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Career and Education Opportunities for Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewers in Columbia, Missouri

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for eligibility and occupancy interviewers in the Columbia, Missouri area. About 3,900 people are currently employed as eligibility and occupancy interviewers in Missouri. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 5% to about 4,080 people employed. 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. 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.

The income of an eligibility and occupancy interviewer is about $15 per hour or $31,700 yearly on average in Missouri. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $18 per hour or $39,310 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Human Resources and Customer Service, people working as eligibility and occupancy interviewers in Missouri earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Human Resources and Customer Service nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be an eligibility and occupancy interviewer, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. The most common level of education for eligibility and occupancy interviewers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Columbia 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewer Training

University of Missouri-Columbia - Columbia, MO

University of Missouri-Columbia, 105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. University of Missouri-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,130 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Missouri-Columbia has a post-master's certificate program in Community Organization and Advocacy which graduated one student 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: Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.