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Career and Education Opportunities for Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Eligibility and occupancy interviewer career and educational opportunities abound in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. There are currently 1,070 working eligibility and occupancy interviewers in Iowa; this should grow by 3% to 1,100 working eligibility and occupancy interviewers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for eligibility and occupancy interviewers, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.2% over the next eight years. 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.

Income for eligibility and occupancy interviewers is about $20 per hour or $42,630 annually on average in Iowa. Nationally, their income is about $18 hourly or $39,310 annually. Earnings for eligibility and occupancy interviewers are better than earnings in the general category of Human Resources and Customer Service in Iowa and better than general Human Resources and Customer Service category earnings nationally.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Cedar Rapids area, including one within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career as an eligibility and occupancy interviewer. The most common level of education for eligibility and occupancy interviewers is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn 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 Cedar Rapids include:

  • 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

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2068. Kirkwood Community College is a large college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,241 students. Kirkwood Community College has an associate's degree program in Community Organization and Advocacy which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

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: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.