Welcome

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: Can a person receive both unemployment and SSDI?
A.
Technically, it is possible to receive both unemployment benefits and SSDI, but it gets tricky. When you apply for unemployment benefits you attest that you are ABLE to work but you lost your job through no fault of your own and are actively looking for work. When you apply for disability benefits...
Q: In a community collaboration, is it appropriate that an attorney handle the SOAR process as opposed to a case manager?
A.
People from varying backgrounds, education and experience can successfully assist with SSI/SSDI applications using the SOAR process. It takes the right training and commitment! Case managers can and do successfully represent applicants in the initial application process and the appeals process...
Q: What if a client is new to our program, and has already applied for and is in the appeal process for SSI? Can they still be considered for SOAR?
A.
The SOAR process can definitely be used to assist applicants with appeals, as SOAR practitioners are often well positioned to assist given their relationships with applicants and knowledge of their impairments and related functional limitations. SOAR case managers can help by gathering additional...
Q: Is an individual trained in the SOAR model able to charge a fee for this service?
A.
The expectation is that providers involved with SOAR do not charge persons applying for SSA disability benefits for their services. We work closely with providers to identify alternative sources of funding for their programs. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have identified various...