CLASSIFICATION NO. 230
VETERANS SERVICES OFFICER
Under direction, to counsel and assist veterans and their dependents for the purpose of determining eligibility for benefits under federal or state laws or regulations; to provide technical assistance and advocacy for clients through the formal benefit claims and appeal processes; to foster effective working relationships with other agencies; and to do other work as required.
The Veterans Service Office within the Social Services Division of the Health, Housing & Human Services Department provides counseling and assistance to veterans with their federal and state veteran's benefits as well as entitlements for the veteran, their dependents and survivors.
The Veterans Services Officer counsels and assists veterans and their dependents in determining eligibility for benefits and obtaining veterans benefits. Incumbents manage a caseload on behalf of veterans pursuing active claims, and advocates for clients through the appeal process, as well as act as a liaison with other agencies for the purpose of reference and referral.
The Veterans Services Officer differs from the Human Services Coordinator that coordinates community service programs and projects that provide services to youth and the elderly, corrections clients, and to individuals with social, economic, mental and/or physical disadvantages. It also differs from the Case Manager that provides assistance to clients who are economically disadvantaged, developmentally disabled, mentally and emotionally disturbed, alcohol and/or drug abusing, physically disabled and/or elderly.
Duties may include but are not limited to the following:
- Interviews veterans and their dependents to counsel and advise on entitled rights and eligibility requirements for benefits under federal and state laws; interprets and explains relevant legislation; determines eligibility for monetary and non-monetary benefits.
- Assists clients in obtaining veterans benefits by initiating and preparing claims and obtaining supporting documentation; reviews claims for completeness and accuracy; submits claims.
- Provides technical assistance and advocates for clients through the benefit application process; monitors status of application; keeps client informed of status of claim as appropriate.
- Researches, analyzes, and investigates denied benefit claims, collects and develops evidence, and prepares and submits documentation in support of the formal appeals process; may prepare case and present evidence before hearings officers.
- Acts as a liaison with other agencies for the purpose of reference and referral to help resolve client disputes or problems; identifies potential issues and refers client to appropriate provider; visits service providers or community agencies to educate on agency services or veterans benefits; advises clients of available community resources.
- Participates in professional development activities such as veteran's benefits related trainings and conferences; maintains current knowledge of benefits and related legislation regarding veterans and their dependents.
- Represents the department with other agencies and at veterans related public events within the community; researches information to promote the department and its services.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
Thorough knowledge of: Federal and state veterans related legislation, regulations, and policies; claims administration, legal and medical documentation, and processes necessary to substantiate benefit claims; principles and practices of social service delivery theory to identify needs, decide appropriate needs, and determine appropriate action; a wide range of community resources for veterans or dependents.
Working knowledge of: Issues related to veterans; basic math, English grammar and composition; record keeping procedures and basic statistical methods; cultural diversity issues; medical terminology and physical and mental health issues in order to facilitate the claims process; and principles and techniques of public relations and interpersonal communication.
Skill to: Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; interpret and apply various laws and regulations related to veterans benefits; research and analyze factual information and apply appropriate laws or regulations; determine appropriate course of action; develop cohesive documentation for applications and appeals; effectively interview individuals to obtain relevant personal information; establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients, veterans services agencies, and community contacts; operate computer hardware, software, and other office equipment; perform simple mathematical calculations.
Within two years, successful completion of Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs County Veteran Service Officers certification program.
Must successfully pass a criminal history check which may include national or state fingerprint records check.
Must pass a pre-employment drug test.
Driving is required for County business on a regular basis or to accomplish work. Incumbents must possess a valid driver's license, and possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.
MINIMUM RECRUITING STANDARDS
Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.