Overview: The Elder Benefit Specialist (EBS), under the supervision of the SHIP Coordinator as well as the legal assistance provider who has primary responsibility for substantive case supervision, will assist Milwaukee County residents, adults age 60 and older, in understanding, accessing, and utilizing Medicare and Medicare related Medicaid. The EBS will conduct outreach and community education, assist eligible residents in Medicare related enrollment, provide legal representation in Medicare appeals and coordinate a Medicare Counselor volunteer program.
Conduct Medicare information sessions in collaboration with the SHIP MKE collaborative and provide accurate and timely information about Medicare related benefits and how to apply for these benefits.
Provide individual counseling to residents of Milwaukee County and timely and accurate information about public healthcare and prescription drug benefits including Medicare, SeniorCare, Low Income Subsidy (LIS) or Extra Help, Medicaid, and Medicare Savings Program as well as rights, complaints, grievance and appeal processes.
Assist Milwaukee County residents to locate and gather financial & non-financial information needed to apply for Medicare, Medicare-related Medicaid, SeniorCare and related public and private prescription drug benefit plans and assist in the application process. Research benefit information and provide follow-up to ensure that all information is processed correctly.
Coordinate, train, and support volunteer Medicare counselors who provide benefit enrollment counseling and assistance to Milwaukee County residents, particularly in low-income and underserved communities.
Provide information and technical assistance to clients about rights, complaints, grievances and appeals. Provide legal representation at administrative hearings or other grievance processes, as appropriate and under the guidance of a supervising attorney, for Medicare eligible clients.
Provide information and referral to other healthcare related services and resources for older adults and legal representation in appeals as appropriate.
Maintain an up-to-date working knowledge of other benefit programs available to older adults residing in Milwaukee County and how these benefits may intersect with Medicare, including: income maintenance, FoodShare, Medicaid and Medicaid related programs, mental health, long term support services, Social Security and related programs, SSI, SeniorCare, veteran’s benefits as well as other federal benefits such as Railroad Retirement and long term care insurance.
Document all contacts in required State and federal STARS databases. Document 100% time reporting and encounter reporting. Maintain confidential case files, obtain representation, consent, and client grievance documentation and conduct regularly scheduled file and case reviews.
Attend regular meetings with Milwaukee County Division on Aging (MCDA) supervisor and supervising attorney from Legal Action of Wisconsin (LAW) to discuss EBS case issues.
Attend MCDA training and meetings, including monthly MKE SHIP meetings. Attend State sponsored EBS training and LAW sponsored training related to Medicare and Medicaid.
Complete Medicare counseling training through the SHIP technical assistance portal and at least one Medicare update or specialized continuing education training related to Medicare.
Adhere to client confidentiality and privacy policies of the Milwaukee County Department on Aging well as the Wisconsin Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys.
Current resident of the State of Wisconsin
Valid Wisconsin driver’s license and access to an insured vehicle, both maintained throughout employment
Willing and able to travel at least 25% of work time into client’s homes as necessary
A Bachelor’s degree, preferably in a Human Services or a closely related field, a license to practice as a registered nurse in Wisconsin, OR a professional law degree (preferred)
At least one year of recent full-time experience in a health or human services field, working with one or more of the client populations served by the Aging or Disability Resource Centers (elderly or adults with disabilities). Qualified work experience may be paid or unpaid and may include internships, field placements and volunteer work. All experience must be validated on resume or application at time of submission
At least an intermediate experience with all related computer and software (MS Office) applications
At least an intermediate understanding of case management systems, client file management, legal research, and online legal database systems (e.g. Westlaw/Lexis)
A law degree, paralegal certificate, or State Bar of Wisconsin Certified Paralegal
Prior experience working as an attorney, benefit specialist, or as a paralegal
Knowledge of or experience with public benefits, particularly Medicare or Medicaid
Bi-lingual in English/Spanish or English/Hmong
Public speaking experience
Certification as a Medicare Counselor will be required once this is approved by the State of Wisconsin
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Demonstrated ability to treat all clients with respect and dignity; ability to communicate detailed/complex legal information to clients, gather, analyze, and evaluate information for clients, deliver informational presentations in public group settings, research, analyze and resolve legal problems and train, mentor, and support volunteers. Ability to attend and successfully complete initial and ongoing trainings as required, navigate the Internet, and enter data accurately. Past or current experience respectfully interacting with and advocating for older adults; excellent written and oral communication skills. Demonstrated ability to read, interpret, and apply regulations governing eligibility for benefits, and work with supervising attorney for clarification.