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: Is an individual trained in the SOAR model able to charge a fee for this service?
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...
Q: I am looking for a contact at my local SSA office, who should I call?
You should contact your SOAR State Team Lead or Local Lead to find out if there is a designated SOAR liaison at your local SSA office. You can find your local contacts here: http://soarworks.prainc.com/directory
Q: If someone has a pending claim for SSDI under appeal with an attorney involved, should/can a SOAR application be submitted?
SSA does not allow an applicant to have multiple applications pending at the same time. If the applicant chooses to have a new initial SOAR-assisted application for SSDI benefits submitted, then the applicant would need to withdraw their current application. It is important that the applicant...
Q: While an attorney is recommended is there any benefit to a client representing themselves? If the applicant is represented by an attorney (or other individual), does the applicant have an opportunity to speak for themselves or add to the proceedings?
No, it is our opinion that all applicants should be represented at the hearing by an individual who is knowledgeable about Social Security's decision-making process at the ALJ level, whether it be a lawyer, paralegal, or a SOAR case worker. Administrative Law Judges follow fairly strict rules about...