SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and 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 serious mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder.
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.”
Recent Questions About SOAR
Q: Can a person receive both unemployment and SSDI?
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: What is a SOAR Application?
The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center considers a "SOAR application" to be one in which all (or most) of the SOAR critical components are done. These include serving as the person's representative with the SSA-1696, collecting medical records and writing a Medical Summary Report documenting the person's...
Q: How do you organize the paperwork for an application while in process?
We recommend creating a case-file folder for each applicant, specifically for SSA and SOAR paperwork. It is helpful if this folder has separate sections to organize your material. While you are gathering information for the application, you can store your interview notes, signed agency releases of...
Q: How do I calculate the days to decision for SOAR applications?
We calculate from the date of the application (when the completed SOAR packet is turned in) to the date that DDS makes the decision and transfers the case back to SSA. (Not the date of the letter from SSA, as that is often delayed).