SOAR and Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP)
Connecting Veterans with Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits is a critical step to increasing income stability for Veterans and their families, particularly for those Veterans whose work activity is limited by disabling conditions. The SOAR model helps individuals obtain SSA disability benefits while they are pursuing their vocational goals through the HVRP Program.
Social Security Basics
Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a needs-based program, for individuals who are blind, disabled, or elderly, with low income/resources
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for blind or disabled individuals who are insured through employee and employer contributions to the Social Security Trust Fund
In most states, Medicaid and/or Medicare health insurance accompany these benefits for those eligible
Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP)
Helping Veterans access SSI/SSDI while pursuing employment
There are a number of myths about working while applying for or receiving SSI/SSDI benefits:
You cannot work at all while applying for SSI/SSDI
Benefits end immediately when you return to work
You can only work 20 hours per week while receiving SSI/SSDI
If Social Security knows you are working they will say you aren’t disabled anymore
Working while applying for SSI/SSDI
Working after being approved for SSI/SSDI
Overview of SSA Disability Benefits for Veterans
- Evidence of a physical and/or mental health condition, which results in functional impairments that limit their ability to work at a substantial gainful level.
- That the disabling condition has lasted or is expected to last, for 12 months or end in death.
SSA Expedited Processing for Veterans
- 100% Permanent and Total Veterans Initiative: In March 2014, SSA introduced a new initiative to expedite the processing of applications from Veterans who have a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) disability rating from the VA. To receive expedited processing, Veterans should identify themselves as a “Veteran rated 100% P&T” when initiating the SSI/SSDI application and should provide the VA rating notification letter to SSA.
- Wounded Warriors: Veterans who received disabling mental or physical health injuries while on active duty on or after October 1, 2001, are eligible for expedited SSI/SSDI application processing. The injury does not need to have occurred during combat operations. When initiating the SSI/SSDI application, Veterans should inform SSA that their injury occurred while on active duty.
SOAR and HVRP Strategies
- Educate Veterans that they can work and receive SSA disability benefits!
- Utilize Social Security work incentives and SSA’s Ticket to Work program
- Celebrate successful examples of Veterans who work while receiving SSA disability benefits
- December, 2017
- Community Collaborations