SSI Unit-Social Worker

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Entry Level

CLS is seeking a Social Worker for its SSI Unit.  CLS’s SSI Unit helps individuals with serious disabilities qualify for and keep Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). 


SSI is a core Social Security program that provides income support to adults aged 65 and over and individuals at any age with severe disabilities.  CLS’s SSI Unit provides full legal representation to individuals with disabilities at all stages of the SSI application process, including during informal state-level disability reviews, at formal administrative hearings, and in federal court.  The Unit also represents current SSI recipients whose disabilities are under review by SSA.  CLS prioritizes cases for individuals who have significant barriers in navigating SSA processes, including individuals with serious behavioral health conditions, including trauma; individuals who are limited English proficient; and children.  CLS ensures that clients are connected to medical care, school supports, and other resources, and advocates for policy reforms that improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.


CLS seeks to add a social worker to its existing SSI team of attorneys and paralegals, to provide more effective and holistic representation.  The social worker will work closely with the SSI Unit Managing Attorney and the legal team to develop a social work program within the SSI Unit.


Core job functions are expected to include:

  • Working in partnership with CLS’s SSI legal team and with clients’ external case managers, where applicable, to assist clients in accessing high quality medical care, receiving appropriate education supports, and stabilizing income and housing;
  • Building and strengthening relationships with existing community partners who serve individuals with disabilities and identifying new community partnerships;
  • Developing education materials for community partners and individuals with disabilities about the SSI application, appeals, and disability review processes;
  • Developing and conducting SSI-related trainings for community partners and individuals with disabilities;
  • Partnering with CLS’s SSI legal team to engage in advocacy to improve local, state, and national systems that affect individuals with disabilities; and
  • Supervising social work students interning with CLS on client and project-based work.

Required qualifications:  Masters in Social Work (M.S.W.).  Excellent oral and written communication skills; dependability; initiative; empathy; patience; commitment to working with diverse populations and individuals with disabilities; and commitment to racial justice.  Willingness to work some nights and weekends, with compensatory and flexible schedule arrangements subject to approval by the Managing Attorney.  Ability to travel within Philadelphia (via public transportation).


Preferred qualifications:  Experience with a social services agency or a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of the poor, and/or experience in legislative or administrative advocacy.  Fluency in writing and speaking a language other than English, preferably Spanish.  Coursework and experience with research, collecting and analyzing data, and program evaluation.


To Apply: CLS will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position has been filled. You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at:  OR submit your application below by clicking "Apply Now"


What to Include in your application:

Please include a cover letter, resume, three professional references and one brief writing sample (10 pages or less).  Community Legal Services values a diverse work environment and strongly encourages women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, people with disabilities, people who have experienced poverty or homelessness and people who have had prior contact with the juvenile, criminal, or child welfare systems to apply.  CLS invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.


This is a full-time position covered by the collective bargaining agreement between Community Legal Services, Inc. (CLS) and the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, AFL-CIO and its affiliate District 1199C. The current minimum starting salary is $47, 250 for entry-level applicants but that salary is subject to change or adjustment if an applicant has relevant years of experience and according to the provisions of the current collective bargaining agreement.  Raises and benefits are also governed by that agreement.


Community Legal Services, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.  CLS, Inc. does not discriminate in the selection of employees on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, genetics, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status.  In addition to federal law requirements, CLS complies with all applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment.  This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall and transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training. 






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