistance Specialist III is distinguished from the Public Assistance Specialist II in that the latter is directly responsible for the day-to-day performance of eligibility determinations and case management functions and the former performs a variety of specialized duties requiring a high level of technical knowledge which may or may not involve a day-to-day case load.  A Public Assistance Specialist III is distinguished from an Employment and Social Services Supervisor in that the former assists in overseeing and coordinating the work of less experienced staff while the latter is responsible for performing the full scope of supervisory duties for a unit which includes Public Assistance Specialists.

Essential Functions

Public Assistance Specialist I  

  • Learns Federal, State and County rules, regulations, policies and procedures related to eligibility for two or more public assistance programs;
  • Learns and conducts interactive interviews with individuals in need of public assistance at varied locations including the office, the client’s home and out-of-home care facilities;
  • Advises customers over the telephone, in person or in group settings of their rights, responsibilities and eligibility for program participation; explains rules, regulations and policies to customers and the general public;
  • Learns and makes eligibility determinations for multiple public assistance programs; reviews forms and documents for completeness and consistency; initiates requests for information from outside sources such as banks, insurance companies, other public agencies and county departments; verifies reported information as needed; assists customers in identifying and obtaining information necessary to establish eligibility and/or resolve discrepancies; and monitors customer compliance with program requirements;
  • Reviews and analyzes customer financial information to determine eligibility for public assistance; learns and calculates benefit amounts to be authorized; and makes other computations and calculations as needed;
  • Performs a variety of administrative and clerical duties related to assigned duties including filing, typing, word processing, and answering telephones;
  • Learns to initiate, process and maintain casework through an automated computer system including entering and retrieving narrative and numerical data;
  • Learns to write and maintain case narratives and other appropriate documentation in both written and electronic case files;
  • Learns to set up and maintain controls to ensure timely actions and quality caseload management;
  • Learns to identify customers who appear in need of other social services; and makes referrals to appropriate social services staff;
  • Learns to identify potential fraud; and makes fraud referrals to the investigative unit when there is a reason to suspect fraud may have occurred;
  • Relates effectively to persons of diverse social and ethnic backgrounds; and establishes and maintains effective interactions with those contacted in the course of work; and
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

Public Assistance Specialist II  

  • Applies Federal, State and County rules, regulations, policies and procedures related to eligibility for two or more public assistance programs;
  • Conducts interactive interviews with individuals in need of public assistance at varied locations including the office, the client’s home and out-of-home care facilities;
  • Advises customers over the telephone, in person or in group settings of their rights, responsibilities and eligibility for program participation; explains rules, regulations and policies to customers and the general public;
  • Determines eligibility for multiple public assistance programs; reviews forms and documents for completeness and consistency; initiates requests for information from outside sources such as banks, insurance companies, other public agencies and county departments; verifies reported information as needed; assists customers in identifying and obtaining information necessary to establish eligibility and/or resolve discrepancies; and monitors customer compliance with program requirements;
  • Reviews and analyzes customer financial information to determine eligibility for public assistance; learns and calculates benefit amounts to be authorized; and makes other computations and calculations as needed;
  • Performs a variety of administrative and clerical duties related to assigned duties including filing, typing, word processing, and answering telephones;
  • Initiates, processes and maintains casework through an automated computer system including entering and retrieving narrative and numerical data;
  • Writes case narratives and prepares other appropriate documentation in both written and electronic case files;
  • Sets up and maintains controls to ensure timely actions and quality caseload management;
  • Refers customers who appear in need of other social services to appropriate social services staff;
  • Makes fraud referrals to the investigative unit when there is a reason to suspect fraud may have occurred;
  • Relates effectively to persons of diverse social and ethnic backgrounds; and establishes and maintains effective relationships with those contacted in the course of work; and
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.  

