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: How do I become involved in SSI/SSDI cases that are already in process? What about cases that have been going on for a long time, such as those waiting for a hearing or appeal?
If the case is at the initial or reconsideration stage, you should first ask the person if he/she is willing to sign for you to be his/her representative. Then ask the DDS if, as the person’s representative, you may review the individual’s file. You may ask the DDS to send what they have...
Q: Why would someone have their SSI benefits check reduced by one-third?
It sounds like they may be living in a situation that SSA calls Living Arrangement B, which is when someone is living with a family member or friend and is receiving food and shelter at no cost. SSA calls that "in-kind support and maintenance" and generally reduces the individual's...
Q: Can I submit a SOAR application for a homeless client who has physical disabilities but not mental illness?
Absolutely! SOAR is designed to assist individuals who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a serious mental illness, medical impairment , and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder.
Q: What is the PATH Program and why do people keep talking about it?
The Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program is administered by the Center for Mental Health Services, a component of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). PATH is a formula grant to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico...