Occ. Code 8183100






New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




Temporary Assistance Specialists 1 assist in the administration of programs which provide financial assistance and supportive services to dependent and disabled individuals and families or individuals and families eligible for assistance and services. Temporary Assistance Specialists 1 work with local social services agencies and with program service providers, such as refugee and immigration programs, in their efforts to enable eligible families and individuals to achieve independence. They make field visits to identify local agency needs, review program activities and provide technical assistance and program advice to local program managers and to directors of contract agencies to ensure adherence to State and Federal guidelines and contract requirements.  Typically, Temporary Assistance Specialists 1 report to a higher level Temporary Assistance Specialist.


Positions in this class are found only in the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.




Positions in this class are characterized by the performance of a wide range of activities which include advising and assisting local program managers and directors of contract agencies to operate efficient and effective programs in accordance with State and Federal guidelines and with contract requirements. In order to accomplish these responsibilities, incumbents visit local agencies, examine programs, analyze problems and report on their findings. They assist in the preparation of policy guidelines and participate in the development and delivery of training programs for local district and program contractor staff.


These positions are distinguished from the Temporary Assistance Specialist 2 level in that the Temporary Assistance Specialists 2 generally have responsibility for supervising the overall activities of a group of two or more Temporary Assistance Specialists 1 in the administration of temporary assistance programs and for resolving unusual or complex problems often involving the setting of precedents. Incumbents of both the Temporary Assistance Specialist 1 and 2 titles coordinate workgroups and/or projects to achieve long and short term goals.  The Temporary Assistance Specialist 1 may assign work to or require the assistance of other staff.




Assist in policy development, dissemination and evaluation.


·           Assists in the development of integrated supportive services to enable families and individuals with multiple barriers to self‑sufficiency to reduce their dependence and become more self‑reliant. This may include activities such as coordinating interagency efforts and assisting districts in developing linkages with other local agencies/organizations who may assist in the goal of helping clients overcome barriers to self‑sufficiency.


·           Reviews activity reports from local agencies, program audit reports and district annual plans to identify problems such as lack of client participation, incorrect eligibility determinations, errors in categorical payments, etc., and recommends improvement or correction of a local program.


·           Interviews agency and/or local contractor personnel involved with specific programs to identify problems, recommend improvement or correction of procedures, identify or eliminate errors by local agencies and/or service providers in contract performance.


·           Advises local personnel of proper administrative procedures, State and Federal guidelines and changes in eligibility rules and program procedures, and changes in contract requirements.


·           Discusses administrative changes, recommendations and suggestions with local administrators and directors of service provider agencies to improve operations, and solve problems to ensure compliance with State and Federal guidelines.


·           Prepares formal suggestions to local commissioners regarding program administration.


·           Recommends controls for compliance with required changes and prepares reports on progress.


·           Provides input regarding recommendations for sanctions against agencies for non‑compliance with State and Federal requirements, when appropriate.


·           Makes follow‑up visits to reassess problems, effects of changes, and to suggest further modifications, reset deadlines and gather further information.


·           Prepares written responses to audit report of oversight agencies, providing a defense of current practice, where necessary, and indicating corrective action taken.


·           Identifies problems as well as excellence and best practices in program design and makes recommendations to State program administrators.


·           Assists in the implementation of all welfare legislation.


·           Provides training and technical assistance to local districts and internal customers.


·           Evaluates existing practices of the Division and its customers and makes recommendations for improvements.


·           Develops criteria and allocation proposals in conjunction with fiscal staff for local services programs.


·           Evaluates local plans for services and recommends funding based on these reviews.


·           Oversees and monitors assignments and projects, particularly in their effectiveness to advise local program managers.


Responds to oral and written inquiries from local administrators and directors of program contract agencies, to provide interpretation and clarification of State and Federal standards, laws and regulations, eligibility determinations, official releases, program policies, client rights, income exemptions, and contract requirements, etc.


·           Responds to oral and written requests from local administrators and directors of contract agencies to analyze individual cases and problems and recommends proper eligibility determinations, appropriate service delivery, appropriate procedures, related laws and statutes, regulations and policy interpretations, corrective action and appropriate claiming methods for payment under a contract.


·           Follows up, in writing and by phone, on recommended changes or improvements to determine compliance or to provide additional assistance.


·           Responds orally and in writing to requests from other State departments and agencies for program information and policy interpretations, which could conflict, overlap or complement other similar programs.


·           Responds to written or telephone inquiries from clients or client organizations on program policies, standards, eligibility, benefits, services, client rights, etc.


·           Prepares written reports containing recommendations to improve local agency operations or compliance.


·           Reviews Federal regulations and enacted and proposed legislation to identify changes in program guidelines, eligibility determinants, procedures or regulations.


