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: What does "battery and cruelty" mean on the SSA-8000?
A.
Question #13 about "battery and cruelty" on the SSA-8000 applies only to immigrants and refers to domestic violence or child abuse. The SSA policy and operations manual states: "The alien claimant, the alien claimant's child, or the alien claimant's parent, must be determined to have been battered...
Q: During the ALJ hearing, is it okay to have your client physically demonstrate simple movements to show physical limitations that records may not document?
A.
Not really. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, hearings are tape recorded and physical movements won’t show up on audio. As well, any physical limitations that are the basis of a disability claim must have medical records to back it up, not just an ALJ’s observations. Courts have discounted...
Q: How can you expedite a hearing?
A.
To help expedite a hearing, the applicant or their representative can submit a letter of "dire need" to the hearing office (ODAR). The letter should describe the applicant's conditions, how s/he has worsened since the reconsideration was filed and why s/he will worsen still if s/he is not granted...
Q: If a child receives SSI, how does the family's income affect his/her benefits?
A.
"When we decide if your child can get SSI, we consider your child’s income and resources. We also consider the income and resources of family members living in the child’s household. These rules apply if your child lives at home. They also apply if he or she is away at school but returns home from...