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Public Benefits Specialist


  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: Denver
  • Grade: Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Resources
  • Closing Date:
Job Overview:
IRC in Denver seeks to foster the best possible initial resettlement experience, with an emphasis on helping clients successfully navigate systems and processes while building skills that promote self-sufficiency and long-term community integration. A member of the Resettlement Team, the Public Benefits Specialist is a key contributor to these efforts. Working closely with all departments, the Public Benefits Specialist facilitates timely access to benefits (cash, food, health, childcare, and other resources based on eligibility) while clients work toward economic self-reliance. Together with colleagues on the Economic Empowerment team, this position also ensures that clients participating in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) meet program requirements by helping them identify, access, and complete pre-employment work activities according to state and county TANF guidelines. This position collaborates with colleagues focused on employment and financial coaching, education, and lending to implement an approach known as the bundled services model for financial capability, which has proved to result in greater positive gains in individual and household-level measures of financial wellbeing.

Major Responsibilities:

- Supports screening for eligibility for public benefits, including cash, food, health, childcare, and other available resources.
- Assists clients with county interviews, reapplying for public benefits and picking up benefits cards.
- Trains clients on use of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards to access resources (cash, food, bus passes, etc.).
- Works with families referred for childcare to research prospective providers, arrange facility tours, submit applications, understand check-in/check-out procedures, and learn related bus routes.
- Coaches clients to build understanding and skills that will support their capacity to assume responsibility for routine maintenance of their public benefits.
- Manages and supports Workforce Development aspects of TANF cases in Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS), including capturing and reporting work activity hours, updating individual plans with clients regularly, making appropriate referrals, assessing client progress, etc.
- Performs administrative tasks, including maintaining and updating client case files, filing documentation, and completing accurate and timely data entry.
- Documents service provision and completes reports in the Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) and Geneva databases in accordance with standard operating procedures and donor requirements.
- Complies with all federal, state, local and IRC contractual requirements, including confidentiality requirements under HIPAA.
- Fosters positive working relationships with county offices, colleague resettlement agencies, refugee service providers and other relevant entities.
- Attends meetings with the Colorado Refugee Services Program (CRSP) and/or other county, state and local partners as requested.
- Performs other duties as assigned.

Job Requirements:

- Undergraduate degree or equivalent experience preferred; may be substituted with equivalent work and/or lived experience.

Work Experience
- The skills and knowledge typically acquired through 2+ years of relevant work experience, ideally including responsibilities in social services or a similar non-profit, grant-funded environment.
- Experience working with refugees or in refugee resettlement is highly desirable.

Demonstrated Skills & Competencies
- Knowledge of TANF, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Colorado Childcare Assistance Program (CCAP) and Medicaid preferred.
- Ability to prioritize and manage time effectively.
- Excellent attention to detail required, with a demonstrated ability to interpret and navigate complex and interconnected state and federal contracts simultaneously while also maintaining program compliance.
- Commitment to providing high quality services in support of clients, in accordance with standards set forth by IRC, county partners, and the State of Colorado.
- Ability to think critically, exercise sound judgment, and proactively seek solutions to problems clients encounter in accessing public benefits and navigating related processes and systems.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are required, including fluency in both writing and speaking English.
- Adept in working cross-culturally and with limited English proficient individuals.
- Bilingual in one or more languages of the local refugee population preferred (such as Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Dari, Farsi, French, Kiswahili, Pashto, Russian, Spanish, and/or Tigrinya).
- Proficient in Microsoft Office programs, internet applications and relational database use, including comfort using online platforms to submit benefits applications and check status of applications and benefits.
- Advanced Excel skills strongly preferred.
- Experience in CBMS database and the PEAK platform preferred.
- Use of a reliable personal vehicle required with valid driver’s license and current insurance, with the ability to travel regularly throughout the service delivery area.

Working Environment
- A combination of standard office environment and remote work.
- Staff are required to adhere to IRC’s COVID risk mitigation policies, which may include masking, physical distancing, enhanced hygiene practices, symptom screening, and isolation and quarantine when needed. IRC policies may be stricter than federal, state, or local level policies.

COVID-19 Vaccination: In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires new hires to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for in-office or hybrid positions. All IRC US offices require full vaccination to attend any in-office functions (e.g., meetings, trainings).

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity: IRC is committed to building a diverse and inclusive organization.  We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal. 

Equal Opportunity Employer: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us at [email protected] to request accommodation.

Compensation and Benefits: This is a full-time, regular position classified as a non-exempt and eligible for overtime under state and federal law. Starting compensation is $21.00 per hour, depending on experience and qualifications. We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, this total compensation package includes: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days depending on role and tenure, medical insurance starting at $120 per month with low to no deductible; dental insurance starting at $7 per month; vision insurance starting at $5 per month; FSA for healthcare, dependent care, and commuter costs; a 403b retirement savings plans with immediately vested employer matching; disability & life insurance; generous parental leave; and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles. In addition, the IRC in Denver offers annual staff development funds and actively promotes learning and growth for its team members.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.