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  • 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
  • DEI Resources Overview

    The following resources have been created and/or revised to provide guidance and action steps that SOAR providers can implement in SOAR service delivery as well as resources that supervisors are encouraged to use to support them.

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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 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
  • 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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    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
  • 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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    Article