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). This national project is designed to increase access to the disability income benefit programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for eligible adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and have a mental illness 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 someone who is in prison and not receiving any benefits apply for SSI?
A.
Social Security has what they call Pre-release Procedures for individuals who want to apply for SSI while they are still in an institution (jail, prison, state hospital, etc). The general rule is that an individual can apply 30 days prior to their expected release date, although there are...
Q: I am working with a person who has already applied for SSI and been denied. His request for reconsideration has also been denied. What can I do now to help? Is there anything I can do to speed up the process?
A.
You can help him file for a hearing before an administrative law judge. It is in the applicant's best interest to keep the appeals process going because if he is approved at the hearing level he will be eligible for back payments going back to the protective filing date of his initial application...
Q: How do I get started writing the medical summary report? It is so intimidating.
A.
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: Does DDS use GAF (Global Assessment of Functioning) scores in their decision?
A.
The disability adjudicators do not use GAF scores specifically in their assessment, since the disability criteria are not the same as the DSM. DDS basis their decision on the extent to which the “Listings” (Disability Evaluation Under Social Security) are met. For mental impairments they are...