Public Assistance Specialist III

  • Maintains thorough and up-to-date knowledge of Federal, State and County rules, regulations, policies and procedures related to eligibility for public assistance programs; interprets same to staff, customers and the general public; and monitors and explains rule and regulation changes to staff;
  • Performs the full range of eligibility functions and case work; assists in resolving eligibility problems; reviews and authorizes benefits; and may handle the most complex cases and hard to serve customers;
  • Serves as a resource and subject matter expert to employees at all levels of the organization, outside agencies, and the public on public assistance programs and departmental procedures; prepares or assists in the preparation of program and departmental policies and procedures; and identifies issues and problems and proposes solutions;
  • Provides on-the-job training and coaching to new and existing employees to ensure the successful performance of the duties, responsibilities and expectations of the Public Assistance Specialist function; and oversees trainees during the on-the-job training period;
  • Performs lead duties including overseeing, assigning and reviewing the work of subordinate staff; and provides feedback on the work performance and/or actively participates in the performance review process for probationary employees;
  • Reviews cases to ensure accuracy, proper application of regulations, and quality customer service; calculates error rates and identifies error trends; provides constructive feedback to staff; and makes verbal and written reports of findings to staff, supervisors and managers;
  • May perform specialized and highly technical duties relating to fair hearings, IEVS, GA Work Program and FSET;
  • Relates effectively to persons of diverse social and ethnic backgrounds; and establishes and maintains effective relationships with those contacted in the course and scope of work; and
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

 

Employment Standards

Public Assistance Specialist I

Any combination of related education and experience totaling at least eighteen (18) months is qualifying.  A typical way to qualify is as follows:

 

Education:   Equivalent to completion of forty-five (45) semester units from an accredited college or university with some coursework in social science, sociology, psychology, business or public administration;

OR

Experience:  Eighteen (18) months of full-time paid work experience in a social service or other public agency; OR eighteen (18) months of experience determining eligibility for loans, financial assistance, unemployment or veterans benefits or eligibility for health, counseling or social services in a public or privately financed agency.

Public Assistance Specialist II

Any combination of related education and experience totaling at least two and one-half (2 ½) years with at least six (6) months of full-time, paid, entry-level eligibility work experience within twelve (12) months of application is qualifying.  A typical way to qualify is as follows:

Education:  Equivalent to completion of forty-five (45) semester units from an accredited college or university with some coursework in social science, sociology, psychology, business or public administration;
AND
Experience: One (1) year of experience as an eligibility worker in any county in the State of California within twelve (12) months of application.

Public Assistance Specialist III

Any combination of related education and experience totaling at least three and one-half (3 ½) years with at least one (1) year of full-time, paid, journey-level eligibility work experience within twelve (12) months of application is qualifying.  A typical way to qualify for the position is as follows:

Education:  Equivalent to completion of 60 semester units from an accredited college or university with some coursework in social science, sociology, psychology, business or public administration.
Experience:  Eighteen (18) months of experience within twelve (12) months of application, performing the duties of a journey-level eligibility worker in any county in the State of California.
OR
One (1) year of experience within twelve (12) months of application performing the duties of a Public Assistance Specialist II in Yolo County's Department of Employment and Social Services.

License

Positions in this classification require incumbents to possess and maintain a valid California driver’s license, Class C or higher, to carry out job related duties. Individuals who do not meet this requirement due to a physical or mental disability may request a reasonable accommodation.

Knowledge & Ability

Public Assistance Specialist I

Knowledge of:
principles of providing quality service to customers and the general public; fundamental aspects of human behavior; general goals of public social service agencies: and basic computer navigation.

Ability to: navigate in a windows pc environment; learn interviewing and record keeping techniques and standard office procedures; speak and write English effectively; read, understand and follow complex laws, rules, regulations and policies related to eligibility for two or more    public assistance programs; learn to operate an automated computer system sufficiently to perform tasks of this position; use automated technology to maintain records and files; prioritize and organize work effectively; follow verbal and written instructions; make accurate arithmetic computations; identify and analyze problems and find solutions; work independently and as a member of a team; conduct ones self in an ethical manner;  relate effectively to persons of  diverse social and ethnic
backgrounds; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with agency staff and the general public; perform repetitive work; maintain confidentiality; make effective decisions and meet deadlines; and learn to identify the family and individual needs that require referral to social service staff.

Public Assistance Specialist II

Knowledge of:  principles of providing quality service to customers and the general public; current laws, rules and regulations of public assistance programs; principles of interviewing and verifying information; forms and office procedures used to administer public assistance programs; general goals of public social service agencies; family and individual needs requiring referral to social service staff; department and community resources available to customers.
Ability to:  demonstrate effective written and verbal communication skills; speak and write English effectively; interviewing and record keeping techniques and standard office procedures; maintain accurate records; read, understand and follow complex laws, rules, regulations and policies relating to determining eligibility for at least two public assistance programs; operate an automated computer system sufficiently to perform the tasks of this classification; use automated technology to maintain records ands files; navigate in a Windows PC environment; maintain confidentiality; perform a high volume of work amid interruptions; identify and analyze problems and find solutions; prioritize and organize work effectively; work individually and as a member of a team;  conduct oneself in an ethical manner;  follow verbal and written instructions; make accurate arithmetic computations; effectively  relate to persons of diverse social and ethnic backgrounds; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with agency staff and the general public; perform repetitive work; interview efficiently and effectively to obtain required information; maintain records in an organized and efficient manner; identify problems or issues requiring referral to other agencies or departments or social service staff; function with minimal supervision.

