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How Does the SOAR Online Course Work?

The SOAR Online Course provides a unique alternative to in-person trainings. There is no cost for this program.

SOAR Online Course Structure

The SOAR Online Course has seven classes. Each class includes:
  1. Class Home page with Key Lessons and a Class Overview
  2. Series of articles about SOAR and the SSI/SSDI application process and "Try-its" to test your knowledge as you go.
  3. Practice Case page designated by a briefcase icon. Image of briefcase

What is the "Practice Case"? 

The practice case provides an opportunity to apply what you are learning in the course by completing an SSI/SSDI application packet using SOAR techniques.
  • On each Practice Case page, there will be detailed instructions for what tasks must be completed. (PDF)
  • You will play the role of a SOAR caseworker who is assisting an SSI/SSDI applicant. 
    • You will be introduced to your fictional applicant via video interviews, medical records, and progress notes. 
    • Using the information you gather, you will complete five SSA forms and write a Medical Summary Report (MSR).
  • At the end of Class 7, you will submit your complete application packet to the SAMHSA SOAR Technical Assistance (TA) Center for review.
  • Check out these great YouTube Videos about navigating the Online Course Practice Case: Adult Curriculum | Child Curriculum

Review Process

Your complete application packet will be reviewed by SOAR TA Center staff and you will receive feedback within 10 business days. 
  • If your application packet is complete and without major errors or omissions, you will receive a Certificate of Completion and 20 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). 
  • If there are significant errors/omissions, you will be invited to revise your packet and resubmit it for a second review. You will receive feedback on your revisions within 5 business days. 
  • If your revised packet does not meet our standards for quality, you will not receive a Certificate of Completion but will be invited to re-take the course and submit an application packet for a different applicant. 

Time Commitment 

We estimate that it will take about 20 hours* to complete the entire course, including the Practice Case application packet
  • While you can work at your own pace, we encourage you to complete the course within 30 days.
  • This will help you retain the information you have already learned and get you connected sooner to your local SOAR initiatives.
*If you are interested in learning about SOAR and the SSI/SSDI application process, you are free to explore all of the classes and articles in the SOAR Online Course. Completion of the Practice Case Application Packet is intended for those preparing to assist individuals who are experiencing homelessness or who are at-risk of homelessness to submit their SSI/SSDI applications using the SOAR model. 

SOAR in Your State

  • There may be specific requirements or expectations associated with completing SOAR applications in your community.
  • To visit your state's SOAR page, visit the SOAR Works directory.