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Category: Administrative Professional
Location: Shrewsbury, MA
Business Unit: Commonwealth Medicine
Department: Commonwealth Medicine - Work Without Limits - W407980
Job Type: Part-Time
Salary Grade: 43
Union Code: Non Union Position -W60- Non Unit Professional
Num. Openings: 1
Post Date: Jan. 7, 2022
Under the direction of the Director, Work Without Limits, or designee, the Work Incentives Counselor provides individual counseling services to beneficiaries of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Counseling services includes information on how employment will affect eligibility for SSI, SSDI and other federal, state, and local public benefits such as Medicaid, Medicare, subsidized housing, and food stamps. The goal of the position is to assist SSI and SSDI beneficiaries to make informed choices towards employment and self-sufficiency.
Services are provided to beneficiaries living primarily in Massachusetts and eastern New York and are delivered via telephone or videotelephone while some services may be provided in-person upon request or need from the beneficiary. This is a remote position that requires a private, quiet space with the ability to access reliable internet and protect beneficiary information.
• Provide clear, accurate, and credible information to Social Security beneficiaries and their families about the impact of work on public benefits including SSI, SSDI, Medicare, Medicaid, subsidized housing, food stamps, veterans’ benefits and any other local, state, or federal benefits.
• Provide access to work incentive programs that support entry into the workforce, including but not limited to the Social Security Administration (SSA) Ticket to Work program.
• Refer beneficiaries as needed to Ticket to Work Employment Networks (EN), State Vocational Rehabilitation (State VR), America’s Job Centers (AJC), and other organizations that provide employment supports and services.
• Assist beneficiaries with reporting wages to SSA and other public agencies.
• Assist with problems related to benefits that may arise after the individual is working.
• Maintain complete and accurate documentation of beneficiary files which uphold service quality and data privacy by following policies, procedures, and established timelines.
• Prepare accurate and detailed written Benefits Summary and Analysis reports and Work Incentives Plans following SSA guidelines and using SSA-provided technology, as applicable.
• Actively research and continually seek out information on local, state, and federal public benefit programs and policies, including eligibility criteria, application processes, interactions with earned income, wages and assets, work incentives, and reporting requirements.
• Regularly consult with supervisor, team members, national technical assistance staff, SSA staff, and other subject matter experts to research rules and regulations and address employment and wage issues and any impact on benefits as presented by beneficiaries and referring staff.
• Develop and maintain relationships with local SSA field offices, and public and private employment service providers to inform them about available services.
• Develop and conduct outreach and training presentations with State VR offices, AJCs, employers, consumer groups, community rehabilitation providers, schools, and others as identified.
• Must currently have or immediately obtain and maintain certification as a Community Work Incentives Counselor (CWIC) or Community Partner Work Incentives Counselor (CPWIC) from an approved SSA program.
• Must obtain SSA Suitability Clearance upon hire.
• Bachelor's degree in social work, education, psychology, counseling, disability studies or another related field.
• In lieu of a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree and three years of professional experience providing employment or other social services to individuals with disabilities may be substituted or in lieu of an associate degree, five years of professional experience as described may be substituted.
REQUIRED WORK EXPERIENCE
• 2-4 years of professional experience in workforce development and/or social services working with individuals from disadvantaged and underserved populations including but not limited to persons with disabilities and recipients of public assistance.
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office and Zoom and/or similar technology.
• Master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or a related field.
• Current certification as a Community Work Incentives Counselor (CWIC) or a Community Partner Work Incentives Counselor (CPWIC) from an approved SSA program.
PREFERRED WORK EXPERIENCE
• Bilingual/bicultural English/Spanish.
• Proficiency in American Sign Language.
• Two or more years of experience providing benefits and work incentives counseling services to beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI.
• Knowledge of Social Security disability benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, subsidized housing, and/or other federal, state, and local benefit programs.
• Knowledge of the issues and concerns of people with disabilities as they relate to employment and benefits.
• Knowledge of the laws, rights, community resources and services that address employment needs specific to individuals with disabilities including but not limited to State VR, AJCs, and SSA’s Ticket to Work program.
• Knowledge of disability terminology, etiquette, and ‘people first’ and ‘identity first’ language.
• Knowledge of and/or experience working with individuals from ethnic and culturally diverse communities.
• Knowledge and demonstrated ability to practice ethical standards of conduct.
• Knowledge and demonstrated ability to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Protected Health Information (PHI) as it pertains to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
• Proficiency with Salesforce.
This is a 30 hour per week position.
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