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Position Descriptions


Social Security Administration (SSA)


There are more than 1,300 Social Security offices located nationwide (including our Headquarters offices located in Baltimore, Maryland).  Our jobs offer the opportunity to provide a service to the public, people already receiving Social Security benefits and people seeking benefits for the first time.  You will come in contact with people who have a variety of problems and questions. SSA benefit programs serve young and old, wealthy and poor, your family and the family next door - people from all walks of life.  We even provide Social Security benefits to individuals living in other countries.

You can occupy one of a number of positions in which you will conduct investigations and make decisions regarding the approval or denial of claims for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income.  Many involve direct contact with the public, others require contact primarily by telephone. Your will receive training in Social Security and State laws in order to perform the duties.  Because SSA operates in an automated environment, you will be trained to use data processing equipment.  Whatever your preference, SSA has the right job  for you.

Brief Summary of Position Descriptions

Note:  Many claims representatives and service/telephone service representatives deal with the public where bilingual ability is highly desirable.  Also, the ability to communicate with deaf or hearing-impaired individuals using signed English or American Sign Language is desirable for some positions.

Claims Representative/Claims Authorizer

Employees in these positions assist individuals in establishing entitlement to benefits under Social Security programs.   You will have contact with the public either by face-to-face interviews or by telephone.  These contacts will allow you to obtain, clarify, and verify information which will be used to analyze claims and make decisions regarding entitlement to benefits.   Depending upon your qualifications, you may enter these positions at either the GS-5 or GS-7 grade level.  If you perform satisfactorily, you will be promoted to subsequent grade levels until you reach the highest grade in this position - GS-11.   Career advancement from this position is usually to technical or management positions.

Service/Telephone Service Representative

These positions involve providing assistance to the public similar to the claims representative position.  Employees answer a wide variety of questions from the public by interviewing the individual, investigating the situation and resolving the problem.  Service representatives are located in the Social Security field offices and have direct contact with the public.  Telephone Service representatives are located in a number of teleservice centers across the country and deal with the public only by telephone.  Entry into these positions is at GS-4 or GS-5 level with progression, based on satisfactory performance, to the GS-8 level.  Career advancement from these positions can be to claims representative positions or to positions in the teleservice center.

Benefit Authorizer

Benefit Authorizers are responsible for updating beneficiary records, making sure that payment is made to the beneficiary and preparing correspondence to beneficiaries regarding their benefits.  These positions may require contact with the public by telephone.  Entry into these positions is at GS-4 or GS-5 level.

Benefit Authorizers can advance to the GS-9 level.  Further career development is to technical assistant or specialist positions or the claims authorizer position.

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Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR)

Mission and Purpose

The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) shares the same mission as the rest of the Social Security Administration (SSA):

"To promote the economic security of the nation's people through compassionate and vigilant leadership in shaping and managing America's Social Security programs."

ODAR holds hearings and renders decisions on claims denied at the initial level. Most of the work involves disability issues.

ODAR Structure

ODAR in the Kansas City Region consists of a Regional Office, located in Kansas City, MO, and 7 Hearings Offices, located in Creve Coeur, MO, Kansas City, KS, Omaha, NE, St. Louis, MO, Springfield, MO, West Des Moines, IA, and Wichita, KS.

ODAR in the Kansas City Region has 332 employees. The management staff consists of approximately 10% of the total number of employees.

The Hearing Office staff is comprised of clerical, technical, and professional positions. The grades of the positions range from GS-4 Case Technician (OA) to GS-14 Hearing Office Director, and SES (Senior Executive Service) level for the Administrative Law Judges (ALJ's).


The nature of the work is front-line service to Social Security claimants, technical casework, and administrative functions. Staff perform work in both individual and group environments.

  • Hearing Office Director, GS-950-14
  • Supervisory Attorney or Supervisory Paralegal Specialist, GS-950-13
  • Senior Attorney Advisor, GS-905-13
  • Attorney Advisor, GS-905-9/11/12
  • Paralegal Specialist, GS-950-9/11/12
  • Lead Case Technician, GS-986-9
  • Senior Case Technician, GS-986-6/7/8
  • Case Intake Technician, GS-986-6/7/8
  • Case Technician (OA), GS-986-4/5/6

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Last reviewed or modified Monday Jan 14, 2008
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