Social security officers advise clients on social security benefits and ensure they claim the benefits they are eligible for, as well as providing advice on promotions and other available support services such as employment benefits. They aid clients in applications for benefits such as sickness, maternity, pensions, invalidity, unemployment and family benefits. They investigate the client’s right to benefits by reviewing their case and researching legislation and the claim, and suggest an appropriate course of action. Social security advisers also determine the aspects of a specific benefit.
The following job titles also refer to social security officer:
healthcare insurance adviser
social security claims officer
government administrative officer
social security adviser
A postsecondary degree is generally the minimum required to work as a social security officer.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Social security officer is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Social security officer career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to social security officer.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of social security officer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of social security officer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of social security officer.
- Government social security programmes: The different areas of social security provided by the government, the different rights which citizens have, which benefits are available, the rules which regulate social security and the different situations in which they apply.
- Social security law: Legislation concerning the protection of individuals and the provision of aid and benefits, such as health insurance benefits, unemployment benefits, welfare programs and other government-provided social security.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of social security officer.
- Protect client interests: Protect the interests and needs of a client by taking necessary actions, and researching all possibilities, to ensure that the client obtains their favoured outcome.
- Ensure information transparency: Ensure that required or requested information is provided clearly and completely, in a manner which does not explicitly withhold information, to the public or requesting parties.
- Provide necessary documents: Provide access to and information on the necessary documentation the client needs to process, and inform on regulations concerning the procedures.
- Investigate social security applications: Investigate the eligibility of citizens applying for social security benefits by examining documents, interviewing the citizen, and researching the related legislation.
- Respond to enquiries: Respond to enquiries and requests for information from other organisations and members of the public.
- Conduct research interview: Use professional researching and interviewing methods and techniques to gather relevant data, facts or information, to gain new insights and to fully comprehend the message of the interviewee.
- Administer appointments: Accept, schedule and cancel appointments.
- Check official documents: Check an individuals’ official documentation, such as driver’s licenses and identification, to ensure compliance with legal regulations, and to identify and assess individuals.
- Apply technical communication skills: Explain technical details to non-technical customers, stakeholders, or any other interested parties in a clear and concise manner.
- Advise on social security benefits: Advise citizens on government-regulated benefits they are eligible for, such as unemployment benefits, family benefits, and other social security benefits.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of social security officer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Employment law: The law which mediates the relationship between employees and employers. It concerns employees’ rights at work which are binding by the work contract.
- Legal research: The methods and procedures of research in legal matters, such as the regulations, and different approaches to analyses and source gathering, and the knowledge on how to adapt the research methodology to a specific case to obtain the required information.
- Public housing legislation: The regulations and legislation concerning the construction, maintenance and allocation of public housing facilities.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of social security officer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Create solutions to problems: Solve problems which arise in planning, prioritising, organising, directing/facilitating action and evaluating performance. Use systematic processes of collecting, analysing, and synthesising information to evaluate current practice and generate new understandings about practice.
- Maintain relations with local representatives: Maintain good relations with representatives of the local scientific, economic and civil society.
- Liaise with local authorities: Maintain the liaison and exchange of information with regional or local authorities.
- Establish collaborative relations: Establish a connection between organisations or individuals which may benefit from communicating with one another in order to facilitate an enduring positive collaborative relationship between both parties.
- Comply with legal regulations: Ensure you are properly informed of the legal regulations that govern a specific activity and adhere to its rules, policies and laws.
- Show empathy: Show empathy in order to prevent any kind of symbolic violence and isolation and to guarantee a considerate attention to everyone. It should include a capacity to understand various verbal and non-verbal communication of sentiment and feeling.
- Manage administrative systems: Ensure administrative systems, processes and databases are efficient and well managed and give the sound basis to work together with the administrative officer/staff/professional.
- Show intercultural awareness: Show sensibility towards cultural differences by taking actions which facilitate positive interaction between international organisations, between groups or individuals of different cultures, and to promote integration in a community.
- Observe confidentiality: Observe the set of rules establishing the nondisclosure of information except to another authorised person.
- Provide legal advice: Provide advice to clients in order to ensure that their actions are compliant with the law, as well as most beneficial for their situation and specific case, such as providing information, documentation, or advice on the course of action for a client should they want to take legal action or legal action is taken against them.
- Identify clients’ needs: Identify the areas in which the client may require aid and investigate the possibilities for meeting those needs.
- Handle financial transactions: Administer currencies, financial exchange activities, deposits as well as company and voucher payments. Prepare and manage guest accounts and take payments by cash, credit card and debit card.
ISCO group and title
3353 – Government social benefits officials
- Social security officer – ESCO