Website Monterey County Department of Social Services

Department of social services

$3,505.00 – $4,788.00 Monthly

Salinas or Seaside or King City

Job Type

Monterey County Department of Social Services

Position Information 

The Eligibility Specialist classifications determine the eligibility of applicants and recipients for public assistance programs through interactive interviewing and fact gathering; maintain current knowledge of program regulations and procedures necessary for multi-program caseload administration; initiate and process casework through automated systems; identify needs and make appropriate referrals for health, social, and/or employment services; and perform related work as required.

The Eligibility Specialist I is the entry-level classification in the Eligibility Specialist series. Incumbents may have prior experience determining eligibility for loans, financial assistance, unemployment or veterans’ benefits, or publicly or privately funded health, counseling or social services programs; have completed initial classroom training provided as part of the Eligibility Specialist Trainee training program; or may have the required level of education. Incumbents will be placed in a work team and initially may receive classroom instruction prior to being assigned casework and/or tasks. Incumbents will work under close supervision while learning to independently determine public assistance eligibility, and apply knowledge and skills learned from their training in completing eligibility tasks and applying complex regulations. As incumbents gain experience and work toward the journey level in the series, they are expected to work with more independence and have the ability to complete more complex tasks and/or handle larger client caseloads. Incumbents are expected to progress to the journey-level Eligibility Specialist II upon completion of one year of satisfactory performance in the entry-level Eligibility Specialist I classification.

The eligible list established from this recruitment process may be used to fill the current and future vacancies on a regular full-time or temporary basis department-wide.

Examples of Duties 

Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
(For Eligibility Specialist I, duties are performed at the entry level.)

  • Performs interactive interviews to elicit eligibility information, obtain and/or verify financial, employment, tax and personal demographic information and determine eligibility for public assistance programs and services
  • Analyzes financial and eligibility information to determine initial or continuing eligibility for multiple aid programs
  • Explains regulations, rules and policies to clients and apprises them of their rights, responsibilities and eligibility for participation in various public assistance programs and services
  • Enters and retrieves numerical and narrative data and issues benefits from an automated computer system
  • Determines the level of benefits to which the client is entitled by making complex computations and/or computer entries and then analyzing the results
  • Reviews and interprets information provided on a variety of forms both by the client and third parties to assist with eligibility determination
  • Explains a variety of plan options, costs and individual plan features through Covered California
  • Monitors on-going eligibility by obtaining periodic updated information of eligibility factors and takes appropriate actions on changes
  • Determines need for additional services and makes referrals as needed for employment and other services to outside agencies to assist clients toward self-sufficiency and directs clients accordingly
  • Organizes and prioritizes caseload so that necessary case records and documents are processed and updated within specific time limits established by regulation and local policy
  • Troubleshoots task and/or case issues to determine appropriate resolution of problems, involving Help Desk as needed
  • Communicates both orally and in writing with clients and others related to the initial and ongoing eligibility determination while maintaining confidentiality
  • Responds to questions and complaints of clients in person, by telephone, mail and/or email communication
  • Performs related duties as assigned

Note: The level and scope of the knowledge and skills listed below are related to job duties as distinguished between the two levels in the Definition section.

Knowledge of:

  • General goals and purpose of public social services programs
  • Laws, rules, regulations, policies and procedures governing eligibility for diverse public assistance programs and related case administrative techniques
  • Methods and techniques of conducting an investigative interview and information gathering
  • Computer terminology and computer keyboard arrangement
  • Modern office practices, methods and procedures
  • Principles of mathematical calculations
  • Regulations and rules regarding household filing status related to the Affordable Care Act
  • Principles and practices of effective customer service
  • Structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar
  • Computers and software programs (e.g., Microsoft software applications) to conduct research, assess information and/or prepare documentation

Ability to:

  • Apply the policies, procedures and programs of the County Social Services Department
  • Apply the laws, rules and regulations governing eligibility and grant determination for multiple public assistance programs and the case administration of these programs
  • Identify available resources and communicate with others to obtain and verify information concerning eligibility
  • Use fact finding techniques and perform in-depth and interactive interviewing
  • Determine appropriate course of action in emergency situations
  • Analyze and interpret written, numerical and verbal data from various sources
  • Utilize multiple electronic information, social services systems and analyze and interpret such information
  • Enter and maintain data accurately and timely into a computerized system
  • Navigate through computer screens and effectively use computer systems, software applications and modern business equipment to perform a variety of work tasks
  • Identify when computer output is incorrect and make corrections
  • Process cases manually as required
  • Plan and organize caseload to ensure work is completed in accordance with regulations relating to eligibility and timeliness
  • Function effectively in a system with strict deadlines and constant changes
  • Read, understand, apply and explain complicated and detailed correspondence, reports, regulations and policy directives
  • Perform a variety of mathematical computations accurately and rapidly
  • Prepare clear, concise and accurate records and reports
  • Explain complex rules and programs so they can be understood by people of diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds
  • Gather, record and correctly evaluate tax filing data, income and additional necessary information required for the determination of eligibility for one or more programs
  • Explain health insurance plan options and plan details available to clients through the Affordable Care Act
  • Interact with people in a courteous manner in person, on the telephone, by mail or email
  • Work in a fast-paced, professional office environment and prioritize a wide range of duties with varying time requirements to ensure timely completion
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing, using appropriate English grammar and syntax
  • Follow written and oral directions and instructions

Minimum Qualifications 

Pattern 1: 

One (1) year full-time experience in an Eligibility Specialist Trainee classification in an Interagency Merit System (IMS) county;


Pattern 2: 

One (1) year of full-time experience determining eligibility for health programs, loans, financial assistance, unemployment, or other benefits and two (2) years of clerical work involving public contact;


Pattern 3:

Two (2) years of full-time experience determining eligibility for health programs, loans, financial assistance, unemployment, or other benefits;


Pattern 4: 

Four (4) years of full-time clerical work involving public contact, interviewing, math computations, completion of forms or eliciting information from the public;


Pattern 5: 

Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university.Qualifying experience or education may be combined in order to meet the above requirements.  When combining education and experience, fifteen (15) semester units or twenty-two and a half (22.5) quarter units equal six months of experience.

