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: At my client's hearing, the judge said that as the applicant's Appointed Representative, I can't submit the SSA-3380 - Third Party Function Report. Is this correct?
At the hearing level, many Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) will invoke ‘Rule 3.7: Lawyer/Advocate as Witness’. Under the advocate-witness rule, you cannot serve as both advocate (via the SSA-1696) and witness. The ‘witness’ is required to testify on the basis of personal knowledge, while an...
Q: I already have medical records from another provider in my chart/file. Can I send those to SSA now that I am helping this individual apply for SSI/SSDI benefits?
Most states prohibit the re-release or “further release” of records once they have been released to an entity that originally requested them. However, if you send a request for records using the SOAR Process, which includes (1) a signed SSA-827 Authorization to Disclose Information and (2) a signed...
Q: What form do we need signed from the applicant to be able to speak to a friend or relative for additional functioning information?
A general privacy release can be used to communicate about the applicant to friends/relatives/other service providers, etc. This can be the SOAR sample (even if it is not for medical records) or a more generic one. Here is another example from CSH: http://www.csh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/...
Q: My computer does not allow me to save fillable forms. How do I submit those forms as part of my SOAR Online Course practice case?
We recommend downloading Adobe Reader XI (available for free) https://get.adobe.com/reader/ Otherwise, you have a few other options. You can print the forms, complete them by hand and then scan, save and upload those files. If you do not have a scanner, you can fax them to us at 518-439-7612. If...