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: How can I get our local hospital involved in our SOAR effort?
The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center developed an issue brief regarding collaborating with hospitals. You can read it here: http://soarworks.prainc.com/article/collaborating-hospitals-how-primer
Q: Am I allowed to disclose mental health treatment and counseling records to SSA?
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...
Q: How do you organize the paperwork for an application while in process?
We recommend creating a case-file folder for each applicant, specifically for SSA and SOAR paperwork. It is helpful if this folder has separate sections to organize your material. While you are gathering information for the application, you can store your interview notes, signed agency releases of...
Q: Why would someone get two checks?
In certain circumstances, someone can get both SSI and SSDI. This happens when someone is approved for SSDI, but their monthly check is lower than the full SSI Federal Benefit Rate (FBR)*. This could be due to earning low wages throughout the employment history or limited recent work. In this case...