Public Assistance Specialist III

Knowledge of: procedures used in eligibility determinations, the validation process, fraud investigation and Fair Hearing process; principles of interviewing and verifying information; rules and regulations for determining eligibility of all public assistance programs; forms and office procedures used to determine eligibility for public assistance programs; general operation of data processing systems; overall operation of the Social Services department; problems requiring referral to social service staff; role of a lead worker; department and community resources available to s and customers; personnel policies and procedures; basic principles and techniques of supervision and leadership; basic principles and methods of staff development and training; methodology for conducting meetings.
Ability to: work independently without close supervision; apply initiative; speak and write English effectively; analyze rules, regulations, and procedures and interpret public assistance policies and procedures; maintain records in an organized and efficient manner; make appropriate recommendations and corrections on selected cases; seek additional facts for handling unique problems; elicit facts from customers in difficult circumstances; handle complex public assistance cases; identify problems or issues requiring referral to other agencies or departments or social services staff; propose new procedures for handling unique problems; direct the work of others and review their work for accuracy and completeness; provide training as required; understand and administer Quality Control review techniques; provide supervision in the absence of the regular supervisor; handle special assignments requiring a high level of public relations, record keeping and organizational skills; represent the agency at Fair Hearings; organize and administer special projects; conduct effective meetings; administer personnel policies and practices as required.

Environmental & Functional Factors

Incumbents in this class are expected to work inside buildings; to work either alone or closely with others; to lift and carry objects weighing up to 15 pounds; to move about; to sit for long periods of time; to drive to multiple and varied locations within the County and outside the County to perform job functions and attend training.

Medical Class

This class includes administrative or clerical positions requiring light physical effort, which may include frequent lifting of up to ten pounds and occasional lifting of up to twenty-five pounds.  Ability to place or retrieve items at below waist level may be required.  Considerable moving about may be involved.

Benefits

Retirement

  • CalPERS Retirement - 2.5% @ 55 (Misc.):  Yolo County pays a large portion of the member contribution (approximately 7% of salary). Employees pay approximately 1% of salary toward retirement.
  • All Yolo County employees participate in Social Security and Medicare.

Health Benefits

  • Yolo County offers 6 health plans (3 HMO’s and 3 PPO’s). Yolo County pays the following monthly portion of the premium: for Employee Only, $434.24; for Employee and 1, $868.46; for Employee and 2 or more, $1,129.02.  The County contribution is pro-rated for part-time employees.
  • General Unit employees who do not enroll in health insurance are eligible to receive $200 monthly (less applicable payroll taxes) upon proof of adequate health insurance coverage.
  • All employees are required to enroll in our Delta Dental Plan. The current monthly premium is $88.00 with the County paying 90%. Family members may be added at no additional cost.
  • All employees are required to enroll in our plan with Medical Eye Services of California. The current monthly premium is $9.92 with the County paying 90%. Family members may be added at no additional cost.
  • The County provides a $25,000 life insurance policy.
  • Employees participate in the State of California disability program. SDI benefits may be supplemented with accrued leave balances.
  • Employees have a confidential counseling program available for up to 6 free visits each fiscal year.

Leave Benefits

  • Employees earn 8 hours of sick leave per month.
  • New employees earn the equivalent of 80 hours of vacation time off per year and are eligible to use vacation after 13 pay periods of employment. The accrual rate increases to 120 hours after 3 years of employment.
  • Employees with a balance over 240 hours may request to purchase up to 40 hours each fiscal year.
  • Employees earn 32 hours of floating holiday time off each fiscal year.
  • Employees receive 10.5 paid holidays each year.

Selection Plan

02/01/2010 Screen for MQ's
02/01/2010 Establish List
02/03/2010 Written Examination
02/05/2010 Department Selection Interviews
02/10/2010 Tentative Job Offer

Contact Information

For questions about this recruitment, please contact Gina Rowland by e-mail at gina.duncan@yolocounty.org or by phone at (530) 666-8149.

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