SAMHSA's SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery Technical Assistance (SOAR TA) Center is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

The goals of the SOAR program speak directly to one of SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiatives- Recovery Supports. SOAR seeks to end homelessness through increased access to SSI/SSDI income supports, directly addressing SAMHSA’s assertion: “To recover, people need a safe stable place to live.” This is essential, and for many persons in recovery accessing benefits is a first step.  But SOAR extends beyond and also encourages employment as a means to increase individual income and promote recovery in line with the SAMHSA assertion that: “to recover, people need meaningful work and the ability to enhance their skills through education.”

SOAR is a national program designed to increase access to the disability income benefit programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for eligible adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder. Read more here and watch the video below to see how SOARWorks!

Recent Questions About SOAR

Q: How do I get started writing the medical summary report? It is so intimidating.
Trying to write the Medical Summary Report (MSR), a key component of the SOAR approach, can seem challenging at first. Everyone is going to have a different approach to writing that works for them. We recommend starting with the Medical Summary Report Worksheet as a template. Work on only one...
Q: How can we track Medicaid reimbursements?
Most SOAR programs that have a hospital collaboration will work with the hospital’s billing department to collect information on reimbursed expenses for each SOAR applicant approved. Some are able to separate out Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements; others have just a total for all reimbursements...
Q: Does an individual have to be homeless for SOAR to file for them?
SOAR is a model developed to help those who are experiencing or at-risk for homelessness, so they don’t need to fit the literal definition of homeless. At-risk for homelessness can include those who are in transitional housing, couch-surfing, exiting jails/institutions without somewhere to live,...
Q: What is the rate of approval for applicants who do not use SOAR? The statistics appear positive but would be more useful if shown in comparison to the overall population of those applying and/or those who do not use SOAR.
Data from the Social Security Administration documents an initial approval rate of 26.7 percent for all persons aged 18–64 who applied for SSI in 2012. Initial applications using the SOAR model over the previous two years have an average of 65% approval rate. Our 2014 National SOAR Outcomes has...