Work Incentives Benefits Specialist

    • Job Tracking ID: 512507-787836
    • Job Location: Milwaukee, WI
    • Job Level: Mid Career (2+ years)
    • Level of Education: BA/BS
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: November 05, 2021
    • Years of Experience: 2 - 5 Years
    • Starting Date: ASAP
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Job Description:


Independence First is looking for awesome people to join our team!

You are just the person to join our growing team if you are...

* Looking for an Excellent Benefits Package

* Passionate About Helping Others

* Prefer Bilingual in English, Spanish, Hmong or Arabic (Not required)

Benefits include:

* 12 sick days, 13 vacation days and an additional 11 paid holidays a year

* Employer paid Dental, Life Insurance (twice annual salary), AD&D, Short and Long Term Disability

* Health Insurance Benefits (partially employer paid, depending on coverage)

* Low-cost Vision Insurance

* Employer-matched 403(b) Retirement Account

* Fitness Center On-site

* Annual Health Risk Assessment

* Annual Flu Shot

* Comprehensive Wellness Program

* Tuition Reimbursement Program

Position: Work Incentives Benefits Specialist

Status: Full Time - Salaried

Reports to: Independent Living Services Program Director

Position Summary: Provide work incentives benefits planning and career counseling supports to people with disabilities. Focus on assisting individuals with disabilities to understand the effect that income will have on their benefits and services as they prepare for employment and pursue goals to reduce their reliance on public programs such as Social Security.

Position Expected Hours of Work: Staff are expected to be in the office during regular business hours. This is a salaried position; as such, a minimum of 40 or more hours weekly may be required to complete job duties.

Work Incentives Benefits Specialist Essential Functions:

  1. Analyze the benefits, entitlement, subsidies, and services of individuals to determine the impact that work will have on eligibility for programs and changes in payment levels.
  2. Provide individuals with an in-depth written assessment of their situation and provide guidance with making informed choices about working.
  3. Develop a work incentives plan to assist individuals with achieving their employment goal.
  4. Provide benefit related information and referral services.
  5. Provide individuals with support in dealing with benefits issues as they arise.
  6. Advocate on behalf of individuals regarding benefit issues with other agencies and programs.
  7. Develop and maintain appropriate collaborative relationships with federal, state, and local agencies/organizations.
  8. Conduct presentations and trainings on the Social Security work incentives and other return to work issues for people with disabilities.
  9. Complete required documentation in databases as required by program contracts.
  10. Attend all staff meetings and trainings as required.

Disability Policy Change Essential Functions:

  1. Participate in individual and systems advocacy activities by voicing opinion at public hearings and educating public officials through letter writing or other appropriate means on issues relating to independent living.
  2. Actively participant in a Consumer Advocacy Team.
  3. Present testimony on disability issues by writing, email, and fax, in person testimony to legislative bodies on the local, state and federal levels. This includes contacting congresspersons, senators and giving opinions on pending legislation.
  4. Assist consumers with their advocacy needs.

Work Environment

  1. Work environment is generally performed in an office setting with minimal to moderate noise level.
  2. The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


The above statements reflect the general details necessary to describe the principle functions of the occupation described and shall not be construed as a detailed description of all the work requirements that may be inherent in the occupation.

As an Independent Living Center, it is required that 51% of Independence First’s staff have a disability. Independence First is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages people with disabilities to apply for this position.

Experience and Skills:

  1. Professional Qualifications:
  1. Must have a firm belief in consumer control, the independent living philosophy and our agency Vision Statement:

Independence First is for full inclusion of persons with disabilities in every aspect of our community and Independence First commits itself toward this end.

'Empowerment is part psychological, part social, and part political. It is the process by which individuals define their own problems, find their own voice, develop their own plans, act on their own behalf, and claim their own power.'

'Empowerment means more than having responsibility, but also having the authority and ability to make one's own choices.'

  1. Bachelor degree in related field preferred, or other related life experiences.
  2. Demonstrated positive attitude, reliability, a self-starter who assumes responsibility when warranted, is conscientious, professional in manner and hard working.
  1. Excellent oral and written communication skills required.
  2. Knowledge of the service system, benefits and entitlements and supports utilized by people with disabilities required.
  3. Proven ability to work independently with minimal supervision required.
  4. Excellent oral and written communication skills required.
  5. Transportationally mobile or able to arrange frequent travel throughout southeastern Wisconsin and infrequent statewide transportation.
  6. Ability to interpret laws and regulations required.
  7. Experience giving public speaking presentations preferred.
  8. Ability to translate technical information into plain language required.
  9. Knowledge of disability rights legislation preferred.
  10. Knowledge of and ability to use computer required.
  11. Must obtain and maintain national Work Incentives Benefits Specialists certification.