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: I am taking my client to SSA office to turn in SOAR packet. He does not have any form of identification, recently lost his wallet, will that be an issue?
Unfortunately, yes, it is likely to be an issue if the applicant comes with you to the SSA office. SSA is getting more stringent in needing identification in order to combat benefits fraud. I encourage you to perhaps find a workaround to doing the in-person interview while you are working on...
Q: I am working with a man who appears to be about 70. He remembers his name and where he was born, but not his birth date. He knows a name for his mother, but does not know if it is her first or last name. How can I prove his identity?
My first recommendation would be to go with your client to the local SSA field office with whatever information you have been able to verify and that he is able to report. SSA can sometimes find someone's Social Security number with their name, DOB and parent's information. It often depends on how...
Q: How can I access Social Security documents in Spanish?
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: I cannot find the template or blank file for MSR. Should I just create a word document following the rubric?
The Medical Summary Report (MSR) Interview Guide and Template is a great tool for writing the MSR. The Interview Guide portion contains key questions to ask applicants when gathering evidence for the application. The Template contains main headings that may be used when formatting the MSR. Be sure...