Careers in Eligibility
Make a Positive Impact on our Community
Eligibility Specialists make a positive impact on our community every day. In 2021, Eligibility Specialists:
- Granted more than $39,900,000 in CalFresh benefits to help over 22,000 people in our community supplement their grocery budgets.
- Established Medi-Cal coverage for more than 4,800 community members so they can get the medical services they need
- Assisted more than 1,300 families with CalWORKs benefits to help them cover basic needs and provide opportunities for enhancing their job skills.
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors recently approved bonuses for the Eligibility Specialist series. New hires will receive $500 upon hire and an additional $1,000 once they have completed their probation. The Board also approved Equity Raises of 11 to 12% depending on the position. Visit the Compensation tab for new salary ranges.
About the job
Pay rates, step raises
The County of Humboldt uses an established compensation schedule to determine initial pay rates and structured step increase amounts. The compensation schedule standardizes the determination of pay rates and makes the timing and amount of pay raises predictable.
Below are the compensation schedules for the first three levels of the Eligibility Specialist series.
A new employee starts work as an Eligibility Specialist Trainee at step 1A or $18.08 per hour.
After successful completion of a 6-month probation period, the payrate will advance to step A, currently $19.01 per hour.
Once the employee has successfully completed one year of employment as an Eligibility Specialist Trainee, they promote to an Eligibility Specialist I. The promotion will include an increase in pay of 5%, which will be Step 1A, currently $19.98 per hour.
After successful completion of a six-month probationary period as Eligibility Specialist I, the employee will advance to Step A, currently $21.00 per hour.
Once the employee has successfully completed one year of employment as an Eligibility Specialist I, they will promote to an Eligibility Specialist II. The promotion will include an increase in pay of 5%, which will be Step 1A, currently $22.08 per hour.
After successful completion of a six-month probationary period, the employee will advance to step A, currently $23.21 per hour.
Thereafter, the employee will advance one step each year as ES II until reaching the maximum at Step E, currently $28.33.
What do Eligibility Specialists do?
Eligibility Specialists help people live better lives by assisting them throughout the application process for Medi-Cal, CalFresh and CalWORKs benefits. Interviewing customers, processing casework in automated systems and determining eligibility for programs are the primary duties of the job.
Customer interviews may be conducted over the phone or onsite at a Social Services office. Typically, Eligibility Specialists review the rights and responsibilities of the applicant with them, and ask a series of questions about their income, resources and living situation. During the interview, the Eligibility Specialist will enter information into the CalSAWs automated system. Once the interview is completed, the Eligibility Specialist requests specific documentation from the customer needed to complete the application process.
After the customer has provided any necessary documentation, Eligibility Specialists process the casework and make a determination as to whether the customer is eligible for the program, and if so, the benefit amount they should receive. To do so, the Eligibility Specialist relies on their knowledge of the program’s rules, regulations and policies and determines how they apply to the customer’s case.
In addition to the primary duties listed above, Eligibility Specialists also provide a variety of customer services, work on special projects, support teammates and peers, attend trainings, serve on committees and may participate in various professional and extra-curricular activities.
Eligibility Specialist Trainee/I/II job qualifications
The Eligibility Specialist classification has multiple levels that are based on work experience and education. Below is a brief description of each level of the classification with a link to the full and detailed job specification.
Eligibility Specialist Trainee
Eligibility Specialist Trainee (EST) is the introductory level of the position for applicants with minimum experience in the field. ESTs receive training in a classroom setting to build their knowledge and understanding of the public assistance programs they will be working in. After graduating from the induction class, an EST is assigned to their teams and continues to receive on-the-job training under close supervision.
Two years of full-time clerical experience involving public contact, interviewing, math computations, completion of forms or eliciting information from the public;
One year of full-time experience determining eligibility for loans, financial assistance, unemployment or veterans’ benefits, or publicly or privately funded health, counseling or social services programs;
Completion of 60 semester or 90 quarter college units.
Learn more about the Eligibility Specialist Trainee position at governmentjobs.org
Eligibility Specialist I
The Eligibility Specialist I (ES I) is the entry-level of the Eligibility Specialist series for applicants with prior experience in similar or related work or with the required level of education. Incumbents are placed in a work team and receive classroom instruction prior to being assigned casework and/or tasks. The ES I works under close supervision while learning to independently determine public assistance eligibility.
Incumbents are expected to progress to Eligibility Specialist II upon completion of one year of satisfactory performance in the entry-level Eligibility Specialist I classification.
One-year full-time experience in an Eligibility Specialist Trainee classification in an Interagency Merit System (IMS) county;
One-year of full-time experience determining eligibility for health programs, loans, financial assistance, unemployment, or other benefits and two years of clerical work involving public contact;
Two years of full-time experience determining eligibility for health programs, loans, financial assistance, unemployment or other benefits;
Four years of full-time clerical work involving public contact, interviewing, math computations, completion of forms or eliciting information from the public;
Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university.
Learn more about the Eligibility Specialist I position at governmentjobs.org
Eligibility Specialist II
The Eligibility Specialist II is the journey-level classification in the Eligibility Specialist series. Incumbents demonstrate working knowledge of eligibility regulations, procedures and eligibility software systems. Eligibility Specialist II incumbents handle more complex tasks and/or caseloads independently with consultation as needed with supervisors. Positions in this class are flexibly staffed and are normally filled by advancement from the lower level or if filled from the outside, require prior experience as an Eligibility Specialist, Eligibility Worker or comparable position.
One-year full-time experience in an Eligibility Specialist I classification in an Interagency Merit System (IMS) County;
Two years of full-time experience determining eligibility for public assistance programs in a public human services agency.
