Welcome

SAMHSA's SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery Technical Assistance (SOAR TA) Center is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

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.”

SOAR 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. Read more here and watch the video below to see how SOARWorks!

Recent Questions About SOAR

Q: Can I use the SSA-8001 form instead of the SSA-8000 when using the SOAR model?
A.
We recommend against using the SSA-8001 form for a SOAR application because it contains less comprehensive information about an applicant’s income and resources. As such, the applicant would still need to complete an in-person or phone interview with SSA in order to complete the SSA-8000. By...
Q: How do I contact the SOAR TA Center?
A.
You can reach the SOAR TA Center at soar@prainc.com or 518.439.7415 x5242 . For a TA Center staff directory, please visit our Contact Us page at http://soarworks.prainc.com/content/soar-staff .
Q: How can I access Social Security documents in Spanish?
A.
The Social Security Administration publishes Spanish versions of all their forms. There is also a Spanish version of their website: https://www.ssa.gov/espanol .
Q: Does DDS use GAF (Global Assessment of Functioning) scores in their decision?
A.
The disability adjudicators do not use GAF scores specifically in their assessment, since the disability criteria are not the same as the DSM. DDS basis their decision on the extent to which the “Listings” (Disability Evaluation Under Social Security) are met. For mental impairments they are...