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'm curious if there are other county jails or correctional facilities that may have a quick check list put together that is used to determine who may or may not qualify right off the bat? I'm new to SOAR and still working to complete course.
Yes, the SOAR "Identifying SOAR Applicants" tool has a Criminal Justice version that can be found at: https://soarworks.prainc.com/article/criminal-justice-tools
Q: Who do I contact to find out the status of a claim when the applicant is waiting for a hearing?
The second stage in the appeals process is when the applicant requests a hearing before the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). These hearings are scheduled through the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). Visit the SSA website at http://www.ssa.gov/appeals/ho_locator.html to find the...
Q: Can SSA flag a case as a SOAR case?
Some states will have SSA flag the case as "Homeless" and then put "SOAR" in the remarks section. This is not fool-proof because DDS has to open the case and look for the SOAR "remark" in order to assign it to the appropriate unit. They may not always look for it when...
Q: Once I have completed and passed the Online Course, what is my title?
Individual providers can choose whatever title works best for themselves and their agency. Some examples that we have seen include SOAR practitioner, SOAR benefits specialist, SOAR case manager, and SOAR specialist. Others will use their traditional title (e.g. social worker, case manager, outreach...