Government Programs Eligibility Interviewers

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Also known as:
Medicare Interviewer, Public Housing Interviewer, Social Security Benefits Interviewer, Unemployment Benefits Claims Taker, Welfare Interviewer

ABOUT GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS ELIGIBILITY INTERVIEWER CAREERS
Video transcript

One of the great things about America is that it offers help to its residents in need. There are many government assistance programs and agencies that provide benefits - for example, welfare, social security, public housing and employment and training. Determining who is qualified to receive this assistance is the job of eligibility interviewers.

An interviewer usually works in an office. There, he or she meets with an applicant. By asking questions, examining records and other paperwork the applicant provides, the interviewer assesses whether the applicant is eligible for government benefits.

Sometimes the interviewer will make a field visit to observe firsthand the applicant's situation. These interviewers may also be involved in the detection of fraud committed by persons not eligible to obtain these benefits.

This is a job that requires good communication skills. Speaking a second language, such as Spanish, is an asset. Patience and compassion help to put people at ease. You also need the moral strength to make the difficult decision to deny benefits to those you find are not eligible.

This occupation is sensitive to the overall economic activity, declining during good times, and increasing when the economy slows down. This is truly a career in public service. You have the opportunity to help those who are often in desperate need.

SNAPSHOT
Determine eligibility of persons applying to receive assistance from government programs and agency resources, such as welfare, unemployment benefits, social security, and public housing.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Interview benefits recipients at specified intervals to certify their eligibility for continuing benefits.

Keep records of assigned cases, and prepare required reports.

Interview and investigate applicants for public assistance to gather information pertinent to their applications.

Initiate procedures to grant, modify, deny, or terminate assistance, or refer applicants to other agencies for assistance.

Compile, record, and evaluate personal and financial data to verify completeness and accuracy, and to determine eligibility status.

Check with employers or other references to verify answers and obtain further information.

Interpret and explain information such as eligibility requirements, application details, payment methods, and applicants' legal rights.

Answer applicants' questions about benefits and claim procedures.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
TOP SKILLS
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.