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  • The Listings and Mental Illness

    The Listings are SSA’s categorized lists of illnesses and conditions and the specific severity criteria – symptoms, duration, and impairments – of each illness/condition that must be met for a person to be considered disabled by the illness/condition. It is helpful for case managers to become familiar with these requirements.

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  • SOAR Critical Component: The Medical Summary Report

    The Medical Summary Report (MSR) is SOAR’s signature tool and key to a successful application. It provides a succinct, comprehensive summary of the applicant’s personal and treatment history and its impact on his or her life. It also clearly describes the factors affecting functioning and ability to work.

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    Article
  • 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.

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  • Sample Medical Summary Reports

    We’ve gathered examples of well-written, successful Medical Summary Reports (MSRs) from SOAR providers across the country for the SOAR community to use as extra guidance.

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  • Sample Functional Descriptions

    This article provides example descriptions for the areas of mental functioning. The “effective” functional descriptions clearly link the symptoms of the applicant’s illness with their limitations.

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  • Prior or Pending Applications

    It is important to find out whether someone has a pending initial claim or is waiting for a reconsideration or an appeals hearing before starting a new application.

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  • Opening an Encrypted SSA CD-ROM

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) keeps all new disability files in electronic format. Applicants and authorized representatives have the right to obtain relevant application information on a CD-ROM. When you are preparing to appeal a denial of disability benefits, you should request the case file so that you can review key components of the file and decision.

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    Article
  • Linking Functional Information to Diagnosis and Impairment

    For applicants with mental disorders, DDS examiners look at a person’s ability to function in four primary areas. Your responsibility is to describe the functioning of the individual in as much detail as possible and to document how the person’s illness impairs his or her ability to function and maintain employment at a substantial gainful level.

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    Article