SSI Advocate
Description


Position Summary:

Under the supervision of the Senior Attorney and Lead Attorneys, represent clients applying for Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. About the Organization Legal Aid Society of San Diego (LASSD), the largest poverty law firm serving San Diego County since 1953, strengthens our communities by redressing our clients’ legal problems, empowering our clients to access and effectively participate within the legal, governmental and social systems and encouraging self-empowerment in the fight against poverty and injustice. LASSD continues to be a proud, committed and compassionate group of people dedicated to providing equal access to justice for San Diegans through aggressive, quality legal services. #justicebeginshere 


Essential Functions:

•Conducts initial and follow-up interviews of applicants and clients in the office, on the phone and at outreachlocations out of the office.

•Prepares forms and gathers documentation for submission to the Social Security Administration.

•Requests and evaluates medical evidence.

•Does basic and routine factual investigation and legal research.

•Prepares memorandums, letters, and standard legal documents.

•Develops and maintains good working relationships with a variety of healthcare providers and government andsocial service agencies.

•Represents clients at administrative hearings.

•Assists with community outreach and education.

•Upon request of Senior or Lead Attorney, perform additional duties consistent with abilities and need for services.

•Compliance with all program and grant requirements.

Requirements


Qualifications:

•B.A. degree, or A.A. degree and paralegal certificate from a recognized paralegal training program, or demonstrated equivalent experience which shows strong writing, verbal, reading analytical, and research skills.

•Ability to gather and complete information from clients in a telephone interview or in person interview.

•Ability to respond to clients in a calm, empathetic and professional manner while courteously directing the conversation to the pertinent issues.

•Demonstrated written and verbal communication skills

•Ability to work independently as well as support team efforts, and to strategize and plan so as to timely and consistently meet grant deliverables and reporting requirements

•Must have reliable transportation 

•Strong oral and written communication skills.

•Strong organizational skills to handle individual caseload.


Desired Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

•Fluency in written and spoken Spanish preferred

•Experience as an advocate, including intake, interviews and research related to legal issues or experience in a related field.

• Experience in client customer service including intake, interviews and research related to legal issues, or experience in the field and understanding of related systems, laws and regulations.

• Demonstrated commitment to serving low-income people.

• Ability to work successfully with people from diverse backgrounds. 


Salary and Benefits:

The SSI Advocate position is a salaried position with an annual salary of $41,000 per year. LASSD offers a generous benefits package, a 35-hour workweek, paid vacation leave and sick leave and 100% employer-paid medical premium, 50% employer-paid premium for dependents under LASSD health plan, as well as, dental, vision and life benefits. Staff also have the option to participate in a 403(b) retirement plan and dependent and health flex savings accounts (FSA). In addition, there is a bilingual pay increase of 2% for passing an oral test and 2% for passing a written test for threshold languages other than English.


LASSD is an equal opportunity employer, we hire without regard to race, color, religion, religious creed (including religious dress and grooming practices), national origin, ancestry, citizenship, physical or mental disability, medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), genetic information, marital status, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (40 years and over), sexual orientation, veteran and/or military status, domestic violence victim status, political affiliation, and any other status protected by state or federal law.


Hybrid Work Environment:

Legal Aid Society of San Diego (“LASSD”) has adopted a hybrid work environment in which most staff are required to work in the office part of the week and permitted to work remotely for the remainder of the week, provided their job duties allow. All employees are issued LASSD computers and provided appropriate supplies to perform their work. LASSD has implemented and continues to explore additional technologies to make our hybrid working environment as efficient and connected as possible. All employees must be available to travel to LASSD offices and service locations throughout San Diego County as needed and in compliance with public health advisories. Applicants must reside in or near San Diego County or plan to relocate in or near the County prior to their start date and must be able to commute to the physical Legal Aid Society of San Diego office locations or service delivery locations within San Diego County. LASSD’s normal business hours are 9am-5pm, but we are open to providing flexible work schedules to the extent feasible for the position. LASSD reserves the right to change these policies at any time.


Mandatory Vaccination Policy: 

LASSD has implemented a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. We will consider individual requests for exemption from the policy for: (1) medical reasons, and/or (2) based on an applicant or employee’s sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. Any applicant or employee requesting an exemption should submit a completed exemption request form to Human Resources. Upon receipt of a completed exemption request form and any supporting documentation, LASSD will engage in an interactive discussion with the applicant or employee to determine whether an exemption is appropriate and can be granted without posing an undue hardship to LASSD or a direct threat to the health or safety of the individual making the request or others at LASSD. Any individual granted an exemption from the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirement may be subject to conditions and restrictions (such as being required to use additional personal protective equipment or submit to LASSD-provided COVID-19 testing) to mitigate the risk to the individual and others at LASSD.


Diversity and Inclusion: 

It is vitally important to LASSD that we represent the community that we serve. LASSD is a signatory to the San Diego County Bar Association’s Diversity Pledge. We pledge to promote diversity and inclusion through hiring and retention, promotion and leadership, engagement of outside counsel, and participation in legal community diversity initiatives. We strongly encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds to apply.