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Retirement Disability Specialist

Salary: Retirement Disability Specialist II (#6651)

$25.37-$30.97 hourly / $4,412-$5,387 monthly / Range: 5816

Retirement Disability Specialist I (#6655)

$22.96-$28.03 hourly / $3,994-$4,875 monthly / Range: 5616

DEFINITION: Under general supervision (I) and direction (II), investigates and administers disability retirement cases for the Santa Barbara County Employees' Retirement System (SBCERS) in accordance with the County Employees Retirement Act of 1937, and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Retirement Disability Specialist I is the entry-level class in the professional class series. Incumbents are responsible for investigating and administering non-service-related and other routine disability retirement cases. This class is distinguished from Retirement Disability Specialist II in that incumbents in the latter, journey-level class work with less supervision and are responsible for administering service-related and other complex disability retirement cases. Promotion from the entry to journey-level class in this flex-class series is dependent upon obtaining an approved paralegal or legal assistant certificate in addition to obtaining disability retirement administration experience. Both entry- and journey-level classes report to the Retirement Disability Program Manager.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:

1. Interviews and counsels applicant members on eligibility for disability retirement benefits, the application and hearing processes, and related retirement laws, policies, procedures, and codes; reviews for completeness and compliance and processes disability retirement applications; and maintains communications with applicant members regarding the progress and status of applications.
2. Determines the appropriate methods and levels of disability retirement investigations; identifies issues that need resolving; prepares investigation plans; researches and gathers evidence; prepares written interrogatories and interviews applicants, co-workers, supervisors, physicians, and witnesses to obtain pertinent information to the case; retains expert medical witnesses; arranges independent medical examinations; inspects work sites to assess the physical work environment and to identify possible reasonable accommodations; and prepares written job analysis documents to determine applicant's job duties and possible reasonable accommodations.
3. Analyzes disability retirement applications, medical history reports, and related evidence; prepares written case summaries and makes recommendation; and coordinates the preparation of comprehensive summaries of evidence.
4. Provides staff support to counsel including: conducting legal research, drafting and editing documents for Board counsel's use in administrative hearings and Superior Court cases; testifying at administrative and Superior Court hearings; and interpreting and explaining the 1937 Act and Retirement by-laws for County employees, managers, disability retirement applicants, Retirement Board members, and Board counsel.
5. Assists Retirement Board hearing counsel with the preparation of disability retirement cases set for administrative hearing and Superior Court litigation, including: preparing written summaries of information; scheduling and agendizing case management meetings with Board counsel to evaluate and redirect investigations; implementing additional investigations; arranging and calendaring counsel-witness meetings and evidence exchange dates; drafting deposition questions; obtaining hearing officers and witnesses; preparing and certifying administrative records for filing with the court; reviewing Board Counsel's opening briefs; and assisting in the presentation of evidence.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS:

Retirement Disability Specialist I:

1. Possession of a bachelor's degree in legal studies, business administration, public administration, management, benefits administration, or other field directly related to the required knowledge and abilities; or,
2. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to the employment standard listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Additional Qualifications: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License is required.

Knowledge of: general legal procedures, concepts, and documents; basic legal and medical terminology; information gathering and research techniques; interviewing and group presentation techniques; and English usage, grammar, and spelling.

Ability to: learn the County Employees Retirement Act of 1937; read, learn, interpret, and apply the federal, state, and local laws pertaining to disability retirement and reasonable accommodation; compile, organize, and document information and/or evidence; prepare written correspondence, reports, and legal documents; analyze and interpret information, develop conclusions, and make recommendations; explain technical information; exercise tact and diplomacy; communicate orally and in writing with a wide range of people; operate a personal computer; work effectively under deadlines; and maintain confidentiality of applicant data.

Retirement Disability Specialist II: Possession of a paralegal or legal assistant certificate approved by the California or American Bar Association and:

1. possession of a bachelor's degree in legal studies, business administration, public administration, management, benefits administration, or other field directly related to the required knowledge and abilities and two years of retirement disability administrative and investigative experience in a public agency operating under the County Employees Retirement Act of 1937; or,
2. two years of experience performing duties equivalent to the class of Retirement Disability Specialist I with Santa Barbara County Employees' Retirement System; or,
3. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Additional Qualifications: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License is required.

Knowledge of: County Employees Retirement Act of 1937; legal procedures, concepts, filing requirements, documents, and document control techniques; legal and medical/legal terminology; retirement, Workers' Compensation, Americans with Disabilities Act, Social Security Disability, and general administrative law; California Code of Civil Procedures; information gathering and legal research techniques; interviewing, deposition, and group presentation techniques; business math; business and legal writing formats; and English usage, grammar, and spelling.

Ability to: compile, organize and analyze data; read, interpret, and apply the federal, state, and local laws pertaining to disability retirement, reasonable accommodation, and related law; formulate strategies and make recommendations; present arguments and recommendations in written and oral form; prepare written correspondence, reports, and legal documents; explain technical information; obtain cooperation from applicants, departmental representatives, attorneys, and medical professionals; exercise tact, diplomacy, and independent judgment; make presentations to groups; work independently; operate a personal computer; work effectively under deadlines; and maintain confidentiality of applicant data.

 



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