Benefits Counselor

Posted by
Published 28 days ago

NVFS Community Housing programs provide services in several jurisdictions across Northern Virginia funded through Federal, State, Regional and local funds. These programs work in partnership with other nonprofit organizations, Community Service Boards and County Housing and Community Development programs and provide direct assistance and supportive services to support safe and stable housing for eligible households.

The Benefits Counselor II will provide oversight of Public Entitlement Services and Benefits Counseling at NVFS, provide basic Public Benefits education (SNAP, TANF, SSI/SSDI, Retirement, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid) to Community Housing staff, help eligible clients apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) using the SOAR model, and manage complex and/or difficult cases. This position will collaborate with program supervisors to implement individualized service delivery to participants in Community Housing Programs and actively seek to improve program service delivery, increase the scope of the program and change and grow the program to meet the unique needs of clients with disabilities. 

The Benefits Counselor II is a highly collaborative role working in partnership with referring programs and agencies, Community Housing staff and supervisors to ensure the highest levels of service delivery to clients with disabilities and their families. This role serves as an expert in knowledge of public entitlements. The Benefits Counselor II will provide consultation and assist Case Managers in helping clients complete basic needs applications (including SNAP, Medicaid/Medicaid Waivers and TANF), appeals, changes, reasonable accommodations and maintaining benefits. The Benefits Counselor II will also participate in trainings required to complete certifications as required by the State.

Essential Job Duties: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with known disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Soar Advocate:

  • Collaborate with referral sources and community partners to identify clients eligible for services through team meetings, outreach, and referrals.
  • Assign cases and provide administrative and technical support to Benefits Team and other staff as needed.
  • Assist referred clients in filing initial documentation of representation with local Social Security Administration (SSA) offices.
  • Complete interviews with candidates to gather information and medical records to complete SSI/SSDI applications.
  • Prepare Medical Summary Reports for candidate applications.
  • Accompany clients to appointment(s) at the local SSA offices.
  • Perform administrative tasks as needed.

Benefits Counselor:

  • Provide guidance on benefits, work incentives, and employment services available to clients.
  • Provide planning and assistance to persons with disabilities (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in Federal and State work incentive programs.
  • Provide information to beneficiaries on health benefits coverage options that may be available including benefits counseling and assistance to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability beneficiaries participating in Community Housing programs (RSSP/MTW/RHAP), who are considering or anticipating changes in their employment situation. Screen and refer beneficiaries with disabilities to the appropriate employment networks.
  • Conduct intakes and assessment interviews and provide case file management and documentation.
  • Perform all activities related to compiling information and submitting applications for benefits.
  • Coordinate information for the application of benefits.
  • Assure team coordinated services.
  • Communicate regularly with team members about the status of any active applications in process; ensure timely and accurate completion.
  • Manage referrals for assistance, assign cases to Benefits Counselor I, and provide technical and case supervision and support.
  • Submit a monthly report that emphasizes Work Incentives Planning Assistance deliverables and outcomes.
  • Communicate effectively with clients, staff and community partners regarding SSA’s SSDI and SSI disability programs and work incentives as well as other Federal, state, and local work incentive programs.
  • Conduct outreach and presentations to participants.
  • Promote employment and self-sufficiency through the use of work incentives.
  • Leverage expert knowledge of public entitlements to help case management team understand the benefits available, eligibility, policies and the application process. Provide basic Public Benefits education (SNAP, TANF, SSI/SSDI, Retirement, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid) to Community Housing staff.
  • Maintain effective and ongoing communication with community organizations. 1
  • Prepare progress reports, correspondence, community announcements and newsletter articles as requested.
  • Identify ways to grow the program with a focus on increasing access to assistance and gathering input from clients with significant disabilities.
  • Assist the Community Housing Director with administrative tasks and program development.
  • Complete continuing education and training necessary to maintain certification.
  • Perform services in compliance with programmatic and Agency standards.
  • Perform necessary administrative tasks, orientation, consultation, and ongoing training to program case management staff.
  • Participate in regular supervision with supervisor by providing regular updates.
  • Remain current on knowledge of standards and other information on program.

Qualification Requirements:  An individual may obtain skills through a variety of professional, personal, educational, and volunteer experiences. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required to perform essential job duties.  

  • At minimum a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Social Sciences or related field
  • At least three (3) years of professional experience working with public entitlements and persons with disabilities required. This may include personal/lived experiences with disabling conditions.
  • CWIC certification from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) or WIP (or Youth WIP) certification from Cornell University required.
  • SOAR training and Virginia SOAR certification required
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of:
  • Social Security Disability Benefits, Work Incentives, and Employment Support Programs.
  • Disability rights and Independent Living philosophy.
  • Service system, benefits, entitlements and supports utilized by people with disabilities.
  • Community resources available to people with disabilities.
  • Team player with a collaborative approach towards accomplishing goals while being self-driven and able to work independently as well.
  • Must be experienced in, comfortable with and willing to conduct presentations and trainings to groups.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills including comfort using the phone, public speaking and presentation skills. Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with people with disabilities and their families, other organizations, community partners and volunteers.
  • Proficiency in usage of basic technological tools including laptops/computers, email, phones, internet virtual meeting and learning platforms required. Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite required.
  • Ability to translate technical information for lay
  • Fluency in English required; Spanish language fluency and/or American Sign Language knowledge a Additional language skills always welcome.
  • Must be able to demonstrate and live the organizational values of Communication, Integrity, Respect, Collaboration, and Accountability.

At Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS), we value the diversity of backgrounds, experience, perspectives, and skillsets that we collectively provide to our community, clients and coworkers. We celebrate and thrive on our differences and welcome everyone’s unique contributions. NVFS is committed to advancing equity, embracing diversity, and promoting inclusion and is an equal opportunity employer. NVFS is an E-Verify participant and drug-free workplace.

NVFS values diversity in our workforce. We strongly encourage all interested individuals to apply, including people of color, all genders and gender identities, people of all abilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, other members of marginalized communities, veterans and national service alumni.

NVFS Community Housing programs provide services in several jurisdictions across Northern Virginia funded through Federal, State, Regional and local funds. These programs work in partnership with other nonprofit organizations…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Application Deadline
    November 30, 2021
  • Education
    4-Year Degree Required
  • Professional Level


Oakton, VA, USA

How to Apply

Apply externally here.

Apply externally here.…

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