Benefits Counselor

Educate and advise clients, staff and family members in all benefits questions related to Social Security, Economic Services and Subsidized Housing programs. The nature of the job involves a diverse range of knowledge about state and federally funded benefits, program rules and disability issues. A high degree of independent thinking and flexibility is needed to contribute to the well-being of clients and to provide accurate information to all that inquire.

The Careers Connections/Community Support Program serves adults with a mental health condition.  Individuals with personal experience as a beneficiary of Federal and State benefit programs are encouraged to apply.

Responsibilities:

  • Assist clients, staff, family, guardians, and representative payees in developing effective benefits profiles that assure best financial outcomes. Provide direct explanation and education to all parties.
  • Perform financial accounting involving comparisons with and without earned income taking into account all benefits received by the individual and their household.
  • Facilitate frequent interaction with State, Federal and community agency employees to collaborate about client benefits
  • Assist clients with budgeting, retirement planning, understanding their SSA Benefits Planning Query and navigating their online SSA account and assistance with overpayment appeals

Requirements:

  • Two years of work experience at a professional level working with people with disabilities
  • Extensive knowledge of Social Security policy as referenced through the Federal Register and through the SSA's Policy Operations Manual
  • Experience in advising, counseling, research in the areas of public benefits and/or finances/budgeting
  • Required to complete upon hire - Virginia Commonwealth University - Certified Work Incentive Counselor (This gives individual the ability to access SSA resources and consultation services) AND Intentional Peer Support or NAMI Family class

Structure:

  • Full-time position (37.5 hours/week)
  • This is a non-exempt position
  • This position is paid hourly, at $18/hr

Perks & Benefits:

  • Comprehensive BCBS Medical with agency-paid premium support for individuals, couples, and families.
  • Delta Dental
  • Generous time off starting at 36 days of combined time off per year for full-time employees (and increasing with years of service); pro-rated for positions 16 hours or more.
  • Agency paid 401K retirement and additional incentive match program
  • Life insurance
  • Flexible spending account
  • Childcare stipend
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Employee referral program with financial payment
  • Discounted online undergraduate/graduate courses through Champlain College truED
  • Award-winning workplace wellness program HC4ME including physical fitness groups for staff, financial wellness incentives, and ongoing workplace wellness advocacy and education
  • Voluntary benefits from local/international businesses: discounted gym memberships, mobile phone service, ski/snowboard passes, auto/home insurance, and more!

Howard Center is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.  The agency's culture and service delivery is strengthened by the diversity of its workforce.  Minorities, people of color and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  EOE/TTY. Visit "About Us" to review Howard Center's EOE policy.