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: When people get large back-pay checks, how long do they have to spend the funds in order to get their resources below that $2,000 level and not impact future payments?
Generally, SSA will not count the retroactive (back-pay) SSI or Social Security benefits for up to nine months after the person receives them. This includes payments received in installments. When the individual receives his/her award letter it should spell out the exact length of time s/he has to...
Q: I'm working with a youth on SSI who is soon turning 18. When can he apply for SSI as an adult?
In general, a child/youth can apply for adult benefits the month before they turn 18. There is a new exception for disabled youth transitioning out of foster care. Disabled youth receiving Title IV-E federal foster care benefits usually cannot become eligible for SSI until foster care payments have...
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...
Q: Is there any place to find a completed sample of the SSA-8000-BK?
Yes, you can find samples of completed SSA forms here: http://soarworks.prainc.com/article/sample-soar-application-packet