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 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.”
Recent Questions About SOAR
Q: I cannot find the template or blank file for MSR. Should I just create a word document following the rubric?
The Medical Summary Report (MSR) Interview Guide and Template is a great tool for writing the MSR. The Interview Guide portion contains key questions to ask applicants when gathering evidence for the application. The Template contains main headings that may be used when formatting the MSR. Be sure...
Q: If a U.S. Citizen is dishonorably discharged, can s/he still receive Social Security benefits?
Yes, discharge status does not matter for citizens.
Q: The physician in my clinic refuses to read or sign my Medical Summary Report. What do I do?
It is unfortunate when we run across physicians who are unwilling to help people access the benefits that they are entitled to, although it is a common problem. Many doctors will say that they have not seen a person enough to support a report such as the MSR. Sometimes doctors on ACT (Assertive...
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...