South Dakota

South Dakota

Description of Project 
South Dakota’s goal is to increase access to the disability income benefit administered by the Social Security Administration for eligible adults who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness, and have a mental illness and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder.
 
Typically, SOAR certified staff in South Dakota work for agencies that provide case management services; i.e. Community Mental Health Centers, Substance Use Disorder Treatment Providers, homeless service providers, sheltering agencies or other community-based providers who may interact with people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  
Expectations of Participation in SOAR 
In order to submit SOAR applications in South Dakota, individuals must have successfully completed the SOAR Online Course, thereby obtaining SOAR Certification.
 
The SOAR Online Course takes approximately 20 hours to complete. Benefits to completing the course include:
  • No cost;
  • Learn at your own pace;
  • Step-by-step instruction regarding the SSA’s disability determination process and SSI/SSDI application forms;
  • Online templates and other materials are available to assist in the SOAR process;
  • An opportunity to do a practice case with technical assistance and feedback from the SOAR TA Center; and
  • A certificate of completion and 20 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
 
Expectations of SOAR certified staff:
  • Serve as appointed representative for the purpose of applying for SSI/SSDI. Representation includes “standing in” for the applicant, responding to questions, receiving copies of all mail sent to the applicant and communicating back and forth with the SSA and DDS;
  • Obtain medical records and produce a medical summary report per SOAR protocol regarding the applicant’s history (personal, treatment, substance use), functional information and any other relevant information;
  • Conduct ongoing outreach and engagement with the individual to stay connected throughout the process and to work with the individual to obtain other needed services and treatment such as housing, physical and mental health care, other support services, food, and clothing;  
  • Use the SOAR Online Application Tracking (OAT) program to track applications and outcomes, including number of applications completed, approvals/denials, and time to decision from application submission to receipt of SSA’s decision;
  • Report outcomes annually to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, SOAR TA Center; and
  • Assist in the development of local initiatives to promote the SOAR model (i.e. Leadership Academy as spots become available);
 
**No fees will be collected for assisting with applications.

Training in the use of the SOAR OAT program is available. The SOAR TA Center can answer questions about the program and will review data periodically and follow up with SOAR certified staff regarding this data and quality review of applications.
 
Individuals interested in learning more about the SOAR process may contact the State Team Lead or SOAR TA Center Liaison using the contact information above.