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: 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: Once I have passed the SOAR Online Course am I required to attend any other trainings in order to keep my certification?
The SOAR TA Center does not require any further training but we always recommend that SOAR-trained practitioners stay up-to-date by re-visiting the website, reading our e-newsletters, attending our webinars, etc. While we consider those who pass the SOAR Online Course to be "SOAR-trained," it is...
Q: If someone asks for a copy of their Medical Summary Report, do you give them a copy ?
The short answer is "yes." If someone asks to see their Medical Summary Report, you can provide it to them in the same manner that your agency would release a copy of their medical records to them. However, there are some other factors to keep in mind. Since the MSR focuses on an applicant's...
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...