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Specialist Trainee Position Description
When should I apply?
The NC DDS hires Specialist Trainees in small groups. You may apply at any time a position is posted if you already have a bachelor’s degree. If you are still in school, we will accept an application for a posted position prior to your expected graduation as long as you will have graduated by the time the class for which the position was posted begins. All college degree requirements must be completed before you actually begin work.
How will Trainees be selected?
All trainee applicants who meet the educational requirement will be invited to test for the position. The test is a multiple choice test which does not require previous knowledge of the disability program or medical terminology, but will test your ability to learn the types of information used on the job and your writing skills. Applicants who pass the test will be invited to interview. Offers of employment will be made following interviews and reference checks.
What training would I receive?
You should expect to be in class for the first three months. This class is an accelerated learning environment in which you would learn Social Security Law and Regulations as well as medical terminology and information about a number of more common impairments. For example, you would learn about ischemic heart disease -- what it is and how it might affect a person’s ability to stand and walk, lift and carry, bend, stoop, kneel, etc. You would also learn about mental impairments as well as physical. For example, you would learn what bipolar disease is and how to evaluate the severity of the impairment and how it might affect a person's ability to concentrate, work with others, and sustain work, etc.
After class, you would be assigned to a case processing unit and have actual cases assigned to you. At first, you would work very closely with a case consultant, but you would become more independent as your skills increased. You would learn how to obtain information from applicants and medical sources, how to manage a caseload, and how to make the decisions on your cases. You would be considered a Trainee for the first year, and during that time, your primary responsibility would be to learn this complex job so that you could serve your claimants well -- giving them accurate information and making the correct decisions on their cases as quickly as possible.
Where would I work?
All NC DDS employees work in Raleigh, NC.
Does this job require any travel?
No, Specialists rarely see applicants face-to-face. Specialists all work in an office in Raleigh. Their work is done by mail, phone, and computer.
How can I tell if this is a job for me?
Here are some of the things that we think make a good Specialist:
Intellectual curiosity (Do you want to know more -- learn new things? But can you be satisfied at some point that you have sufficient information and stop gathering more?)
High energy (Can you sustain attention for a lot of cases all day? Will the claimants you deal with at the end of the day receive as good service as if you had worked on their cases in the morning?)
Good communication skills (Can you adjust your style to communicate with people of varying educational levels? Can you prepare a concise, but thorough written explanation of your decisions?)
Ability to learn technical and medical information (Can you learn new material easily and use that information to solve problems/make decisions?)
Ability to work quickly and to change tasks (Can you work efficiently, and be organized in your approach to work? Can you work at a faster pace when needed? Can you handle interruptions and different tasks without losing focus?)
What are the physical and mental demands of the Specialist position?
This position requires reading detailed medical records, interviewing applicants by telephone about their medical conditions and past work, eliciting medical information from physicians by phone, inputting data into a computer, evaluating the facts in the cases, and is typically done while sitting at a desk in a cubicle with partial walls in a sometimes noisy environment. Other requirements of this work include:
  • Sitting for prolonged periods
  • Lifting and handling claims folders (weight under 5 pounds maximum)
  • Ability to perform keying of information on a computer and handwriting information in case files
  • Gross and fine manipulation involving paper, writing instruments, and a computer keyboard
  • Ability to manipulate multiple pages of both loose and prong-filed materials and to use bound and loose-leaf manuals
  • Ability to insert and retrieve materials from a file cabinet
  • Ability to move to different locations within office complex (most of a Specialist's time is spent in his/her individual work cubicle and/or within the assigned case processing unit)
  • Ability to communicate effectively, oral and written, in English
  • Ability to hear and speak on the telephone and in face-to-face exchanges
  • Ability to scan written materials to select pertinent information
  • Ability to read handwritten and typed information, including photocopied and faxed materials of varying print quality and legibility
  • Ability to sustain attention to details and concentrate
  • Ability to deal with several tasks simultaneously, to prioritize work, and to be flexible in dealing with conflicting demands
  • Ability to work quickly and move rapidly from one task to another
  • Ability to work under the mental stress and pressure of strict production and quality requirements
If you have any questions about your ability to meet any of the above demands of the job, we ask you to contact our Human Resources Department at (919) 212-3222, ext. 4563.
Last Updated Date: 11/20/2007 12:14:27 PM