Investigative Advocate

Investigative Advocate

Disability Rights Louisiana Background

Disability Rights Louisiana (DRLA) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization organized in 1977 to protect, empower and advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities and senior citizens in Louisiana.

DRLA protects, empowers, and advocates for the human and legal rights of people with disabilities and seniors living in Louisiana, in order that they may live an integrated life in the community, free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.  DRLA does this through direct legal representation, information and referral, education and training, and systems advocacy.

Responsibilities

The Investigative Advocate is responsible for conducting investigations and reviews of people or agencies serving as Social Security representative payees for people with disabilities. These investigations will involve extensive travel and field work. This position ensures representative payee compliance as well as identifies any misuse, mismanagement, or fraud of beneficiary income. The Investigative Advocate will work under the direction of the Program Manager of the Representative Payee Program. The ideal candidate will share Disability Right Louisiana’s values and commitment to the fundamental rights of people with disabilities to maintain independence and full access to community life with freedom from abuse and discrimination

Essential Functions

  • Performs individual and organizational reviews, investigations and educational visits of Social Security Administration appointed Representative Payees and beneficiaries, including third parties as deemed appropriate.
  • Manages individual workload in conformity with Disability Rights Louisiana’s policies and case management procedures; applicable professional standards and best practices; legal, ethical and other requirements.
  • Identifies instances of abuse or neglect of persons with disabilities discovered in the course of investigations.
  • Drafts and submits reports to the Program Manager.
  • Attends and/or presents outreach, trainings and seminars as requested.
  • Attends web-based training as offered by SSA in the use of Representative Payee Management Tool (RPMT).
  • Exercises sound judgment in all advocacy activities. Maintains confidentiality and exercises discretion and judgment in a law firm environment. Accepts direction and feedback from the Program Manager.
  • Adheres to Disability Rights Louisiana’s policies, practices and case management procedures in the execution of job responsibilities. Understands and follows requirements of any federal, state, or private funding sources related to assigned work.
  • Competently utilizes SSA monitoring tools and reporting system and Disability Rights Louisiana’s time tracking system.
  • Performs other agency duties as assigned.

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree in  Business, Social Work, Human Services, or related degree with 3 years or more experience as an advocate or investigator.
  • Extensive advocacy or investigatory background may be considered in lieu of Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Upon hire, the successful applicant will immediately submit to a background investigation conducted by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Continued employment is contingent upon passing this background investigation.
  • This position will require extensive field work including some overnight travel within Louisiana approximately 50% of the time. Pre-approved travel and mileage costs will be reimbursed. The applicant must have a dependable automobile, valid driver’s license, and current liability insurance.
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, and systems management abilities; ability to pay attention to details and handle multiple priorities.
  • Ability to conduct research and analyze complex issues. Familiarity with basic accounting principles and terminology is preferred.
  • Strong and effective written, verbal, and non-verbal communication skills including the ability to do so in a concise manner even when doing so in regard to complex issues with a variety of people.
  • Willingness to take direction and independently follow through on instructions in a timely manner.
  • Strong interpersonal skills. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and collaborate with Disability Rights Louisiana (DRLA)  staff and colleagues in a team environment.
  • Ability to work independently and in teams, successfully manage multiple work priorities and work under deadline pressure.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and exercise sound judgment in the handling of all Investigative Advocate duties.
  • Strong commitment to Disability Rights Louisiana’s core mission of ensuring the rights of people with disabilities to self-determination, freedom from harm, due process protections, and to participate fully in community life with meaningful choices and opportunities.
  • Computer proficiency; specifically, the applicant must be proficient in the use of Gmail/Google calendar, MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint and must successfully learn to use the agency’s timekeeping, phone/voicemail and data management software (NetSuite, 8×8, etc.) as well as any programs deemed necessary by the SSA.

Other Helpful Qualifications

    • Knowledge of Social Security benefits and/or disability rights issues.
    • Work involving Social Security Administration, administrative appeals, and/or policy and systems work.
    • Experience working with and/or sensitivity to persons with disabilities and from multi-ethnic communities.
    • Ability to communicate in ASL, Spanish or another non-English language.

Benefits

DRLA offers a competitive benefits package including:

  • Health insurance (with agency contribution)
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Long-Term disability insurance
  • Basic life insurance (fully paid by the agency)
  • Voluntary life insurance
  • 401(k) retirement plan (with agency match and profit sharing plan)
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Paid Time Off (vacation, sick, holidays)

Compensation

The salary may range from $35,000 – $45,000 depending on education and experience.

To Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected]

Equal Opportunity

DRLA values diversity among our employees and is an equal opportunity employer. DRLA hires without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, creed, age (over 40), disability (mental and physical), sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, military and veteran status, or any other protected characteristic.

DRLA endorses and supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are applicants or employees needing accommodations.