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SOAR Webinar: Using the SOAR Model with SSA Appeals

On this webinar, held on June 18, 2020, we introduced our updated SOAR Appeals Toolkit and guest speakers offered practice tips on effectively representing SOAR applicants with appeals.


While we do our best to help eligible individuals get approved on the initial application, sometimes the application is denied and we need to help someone through the appeals process. Appeals may also be necessary when we meet someone who has already applied and been denied or if we were not able to provide sufficient evidence for the initial application.

In this webinar we will introduce our updated SOAR Appeals Toolkit designed to assist SOAR providers with appealing SSI/SSDI denials. Our guest speakers who work with appeals will guide you through a few sections of the toolkit. Each will offer practice tips on effectively representing SOAR applicants with appeals at the Reconsideration and Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) levels. You will learn more about how to partner with your local Legal Aid advocates to ensure continued representation with hearings. Also, you will learn more about how to represent applicants with appeals during the age of COVID-19.

What you will learn

  • Key strategies for using the SOAR model with SSA appeals (Reconsideration and Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) levels).
  • How to develop a Theory of the Case when representing applicants at the ALJ level.
  • SOAR tools available for assisting SOAR applicants with appealing SSA denials.
  • Practice tips for representing applicants with appeals during the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Kate Jones, MA, SOAR Case Manager, Interfaith Community Services, San Diego, California
  • Jacqueline Darby, Esq., Supervising Attorney, Community Health Law Project, Trenton, New Jersey   
  • Liam Connolly, MSW, LICSW, Outreach Social Worker, Healthcare for Homeless Veterans/VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Karen Dobak, Senior Paralegal, Elder, Health and Disability Unit, Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston, Massachusetts