Welcome

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.”

Recent Questions About SOAR

Q: Would someone who has life insurace policies with a cash value totaling $3,700 still be eligible for SSI?
A.
SSA considers any life insurance policy with a face value of $1,500 or higher. The face value is how much insurance you're buying, (e.g., $5,000, $10,000, etc.). The cash value is what you'd get for the policy if you cashed it in. Since this person’s policies are valued at $3,700, s/he is over the...
Q: What are the Medical-Vocational Guidelines, or "Grids"?
A.
The “Grids” are formally known as Medical-Vocational Guidelines and can be found here . DDS evaluates an applicant using these guidelines only at Step 5, so if the applicant meets a listing at Step 3, the Medical-Vocational guidelines will not be used. The guidelines reflect the analysis of the...
Q: I received a notice with a patient’s alcohol and drug abuse records that I could not “further disclose” the information. How can I send them on to SSA?
A.
When providers of substance use services (drug and alcohol) release records, they are required to include the following notice from the CFR Title 42:2.32: “This information has been disclosed to you from records protected by Federal confidentiality rules (42 CFR part 2). The Federal rules prohibit...
Q: I am working with a person who has already applied for SSI and been denied. His request for reconsideration has also been denied. What can I do now to help? Is there anything I can do to speed up the process?
A.
You can help him file for a hearing before an administrative law judge. It is in the applicant's best interest to keep the appeals process going because if he is approved at the hearing level he will be eligible for back payments going back to the protective filing date of his initial application...