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Public Benefits Specialist

San Diego

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: San Diego
  • Grade: Mid level - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Resources
  • Closing Date:

Job Overview:

The Public Benefits Specialist will provide assistance to Afghan refugees, SIVs and humanitarian parolees to ensure the best possible initial services experience and comprehensive access to public benefits. These services will improve the quality of life for Resettlement program clients in San Diego and surrounding counties by ensuring that, in the short-term, they meet their basic needs and build financial stability, allowing long-term attainment of self-sufficiency. The Specialist will assist Afghan clients in applying for public benefits, keeping their existing benefits, and understanding their benefits. They will serve as the department’s main point of contact with all public benefits entities, working along caseworkers and other staff to ensure clients receive benefits.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Screen for and identify benefits eligibility for clients based on their immigration status, income levels, and length of time in the US, and successfully enroll clients in identified public benefits.
  • Independently develop reasonable initial service and/or self-sufficiency plans and timelines for each client and manage client expectations.
  • Educate clients on the public benefits system so that they can continue or discontinue benefits at their own discretion and empower them to make their own self-sufficiency decisions.
  • Ensure that clients are provided the basic tools that are vital to meet their established short-term goals and objectives and recording these efforts through data entry and by updating case files.
  • Ensure compliance with case file management and reporting requirements, including timely data entry in hard-copy files and databases.
  • Maintain case file documentation to conform to contract requirements as well as to reflect the needs of the individual client, including the maintenance of clear and concise case notes as it pertains to public benefits.
  • Troubleshoot all public benefits issues that arise with clients – including, but not limited to, suspension or cancellation of benefits, reduction of benefits, semi-annual and annual welfare reporting, issues with new applications, requests for welfare documentation, lost benefits cards and other documents, helping clients report new income and/or employment to the public benefits entity, rescheduling appointments, arranging transportation to appointments, etc.
  • Travel regularly throughout the service delivery area (home visits, agency visits, service provider visits, etc.).
  • Participate in all program meetings, staff development activities, and fully engage as a member of the team.
  • Align with all policies, procedures, and protocols of the agency.

Other related duties as assigned.


Job Requirements:                                     

  • Undergraduate degree; ideally in Social Work or an equivalent field of study. Comparable related work experience may be substituted.
  • Prior experience working with public benefit systems or social security preferred.
  • Demonstrated relevant work experience (in addition to the above) in human services field, preferably in a non-profit or social services agency environment, experience should include provision of direct service to underserved communities.
  • Prior experience working with refugee, SIV or humanitarian parolee populations preferred.
  • Demonstrated success working and communicating effectively in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Proven track record of contributing both independently and as a key team member.
  • Self-starter with excellent problem-solving skills combined with the proven ability to multi-task, prioritize duties, and manage time effectively.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook) and strong keyboarding skills and internet usage and research skills.
  • Excellent communication skills, with proficiency in written and spoken English. 
  • Proficiency in one or more other languages is required. Pashto and Dari are strongly desired.
  • Valid driver’s license, reliable vehicle with current insurance, and the ability to travel regularly throughout the service delivery area.

Working Environment: 

  • A combination of standard office environment and ‘field’ time in and around the service delivery area.
  • May require occasional weekend and/or evening work.
  • Work schedule is Monday-Friday 8:30am-5pm.




COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: 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 candidates who are selected for interview to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for this position.


Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity: IRC is committed to building a diverse organization and a climate of inclusivity.  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 on the basis of 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 to request accommodation.

US Benefits: We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits.  In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days (depending on role and tenure), medical insurance starting at $145 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare, childcare, and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with up to 4.5% immediately vested matching contribution, plus a 3-7% base IRC contribution (3 year vesting), disability & life insurance, 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.

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.