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 just went with someone to a consultative examination. When will we hear the decision on the application?
It depends! In many DDS offices the consultative exam (CE) examiners are allowed 30 days to file their report/evaluation after the exam. They may or may not be turned in on time. Once the DDS examiner gets the report it may take some time to finish their recommendation and transfer it to the...
Q: How do I calculate the days to decision for SOAR applications?
We calculate from the date of the application (when the completed SOAR packet is turned in) to the date that DDS makes the decision and transfers the case back to SSA. (Not the date of the letter from SSA, as that is often delayed).
Q: How can someone receive SSDI (Title II) benefits if they have never worked?
If an individual becomes disabled before the age of 22 and one of his/her parents is either deceased or receives disability or retirement benefits, the "Disabled Adult Child" may receive benefits based on their parent's earnings record. SSA has an easy to use FAQ page about this topic: http://www...
Q: I am looking for a contact at my local SSA office, who should I call?
You should contact your SOAR State Team Lead or Local Lead to find out if there is a designated SOAR liaison at your local SSA office. You can find your local contacts here: http://soarworks.prainc.com/directory