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Alaska

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SOAR is available in all 50 states. Please select your state to view information or find SOAR assistance for your state.

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SOARing in Alaska

The SOAR effort in Alaska is an initiative designed to increase access to SSI/SSDI benefits for eligible adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder.

Individuals interested in training are encouraged to reach out to the State Team Lead or SOAR TA Center Liaison using the contact information above for more information about SOAR.

Alaska SOAR State Team

State Team Lead(s):
Dave Bérube
Email: dpb_99518@yahoo.com
Phone:

TA Center Liaison: Dan Coladonato
Email: dcoladonato@prainc.com
Phone: (518) 439-7415 x5241

Expectations of Participation in SOAR

Individuals may become eligible to utilize the SOAR model by completing the SOAR Online Course. Prior to beginning the online curriculum, individuals are encouraged to contact the State Team Lead or SOAR TA Center to discuss their training needs and expectations.

Expectations of SOAR-trained caseworkers

  • Serve as the applicant’s appointed representative for the purpose of applying for SSI/SSDI benefits. Representation includes “standing in” for the applicant, responding to questions, receiving copies of all mail sent to the applicant, and communicating back and forth with SSA and DDS**
  • Complete all required SSA forms for the SSI and SSDI applications and submit online whenever possible
  • Collect medical records from providers who have treated the applicant
  • Write a comprehensive SOAR Medical Summary Report that includes psychosocial, treatment, and functional information that is co-signed, if possible, by a physician or psychologist who has seen the individual
  • Conduct ongoing outreach and engagement with the individual to stay connected throughout the process
  • Track applications and outcomes, including the number of applications completed, approvals/denials, and time to decision
  • Report outcomes on at least an annual basis
  • Actively collaborate with SOAR Local Leads
  • Participate in refresher courses and quality review of applications
  • SOAR caseworkers are encouraged to send redacted versions of their first few Medical Summary Reports to the SOAR TA Center for quality review before submission to DDS
** No fees will be collected for assisting with the application
 
Marking and submitting SOAR applications is contingent upon following the local SOAR process.
 
SOAR-trained individuals will also be connected with the State Team Lead, the SOAR TA Center Liaison, and SOAR Local Leads. Any of these persons may be contacted for information or questions at any time about SOAR and they are available to assist with connections to SSA and DDS offices in the state.

Outcomes Tracking

Alaska tracks SOAR-assisted SSI/SSDI applications in the SOAR Online Application Tracking (OAT) system. Training is available, and the SOAR TA Center can answer questions about the OAT system. It is expected that SOAR-trained caseworkers will enter data about their SSI/SSDI applications using the SOAR model as they complete each application. The SOAR TA Center will review data periodically and follow up with SOAR caseworkers regarding this data and quality review of applications.

Local Leads

Victoria Abrams
Anchorage, AK
Email: vma99501@yahoo.com
Phone: 907-782-6407 

Dave Bérube
Anchorage, AK
Email: dpb_99518@yahoo.com
Phone:  

Brenda  Hannah
Fairbanks, AK
Email: Bhannah2@alaska.edu
Phone: 907-457-5681 

Jason Smith
Juneau, AK
Email: jsmith@dlcak.org
Phone: 907-586-1634 

Trainers

Dave Bérube
Anchorage, AK
Email: dpb_99518@yahoo.com
Phone:  

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