May assist in the development and implementation of Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) and other procurement strategies approved by OTDA.


·           Assists in the development and implementation of proposed contracts for assigned projects.


·           Reviews proposed contract work plans to assure consistency with program intent and reasonableness of the proposed approach to accomplish contract goals.


·           Reviews proposed contract budgets to assure compliance with Federal and State budget guidelines.


·           Reviews contractor vouchers and reports for accuracy and completeness and to track performance and expenditures against contract goals and contract budget standards (or payment standards under performance‑based contracts).


Works with systems staff to assist in the development and implementation of systems for management reporting, and works with the appropriate computer hardware and software technology to perform their duties and to enable managers to collect data, evaluate services and prepare reports.


·           Assists in the identification of data elements to be included in the system and type of reports to be produced.


·           Defines data in user terms for systems staff.


·           Assists in providing test data and evaluating the results.


·           Identifies problems with systems and notifies user and systems staff.


Assists in the preparation of official releases and other policy statements and transmittal of any change in eligibility determinants, exemptions, additions, or exclusions to program services or benefits to interpret or clarify Federal or State mandates, policy or regulations and to interpret, clarify or present changes in contract requirements.


·           Reviews legislation of Federal policy guidelines to determine their impact on present Agency policy or procedures.


·           Develops regulations, policy guidelines and operational support for temporary assistance programs.


·           Prepares or drafts official releases and policy statements outlining or explaining new or changed regulations as directed by supervisor.


·           Participates in meetings with local program administrators and directors of contract agencies to discuss and explain changes to regulations or policy or contract requirements.


·           Assists in the preparation of training material by preparing course content and assists in the presentation of material to groups of local administrators to advise them of changes in procedures, eligibility, State and Federal requirements, contract requirements, etc.


·           Collects statistical or factual information from local districts, local contract agencies, other State and Federal agencies, and other resources to support, describe, modify or alter State and Federal regulations and policies.


May supervise lower level staff.


·           Assigns work to subordinates and reviews all correspondence and reports for accuracy, completeness and appropriateness.


·           Prepares individual evaluations, annual ratings and probation reports.




Positions in this class exist in central office and the New York City regional office. Although incumbents receive their assignments from their supervisor, the actual completion of the assignment is handled with a large degree of independence. Incumbents typically consult Social Services Law, regulations, manuals, federal directives, contracts and other relevant materials during the completion of their responsibilities. This requires the repeated use of personal judgment when determining or recommending a course of action.




Temporary Assistance Specialists 1 participate in the provision of technical assistance to local social services districts, and service provider contract agencies, for the resolution of complex issues and in the interpretation of State and Federal laws and regulations, eligibility determinations, contract requirements, etc. They work with systems in the development and implementation of management reports. Incumbents assist in the preparation of official releases and policy statements.


Temporary Assistance Specialists 1 must also participate in the development of supportive services plans with local districts, including assisting in coordinating interagency efforts and assisting local districts in developing linkages with other agencies/organizations to help clients move to self‑sufficiency.




The nature of the tasks performed by an incumbent of this class requires frequent oral and written communications with both Agency staff and supervisors in order to receive, evaluate and pass on status reports, policies, plans and procedures. Incumbents also consult with administrators in local districts and other State/local representatives and potential employers and, as such, must be able to make organized, clear, logical and convincing oral and written presentations.


In addition, incumbents communicate both orally and in writing with other State, local and private organizations to coordinate the provision of client benefits and provide program information.  Failure to provide accurate information and advice in a timely manner could result in the loss of Federal and/or State funds to individuals receiving assistance.




Six years of experience performing one or more of the following in a program directly providing public assistance as defined by the Social Services Law.


1.      Determining eligibility or administering temporary assistance programs* and initiatives for the purpose of providing benefits to individuals or families in need of assistance to achieve self‑sufficiency.


2.      Assessing, evaluating and/or monitoring temporary assistance programs to ensure their effectiveness.


3.      Designing and developing plans, proposals and/or implementing and evaluating programs to deliver temporary assistance programs to dependent or disabled individuals or families in need of assistance to achieve self-sufficiency.


4.      Assessing applicants or recipients receiving temporary assistance program benefits to identify and remove barriers to self‑sufficiency.


*Temporary Assistance Programs are:


Family Assistance (FA) [TANF Block         Refugee and Immigration Assistance

Grant]                                                        and Services

Safety Net                                                      Supplemental Security Income

Emergency Assistance to Families            Food Stamps

or Adults                                                   Energy Assistance (HEAP)




College education may be substituted for up to four years of the qualifying experience at a rate of 30 college credits equal one year of experience.


A Master's Degree or two years of graduate education in public administration, business administration or social work with a concentration in management can be substituted for an additional year of qualifying experience.




Date:  5/03


















NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.