Eligibility Worker I

North Santa Barbara County, Mid Santa Barbara County, South Santa Barbara County
Santa Maria
Full Time
County of Santa Barbara Department of Social Services

ELIGIBILITY WORKER I SALARY: $49,295.69 – $58,645.98 Annually

OPENING DATE: 12/27/22



The County of Santa Barbara Department of Social Services is accepting applications to fill current vacancies for Eligibility Worker positions in Santa Maria.


We are also accepting applications to fill future vacancies in Lompoc, Santa Barbara, and Santa Maria. Please select the locations where you are willing to accept initial employment.


Under supervision, applies regulations and procedures to determine eligibility for public assistance programs and referrals for social services, utilizing automated eligibility systems and multiple computer applications in conjunction with several ancillary systems.

Most candidates selected will primarily be assigned to the County’s Service Center in Santa Maria, performing caseload management and telephone support duties on banked public assistance caseloads, or assisting callers with food assistance and health care benefit eligibility determinations and enrollment.


PLEASE NOTE: This is an entry-level position within the Eligibility Worker series. Incumbents attend training sessions to learn regulations, work procedures, forms, and structured public contact techniques.  Successful candidates will satisfactorily complete six months of training. If training is not satisfactorily completed, trainee will be released from County employment.  Absence during the training will jeopardize completion of the program; therefore, vacations will NOT be approved during the training period.


NOTE: Candidates may be appointed at the I or II level, depending on the candidate’s qualifications and the needs of the department.

The IDEAL CANDIDATE will possess:

  • Active listening skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Calm composure
  • Excellent customer service orientation skills
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to multi-task, set priorities and manage time effectively
  • Experience working as a team player
  • Ability to work and navigate between multiple computer applications simultaneously to perform daily tasks
  • Ability to adapt to change
  • Strong professional references

Click here to find out more about the position of an Eligibility Worker


Incumbents are expected to learn to assume the full scope of duties, which may include but is not limited to the following:

  1. Interviews people of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and temperaments using a variety of standard interview and interaction techniques to determine eligibility and need for public social programs and services; interviews clients individually and in group settings to obtain required information; explains program requirements and procedures individually and in a group setting.
  2. Assists applicants in the completion of applications and declaration forms upon which eligibility decisions are based; elicits information in difficult and emotional situations on such matters as applicant earnings and financial obligations, parental status and living arrangements.
  3. Determines program eligibility in accordance with a variety of regulations; using various automated eligibility systems and ancillary systems that include document imaging and task management tool, computes the amount of aid authorized using all potential income and allowable deductions from earnings; completes accurate computer entries by navigating through computer-guided workflows.
  4. Manages inbound and outbound calls in a timely manner; prepares necessary documentation to initiate, continue and modify public assistance; plans and organizes workload to ensure that necessary work is completed in accordance with regulations relating to eligibility and timeliness; reviews documentation for accuracy, completeness and consistency; contacts applicants and recipients regarding discrepancies and refers questionable cases to the fraud unit for further follow-up. Ensures accurate case record entries.
  5. Identifies customers’ needs and clarifies information; provides information and makes routine referrals to resources available through the County and within the community which help meet health, housing and food needs or which provide assistance with employment, child care and transportation; makes referrals to protective services.


  1. Equivalent to graduation from high school and one year of public contact experience (at 40 hours per week), performing duties in a customer service environment; OR,
  2. Equivalent to graduation from high school and one year of office experience (at 40 hours per week), performing administrative duties; OR,
  3. A combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to the employment standard listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

College coursework may be substituted for the required experience on a year-for-year basis. Please upload a copy of your transcript to your application.

Knowledge of: general knowledge of standard office procedures; work and time management techniques; public contact and communication techniques.

Ability to: read and understand complex regulations and procedures; learn, apply and explain complex regulations and procedures; ability to work and navigate between multiple computer applications simultaneously to perform daily tasks; utilize automated eligibility systems in conjunction with several ancillary systems; accurately record information and complete complex forms; learn to conduct skilled interviews to elicit information concerning income, other financial resources and other personal information affecting eligibility over the phone and in person; communicate effectively verbally and in writing with persons from a variety of social, cultural, and economic backgrounds; maintain cooperative relationships with applicants and clients in tense and emotional situations; establish and maintain effective working relationships with fellow employees; determine appropriate course of action in emergency or stressful situations; maintain confidentiality of information; budget time, effectively organize and perform work amid interruptions; learn about and make referrals to other County and local social service agencies.

