Reporting to the Supervisor, Social Assistance, is the first point of in person contact and is responsible for providing a full range of functions of the Ontario Works program to determine clients’ financial and program eligibility in an empathetic client centred manner; including conducting Verification Interviews, monitoring and conducting ongoing financial and benefits eligibility assessments/reviews and making determinations about the refusal, reduction or cancellation of assistance; responsible for benefit administration including completing applications; and works in close partnership with the Integrated Ontario Works Wraparound Caseworker and internal partners to provide an integrated, client centric approach to serving their clients.
- Provides the full range of financial and benefit assistance to clients (including walk-ins to regional offices as required) in accordance with legislative and regulatory authority, policy directives, and business practices to ensure client financial stability and to enable the client to begin to work with an Integrated Ontario Works Wraparound Caseworker.
- Determines client eligibility to enter into the Ontario Works (OW) program and receive financial assistance, intensive case management and wraparound supports by reviewing eligibility requirements.
- Makes determinations pertaining to the refusal, reduction or cancellation of assistance.
- Completes Verification Interviews, eligibility determinations and File Reviews as required.
- Assesses and determines initial and on-going eligibility for financial benefits and wraparound assistance in compliance with the appropriate Acts, regulations and policies, such as the Ontario Works Act, Disability Support Program Act, Regional and/or requirements or York Region policies, through the Verification Interview.
- Identifies cases in which there is a high likelihood of a change in a recipient’s financial eligibility on an on-going basis using a risk-based approach to reviewing Ontario Works recipients’ ongoing eligibility for financial, benefit and wraparound assistance.
- Case conferences with clients, various community agencies and internal/external partners ensuring program and financial eligibility are maintained in order for the client to receive a full range of services including service coordination.
- Participates in case conferencing with client and other service professionals on an as-needed basis.
- Adheres to the program verification standards identified in the OW policies/directives and Regional requirements.
- Confirms visual verification and/or placing a copy of the documentation on file as required ensuring that there is no duplication of documents.
- Empathically responds to inquiries and resolves concerns, and provides crisis intervention in a client centred manner.
- Meets clients in community as required.
- Performs other duties as assigned, in accordance with Branch and Department objectives.
- Prepares and conducts presentations to clients and/or on behalf of the Region.
- Successful completion of a Community College Diploma (a minimum 2 year program) in Social Service, Social Work or approved equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Minimum one year experience with direct intensive case management experience providing client focused services in a socal services environment.
- Solid knowledge and understanding of industry-related legislation and regulations applicable to Social Assistance services and programs delivering community resources, including health, counselling and employment programs and services.
- Knowledge and demonstrated ability in corporate core competencies including customer focus, communication, collaboration and personal ownership.
- Demonstrated active listening skills, empathy, and flexibility to support clients’ needs while maintaining a client centred approach within a rules based system.
- Demonstrated advocacy skills to focus on achieving client outcomes.
- Demonstrated empathy and compassion to build lasting, trusting and respectful relationships required to fully understand client needs.