SSI Unit Coordinator
Community Legal Services, Inc. of Philadelphia (CLS) is a non-profit public interest agency providing free civil legal services to low-income Philadelphia residents. As the largest provider of free civil legal services in the Philadelphia area, CLS is both locally and nationally renowned for ensuring access to justice for low-income individuals and communities. CLS has eight legal units covering a wide range of civil legal services.
The SSI Unit, which is co-located at our 1424 Chestnut Street and 1410 West Erie Avenue offices, helps individuals with serious disabilities qualify for and keep Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). CLS is seeking a coordinator for the SSI Unit. This full-time position will be located at the 1424 Chestnut Street office, with some travel to the 1410 West Erie Avenue office expected at times.
This is a new position, and the full range of job duties will evolve based on the needs of the SSI Unit. Accordingly, the ideal candidate will enjoy thinking creatively about how to build new systems that support high-volume, high-caliber legal work.
Key duties of the position will include:
- Drafting and sending tailored legal advice letters to clients who seek CLS’s help with their cases, and answering follow-up questions from clients that may arise;
- Creating and updating template client communications, and working with CLS IT staff to build them into CLS’s case management system, LegalServer;
- Sending important case documents, such as retainer agreements and medical record releases, to clients; tracking receipt; and making follow-up calls as necessary;
- Communicating with SSA in writing and via telephone about CLS’s involvement in
- Developing and implementing new internal systems to track case deadlines and other time-sensitive case information;
- Creating and running data reports in LegalServer for internal and external stakeholders, including funders;
Otherwise facilitating the work of the SSI Unit by, for example:
- Answering questions about the SSI Unit’s work that may arise from CLS non-SSI-Unit staff;
- Updating the Unit’s web page and other client facing communications;
- Composing and typing routine correspondence;
- Copy editing and proofreading legal briefs, grant reports, and other documents;
- Scheduling meetings and handling meeting logistics;
- Monitoring incoming faxes and online document sharing systems and tracking and distributing documents received;
- Tracking and paying medical record invoices;
- Operating and maintaining office machinery necessary to complete assignments, and performing minor maintenance and troubleshooting as necessary;
- Sorting and distributing mail; and
- Requisitioning and distributing office supplies.
This position involves some interaction with the SSI Unit’s clients, all of whom have serious physical and/or behavioral health conditions, and some of whom are in distress. Compassion, empathy, and patience are therefore important qualities for a successful candidate to have. A demonstrated history of creative problem solving, exceptional organizational skills, and ability work independently is also required.
This position is 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. Under that agreement, this position is listed as a technical assistant position. The current minimum starting salary is $37,100, and is subject to change 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 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.
Required qualifications include:
- High school diploma or GED;
- Ability to have frequent, courteous, professional interactions with clients – including clients in distress – and other external stakeholders, including SSA administrative staff;
- Ability to work cooperatively with SSI Unit staff and other staff at CLS;
- Ability to provide SSI Unit staff with a comprehensive level of secretarial and administrative support to ensure that work is produced in an accurate and professional manner;
- Strong writing independent writing skills, including the ability to spell, punctuate, and use grammar proficiently;
- Ability to communicate information and ideas clearly and concisely in writing, and to read and understand information presented in writing;
- Computer literacy, including demonstrated experience using Microsoft Office, including Outlook, Word, and Excel;
- Demonstrated history of dependability and reliability, including good attendance and punctuality at the start of the business day and upon returning from lunch and other breaks;
- Exceptional organizational skills, including calendaring and task and file management;
- Ability to manage an independent workload and to solve problems decisively and with good judgment.
- Ability to tackle work in creative ways, including by creating new systems to streamline work flow and find new efficiencies;
- Ability to work effectively in an environment that is subject to frequent interruptions.
A minimum of three (3) years of secretarial or administrative experience is strongly preferred.
Fluency in writing and speaking a language other than English, preferably Spanish, is strongly preferred but not required.
This position does not involve formal supervision responsibility.
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: https://clsphila.org/careers/ OR https://clsphiladelphia.applytojob.com/apply/vEKyELJrWk/SSI-Unit-Coordinator
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.