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Suzy Sodergren

The SOAR process can definitely be used to assist applicants with a pending initial or reconsideration level SSI/SSDI claim. To confirm the correct claim level, you will submit the SSA-3288: Consent for Release of Information to the SSA field office.

SOAR practitioners are often well positioned to assist given their relationships with applicants and knowledge of their impairments and related functional limitations. SOAR case managers can help by submitting the SSA-1696: Appointment of Representative form to the SSA field office, gathering additional medical records, noting previously unreported medical conditions, writing a Medical Summary Report, and assisting with SSA forms specific to the initial and appeal process.

However, if you learn that the applicant is at the ALJ level of appeal, you will need to discuss with the applicant whether they wish to continue to appeal at the hearing level or withdraw their current application to submit a new initial application using the SOAR model with your representation.

You can learn more about this by reviewing the article, "Prior or Pending Applications."