Independent Living Advocate/Benefits Specialist, Grade 5

Reports to:   Advocacy Manager

FLSA Status:       Non-exempt

Job Summary: Provide advocacy and independent living services to people with disabilities seeking assistance in obtaining benefits and other supports in Madison County. Advocate for accommodations and improved access to services.

Essential Functions:

  • Provide information and referrals on independent living resources to people with disabilities in Madison County
  • Engage in outreach activities to inform the community of the availability of advocacy services
  • Work one-on-one with individuals to accomplish independent living goals and obtain and maintain benefits such as SSI/SSDI, Medicaid, SSA work incentives, DSS/TA, SNAP, HEAP, PASS plans and other
  • Develop benefits trainings and conduct presentations in the community
  • Offer and provide support to individuals seeking assistance with disability-related issues such as finding home care, get medical equipment and other needs
  • Assist with other independent living needs such as locating accessible/ affordable and inclusive apartments
  • Recruit individuals with disabilities and volunteers for participation in ARISE advocacy efforts
  • Complete and maintain all required intake and participant service record documentation
  • Participate in action alerts and advocacy events
  • Report on all activities and outcomes to the Advocacy Manager and Regional Director
  • 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


  • A. with 1 year of experience working with people with disabilities or in a disability-related field, will consider a combination of education and experience
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with a diverse population
  • Knowledge of SSA benefits and work incentives
  • Solid math, money management and budgeting skills
  • Knowledge of community resources in Madison county
  • Excellent communication skills, including public speaking and negotiation skills
  • Proficiency in Word and Power point
  • Excellent organization skills
  • Ability to compile progress reports
  • Self-starter with a passion for advocacy and disability rights
  • Knowledge of ADA, and other disability laws a plus
  • Clean driver license and reliable transportation for travel in Madison County