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  • Recognizing National Social Security Month

    April is National Social Security Month! In 2021, we honored Mike Nolan, one of the SOAR initiative’s longest-standing supporters at the Social Security Administration (SSA).

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    Article
  • Celebrating Black History Month

    February is Black History Month, a time for us to honor Black Americans’ achievements in the face of systemic oppression throughout our Nation’s history. In 2021, we celebrated the Former Acting Commissioner of Social Security (ACOSS), Carolyn W. Colvin, M.B.A., her achievements while in office, and her support of the SAMHSA SOAR model.

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    Article
  • Implementing State and Local SOAR Initiatives

    State and Local Leads spearhead and coordinate the implementation of SOAR initiatives. These leaders identify and engage stakeholders to participate in steering committees whose goal is to create and implement a SOAR action plan and process for adult SSI/SSDI and/or child SSI application submission. These committees meet regularly to collaborate, report on progress, and troubleshoot challenges.

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    Article
  • Identifying Possible Special Medical Vocational Profiles

    In an effort to better identify appropriate SOAR claimants, identifying claims which are more likely to have a favorable outcome is paramount. Social Security has developed Special Medical Vocational Profiles, which are rare combinations of adversities that combine, along with impairments, to result in a finding of disabled. 

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    Article
  • SSA Issues an Emergency Message for Evaluating COVID

    SSA is now evaluating the long-term effects of COVID-19 when determining disability. On April 16, 2021, SSA issued an Emergency Message (EM) with guidance to its employees for evaluating adult disability cases that include an allegation or diagnosis of COVID-19. Here are the key points of the EM as well as tips for SOAR practitioners to effectively represent SSI/SSDI applicants whose functioning is impacted by COVID-19.

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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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    Article
  • SOAR Strategic Planning

    Because SOAR is built on collaborations as well as training, the first step in starting a SOAR program is to bring key stakeholders together to agree upon and establish a SOAR Process and create a SOAR action plan. The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center can assist you every step of the way.

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    Article