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SSA Disability Benefits for Non-Citizens: Refugee Resettlement and SOAR (Partner Webinar)

This webinar, held on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, in partnership with HIAS walks participants through SSI eligibility and how the Social Security Administration makes a decision on SSI claims for noncitizens with disabilities. It will also describe the SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) model and how staff can get involved with SOAR initiatives in their state. 


SOAR is a national program designed to increase access to the disability income benefit programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for eligible adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a serious mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder. The SOAR model works to overcome barriers similar to those faced by many refugees and asylees applying for SSI: lack of medical evidence in the U.S. healthcare system, unfamiliarity with the SSI application process and U.S. systems, and mental illness related to war or trauma. Learn more during the webinar about resources available through SOAR and how you, your staff, and PC clients can benefit from the SOAR program.

The presentation will feature speakers from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) SOAR Technical Assistance Center, a Public Affairs Specialist from SSA, and a former resettlement case worker who worked at Health Care for the Homeless completing SOAR applications. Following the webinar, HIAS will be available to facilitate state by state SOAR connections with interested agencies.


  • Jen Elder, National Policy and Partnerships Coordinator, SAMHSA SOAR TA Center, Policy Research Associates, Inc.
  • Diana Varela, Public Affairs Specialist, Social Security Administration, Silver Spring, MD
  • Gerardo Benavides, Community Relations Coordinator, Health Care for the Homelessness, Baltimore, MD

Webinar Materials




Available Files
Attachment Size
Slide Presentation 2.99 MB


April, 2018

Other Details

Immigrants and Non-Citizens