POSITION TITLE: SSI ADVOCATE

Company Description: NAMI San Diego (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is a nonprofit organization that provides free education, support services, and advocacy to improve the quality of life of everyone affected by mental illnesses.

Primary Responsibilities/Function: The SSI Advocate is an active member of the NAMI San Diego Team. The SSI Advocate shall provide Supplemental Security Income/Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSI/SSDI) application assistance and advocacy services as a component of the clubhouse program. Every effort shall be made to submit completed initial applications for review at least two business days before the end of the same month in which the application was initiated. The Advocate will be located on-site, accessible, will provide regular updates and ensure the individual has a voice and active role in the process.

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Identify members and potential members who are potentially eligible for SSI/SSDI benefits.
  • Provide group presentations and meet with persons individually, as needed, to provide information about the benefits of SSI/SSDI, application process and requirements.
  • Initiate applications for interested and potentially eligible individuals.
  • Work with the member or potential member, as well as Peer Support Specialist and Generalists to obtain the required supportive documentation.
  • Coordinate and collaborate with SD County Behavioral Health Services SSI and Training Contractor Program in obtaining any information needs for subsequent hearing to the submitted applications for SSI/SSDI benefits.
  • Supports appeal denied applications and submit requests for hearings, as needed. This includes appealing applications that were not initiated by the SSI Advocate.
  • Provide information to the individual about the appeals process and provide coaching prior to attending a hearing to increase their confidence and comfort.
  • Attend hearings as needed and act as an advocate. Whenever possible will coach and encourage the individual to also serve as their own advocate.
  • Create and maintain an SSI/SSDI Homeless Outreach Programs Entitlement (HOPE) profile for each individual applying for SSI/SSDI benefits, including releases of information, supportive documentation.
  • Document verbal and written communications in the individual’s HOPE profile.
  • Participate in the SD County Behavioral Health Services Advocacy and Training within 90 days of hire, and will utilize the initial and on-going training, application review and follow -up and submissions.
  • Trained in the International Standards for Clubhouse Programs, Wellness Recovery, Whole Health Action Management and Supportive Employment IPS Model as indicated in SOW.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Accountability: The SSI Advocate reports to the Program Manager.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with qualified disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Prolonged periods sitting at a desk and working on a computer.
  • Prolonged periods of standing and walking.
  • Must be able to lift up to 10 pounds at times.

Minimum Requirements, including linguistic and cultural skills, education, experiences, licenses and certifications:

  • One year of experience conducting similar duties and responsibilities.
  • One year of experience working with individuals experiencing homelessness, living with a mental illness, living with a substance use disorder or members of a vulnerable population.
  • Computer proficient in Microsoft Office.
  • Associate’s degree or higher in legal or mental health field, preferred.
  • Preferred personal lived experience in mental health, co-occurring disorders or of having experienced homelessness.

COVID Protocols and Work Environment.  As an essential worker providing both telehealth and in-person services, successful candidate will follow CDC guidelines, state guidelines and local mandates for COVID 19 prevention.  COVID-19 Vaccine required for employment.

Salary: $19.00-$21.00 hourly                                                    Full time (40 hours/week)

To apply: Please send cover letter and resume to jobs@namisd.org