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 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: My agency received a bill for medical records. What should we do if we do not have funding available to pay the bill?
A.
Most states have laws that regulate what health care providers can charge individuals for copies of their medical records. However, these rules do not necessarily apply to providers requesting records. In addition, some states provide an exception for records needed to apply for a disability...
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: 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?
A.
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: Am I allowed to disclose mental health treatment and counseling records to SSA?
A.
Mental health treatment records are a necessary and integral part of the evidence needed for DDS to make a disability determination for someone alleging mental illness as an impairment. You are permitted and encouraged to support a claimant’s application with the disclosure of your records (with...