SOAR Collaboration with SSA’s Office of Hearings Operations (OHO)
This article explains how you can promote SOAR with your Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) office to help ease their backlog and workload issues, while at the same time, improving access to expedited decisions for SOAR applicants.
About the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO)
The Problem and SOAR Solution!
Veterans with permanent and total disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs
Military casualty/wounded warrior case
Dire need case
Unique Role of SOAR Representatives
Submitting fully developed claims for “critical” applicants which will ease OHO’s burden
Knowing about the applicant’s file and being prepared for the hearing or a review "On the Record"
Ensuring cases are consistently ready at the time of hearing
Maintaining good communication with the applicant and OHO’s staff
Working with applicants to obtain the necessary evidence for their file
Assisting applicants with obtaining an attorney or other representative, so OHO does not need to postpone the hearing to give a chance for the applicant to get a representative
Submitting a letter to OHO requesting an expedited hearing with proof of dire need (e.g., eviction notice, foreclosure, homelessness, and/or unable to meet basic needs). See the sample letter below.
Gaining Local OHO Involvement
SOAR Overview Infographic (provides an overview of the SOAR initiative)
SOAR Outcomes Infographic (shares approval rates and processing times)
Getting Involved with SOAR (demonstrates the elements of the SOAR model and process)
Additional Resources and Information
Appointed Representative Services (ARS)
Sample Letter Requesting Expedited Hearing Due to Dire Need
SSA Office of Hearing Operations (OHO)
To Whom It May Concern:
Please consider conducting an expedited hearing for the above-referenced claimant, as this individual has been experiencing homelessness for [X] months and has been unable to obtain or keep stable housing because of a lack of resources. This history of homelessness means this individual is in dire need of an expedited hearing. There are no other resources to pay for housing. Without an expedited hearing, this individual will be unable to afford to meet basic needs.
Thank you for your consideration. Please contact me at [phone/email] if you have any questions.
- September, 2019