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SOAR Webinar: Employment Supports and Benefits Planning for SOAR Beneficiaries

On this webinar, held on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, experts in Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) and benefits planning shared how SOAR providers can help SSI/SSDI beneficiaries to access these services.


The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is proud to take part in the U.S. Department of Labor’s 76th annual National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) by hosting a webinar on employment for individuals with disabilities who are experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. Held each October, NDEAM aims to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

Engagement in employment services remains a major challenge for individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorders, yet many want to work. For most people with a mental illness, employment can be an important part of their recovery. Two of every three people with mental illness are interested in competitive employment, but less than 15% are employed. For many people, accessing SSI/SSDI benefits is a first step on the road to recovery. But SOAR extends beyond benefits and encourages employment to increase individual income and further promote recovery.

On this webinar, experts in Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) and benefits planning will share how SOAR providers can help SSI/SSDI beneficiaries to access these services. They will also share some myth-busting facts about working while receiving SSA benefits. Presenters will provide basic information on SSA’s work incentives, particularly the Ticket to Work Program and Employment Networks and how to access these employment resources in your communities. You will hear some success stories too!  

What you will learn

  • The facts that lead to informed choices about work and economic self-sufficiency for individuals who receive SSI/SSDI disability income benefits
  • How IPS supported employment principles can effectively help SSA beneficiaries with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders work competitively in the community and improve long-term well-being
  • How to access vocational supports and benefits planning services resources both in your agency and community
  • Implementation strategies for integrating vocational and benefits planning supports in your SOAR initiative


  • Lyndsie Weber, Employment Specialist/CWIC/SOAR Trained, Grand Lake Mental Health Center, Ponca City, Oklahoma
  • Keirstyn Silver, CPRP/CPWIC, Director Self-Sufficiency and Education, Maryland Benefits Counseling Network and Maryland Employment Network, Bel Air, Maryland
  • T-Kea Blackman, CPRS/MPS, Peer Career Coach, Maryland Benefits Counseling Network, Bel Air, Maryland




Available Files
Attachment Size
Presentation Slides 4.06 MB