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HomeFirst Services

Benefits Specialist- Veterans Services

SFLC – Santa Clara, California
Department SFLC
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Mid-level
Compensation DOE

POSITION:                                     Benefits Specialist

PROGRAM/LOCATION:                 Supportive Services for Veterans and their Families (SSVF)/

                                                        Sobrato Family Living Center, Santa Clara, CA

SUPERVISOR:                                Program Coordinator

STATUS:                                        Full-time, Non-exempt




The goal of the SSVF project is to provide housing stability to homeless and at-risk veteran households in the County of Santa Clara, California. The agency’s SSVF project will achieve this goal by providing veteran participants with comprehensive supportive services to help them maintain or attain permanent housing. Intensive, individualized case management services coupled with targeted financial assistance assist clients to avert homeless episodes and attain housing.

The Benefits Specialist will assist Veterans with information, eligibility and resources and will support veterans and their families through the benefits application process for public assistance, SSI/SSDI/SS, MediCal, Food Stamps/GA, In-Home Supportive-Services, Veterans’ benefits, pensions, and other assistance programs for which they may be eligible. The Benefits Specialist will be trained in the SOAR process of applying for SSI/SSDI for homeless individuals. This position requires an ability to work in non-traditional settings and unstructured environments, and a strong sense of self-motivation.



Direct Client Contact/Benefits Assistance (60%)

>Serve as a benefits representative, develop and present information to Veteran families to increase awareness of benefits and programs

>Conduct interviews with Veterans and their families and review background data on current medical and financial history to obtain information needed to determine eligibility and apply for various benefits resources

>Initiate SSI/SSDI claims with Veterans by filing initial documentation of representation with SSA office for SOAR cases

>Proactively gather medical records and other information to complete SSI/SSDI applications

>Coordinate visits to medical doctors, psychiatrists, and other specialists to obtain evidence for SOAR cases

>Write SOAR Medical Summary Reports for Veteran SSI/SSDI applications

>Accompany consumers to appointments at various benefits offices as needed

>Facilitate clients applying for Veterans benefits through Veteran Service Office

>Identify client barriers and provide solutions to housing, financial, medical, and social needs within framework of the SSVF and other programs

>Assist in the preparation of claims packages for Veteran families seeking disability, education, medical, and related benefits

>Proactively follow-up and intervene as necessary with submitted and existing benefits applications

>Work closely with other SSVF staff to increase clients’ self-sustainability

>Provide supportive services in the client’s home or in the community, including on a team-outreach-basis in homeless encampments

>Facilitate non-clinical groups, workshops, and client activities

>Accountable to achieving the program’s desired outcomes with the program team


Service Documentation and Evaluation (30%)

>Document, via HMIS, all Benefits Specialist activity within 3 business days and maintain all other case file paperwork and documentation

>Document SOAR outcomes in the OAT program

>Communicate regularly with other staff via email, incident reports and briefings

>Effectively utilize case conferencing and supervision to support Benefits Specialist work


General (10%)

>Attend all meetings and required trainings relevant to this position, including SOAR and benefits community planning meetings

>Assist with office-related tasks as needed

>Assist with other duties assigned




Education and Experience

>Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 1 year of relevant work experience required  (Bachelor’s degree may be substituted by a high school diploma or GED and an additional 2 years of relevant work experience)

>Prior knowledge of Veterans benefits, social security and disability benefits, social services benefits, and other community resources preferred


Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge

>US Military Veteran is desired but not required

>Leadership capability

>Strong written and oral communication skills

>Experience in developing relationships with community partners and outside agencies

>Ability to manage multiple projects concurrently and be flexible with priorities

>Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain priorities and meet established deadlines

>Exceptional organizational skills

>Proficient with Microsoft Office

>Strong sense of accountability and proactive problem-solving

>Ability to present oneself and the agency professionally to internal and external audiences

>Ability to work as a member of a team

>Ability to work with people of diverse socio-economic backgrounds

>Strong understanding of Veteran issues

>Understanding of and sensitivity to the needs of the homeless

>Preference for extensive field work over office-based work

>Enjoy providing hands-on instruction in basic living and financial skills


>Valid CA driver license and auto insurance

>Reliable personal vehicle

>Ability to lift up to 30 lbs. on occasion

>Ability to visit clients in their homes, which may require walking upstairs




HomeFirst serves more than 4,000 adults, Veterans, families, and youth each year at seven locations, including the Boccardo Reception Center, which is the county’s largest homeless services center. In more than 35 years of experience, we’ve learned that everyone has the potential to get housed and stay housed. We are relentlessly focused on eliminating barriers to housing and stability for everyone we serve.

HomeFirst is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, Veteran status, or any other status protected by law.


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    Santa Clara, California
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