Disability Benefit Specialist

Application Deadline: 2021-03-17
Job Type: County
Job Description:

PURPOSE OF THE POSITION: The Disability Benefit Specialist (DBS) provides disabled individuals between 17 ½ and 59 years of age with information, assistance and advocacy in the areas of public benefits, housing and other consumer issues. The mission of the DBS is to empower disabled individuals and their families/caregivers to live independently with dignity; by providing them with unbiased information, programs and services. The DBS is also responsible for coordinating outreach and education to disabled individuals, service providers, and professionals in the community. The DBS is supervised by the ADRC manager in close collaboration with the DBS program attorney who provides substantive case oversight.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: This list of duties is not to be construed as all-inclusive and may be modified as need requires. Special duty assignments will occur.

1. Offers information, counsel and assistance related to individual eligibility for, and problems with, public benefits and services to health care financing, insurance, housing and other financial and consumer concerns.
2. Assessing service needs, including case management and plans. Arranging, authorizing, and monitoring services including the client’s progress toward service achievement and the need to increase or decrease services. Counseling the client on the risks and benefits of different service options.
3. Provides services to address medical entitlements, insurance, non-covered health costs, income support, community-based services, housing and utilities, debt collection practices and finical exploitation.
4. Provides counsel in areas permitted by law for non-attorneys on issues involving rights, benefits, or entitlements.
5. Counsel on choices (advantages/disadvantages, risks, and responsibilities) related to services and programs that may address individual needs.
6. Performs case intake duties and interviews clients.
7. Refers and coordinates access to the public and private benefit system by offering advocacy, counsel and representation during client contacts provided in the home and in the office. Under the direction of the legal assistance provider, represents clients in appeals or disputes, including but not limited to, denials of eligibility or benefits of Medicaid, Medicare (Parts A, B, C and D), FoodShare, Energy Assistance, and denial of eligibility for disability benefits, denial of health insurance claims, problems with Social Security or SSI overpayments. Conducts research and investigations, prepares evidence and negotiates settlements within the boundaries of the program.
8. Provides advocacy and representation in matters which require review, waiver, reconsideration and /or hearings before an administrative law judge.
9. Drafts a variety of written correspondence including legal briefs.
10. Maintains current and thorough knowledge of public benefits and entitlement services and their rules, regulations and requirements. Attend conferences, workshops, seminars and other related trainings to keep current on changes in public entitlement programs for targeted population. Attends regional training and roundtable case discussions.
11. Performs computer data entry of client records and complies with federal and state reporting requirements applicable to the program. Maintains detailed records and generates reports as directed by the Federal, State and County governments and the Director.
12. Maintains client confidentiality and confidentiality of client information.
13. Provides direct application assistance to clients for obtaining and maintaining all public programs and private health insurance benefits.
14. Empower individuals to advocate on their own behalf.
15. Provides public education and / or training on issues affecting the rights, benefits, or entitlement of disabled individuals.
16. Assists in identifying benefits, entitlements, or reimbursements which involve health related problems that are of a quasi-legal nature. Examples would be medical paperwork, private health insurance and access to health services.
17. Performs advanced computer skills. Conducts research using the Internet and effectively communicates using email. Develops databases, spreadsheets, Power Point presentations, and word processing documents.
18. Performs computer data entry of client records into WellSky/SAMS tracking database.
19. Develops informational material for the media, organizations, and the general public. Markets the services offered by the DBS to the community and community partners through a variety of formats.
20. Assists with the coordination and management of the ADRC social media page.
21. All other duties as assigned.
22. Under direction of the Supervisor, this position may at times be required to work overtime hours or shifts.
23. This position will be responsible to maintain a physical presence in both Buffalo and Pepin County office by having regular office hours in each location depending on need and demand of consumers.


1. Large percentage of time is spent sitting in office working or interacting with consumers or co-workers.
2. Regularly moves about the office building and travels to other offices or sites for meetings.
3. Employee uses oral communication, judgment, hearing, near vision, fingering for keyboarding and calculators, reading and writing. Handles papers and manuals, etc., lifts files, copy paper and other office materials. Sits, stands, bends and reaches intermittently throughout the day.
4. Remote risk of physical attack by hostile client.

1. Bachelor of Arts or Science degree, preferably in a health or human services field or be licensed to practice as a registered nurse in Wisconsin.
2. Must have one (1) year of experience in a health or human service field working with elderly or adults with physical/developmental/intellectual disabilities.
3. Current knowledge of public benefits available to to disabled individuals in the areas of health care financing, income maintenance, home and community-based services, consumer finance, and other law areas pertaining to disabled individuals.
4. Ability to relate to and interview people.
5. Ability to serve the public with a positive, caring and professional manner, and show dedication to customer service.
6. Ability to gather facts, investigate problems and provide needed documentation.
7. Ability to deal effectively with governmental bureaucracies, persons with disabilities and family members, the legal system, and the general public.
8. Ability to work independently and use sound judgment and initiative.
9. Ability to communicate detailed/complex information to clients.
10. Ability to gather, analyze and evaluate information for clients.
11. Ability to research, analyze and resolve problems.
12. Ability to counsel and provide interpretation to others on how to apply policies, procedures and standards to specific situations.
13. Ability to use functional reasoning and apply rational judgment in performing diversified work activities
14. Ability to exercise the judgment, decisiveness and creativity required in situations involving the evaluation of information against sensory and/or judgmental criteria.
15. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees, public officials and the general public, and to effectively and discreetly convey information.
16. The ability to function independently and be resourceful in the roles undertaken.
17. Competence in public speaking and engaging community members and professionals.
18. Ability to operate office equipment including personal computer, keyboard, photocopier, telephone, TV, calculator, etc.
19. Evidence of attention to detail and accuracy, neatness in appearance and work, reliability and commitment to HIPAA and Confidentiality Laws.
20. Knowledge of Buffalo and Pepin County Department of Human Services programs, operations and policies.
21. Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation with adequate auto liability insurance to meet minimum County requirements.
22. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees, public officials and the general public, and to effectively and discreetly convey information.

Application forms may be obtained at: www.co.pepin.wi.us or by contacting Pepin County Personnel Department at 715-672-8704.


Deadline Note: Application forms may be obtained at: www.co.pepin.wi.us or by contacting Pepin County Personnel Department at 715-672-8704.

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