Independent Living Advocate/Benefits Specialist

Job Title:     Independent Living Advocate/Benefits Specialist, Grade 5

FLSA Status:     Non-exempt

Reports To:      Manager of Advocacy



Essential functions:

  • Assist individuals with disabilities experiencing financial crisis due to lack of benefits and income
  • Assist a minimum of 60 unduplicated clients annually with benefits applications and becoming self-sufficient
  • Respond to requests for information and referrals on benefits from the community
  • Conduct one-on-one support sessions for participants enrolled in the program, based on their needs and their independent living goals
  • Conduct outreach to agencies to educate providers about the program and disability benefits through at least 4 workshops annually
  • Develop training materials and presentations as needed
  • Help prevent an individual’s crisis due to lack of benefits or income by applying for available programs
  • Provide trainings and presentations on benefits in the community
  • Provide one-on-one independent living support sessions to program participants
  • Contribute to the Advocacy Department’s outcomes to create systems change by: participating in the legislative meetings; participating in public hearings and action alerts; collecting voter registrations; attending rallies and public hearings, recruiting individuals to participate in committees; and as directed
  • Participate in agency and departmental meetings
  • Complete monthly, 6 months and annual reporting
  • Respond to a high volume of calls and requests for information and referral on benefits
  • Uphold the codes of conduct and ethics as well as all ARISE policies and procedures
  • Exercise sound judgment as a matter of course and hold protected health information and other sensitive information in the strictest of confidence in accordance with ARISE and HIPAA policies
    • Other duties as assigned by the supervisor.



  • Minimum BA or combination of AAS degree and experience
  • Solid math, money management, and budgeting skills
  • Extensive knowledge of local community resources
  • Minimum 5 years experience working with Medicaid, Supplemental Needs
  • Trusts/Pooled Trusts, SSA’s Work Incentives, SSI/SSDI, DSS/TANF, HEAP and FS programs
  • Able to work with diverse populations
  • Experience working with people with different disabilities
  • Creativity to produce training materials and organize benefits workshops
  • Excellent documentation and attention to details
  • Excellent computer skills: MS Power Point, MS Word
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills
  • Ability to multitask and perform under pressure, dealing with a high volume of individuals experiencing crisis
  • Reliable transportation, clean valid driver license



  • Generous paid time off includes:
    • 10 holidays
    • 20 Earned Time Off days in years 1 & 2; increases to 25 ETO days after 2 years
  • Participation in the 401(k) plan can start as soon as the first of the calendar quarter following date of hire; employer match after one year includes 100% vesting immediately
  • Very affordable, comprehensive group medical insurance coverage , as well as dental and vision coverage
  • Flexible spending arrangement (medical / dependent care)
  • Free life insurance and long term disability coverage
  • Free / Confidential Employee Assistance Program
  • Option to enroll in voluntary benefit plans at annual open enrollment