To assist Ramsey County residents in connecting to, or maintaining a connection to, the resources available to meet their economic and social service needs. To primarily serve clients new to public assistance and establish initial eligibility for multiple public assistance programs. To interview applicants for and recipients of public assistance programs to identify human service needs and make appropriate referrals to resources; where possible identifying resources that applicants can use to meet their needs in lieu of public assistance; to determine eligibility for public assistance programs, and to calculate benefit amounts. To communicate program requirements and to support program applicants in pursuing the highest possible degree of independence from public assistance; to support applicants in identifying and addressing those barriers that prevent them from achieving and maintaining self-sufficiency. To communicate program purposes and apply policies in a clear, polite, professional and culturally sensitive manner. To assist in supervising a case management unit by: assigning work and providing training and advice to other financial workers on procedures, policies and programs; acting as a central resource person for internal and external customers and resolving problems concerning eligibility, benefit amounts or access to community resources; or performing other duties as assigned. (This is the Lead-worker/Specialist role in this job class. Lead-workers assist in supervising units responsible for on-going case review and maintenance of eligibility. Specialist positions are assigned to units in Intake or a special task unit such as MAXIS support or Managed Health Care. Specialist assignments usually require knowledge of all public assistance programs. Lead-workers may also act as a Specialist.); and perform related duties as assigned.
Examples of Work Performed
Assess the needs of applicants for public assistance at initial contact with the agency and schedule intake interview appointments with unit workers to insure equitable distribution of workload and a timely response to an applicant's request for services. Interview applicants (by telephone, in office or in facilities) for public assistance in order to obtain personal and financial information required to determine eligibility for various public assistance programs.
Effectively communicate program time limits, expectations and other program requirements to applicants, internal and external social services providers, and other community resources, serving as the central point of referral and communication for financial, childcare and employment services.
Assist applicants in finding resources that can help them meet their needs without reliance on public assistance programs. Refer applicants and recipients to community resources to obtain services not provided by public assistance programs.
Complete forms to establish a case record documenting an applicant's personal and financial information required to initiate and maintain eligibility for public assistance programs. Review and verify the accuracy of information provided by applicants as required to determine program eligibility. This may include handling confidential cases, such as the eligibility of a Ramsey County employee or their relatives.
Perform data entry, retrieve information from and provide instruction on the use of multiple county and state computer systems (including MAXIS, MMIS, Outlook, PRISM, SUMMIT, Laserfiche, MEC2 and METS).
Resolve discrepancies in case records including errors, and problems resulting from miscommunication, changes in policies, or implementation of new procedures.
Determine initial and on-going eligibility for households applying for all public assistance programs, prepare budgets and related documents, calculate benefit amounts in accordance with established benefit standards within the timelines required by regulations, and communicate the eligibility decisions to the applicant.
Review work of Financial Workers 1 and 2 to ensure conformity to regulations and procedures.
Interpret regulations and advise other workers in unit or program on how to handle problematic case situations.
Provide both on-the-job and topical training for new and experienced financial workers on procedures and program guidelines.
Prepare cases for appeals, attend appeal hearings, and document the actions taken by the agency regarding eligibility or amount of public assistance issued.
May work with the County Attorney's office to investigate cases referred for disqualification, gather evidence and identify witnesses.
Maintain detailed knowledge of the current requirements of multiple public assistance programs through meetings, training sessions and the review of appropriate literature.
Provide back-up caseload coverage for absent workers or vacant positions within unit to ensure workload is adequately managed.
Inform applicants or recipients of changes in eligibility or amount of assistance based on changes in regulations or changes in the client's personal or financial circumstances.
Direct work unit activities in the supervisor's absence.
Prepare special reports as necessary.
Respond to public inquiries about public assistance programs and eligibility criteria and, using appropriate Data Privacy practices, to inquiries from others about benefits being received by an individual client.
Maintain regular, punctual attendance consistent with the ADA, FMLA and other federal state and local standards.
Seventeen + years as a Financial Worker 1,2 and 3, including experiences in clerical, customer service and Lead Worker/Specialist roles. SUPERVISOR/MANAGERIAL RESPONSIBILITY ASSISTANCE: This is the Lead-worker/Specialist role in this job class. Provided work direction, for up to 15 Financial Workers 1 and 2 performing similar work; in the absence of the supervisor, overseeing their work performances. Had responsibility for assigning work, checking work, coaching employees on case processing methods, and assisting or training others.
Work is performed mainly in a cubicle, open-office. Includes up to six hours of keyboard/computer work per day. Some work assignments are located in neighborhood offices throughout the County. These requires me periodic trips outside the office to interview applicants and to gather and verify information from clients and other sources. Duties dealing directly with clients may occasionally involve contact with angry or unruly persons and, on rare occasions, exposure to people with mental health issues..
IMPACT ON SERVICES/OPERATIONS:
Impact on the ability of my work to the agency includes, but not limited to: make timely, appropriate and correct public assistance eligibility determinations; proper referrals; proper assessments of client need and ability to use alternative resources; and the efficiency of unit operations in terms of work load distribution and provision of advice and training to Financial Workers 1 and 2. Also impact on the ability of the agency to effectively assist clients in achieving a higher level of self-sufficiency. Evaluate proper performance results in: adherence to program requirements for eligibility; grant determinations; verification of client information; preparation and maintenance of case data; provision of appropriate assessment, information and referral services; and enhancement of unit efficiency. Detect errors that could result in waste of program funds by providing benefits to ineligible clients, incorrect benefits to eligible clients and check attendance to provide staff to fill in for absent workers.
NOTE: Undetected errors would result in denial or reduction of benefits to eligible applicants or recipients or on-going waste of funds due to provision of assistance to ineligible clients. Improper delivery of assessment and information and referral services would result in clients continuing an unnecessary ongoing dependence on public assistance. Undetected errors would also result in vulnerability to appeals and quality control sanctions. It is my responsibility to eliminate these problems.
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