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 and children 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.”
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Recent Questions About SOAR
Q: Can a person establish a protective filing date online even if they are only applying for SSI and not SSDI? What if they have no work credits and can't apply for SSDI?
Absolutely! Initiating the Online Disability Benefit Application sets the protective filing date for SSI as well as SSDI. Even without work credits, there are other ways an applicant may qualify for SSDI so we recommend applying for both programs. Further, completing the online application is an...
Q: Can an Acceptable Medical Source (AMS) sign the Medical Summary Report if the client's main disabilities are mental but the AMS has mainly treated them for physical conditions?
Yes. By signing the MSR, the AMS is only indicating that they believe the included information to be true. It is likely that the provider has spoken with the individual about his/her mental illness, seen some records to that effect, and/or has witnessed some symptoms. In order to treat a patient...
Q: When the MSR is signed by an Acceptable Medical Source (AMS) is there any HIPAA concern if the MSR contains information from other treating providers?
An MSR that has been written based on properly released records can be shared with the primary AMS. At the point of obtaining the signature, it is primarily a privacy issue, not HIPAA. However, it would be a best practice to have a release signed by the applicant permitting the case worker to...
Q: In the SOAR Online Course, do I fill out my name and contact information on the SSA forms, or do I pretend to be the case worker?
When completing the Practice Case in the SOAR Online Course, you are acting as the case worker completing an application for the fictional applicant. Use the case worker's name and contact information found in the progress/case notes.