MONTGOMERY COUNTY GOVERNMENT Code No. 2013
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND Grade 17
INCOME ASSISTANCE PROGRAM SPECIALIST I
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is human services administrative work at the entry-developmental level in determining eligibility of County residents for various programs available to assist individuals, families, children, seniors and people with disabilities needing financial and/or medical assistance and other support services. Contacts are with applicants, their families, and/or their representatives; professional social service and related staffs within the department, in State and Federal agencies, other counties, community social service agencies, and service providers. In order to obtain or verify information, resolve problems, coordinate actions regarding eligibility determinations, refer people and cases to other service units or agencies, and provide information and advice concerning the circumstances of customers in the programs to facilitate appropriate case management. Public service and assistance are provided to customers on demand or on an on-going basis, and involve sensitive and detailed interviewing to determine their eligibility and the appropriate aid category or categories for which they are eligible. Once eligibility determinations are made and approved, customers are enrolled into the programs and financial and/or medical aid commences.
Employees in this class receive formal and on-the-job training in income assistance eligibility procedures while performing duties of limited scope intended to introduce them to the field. They receive assignments of gradually increasing complexity until they become fully proficient in all aspects of eligibility determination and interpersonal relations. Employees determine eligibility for aid by interviewing applicants, obtaining and verifying information in the form of documents (earning statements, rent receipts, utility bills, bank statements, and similar items), and contacting others such as financial institutions, landlords, employers, or medical personnel. Information is also verified by accessing State computer databases, which contain information on a person's employment status and motor vehicle ownership. Once persons are enrolled in programs, employees periodically re-certify their eligibility by obtaining current information and documentation from them. Employees maintain ongoing case management with persons in the programs, responding to inquiries and requests and referring cases to other service units as appropriate. Employees in this class work under the direct supervision of a unit supervisor, who provides specific instructions on new and continuing assignments, monitors progress of employees, arranges for formal training, and varies assignments to bring employees up to the full performance level. Work is subject to established and specific guidelines in County, State and Federal regulatory and policy and procedural manuals, County policies and procedures, database users' manuals, and the carefully prescribed rules for determining eligibility. Employees select appropriate guides to fit specific cases, and refer unusual or nonstandard situations to others. Employees in this class learn to distinguish the conditions, which are primarily of a factual nature, that make persons eligible for aid by obtaining and assessing information obtained through interviews, computer searches and document examination. Cases that require more extensive investigation are normally referred to more experienced workers or to supervisors to handle. The work of the class directly affects the economic and social well-being of County residents by providing financial and other assistance to those in need in accordance with established criteria; and properly performed work helps ensure the operation of an important social program. The work is normally performed in an office environment or institutional setting and is sedentary in nature, with some standing, walking and traveling between work sites. Performance of this work involves some risk resulting from exposure to persons manifesting aggressive and unpredictable behavior.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Determines eligibility and need for assistance based on information
secured through interviews with applicants, their families and relatives,
departmental staff and persons in other public and private agencies.
Provides active case management of applicants being processed and of persons in programs, by responding to inquiries from applicants/enrollees, other departmental staff and staff from outside agencies, advising applicants and enrollees regarding their situations and status; and arranging for services and/or referring cases to other service units within the department as appropriate.
Obtains current information and data on persons enrolled in programs to re-certify their continued eligibility through interviews, database inquiries, document verification and similar means.
Reviews applicant financial documents and, as required, tracks the flow of assets over prior years to determine if disposal or transfer of assets was done with the intent of becoming eligible for medical assistance.
Conducts orientation sessions for applicants at area offices, informing applicants of the various aid programs, their purposes and requirements, and the procedures used to process applications.
Responds to customer complaints, attempting to establish the pertinent facts and circumstances involved and taking appropriate actions to correct errors and prior determinations when necessary, or refers matters that cannot be resolved to supervisors for action.
Maintains current and accurate case files, updating case information as needed and entering data into a computerized case management system.
Participates in case reviews with supervisors or other staff for the purpose of improving case management quality and reducing error rates, discussing case file information, determinations and other actions taken.
Keeps informed of changes to and the issuance of new rules, regulations, policies and procedures pertaining to the eligibility determination process and the various aid programs.
May make presentations to other agencies, senior centers and other service units regarding programs and their requirements.
Performs related duties as required.
Education: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor's Degree.
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Baseline knowledge of the laws, rules, procedures and forms of the assistance programs applied to carry out programmatic functions.
Knowledge of the economic and social needs of individuals and families, and the factors and circumstances that affect their ability to be economically independent; and ability to understand customer wants and needs and to help address them.
Knowledge of services available through community resources including public and private agencies that serve persons in need to inform, help and encourage them.
Skill in oral communication to exchange information about assistance programs and economic and social circumstances to inform customers about programs, determine their needs, obtain information needed to make eligibility determinations and perform other functions.
Skill in written communication to read and understand program documents, prepare brief written summaries of cases, and perform other functions.
Skill in problem solving to assess information on the economic and social status of customers, make eligibility determinations and perform related functions.
Skill in interpersonal relationships and human relations to work sensitively and positively with people of various backgrounds and socioeconomic and health situations.
Skill in using computers to create and maintain records and perform other functions.
Arithmetic skill to make and check calculations.
Ability and willingness to attend meetings and/or perform assignments at locations outside the office.
Individuals appointed or promoted to a position in this class will be required to serve a probationary period of six months. Performance will be carefully evaluated during the probationary period. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Limited Core Exam with Drug/Alcohol Screen.
Class Established: August 1998
October 2000 (M)
April, 2007 (M)