ASL Benefits Counselor

Position: ASL Benefits Counselor About CIDNY: The Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York (CIDNY) is a leading...
Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York
February 11, 2021
Job Type
Contact Name (not public)
Don Rickenbaugh


Position: ASL Benefits Counselor

About CIDNY:

The Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York (CIDNY) is a leading organization serving and representing people with all disabilities in New York City. CIDNY's mission is the removal of barriers to full integration of people with disabilities. CIDNY helps people with disabilities to gain the skills and obtain the services they need to live independently in the community and advocates for fair and effective policies that improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. The majority of CIDNY’s staff are people with disabilities who are dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. CIDNY is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Basic Function:

The American Sign Language (ASL) benefits counselor will assist consumers with a comprehensive intake, assessment of needs, benefits screening, information and referrals, and ensure appropriate follow-up of services. Although the ASL benefits counselor will work with all consumers, their focus will be on working with deaf and hard of hearing consumers. In addition, individuals will have the opportunity to develop an independent living plan that documents their goals, steps to achieve them, services that will support them in seeking their goals, and outcomes. The ASL benefits counselor will assist individuals in knowing their rights and understanding how to self-advocate. The counselor will engage in advocacy together with and on behalf of consumers, including representation in hearings and appeals.

Specific Duties:

  • Conduct comprehensive intake and assessment relevant to consumer needs including a full benefits review: explain eligibility rules, assist with enrollment and/or recertification, and assist with the appeal process.
  • Follow-up with information to consumers about their options for services, service provision applications and rules, and provide appropriate referrals.
  • Collaborate with consumers to create plans of service and periodically review the plan for adjustments.
  • Provide peer counseling services.
  • Identify and work directly or indirectly with individuals who need services to avoid institutional placement or to transition from institutions to the community.
  • Stay current on benefits and services available to consumers.
  • Ensure all client data and service provider details are current and accurate and that they are documented in a timely manner into CIDNY’s and the contracted provider’s databases.
  • Comply with all confidentiality and HIPAA requirements.
  • Complete all required paperwork for consumer files as per agency policy.
  • Assist consumers in the development and exercise of self-advocacy skills and independent living skill-building through active involvement in the achievement of service goals.
  • Act as a liaison and/or advocate with other service or benefits providers for consumers.
  • Contribute, as needed, to the organization’s systems-based advocacy programs by communicating observed barriers/successes related to benefits and services available to people with disabilities, participate in selected advocacy activities, and/or identify consumers who are representative of certain systems-based advocacy issues.
  • Participate in community outreaches, presentations, and workshops, as assigned.
  • Attend agency’s in-service training and unit meetings, as well as, any other agency related activities and off-site trainings.
  • Perform other program-related duties as assigned.

Education and Training:

BA or BS degree with at least 2 years of experience with benefits counseling, or AA degree with at least 5 years of experience in benefits counseling.


  • Must be fluent in American Sign Language.
  • ASL certification preferred.
  • Excellent advocacy, interpersonal, organizational, and communication skills required.
  • In addition, the ability to work well independently as well as part of a team.
  • Must be computer literate of basic Microsoft Programs and have the ability to learn new applications and database systems quickly; knowledge of Salesforce a plus.
  • Respectful and comfortable with persons from different backgrounds.
  • Understanding or experience with disability-related issues.
  • Multilingual preferred.
  • Ability to travel throughout NYC and Albany.

 Travel Demands:

Temporarily remote due to COVID-19 but will need the ability to travel in New York City and Albany when offices open.

Equipment Operated:

Computer/Laptop, Phone, Printer/Copier

Working Environment:

The ASL Benefits Counselor will spend their work time in CIDNY's Queens, New York office. Work area is shared work space divided by cubicles. Verbal communication can be heard from other staff in adjoining cubicles.

Other Information:

We conform to all laws, statutes, and regulations concerning equal employment opportunities and affirmative action. We strongly encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply to all of our job openings. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, genetic information and testing, family and medical leave, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We prohibit retaliation against individuals who bring forth any complaint, orally or in writing, to the employer or the government, or against any individuals who assist or participate in the investigation of any complaint or otherwise oppose discrimination.

Number of Employees Directly Supervised:


Supervised by:

Benefits Supervisor and Director of Consumer Services

How To Apply

Please send a thoughtful cover letter and resume to Don Rickenbaugh, Director of Consumer Services, Please use the job title as the email header.

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