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: Some of the records I received from medical facilities are on a disc, how do you recommend submitting these to DDS? I have printed limited pages for MSR writing, but not the disc in completion.
A.
This is a great question! While DDS does not have a way to process records received via disk, this sounds like a good opportunity to speak with them about signing up for Electronic Records Express , which allows you to upload medical records directly into an applicant’s file from your computer...
Q: How do you answer the question: What date applicant became disabled or unable to work? when there is not an exact diagnosis date in medical records.
A.
The date the applicant became disabled is not necessarily the date that he/she was first diagnosed. SSA is looking for the date on which they were unable to work at a substantial gainful level due to their illnessess/conditions. You should enter the date that they were no longer able to work (or...
Q: Can minors/children receive SSI, and is the money given to the legal guardian?
A.
Yes, minors (children under age 18) can receive SSI if they meet the childhood criteria for disability. Whether or not the legal guardian receives the money depends on a few factors. Individuals under age 18 are generally presumed to be incapable of handling their own funds and would need a...
Q: Are there trainings available for physicians to help improve medical record documentation?
A.
The Documenting Disabilities training from the National Health Care for the Homeless Council is a great way to train doctors in the community on creating medical records and documentation that can help assist with SSI/SSDI applications. It clarifies the myths and helps develop a better...