Supplemental Information 

  • Employees who drive on County business to carry out job-related duties must possess a valid CA Driver License for the class vehicle driven.
  • The Department of Social Services will conduct a thorough background and reference check process which includes a Department of Justice fingerprint check.
  • Monterey County, like all employers, is required to verify an employee’s right to work in the United States.  Accordingly, on the first day of employment, employees must have and show those documents that verify their legal right to work in the United States.  Examples of accepted documentation are a U.S. Passport or Alien Registration Card, or driver’s license and Social Security Card; or driver’s license, and U.S. Birth Certificate.
  • Additionally, our agency requires a valid social security card in order to process employee paychecks.  Accordingly, on the first day of employment, employees must have and show this document.
  • Government agencies accessing US government information, which include federal tax information must ensure that background investigation requirements for all agency employees and contractors that have access to federal tax information are consistent with the IRS background investigation requirements for access to federal tax information. A background check may be required if the position requires access to these types of records. Background requirements consist of three components which include, fingerprinting, citizenship verification, and local law enforcement checks. Applicable agencies must conduct an investigation during the time of hire and ensure a reinvestigation is conducted 5 years from the date of the previous background investigation for each employee that has access to federal tax information.

Monterey County offers an excellent benefits package.  For additional information, please visit the “K” Unit Benefits Summary Sheet here:

This information is not legally binding, nor does it serve as a contract.  The benefits listed in the Monterey County Personnel Policies and Practices Resolution, or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) prevail over this listing.

On July 30, 2021, the County of Monterey Board of Supervisors took action to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all employees to include new hires. The vaccination requirement is in accordance with Section 25 of the County of Monterey Emergency Response Manual and COVID-19 Prevention Program Link. Applicants who accept employment with the County of Monterey, will be required to be fully vaccinated. However, individuals may request medical or religious exemptions and will be required to complete the appropriate request and certification forms for review and approval no later than their start date. Medical /Religion.

If you would like to request Veteran’s preference points as part of the application packet, please attach a copy of your DD-214 form to your application.

If supplemental questions are included as a part of this job bulletin, applicants may be rated based upon their responses to the supplemental questions. If rated, only those that are determined to be highly qualified will be invited to participate in the next step of the selection process.

Special testing arrangements may be made to accommodate applicants for disability, military, or religious reasons. If you require such arrangements, please contact CalHR at or 916-323-2785 upon notification that your application has been approved. Documentation from medical, military, school or church officials outlining the accommodation request must be received by our office a minimum of five business days prior to a scheduled examination.

Located on California’s picturesque Pacific Coast, the County of Monterey is blessed with mild weather year-round and is home to miles of beautiful beaches, spectacular mountain ranges, groves of redwoods, low-rolling foothills, and a bountiful valley. With a population exceeding 400,000, the County is proud of its vibrant citizenry, great traditions, educational opportunities, and multicultural lifestyles. Boasting such world-renowned attractions as the spectacular Big Sur Coast, 17-Mile Drive, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, the Steinbeck Center, the Monterey Jazz and Blues Festivals, and Pebble Beach – possibly the world’s most famous golf course, it’s easy to see why an estimated 4.3 million visitors a year make Monterey County their destination of choice.

In addition to a thriving tourist trade, Monterey County’s economy is largely based on a vigorous agricultural industry. Known as the ‘salad bowl of the nation’ the Salinas Valley provides fresh vegetables and salad greens to the entire country. California’s 16th largest county also provides many educational opportunities for its residents including California State University at Monterey Bay, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, the Defense Language Institute (DLI), Presidio of Monterey, and the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). All these factors combine to make Monterey County a healthy, economically diverse region eager to foster and sustain an enriching lifestyle for its residents.

Monterey County Department of Social Services is seeking enthusiastic applicants, who genuinely care about the community and its members, to join its team. Monterey County Department of Social Services administers over seventy programs that daily serve an estimated 200,000 residents of Monterey County.  Department programs include Community Benefits (Public Assistance Eligibility), Family and Children’s Services (Child Welfare Services), Aging and Adult Services (Adult Protective Services, IHSS, and Area Agency on Aging), CalWORKs Employment Services, Military and Veteran’s Affairs, and Community Action Partnership.   Careers with the Department of Social Services offer the opportunity to promote the social and economic self-reliance of individuals and families served by providing essential resources and services to low-income families, veterans, vulnerable children and adults, and disabled individuals. Monterey County Department of Social Services welcomes, values and encourages diverse voices, opinions, perspectives and backgrounds to foster an environment where all viewpoints are appreciated. The Department currently has a team of approximately 874 dedicated members serving Monterey County residents.

Monterey County is an Equal Opportunity Employer – Minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.


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