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: What are your recommendations if the client does not have enough medical documentation to support their illness ?
To meet SSA’s definition of disability, the applicant’s diagnosis must be documented in medical records, laboratory reports, or other clinical findings of a physician or psychologist. DDS prefers that medical evidence come from an ongoing treatment provider. If this medical documentation is not...
Q: If someone might be eligible for unemployment but is also unable to continue working, should he apply for unemployment or SSI?
If he is eligible for unemployment and the amount is more than $733* then he should take the higher amount (unemployment) as long as he can. The medical approval for SSI will last for 12 months, so if the unemployment only lasts a few months then he can always go into SSA, reapply for SSI (the non-...
Q: What does HALLEX mean?
HALLEX (Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law Manual) is a publication from the Social Security Administration's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). ODAR administers hearings and appeals for people seeking reviews of their applications for disability benefits. HALLEX contains policy...
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?
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...