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.”
Read more here and watch the video below to see how SOARWorks!
Recent Questions About SOAR
Q: I am a representative. Can I use the SOAR forms if my client is low-income but not currently homeless?
All of our resources are open-access and free to use when helping applicants. However, we request that you only use the “SOAR” label at Social Security when you are working with individuals who are experiencing or at-risk for homelessness. More on how we define homelessness and at-risk can be found...
Q: After registering for the online course, at what point has it been too long to send in the MSR?
It's never been too long! You are welcome to submit your documents for the SOAR Online Course practice case at any time and the system will never time you out. If you have specific questions about your practice case, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Q: My client has not been completely honest with hospital staff because he "does not trust people." Therefore, his medical records do not show all of his illnesses. Should I send all of the records I have, or just the parts that actually show his illnesses?
You should definitely send all of the medical records. SSA has a rule called the “All Evidence Rule” which requires applicants (through their representative) to submit all medical information known, which includes knowledge of impairment and/or treatment sources. Here is a link for more information...
Q: What is the role of the Vocational Expert (VE)? Why do VEs need to show that nationwide there is work a person can do, even if they do not live near the location of the jobs?
In order to address the question of whether an applicant is capable of returning to work performed within the past 15 years, the ALJ will generally call a VE to testify. The VE is usually a licensed professional counselor, a vocational rehabilitation specialist, or another professional whose career...