Application Process


One day can make a significant difference in when the person begins to receive benefits.

On September 26, 2016 the Social Security Administration (SSA) published new rules updating how they will evaluate mental disorders, which will go into effect on January 17, 2017.

As you may have noticed, SSA recently updated the list of options on the Adult Online Disability Benefit Application to indicate who is completing the application.

Each of the following methods for initiating the application has advantages and disadvantages.

On September 9th, the Social Security Administration (SSA) published proposed revisions on their medical evidence rules in the Federal Register, including the proposal to expand the list of Acceptable Medical Sources to include Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). SSA invites the public to comment on the proposed changes before November 8th. This is your chance to learn about the proposed changes and have your voice heard!

This graphic provides an overview of the application process. Each step of the process is explained in greater detail as you move through the SOAR Online Course.


In 2011, the SOAR TA Center conducted a webinar series on “Strengthening SOAR Applications.”  We are pleased to bring back an updated version of this popular series in January 2017. 

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SOAR Voices Blogs

The great thing about the SOAR model is that it can be used on much more than just mental health conditions! For my first several applications, I primarily focused on pouring most of my energy and my Medical Summary Reports' (MSRs') focus into clearly discussing the applicant’s functional limitations in regards to his or her psychiatric conditions. Admittedly, I dedicated a very small portion of my MSRs to addressing physical conditions.