PARALEGAL – BENEFITS COUNSELING PROJECT FOR PLWHA – Albany Office
Position – Paralegal for the Benefits Counseling Project for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). The Benefits Counseling Project is a pilot program designed to provide advice and education to PLWHA about the impact of employment on their eligibility for benefits such as Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, public assistance, and Medicaid.
The Benefits Counseling Project covers fifteen counties in northeastern New York, with the paralegal operating out of Legal Aid’s Albany office. The paralegal will work in collaboration with the Benefits Counseling Project attorney and under the supervision of the Advocacy Director.
Responsibilities – The paralegal will provide individualized benefits counseling to clients living with HIV/AIDS who need assistance with understanding how employment income affects their benefits. The paralegal will perform assessments regarding client needs related to benefits, employment, and support services and will inform clients as to their basic rights and responsibilities related to benefits and employment. The paralegal will refer clients to the Benefits Counseling Project Attorney or other Legal Aid programs for further assistance with legal problems, as needed. The paralegal will perform outreach and community education throughout the Project’s service area and will establish relationships with low-income community groups, especially those active in the areas of HIV/AIDS or disability services, benefits, and employment, in order to share resources and promote mutual referrals. The paralegal will maintain detailed case records regarding client services provided and referrals made; will collect, maintain, and update documentation and data, as required by the Benefits Counseling Project and Legal Aid policy; and perform detailed grant reporting. The paralegal may screen potential clients and assess eligibility for program services. Regular travel is required. This position includes other job duties as described in the Paralegal job description contained in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The paralegal is required to participate in mandatory benefits counseling training, currently scheduled to be held the week of February 1, 2022. Within one year of hire, the paralegal must successfully complete certification requirements and obtain benefits counseling certification, if not already certified.
Qualifications – Must have attention to detail, be intelligent, hard-working, careful, reliable, compassionate, have good judgment, and a demonstrated commitment to the low-income community. Must be sensitive to the needs and difficulties that low-income clients and people living with HIV/AIDS face. Must be able to communicate effectively with clients, staff, and community agencies, and work well as part of a team. Must have either a BA in the human services field (with a strong preference for additional relevant experience) OR three years or more relevant experience. Must have a car and a clean, valid driver’s license and should possess good computer skills. Ability to speak a language other than English a plus. Experience with public benefits, employment programs, and/or HIV/AIDS community services preferred.
Salary: $30,595 to $35,889, DOE. Excellent fringe benefits.
Application Deadline: December 15, 2021
Any applications that do not have a cover letter, resume and writing sample will not be considered.
To apply, please
2) Complete the Demographic Survey linked here
We are an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Women, BIPOC, LGBTQ persons, applicants and recipients of public assistance, the elderly, protected veterans, and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.