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Career and Education Opportunities for Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewers in Chicago, Illinois

For those living in the Chicago, Illinois area, there are many career and education opportunities for eligibility and occupancy interviewers. Currently, 1,600 people work as eligibility and occupancy interviewers in Illinois. This is expected to grow by 3% to 1,640 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for eligibility and occupancy interviewers are expected to grow by about 9.2%. Eligibility and occupancy interviewers generally determine eligibility of persons applying to receive assistance from government programs and agency resources, such as welfare, unemployment benefits, and public housing.

A person working as an eligibility and occupancy interviewer can expect to earn about $21 hourly or $44,350 yearly on average in Illinois and about $18 per hour or $39,310 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for eligibility and occupancy interviewers are better than earnings in the general category of Human Resources and Customer Service in Illinois and better than general Human Resources and Customer Service category earnings nationally.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be an eligibility and occupancy interviewer, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Eligibility and occupancy interviewers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be an eligibility and occupancy interviewer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewer

Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, eligibility and occupancy interviewers determine eligibility of persons applying to receive assistance from government programs and agency resources, such as welfare, unemployment benefits, and public housing.

Eligibility and occupancy interviewers interpret and explain data such as eligibility requirements and applicants' legal rights. They also answer applicants' questions about benefits and claim procedures. Equally important, eligibility and occupancy interviewers have to initiate procedures to grant or terminate assistance, or refer applicants to other agencies for assistance. They are often called upon to compile and evaluate personal and financial data in order to confirm completeness and accuracy, and to establish eligibility status. They are expected to interview benefits recipients at specified intervals to certify their eligibility for continuing benefits. Finally, eligibility and occupancy interviewers keep archives of assigned cases, and ready required reports.

Every day, eligibility and occupancy interviewers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for eligibility and occupancy interviewers to check with employers or other references to confirm answers and obtain further data. They are often called upon to interview and investigate applicants for public assistance to gather data pertinent to their applications. They also ready applications and forms for applicants for such purposes as school enrollment and medical services. They are sometimes expected to furnish social staff with pertinent data gathered during applicant interviews. Somewhat less frequently, eligibility and occupancy interviewers are also expected to compute and authorize amounts of assistance for programs such as grants and food stamps.

Eligibility and occupancy interviewers sometimes are asked to conduct annual and special housing reviews and home visits to insure conformance to regulations. and monitor the payments of benefits throughout the duration of a claim. And finally, they sometimes have to compile and evaluate personal and financial data in order to confirm completeness and accuracy, and to establish eligibility status.

Like many other jobs, eligibility and occupancy interviewers must have strong self control in the face of challenging situations and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Accounts Receivable Specialist. Locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visit to solicit payment. Duties include receiving payment and posting amount to customer's account; preparing statements to credit department if customer fails to respond; initiating repossession proceedings or service disconnection; keeping records of collection and status of accounts.
  • Credit Investigator. Investigate history and credit standing of individuals or business establishments applying for credit. Telephone or write to credit departments of business and service establishments to obtain information about applicant's credit standing.
  • Human Resources Administrator. Compile and keep personnel records. Record data for each employee, such as address, weekly earnings, absences, amount of sales or production, supervisory reports on ability, and date of and reason for termination. Compile and type reports from employment records. File employment records. Search employee files and furnish information to authorized persons.
  • Insurance Processing Clerk. Process applications for, changes to, and cancellation of insurance policies. Duties include reviewing insurance applications to ensure that all questions have been answered, compiling data on insurance policy changes, changing policy records to conform to insured party's specifications, compiling data on lapsed insurance policies to determine automatic reinstatement according to company policies, canceling insurance policies as requested by agents, and verifying the accuracy of insurance company records.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewer Training

Lewis University - Romeoville, IL

Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446-2200. Lewis University is a medium sized university located in Romeoville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,536 students and an admission rate of 71%. Lewis University has a bachelor's degree program in Community Organization and Advocacy.

North Park University - Chicago, IL

North Park University, 3225 W Foster Ave, Chicago, IL 60625-4895. North Park University is a small university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,255 students and an admission rate of 30%. North Park University has a master's degree program in Community Organization and Advocacy.

DePaul University - Chicago, IL

DePaul University, 55 E Jackson, Chicago, IL 60604. DePaul University is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 22,554 students. DePaul University has a bachelor's degree program in Community Organization and Advocacy.

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208. Northwestern University is a large university located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,128 students and an admission rate of 27%. Northwestern University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Community Organization and Advocacy.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Housing Counselor: A Certified Housing Counselor objectively assesses the client's current financial situation; identifies problem areas the client may face recommends appropriate actions to help clients obtain and maintain adequate housing; evaluates the housing and financial status of low, moderate and middle-income families; and understands the essential workings of all aspects of the industry in order to help clients make appropriate housing decisions.

For more information, see the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education website.

Certified Forensic Interviewer: The objective of this certification program is to create comprehensive, universally accepted professional standards combined with an objective measure of an interviewer's knowledge of those standards.

For more information, see the Center for Interviewer Standards and Assessment Ltd. website.

National Workforce Professional - Tier 1: Professional certification exam for National Tier 1.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

NFJP Grantee Workforce Professional - Tier 1: Exam to become certified as a National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) Professional.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

Specialist in Housing Credit Management: The Specialist in Housing Credit Management(SHCM) certification has been developed by the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) especially for management professionals involved with properties developed and operated under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.

For more information, see the National Affordable Housing Management Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.