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: 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: How do I become involved in SSI/SSDI cases that are already in process? What about cases that have been going on for a long time, such as those waiting for a hearing or appeal?
A.
If the case is at the initial or reconsideration stage, you should first ask the person if he/she is willing to sign for you to be his/her representative. Then ask the DDS if, as the person’s representative, you may review the individual’s file. You may ask the DDS to send what they have...
Q: I requested records from a provider using a faxed copy of both the SSA-827 and my agency’s release. This provider will not release them without an original signature on the authorization form and I only have a copy. What do I do?
A.
You should be able to use the copy of the authorization that you have to request the records. According to a clarification letter drafted by the Director of the Office of Civil Rights on April 25, 2003, “A copy, facsimile, or electronically transmitted version of a signed authorization is also a...
Q: Do veterans pay into Social Security?
A.
Yes, members of the military do pay into the Social Security system and earn work credits during military service. SSA has a great publication about military service and work credits here: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10017.pdf .