Eligibility Review Officer (Niagara Region)

Job Title: Eligibility Review Officer
Job Opening Id: 34916
# Required: 1
Business Unit: Community Services
Division: Housing
Location: Thorold, Ontario
Standard Hours: 35.00 / week
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Temporary
Salary Grade: 14
Salary Range: $ 36.39 - $ 38.71
Close Date: 2022-03-19
Temporary Duration: 12 months

About Us
Serving a diverse urban and rural population of more than 475,000, Niagara Region is focused on building a strong and prosperous Niagara. Working collaboratively with 12 local area municipalities and numerous community partners, the Region delivers a range of high quality programs and services to support and advance the well-being of individuals, families and communities within its boundaries. Nestled between the great lakes of Erie and Ontario, the Niagara peninsula features some of Canada’s most fertile agricultural land, the majesty of Niagara Falls and communities that are rich in both history and recreational and cultural opportunities. Niagara boasts dynamic modern cities, Canada’s most developed wine industry, a temperate climate, extraordinary theatre, and some of Ontario’s most breathtaking countryside. An international destination with easy access to its binational U.S. neighbour New York State, Niagara attracts over 14 million visitors annually, as well as a steady stream of new residents and businesses.

Please note that effective February 12, 2023 mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations are no longer required as per the Niagara Region’s amended COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. As a result, you will not be required to submit verification of your vaccination status before starting employment with the Niagara Region. However, the Niagara Region continues to reserve the right to reintroduce vaccination requirements in the future if necessary to respond to changing public health advice andor government direction. The Niagara Region continues to strongly encourage everyone to remain up-to-date with vaccinations..

Job Summary
Responsible for investigating ongoing eligibility for people receiving rent geared to income assistance (RGI) in accordance with all applicable policies, procedures and applicable legislation. The position takes a proactive stance in preventing fraud and the misrepresentation of income, ensuring the integrity of the social housing program.

  • Post-secondary degree in Social Sciences, Social Work, Criminology, or related field, or, an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience

  • At least 3 years as an Eligibility Review Officer, Case manager or related position performing eligibility reviews in a human services environment
  • At least 3 years conducting investigations and fraud prevention
  • Sound knowledge of relevant housing legislation and related acts, and policy and the ability to interpret them effectively, along with Provincial Offences Act
  • Course/certificate Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) training is preferred
  • Rent Geared to Income (RGI) calculation an asset

Managing quality assurance in the RGI process, including but not limited to: (40% of time)
  • Examining the applicant/tenant file to determine and ensure decisions regarding eligibility are compliant with legislation, regulations and policy
  • Validating overpaid rental assistance subsidy and recalculating rent supplements to ensure accuracy to facilitate the negotiation of overpayment recovery or fraud repayment schedule
  • Making complex eligibility decisions incorporating Provincial Legislation, Regulations, Departmental policies and practices, legal precedents and the uniqueness of individual circumstances
  • Reduce misrepresentation (ex: income) among tenants in general

Conducting RGI reviews and investigations, including but not limited to: (40% of time)
  • Conducting eligibility investigations by gathering information from all available sources including in person and independently
  • Ensuring that all relevant information and documentation is available to complete a thorough review and when necessary apply for a Search Warrant under the Provincial Offences Act
  • Completing fair and unbiased internal reviews of applicant/tenants eligibility for social housing program and clearly summarizing the reason for the outcome/decision
  • Preparing and presenting the necessary documentation to inform administrator’s case at the Landlord and Tenant Board/Tribunal or in other courts/tribunals/hearings as required including being a witness
  • Communicating formally and informally with social housing providers and tenants/members throughout an investigation and advise appropriate parties when opportunities to comment and decision are issued
  • Maintaining formal communications with third parties involved in the investigation such as banks, employers, witnesses, etc.
  • Providing “Referral/collects” information, conduct interviews, write reports with recommended actions, and confirm source documentation such as sending a notice internally regarding a tenant with an extra individual in the house, or additional income not declared
  • Representing at internal review hearings, provincial court/Landlord and Tenant Board hearings resulting from an investigation
  • Provide relevant communication with stakeholders related to ongoing cases (police, legal, Crown)
  • Provide appropriate documentation to stakeholders as required (reports, Crown briefs, etc.)
  • Responding to inquiries concerning eligibility review, social housing directives and Housing Services and Ministry of Housing policies
  • Responding to MFIPPA and PIPEDA inquiries

Providing RGI documentation maintenance, including but not limited to: (15% of time)
  • Providing information to NRH staff and social housing providers regarding RGI subsidy eligibility determination processes and the referral process for allegations of suspected misrepresentation of household composition, assets and income by social housing applicants, tenants and members
  • Providing ongoing advice and support to staff as well as training new staff and students
  • Reporting and documenting suspected child abuse cases as required by the Child and Family Services Act
  • Preparing concise case notes, participant progress reports and analyzed case reports
  • Compiling, interpreting and analyzing statistical information as required
  • Ensure that forms, documents and other related material that are used to determine ongoing RGI eligibility, remain up to date and in compliance with all legislation. Support the staff team with similar updates across portfolios.

Providing RGI training and education, including but not limited to: (5% of time)
  • Provide training and education to internal and external stakeholders as required including ERO and RGI information.
  • Making presentations and provides training and orientation as required
  • Acting as a resource person to other staff members for eligibility issues

Perform other related duties and responsibilities as assigned or required.

Special Requirements
  • In accordance with the Corporate Criminal Record Check Policy, the position requires the incumbent to undergo a Criminal Records Check and submit a Canadian Police Clearance Certificate
  • Must maintain ability to travel in a timely manner to other offices, work locations or sites as authorized by the Corporation for business reasons.

Regional staff strive to enable the strategic priorities of council and the organization through the completion of their work. Staff carry out their work by demonstrating the corporate values. Uncover the wonder of the Niagara Region and join a team dedicated to meeting tomorrow’s challenges TODAY!

Let us know why you would be an excellent team member by submitting your online application to Job ID 34916 no later 11:59 p.m. on March 19, 2023 by visiting our ‘Careers’ page at www.niagararegion.ca.

We thank all candidates for their interest however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.