Learn more about the Eligibility Specialist II position at governmentjobs.org
DHHS work culture
DHHS is committed to providing a safe and fun work environment for all employees. Placing an emphasis on mutual respect and support, DHHS employees are provided with the tools and resources needed to succeed in their jobs while offered numerous opportunities for personal growth and development. DHHS is dedicated to empowering employees and giving them a voice in the work they do by fostering a fair and equitable workplace that encourages individualism and self-expression.
The DHHS vision statement “People helping people live better lives” applies to DHHS employees as well as the community. By supporting each other and working together to resolve problems and improve work conditions, DHHS staff are proactive in building team morale and are integral to maintaining a positive work environment by celebrating personal and team achievements and demonstrating appreciation for all staff and the work they do.
Request a tour of Social Services
Interested in exploring the Social Services main campus and other Social Services work sites? We offer tours of our work sites to the public. If you are interested in attending a tour, send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Social Services Community Liaison and Outreach Analyst will contact you to schedule a tour as soon as possible.
Information for job applicants
The application process
Applications for Eligibility Specialist are accepted and processed by CalHR, a Merit System Services agency.
To apply, you must submit a CPS-HR online application. Resume’s will not be accepted in lieu of a completed application. A link to the application is provided at the bottom of this page. Please be sure to follow any instructions provided.
When completing the application form, be sure to list all of your educational and relevant work experience. It is important to clearly identify all work experience that helps you meet the minimum qualifications of the job.
Once you have completed and submitted the application and the screening process is finished, you will be notified by email if you meet minimum qualifications or not.
If you meet minimum qualifications, you will receive an email inviting you to a written exam. Those candidates passing the written exam will move forward in the process and may receive an email inviting them to schedule an interview.
The job interview
The job interview will typically be held in person at one of the Social Services sites in Eureka. Please let us know of any special accommodations you may need when scheduling your interview.
The interview will consist of a friendly three-person panel who will ask you a series of questions relevant to your qualifications for the job. You will usually have about 45 minutes to answer 10 questions and complete a basic computer competency test.
Candidates who are selected to move forward will receive a phone call outlining the next steps.
The hiring process
The hiring process for DHHS follows a series of steps that are required when employed by the county. Due to the number of steps and time needed to complete each, the hiring process may take a few months.
The DHHS hiring process has the following steps:
1. Complete and submit the online application
2. Applications are screened for minimum qualifications
3. Applicants who pass the initial screening are invited to be interviewed
4. Interviews are completed and references checked
5. Candidates chosen to move forward to the next phase are contacted and instructed on next steps
6. Candidate is moved into the clearance phase which includes background screening and pre-employment paperwork
7. Once all clearances are received, a start date is established
8. First day of training in the Eligibility Specialist Induction Class.
The hiring process
The hiring process for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) follows a series of steps that are required when employed by the County. Due to the number of steps and time needed to complete each, the hiring process may take a few months.
The DHHS hiring process has the following steps:
- Complete and submit the online application.
- Applications are screened for minimum qualifications.
- Those applicants who pass the initial screening are invited to an interview.
- The interviews are completed and references are checked.
- Candidates chosen to move forward to the next phase are contacted and instructed on next steps.
- Candidate is moved in to clearance phase which includes background screening and pre-employment paperwork.
- Once all clearances are received, a start date is established.
- First day of training in the Eligibility Specialist Induction Class.
Eligibility Specialist Induction Class
Newly hired Eligibility Specialists start their careers in an induction class for on-the-job training. This class will build a foundation of knowledge about the programs, systems and processes that Eligibility Specialist must have to be successful in their jobs.
After successfully completing the Induction Class, new Eligibility Specialists are assigned to their workplace teams to begin serving customers. The training and support, however, does not end there and continues throughout their careers.
Eligibility staff are provided additional training whenever there are significant changes to programs or business processes. Additionally, free trainings are offered by U.C. Davis and other community partners throughout the year on topics that are socially and culturally relevant and encourage personal growth and development. Examples include:
- Racial Equity
- Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression
- Emotional Intelligence
- Cross Cultural Awareness
- Humor in the Workplace
- Professional Ethics
- Succession Training.
Employee Assistance Program
Free confidential counseling by phone is available to employees in crisis. Up to three times per year, employees can access counseling services to help them get through tough times. Services include:
- Stress Management
- Legal and Financial Consultation
- Parenting a Child with Special Needs
- Dealing with Addiction and Recovery
- Setting Retirement Goals
- Work-life Balance.
Build a career helping people
Becoming an Eligibility Specialist can take you places. As an Eligibility Specialist for DHHS, you will gain experience and develop skills that will help make you a more competitive candidate for journeyman level jobs such as:
- Integrated Case Worker I/II: Pays up to $26.16 per hour. Performs advanced eligibility work and provides basic employment services to help people to self-sufficiency.
- Community Health Outreach Worker I/II: Pays up to $26.42 per hour. Provides outreach and support services for at-risk clients, their caregivers and their families.
- Eligibility Specialist III: Pays up to $27.09 per hour. Performs advanced eligibility work and helps lead a team of eligibility staff.
- Eligibility Supervisor: Pays up to $31.93 per hour. Leads and supervises a team of eligibility staff.
- Staff Services Analyst I/II: Pays up to $33.90 per hour. Provides technical support to managers, supervisors and line staff.
The skills and experience you gain working in a journeyman level job can lead to more opportunities to take your career even further. In fact, many of the managers and administrators working for DHHS today started their careers as Eligibility Specialists. You can do the same!