Additional Requirements:

  • A valid California Class C Driver’s License may be required.
  • Bilingual skills may be required. If you indicated on your application that you are bilingual, your name will be placed on the employment list for a job requiring bilingual skills. Hiring departments will test you on your fluency. If you do not demonstrate sufficient fluency, your name will be removed from the bilingual employment list, in accordance with Civil Service Rule 7.
  • Incumbents may be required to perform civil defense duties.
  • Selectees must, as a condition of employment, sign statements agreeing to comply with Section 11166 of the California Penal Code relating to child abuse reporting and Section 15630 of the California Penal Code relating to elder abuse reporting.




  1. Review applications and supplemental questionnaire to determine those candidates who meet the employment standards.
  2. Supplemental Questionnaire Ranking: Responses to the required supplemental questionnaire will be evaluated and scored. Candidates’ final score and rank on the eligibility list will be determined by their responses to the supplemental questionnaire.

Applicants must receive a minimum percentage score of 70 on the supplemental questionnaire ranking to be placed on an employment list. An adjustment may be made to raw scores based on factors listed in Civil Service Rule VI. Those candidates who are successful in the selection process will have their names placed on the employment list for a minimum of three months. At the time the employment list is established, all candidates will receive written notice of their score on the exam(s), rank on the employment list, and exact duration of the employment list.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS: The County of Santa Barbara is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to applicants. Qualified individuals with disabilities who need a reasonable accommodation during the application or selection process should contact the recruiter listed on the job posting. We require verification of needed accommodation from a professional source, such as a Medical Provider or a learning institution.

Conditional Job Offer:  Once a conditional offer of employment has been made, candidate will be required to successfully complete a background check, which includes a conviction history check, and satisfactory reference checks.  The appointee will be subject to a post-offer medical evaluation or examination.  The appointee must satisfactorily complete a one-year probationary period.

BENEFITS: The County of Santa Barbara offers generous benefits. For information click here. In addition, applicants from other public sector employers may qualify for:

  • Retirement reciprocity
  • Time and service credit towards an advanced vacation accrual rate

COVID Vaccination Verification and Testing: This position may be subject to State Health Officer Orders (SHOOs) or County policy regarding vaccine verification and/or testing. Please contact the hiring department for more information.

Disaster Service Worker: Pursuant to Governmental code section 3100, all employees with the County of Santa Barbara are declared to be disaster service workers subject to such disaster service. Activities as may be assigned to them by their superiors or by law.

Statement of Commitment
The County of Santa Barbara is dedicated to cultivating and sustaining an environment that exhibits equity and inclusion everywhere, and at all levels of our organization.  The County believes equity is a fundamental principle that must be imbedded in policies, institutional practices and systems. The County recognizes the negative impacts of systemic racism and is committed to eliminating the barriers affecting our Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian community members, as well as people of other diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. We envision a world where society and its systems (e.g. education, criminal justice, and health care, housing the economy) are just, fair, and inclusive, enabling all people to participate and reach their full potential.

We celebrate community and employee diversity, strive for inclusion and belonging, and promote empowered participation. We aspire to build a workforce that is reflective of these values and the communities we serve. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and will resolutely uphold federal, California state law and/or Santa Barbara County ordinances.

We believe equity and inclusion are vital to fulfill the County’s mission and to embody a culture of “One County, One Future.” Expanding the full range of employee talent allows the County to deliver our best to all our community members.


We believe in the dignity and humanity of all people. We strive for a healthy and prosperous society that promotes all people having equitable access and opportunity.

APPLICATION AND SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONNAIRE DEADLINE: 1/10/2023 at 4:59 PM PST; Postmarks not accepted. Applications and job bulletins can be obtained 24 hours a day at www.sbcountyjobs.com.


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