Skip to main content

Icon faq FAQ

Find answers to frequently asked questions.

Question:
Should I actually include information from the Listings and Grids in the MSR, or should I wait until the applicant is denied?

The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center recommends that you don’t cite the Listing and Grid numbers, e.g.) Ms. Jones meets Listing 12.04, and the alternative Grid rule 203.03. Rather, at the DDS level (initial and reconsideration) we suggest providing a description of how the applicant meets a particular Listing(s) or Grid rule through specific examples from the medical records, applicant quotes, and other collateral sources.

View
Question:
How do we find out why a client was previously denied?

You can obtain valuable insight into the reason an applicant was previously denied by reviewing the applicant’s electronic folder, or at minimum, obtaining the “Disability Determination Explanation” or denial notice. Most likely, you will have easy access to the denial notice from the applicant or, if you are the authorized representative, SSA should have mailed a copy to you. You can also request reason for denial by contacting your local SSA office. Learn more at Reviewing Denial Notices.

View
Question:
How do I print my SOAR certificate?

When you log-in to the SOAR website, go to your Profile page.  There, you will see a link to access the Certificate of Completion that was e-mailed to you when you passed the course.

View
Question:
My client's SOAR case has been denied and I would like to ask for another representative to review the case. How do I ask for reconsideration and which forms do I use to request this?
The first level of appeal is the reconsideration. It is an opportunity to have the application reviewed by different staff at DDS and to add new or additional information.
View
Question:
Is there any guidance or training on assisting with the appeal process?

Yes, we have a number of resources on the SOAR website to help provide information and guidance through the appeals process. They can all be found in the SOAR Library. I recommend starting with the article About Appeals and then checking out the Appeals Toolkit.

View
Question:
How long is the certification from the SOAR online courses good for? is there an expiration date?

From the perspective of the SAMHSA SOAR TA center, there is no expiration date. Since you have passed the SOAR Online Course and received a Certificate of Completion, you are “SOAR-trained.” While we do not require additional training or re-certification, we do recommend visiting our website frequently and attending our webinars/SOARing Over Lunch calls, etc., to stay up-to-date on SSA policy changes and learn about new or updated SOAR resources.

With that being said, there may be training/certification requirements in your state or community.  We recommend reaching out to your State Team Lead or your SAMHSA SOAR TA Center Liaison. They will be able to provide additional assistance and connect you with leads in your area. You can find their contact information on your your state's SOAR page.

View
Question:
If someone has a pending claim for SSDI under appeal with an attorney involved, should/can a SOAR application be submitted?

SSA does not allow an applicant to have multiple applications pending at the same time.  If the applicant chooses to have a new initial SOAR-assisted application for SSDI benefits submitted, then the applicant would need to withdraw their current application.  It is important that the applicant understands that the new application would create a new application date which may result in the loss of retroactive 'back' benefits based on withdrawing the current pending application.

View
Question:
I was told there was a list of questions that was good to use during an ALJ appeal hearing.

"Questions for Direct Examination at SSA Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearing," along with other helpful resources, can be accessed on the webinar "Hearing Tips for SOAR Practitioners."

View
Question:
When completing the SOAR Online Course, how do you complete the SSA 16 and SSA 3368? Both of these are to be completed online, but in the final submission both of those forms are listed as being required to submit.

For purposes of the SOAR Online Course, the SSA-16 and SSA-3368 paper forms will be completed.  Since you are working with a fictional applicant, do not attempt to complete or submit the Online Disability Benefits application.

For further guidance, please revisit the Class 1 Practice Case page, "Meet Your Client" for instructions.

View
Question:
Once I have passed the SOAR Online Course am I required to attend any other trainings in order to keep my certification?

The SOAR TA Center does not require any further training but we always recommend that SOAR-trained practitioners stay up-to-date by re-visiting the website, reading our e-newsletters, attending our webinars, etc.

While we consider those who pass the SOAR Online Course to be "SOAR-trained," it is not a formal "SOAR Certification" so to speak.  However, many states implement their own SOAR Certification procedures so it is important to know about your state's SOAR Process. Please visit your state's page for more information.

View