Welcome

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: How do you answer the question: What date applicant became disabled or unable to work? when there is not an exact diagnosis date in medical records.
A.
The date the applicant became disabled is not necessarily the date that he/she was first diagnosed. SSA is looking for the date on which they were unable to work at a substantial gainful level due to their illnessess/conditions. You should enter the date that they were no longer able to work (or...
Q: What is 1619(b) Status and how is it determined?
A.
1619(b) is continued Medicaid coverage for those individuals that were receiving SSI benefits prior to returning to work. You can find more information on SSA's website here: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityresearch/wi/1619b.htm
Q: What is the role of the Vocational Expert (VE)? Why do VEs need to show that nationwide there is work a person can do, even if they do not live near the location of the jobs?
A.
In order to address the question of whether an applicant is capable of returning to work performed within the past 15 years, the ALJ will generally call a VE to testify. The VE is usually a licensed professional counselor, a vocational rehabilitation specialist, or another professional whose career...
Q: I'm working with a youth on SSI who is soon turning 18. When can he apply for SSI as an adult?
A.
In general, a child/youth can apply for adult benefits the month before they turn 18. There is a new exception for disabled youth transitioning out of foster care. Disabled youth receiving Title IV-E federal foster care benefits usually cannot become eligible for SSI until foster care payments have...