Tax Credit & Health Justice Advocate (Health and Economic Opportunity Program)
WNC HEOP Tax Credit & Health Justice Advocate – Western Region
Hybrid remote work schedule available: 3 days in office/field and 2 days remote
Base office in Waynesville or Highlands/Cashiers
Position Status: Full-Time
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) is a community-based non-profit legal aid agency governed by a local Board of Directors. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina (WNC), Pisgah Legal Services provides free civil legal assistance to low-income people in WNC. The organization currently has offices in Asheville, Brevard, Burnsville, Hendersonville, Highlands-Cashiers, Marshall, Newland, Rutherfordton and Waynesville. With over 100 dedicated staff, including over 30 attorneys plus program staff, and an active group of 300 volunteer attorneys, the program provides free services to nearly 20,000 people per year to meet their basic needs, primarily in the poverty law areas of housing, public benefits, domestic violence prevention, health care, immigration, and consumer law.
Nature and Location of Position: The WNC Health and Economic Opportunity Program (HEOP) supports our mission in 18 Western North Carolina counties as part of a multi-year grant funded expansion of anti-poverty work within the broad areas of free tax preparation/tax credits and outreach/enrollment for Affordable Care Act health insurance. Counties serviced include: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey. The WNC Health and Economic Opportunity Program is designed to have long-term impact through two main priorities: (1) reduce the child poverty rate in each WNC county and (2) increase the insured rate through quality, affordable health care coverage in each WNC county. The program will work in conjunction with the entire PLS legal aid staff to support expanding free legal assistance to help a growing number of low-income people each year to solve problems related to basic needs, particularly housing, domestic violence, health care, and insufficient income.
The WNC HEOP Tax Credit and Health Justice Advocate will be responsible for ensuring that families and individuals gain access to quality health insurance coverage, as well as quality tax preparation services throughout the assigned region. The responsibilities will be split between providing tax preparation services, which includes informing potential clients of free tax clinics, collecting relevant financial records, inputting data from financial records into tax return databases and completing the filing of tax documents with appropriate agencies and responsibilities as a health justice advocate, which includes helping clients make informed decisions about healthcare coverage by providing one-on-one enrollment assistance.
This position is full-time and can be based out of our Waynesville or Highlands/Cashier’s office. A hybrid work schedule is available. This position requires travel within the Western region, which includes Clay, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary. Position requires presence at onsite and offsite tax and health insurance enrollment clinics within service region.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Along with regional program director, coordinate the tax and ACA work within the region, including working with volunteers to answer questions and oversee their work; cover the phone support lines and chat; track tax returns, assignments, and transmissions; etc.
- Pass and maintain Advanced Tax Preparer, Intake/Interview and Quality Review, Volunteer Standards of Conduct, and Site Coordinator certifications through the IRS VITA Program on an annual basis. May certify at international or military level as needed. Trainings and support will be provided.
- Perform Quality Review, Intake and Interview, and tax preparation services for qualifying households through Pisgah Legal’s VITA Site(s). Program services may be offered in person, virtually, or a combination of the two.
- Know and counsel WNC residents regarding the benefits of child tax credits, earned income tax credits, and Affordable Care Act advanced premium tax credits.
- Provide tax preparation expertise to PLS VITA volunteers.
- Identify and contact taxpayers who may have a “good story” when requests come from media.
- Provide all information and services in a manner that is culturally and linguistically appropriate and ensure accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
- Conduct community outreach for WNC Health and Economic Opportunity Program.
- Travel to PLS counties within the region.
- Attend PLS staff meetings and other meetings relevant to the WNC Health and Economic Opportunity Program.
- Annually pass Certification Training to be provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
- Attend enrollment specific trainings as appropriate and maintain competency in enrollment topics;
- Attend staff meetings and other meetings relevant to Health Justice issues as indicated;
- Understand eligibility and enrollment rules and procedures from CMS and the Health Insurance Marketplace (www.healthcare.gov);
- Learn and become familiar with the range of qualified health plan options and insurance affordability programs;
- Understand the financial implications of living without insurance for the chronically ill;
- Learn and become familiar with privacy and security standards;
- Be available to work night or weekend hours to meet the needs of the program during high need times;
- Share information regarding the Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM), including:
- Eligibility requirements for federal tax subsidies and cost-sharing subsidies;
- Eligibility for QHP on the FFM, Medicaid and North Carolina’s Health Choice and how to enroll in qualified health plans, Medicaid, and Health Choice on the marketplace website and/or ePass;
- Meet with individuals and facilitate plan selection based on the needs of the individual/family seeking health insurance coverage, assess tax implications and premium and cost-sharing requirements, application submission, renewal, and disenrollment processes;
- Help people understand how premium tax credits work and their potential financial impact;
- Facilitate eligibility determinations for QHP, Medicaid, Health Choice, and premium tax subsidies;
- Provide referrals to appropriate agencies, including the North Carolina Department of Insurance for applicants and enrollees with grievances, complaints, questions, or need for other social services.
Salary range is $36,327 - $67,953 annually depending on experience. Additional $1k for Spanish Language Skills upon successful passing of Spanish proficiency test.
Our salary scale is predetermined based on the years of relative professional work experience that qualify for this position to ensure equity in pay. Pisgah Legal Services is a Living Wage Certified Employer.
Employees are eligible for medical, dental, vision and life insurance coverage the 1st of the month following the start date. Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) pays 100% of the Employee and 50% of the Dependent Cost for BCBS Medical and Dental coverage. PLS pays 50% of the Employee Coverage Cost for BCBS Vision coverage. PLS pays 100% of Long-Term & Short-Term Disability Coverage, Life Insurance Coverage of 5x base salary + an additional $15,000 Life & AD&D Coverage. 401k Retirement Plan after 6 months of employment. Additional Fringe Benefits includes Pet Insurance, Paid Parental Leave, 12.5 Company Holidays, 22 Paid Leave Days, Paid Sabbatical Leave for eligible employees, Employee Assistance Program for entire household and a great working environment with work life balance!
COVID-19 Safety Information
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Pisgah Legal Services has worked tirelessly to promote evidence-based practices across our entire organization. With this in mind, as of January 4, 2022, all Pisgah employees will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine. Employees who are unvaccinated or have an approved exemption will be required to provide verified weekly COVID-19 test results. We currently have COVID-19 safety precautions in place.
- Passion for and commitment to PLS’ mission, values and vision.
- Bachelor’s degree and one year of professional experience or equivalent experience required.
- Prior work experience working with outreaching to diverse populations.
- Prior tax preparation experience preferred; however, training will be provided.
- Full-time: Available to work Monday to Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm, with flexibility for some evening and weekend shifts.
- Must be able to pass the Advanced Tax Preparer and Site Coordinator tests for the IRS Vita Program within two (2) weeks from start date.
- Must be able to pass certification process to become a Navigator/Certified Application Counselor provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
- Demonstrated skills at socio-economic and cultural sensitivity and the ability to work with clients who may be angry, upset, or ill.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with attention to detail.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with teams and independently.
- Proficiency in both English and Spanish languages (verbal & written) is preferred.
- Possess a valid driver's license.
- Living in the Western North Carolina region is preferred.
Submit your online application with resume and cover letter through our Career Center located at https://www.pisgahlegal.org/jobs
PLS 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.
Pisgah Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.
As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified persons with disabilities. Prospective and current employees are encouraged to discuss ADA accommodations with our Human Resources department.